Former Ed Rendell Aide Joins Kathleen Kane’s Office

Attorney General Kathleen Kane walks from the State Supreme Court room, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at City Hall in Philadelphia.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane walks from the State Supreme Court room, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at City Hall in Philadelphia.

Kathleen Kane’s tenure the attorney general has become — let’s not kid ourselves — so disastrous that the arrival of Chuck Ardo as her new spokesman feels a bit like the appearance of Winston Wolf in Pulp Fiction: Hey! The grownups are in charge again!

But, you know, it might come back to bite her, too. Read more »

Hite: Schools Can Make No More Cuts

Supt. William Hite spoke to reporters, unveiling "Action Plan 3.0."

Supt. William Hite spoke to reporters last month, unveiling “Action Plan 3.0.”

There’s nothing left to cut.

So says William Hite, superintendent of the Philadelphia School District. He made the assertion Monday during comments at the Pennsylvania Press Club in Harrisburg. “What are we going to do now? Put 50 kids in a class?” he asked. “There’s nothing else to cut.” Read more »

Pa. Senate Committee to Vote on Medical Marijuana Today

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

A Pennsylvania Senate committee is expected to approve a bill legalizing medical marijuana today; the bill then goes to the full Senate, where it is also expected to pass.

The same thing happened last year — only to founder in the House, and this year’s version of the House is more conservative than last year’s. But the bill’s main backer, Sen. Daylin Leach, tells PennLive the bill is better positioned than last year.

Given how late the Senate’s vote came last year, Leach said he’s more optimistic that the early start will help the bill’s chances this year. Also, the timing means medical marijuana could become part of a compromise on the budget.

“It will be another thing, as we’re trying to get everything done, that’s on the plate now,” he said.

Another advantage for Leach. Then-Gov. Tom Corbett long opposed medical marijuana implementation, but new Gov. Tom Wolf has said he will sign a bill if it reaches his desk.

Former Agent Sues Kane

Attorney General Kathleen Kane walks from the State Supreme Court room, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at City Hall in Philadelphia.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane walks from the State Supreme Court room, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at City Hall in Philadelphia.

A former state undercover agent is suing Attorney General Kathleen Kane, saying she distorted his role in the infamous sting operation that caught Philadelphia Democrats accepting money and gifts from a confidential informant, the Inquirer reports.

Claude Thomas pretended to be the driver for Tyron Ali, the informant, and chauffeured Ali to meetings in a confiscated BMW. He takes offense at the reasons Kane offered for canceling the sting operation. Read more »

Anti-Abortion Lawmakers: Wolf Nominee “Failed Miserably” on Gosnell

Pedro Cortes  | official portrait. Tom Wolf | Jason Plotkin AP/York Daily Record

Pedro Cortes | official portrait. Tom Wolf | Jason Plotkin AP/York Daily Record

A coalition of anti-abortion lawmakers is opposing Gov. Tom Wolf’s nominee for secretary of state, Pedro Cortes, saying Cortes didn’t do enough to stop Kermit Gosnell, the West Philly abortion doctor who was convicted of killing babies born alive.

Forty-nine members of the Pennsylvania Legislature sent Wolf a letter opposing Cortes’ nomination, PennLive reports: Read more »

State GOP Leader Not So Hot on 4 a.m. Bar Closings

Bad news, hard-drinking millennials: It might be a while before you can keep your late-night bar parties going all the way to 4 a.m.: At least one key leader of the Pennsylvania GOP, it turns out, is pretty down on the idea of keeping bars open past the current state-mandated closing time of 2 a.m.

“Yeah, I represent a college town, so I’m not sure I want to keep the bars open an extra two hours, with 15,000 college students,” House majority leader Dave Reed — who represents the district containing Indiana University of Pennsylvania — told KYW. “So, we’ll see.”
Read more »

Court Weighs Challenge to NRA-Friendly Gun Law

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Judges in Pittsburgh on Wednesday heard a challenge to a new state law that lets third-party groups like the NRA sue cities if their gun ordinances are more restrictive than state law.

The law’s challengers, including Sen. Daylin Leach of Montgomery County, contend that it was passed improperly: The state constitution requires legislative bills to be about a single subject; the gun bill was passed, though, by inserting its language in a bill originally concerning scrap metal theft. Read more »

Cowboys Fan Chris Christie Says He’ll Beat Hillary Clinton. In Pennsylvania.

clinton - christie

Chris Christie isn’t even a declared presidential candidate — yet — but he’s already got some fighting words ready for Hillary Clinton.

“If I run, I will beat her,” Christie told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday.

Hewitt, sensibly, asked which “blue” states Christie might win back from Democrats to make that happen. Christie’s first answer was automatic: Pennsylvania. The Keystone State has watched him govern New Jersey for more than five years, he said, and is comfortable with his style.

“If I were to run, I think Pennsylvania is a state that is very much in play,” Christie told Hewitt.

Maybe. But the evidence suggests that Clinton already has a head start on Christie in Pennsylvania. Read more »

Pa. Senate Tries to Stop Philly Sick Leave Law

The Pennsylvania Senate has passed a bill to pre-empt and undo Philly’s new law requiring most employers provide paid sick leave to their employees.

KYW Radio:

The state Senate has sent the House a bill that would overturn Philadelphia’s new law, set to take effect next month, that would require business owners with at least ten employees to allow workers to earn paid sick leave.

Philadelphia Democrat Vincent Hughes led the unsuccessful effort to derail the Senate bill.

“It denies the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania the opportunity to govern themselves, even though they went through a very deliberative process.”

Read more »

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