Report: Pa. Woman Legislators More Effective at Passing Laws

woman legislators, catnap72

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 »

Pa. Senate OKs Bill That Would Allow Teachers to Carry Guns

guns, catnap72

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 »

Philly Woman Charged With Attacking Police Horse During Protest

via Harrisburg Police

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.

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 »

Pa. Senate Committee Advances Bill That Would Limit Wolf’s Economic Power, catnap72

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.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.

Sims on Ethics Investigation: “My Appearances Are Consistent With State Law”

State Rep Brian Sims

State Rep. Brian Sims

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 »

Trump’s Coming to Pa. to Celebrate His First 100 Days in Office

Photo by Evan Vucci/AP

Photo by Evan Vucci/AP

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 »

Kenney Hiring State, Federal Lobbyists to Appeal to Republican Legislators

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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 »

Sanctuary Cities Bill That Could Defund Philly Clears Pa. Senate, catnap72, 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 »

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