Sanctuary Cities Bill That Could Defund Philly Clears Pa. Senate

istockphoto.com, catnap72

istockphoto.com, catnap72

A bill that could drastically restrict state funding to so-called sanctuary cities like Philadelphia has cleared the Pennsylvania Senate.

State lawmakers yesterday pushed the controversial bill onto the House in a 37-12 vote. Senate Bill 10, known as the Municipal Sanctuary and Federal Enforcement Act, or SAFE Act, would bar municipalities from adopting so-called “sanctuary” policies that refer to the refusal to comply with federal detention orders issued by Immigrations and Custom Enforcement.  Read more »

71-Year-Old Republican Wants to Reduce Pa. Pot Penalties

If you want to look at how the debate on marijuana has shifted, just look at state Rep. Barry J. Jozwiak.

Jozwiak served in the Navy. He was a Pennsylvania State Police trooper for 25 years. He is 71 years old. All of these are not demographics that are typically open to reductions in penalties for drug possession. And yet last week Jozwiak issued a sponsorship memorandum explaining how he would soon be introducing a bill that would lessen the penalties for weed possession in Pennsylvania.

While pot possession is basically just a $100 fine in the city of Philadelphia, statewide marijuana possession is an ungraded misdemeanor. That means it’s treated as a third-degree misdemeanor: The penalties can go as high as 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. PennDOT automatically suspends the drivers license of anyone convicted of marijuana possession. (A marijuana possession offense in Pennsylvania is possession up to 30 grams (a little over an ounce). Read more »

Here’s Everything You Need to Know to Vote in the 2016 Presidential Election

poll

Happy Election Day, Philadelphia! Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The most important presidential race in modern memory is today. There are also lots of other candidates on the ballot who could change your life for better or worse. Pennsylvania is home to one of the most important U.S. Senate elections in the country. The state will elect its top law-enforcement official, and decide whether the Republican Party has a veto-proof majority in the state Senate. If you don’t know anything about those races — or where your polling place is, or whom to call if you have trouble voting — don’t worry. We’ve got all that and more covered below. Read more »

The No-Bullshit Guide to the 2016 Philadelphia Presidential Election

Election 2016 Presidential

Clockwise: Josh Shapiro, Hillary Clinton, Pat Toomey, John Rafferty, Donald Trump and Katie McGinty. | Photos by the AP, Donald Derosa under a Creative Commons license, Wikimedia Commons and via Rafferty.

Only two days left.

The most unbelievable election of our lifetimes is, mercifully, coming to an end. The vast majority of you know whether you’re voting for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. (To those of you who don’t, we have a simple message: ?!?!?!?!) But even political junkies have found it difficult to focus on anything outside of the Black Mirror episode we’re currently inhabiting, er, the presidential race. Worry not. We’ve studied the other elections in Philadelphia so that you don’t have to. They include a Senate race that could determine whether the ninth seat on the Supreme Court stays open, a battle to replace Kathleen Kane, and lots of legislative campaigns. You’ll also be asked a ballot question that’s pretty darn shady.

This is not your typical voter’s guide: It’s the straight-up honest truth about each of the candidates’ pros and cons. Here are your choices.

The offices:

Read more »

State Legislators Approve Bill Limiting Police Transparency in Pennsylvania

istockphoto.com, catnap72

istockphoto.com, catnap72

Last week, we told you about three controversial bills being fast-tracked through the Pennsylvania legislature.

One of them, a bill that would limit police transparency, is perhaps the most controversial of the three given national dialogue surrounding fatal and contentious police shootings of unarmed minorities – mostly black men. Read more »

Tom Wolf’s Crash Course in State Government

Signs: Jeff Fusco; Wolf: James Robinson/PennLive.com/Associated Press.

Signs: Jeff Fusco; Wolf: James Robinson/PennLive.com/Associated Press.

In late July — on the day Donald Trump was nominated for president — Governor Tom Wolf drove from Harrisburg to a strip mall in Johnstown to talk about addiction.

Fighting addiction to prescription drugs and heroin has become one of Wolf’s signature issues, and his administration has designated 45 Centers of Excellence that will receive funding to attack the problem “holistically,” which is a word the governor uses often. In this case, it means giving help to addicts to overcome whatever is wrong with their lives, to solve the problems that led to abusing drugs in the first place. It’s a far-reaching plan. Read more »

Harrisburg Outraged After Trump Calls City a “War Zone”

City of Harrisburg / Donald Trump split photo

Harrisburg photo by kev72 (license); Trump photo by Michael Vadon (license)

Donald Trump has had a busy week. But even with all of that going on, he also appeared at a rally in Mechanicsburg, just eight miles west of Harrisburg. And a protester was “roughed up” at it, per a video circulating online. Sounds like a Trump rally!

Yesterday, the Donald spoke about Harrisburg at a rally in Northern Virginia. He said, when driving through the city, it “looked like a war zone.” Read more »

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