When we found out President Donald Trump was returning to Pennsylvania on Wednesday, we wondered what he’d talk about – other than the tax reform plan (the main reason for his visit).
Now we have the answer: truckers. Read more »
In an effort to end the state budget stalemate, Republicans in Harrisburg are pushing a plan to add a 5 percent tax on hotel stays statewide.
The levy would be on top of an existing 6 percent state tax, bringing the total Pennsylvania hotel tax rate to 11 percent. If the proposal got the green light, Philly would have the nation’s highest hotel tax, according to HVS, a consulting organization that specializes in the hospitality industry.
PennLive reports that Philly already charges the state’s highest hotel levy, and the tax here would jump from a combined rate of 15.5 percent to a whopping 21.25 percent if legislators backing the proposal have their way. (The increase is more than 5 percent because of another tax already scheduled to kick in in January.) Read more »
A new report claims that Pennsylvania’s woman legislators are more effective at passing laws.
Researchers at the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University found that during the 2013-14 legislative term, 9.7 percent of bills sponsored by female legislators were passed and signed by the governor, compared to 9 percent of bills sponsored by male legislators. Read more »
The Pa. Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would allow teachers and other school employees to carry guns on school property.
After a heated debate, legislators approved Senate Bill 383 in a 28-22 vote. It would allow workers with concealed carry licenses to possess guns in schools if they meet training requirements and pass a psychological evaluation.
The legislation garnered harsh pushback from state senators who believe arming school employees would only exasperate gun issues and create dangerous situations. Read more »
A woman from Philadelphia was arrested for allegedly attacking a state police horse during a protest in Harrisburg this past weekend.
State police say 23-year-old Lisa Joy Simon whacked a horse on its neck with a flag pole that had a half-inch nail attached to it. The incident allegedly happened around 11:30 a.m. on the 1200 block of Sixth Street, near the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex.
A rally was being held by ACT for America, a lobbyist organization classified as an anti-Muslim hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The organization’s rally was met with resistance from counter-protesters. Read more »
A Pennsylvania Senate Committee has approved a bill that would limit Gov. Tom Wolf‘s – and future governors’ – economic power.
Senate Bill 561, introduced by Republican Sen. John DiSanto of Dauphin County, would bar the governor from enacting regulations with an economic impact exceeding $1 million without legislative approval.
DiSanto said in a statement that the bill would “reinforce the constitution’s balance of powers” as well as “strengthen political accountability for regulatory policy and protect our economy from undue burdens on business and job creation.”
The legislation would require both the Independent Fiscal Office and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission to verify the cost estimates of regulations. In 2015, the IFO reviewed 74 regulations overall.
As it stands now, legislators can file disapproval resolutions if they oppose regulations passed by the governor, who can then approve or veto their resolutions. If the governor chooses to veto the disapproval, legislators can override the veto by a two-thirds vote.
Wolf and other Democrats think the bill would shift too much power to the legislative majority.
In a statement sent to WITF, Wolf’s office said the governor “has serious concerns with attempts to hinder the executive branch’s ability to enact regulations.”
The bill now heads to the Senate.
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The Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission has launched an investigation of state Rep. Brian Sims after a complaint was filed late last year alleging that he might have committed “potential Ethics Acts violations” by accepting honoraria for certain speaking engagements. The existence of the investigation was first reported by PGN. Read more »
Like it or not, President Donald Trump will come to Pennsylvania to celebrate his first 100 days in office.
The president will hold a rally in Harrisburg on Saturday night. The event, which is free, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 4:30 p.m.) at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center. Tickets are available on the president’s campaign website on a first-come, first-served basis. Read more »
Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration is in the process of hiring lobbying firms to appeal to Republican legislators in both Harrisburg and Washington, D.C., according to City & State.
The news organization reports that the administration issued a request for proposals for a federal lobbyist this week. In February, the administration signed a $41,667 state contract with Republican lobbying firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney and began its search for a second Harrisburg lobbyist. Read more »