Bootlegged Booze Could Soon Be Legal

Morning headlines: Pa. House bill would eliminate penalties for bringing alcohol from out-of-state.

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Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:

Ever brought liquor home from across state lines? That makes you a bootlegger. But a new bill could put you right with the law again. 

The Pennsylvania House is expected to vote Thursday on a bill to eliminate the state’s prohibition on out-of-state liquor sales, PennLive reports. The bill is sponsored by Philadelphia Republican Rep. John Taylor, who says city dwellers — with their proximity to both New Jersey and Delaware — can sometimes accidentally run afoul of the existing law. “I do not want to continue to subject my constituents to being criminals because they may purchase alcohol a quarter of a mile from their house,” he said during a committee meeting on Tuesday. Under state law, violators can be fined $10 per bottle or can of beer and $25 per container of wine or liquor.

Philly’s schools could shut down at the end January if state officials don’t resolve their budget impasse.

That’s what Superintendent William Hite says, NBC10 reports. The district has authorized borrowing more than $500 million to keep school doors open during the budget standoff. “Our goal throughout the budget talks has been to keep educating students for as long as possible,” Hite said in a letter to district employees. “At this point, we can continue to make payroll, operating without state funds, through January 29, 2016. After that date, our ability to keep schools open, issue paychecks and pay bills is uncertain.” Officials in Harrisburg continue to hold out hope that the end of the impasse is near.

Convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky is going to start getting his state pension again. 

Sandusky, now in prison on his sexual abuse convictions, will receive the $4,900-a-month state pension he obtained during a long career as assistant coach for the Penn State football team, AP reports. A court ordered the restoration, and on Tuesday, a spokesman for the State Employees’ Retirement System said there will be no appeal. “The system will comply with the court order,” the spokesman said. Sandusky and his wife will also be paid for benefits and interest on pension payments that were withheld since October 2012.

A jury will begin deliberating today on charges against Kathryn Knott in the Center City gay-bashing case.

Philly Mag’s Dan McQuade says jurors heard closing arguments from lawyers on Tuesday. “This is a hate crime, right?” prosecutor Mike Barry told jurors. “Let’s stop beating around the bush… Ms. Knott put herself in that chair because she doesn’t like gay people.” Knott’s attorney, Louis Busico, said video taking during the crime doesn’t show his client committing a crime: “On that tape, you don’t ever see [Knott] say a word,” Busico said. “You never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever see her touch somebody.… don’t be distracted by things that didn’t happen on September 11th, 2014.” Jurors are expected to receive instructions from Judge Roxanne Covington this morning.

The Flyers might have something special in rookie Shayne Gostisbehere: He scored his third OT goal of the season on Tuesday, helping Philly beat Carolina, 4-3. 

AP reports the rookie’s effectiveness might be due to the new overtime rules in the NHL this season, which features three-on-three action for a five-minute period. “Three-on-three is built for him,” said Jakub Voracek, who had the assist on the game-winning goal;. “He’s a great skater with a great shot. He’s smart as well and knows when to jump in.” Add Coach Dave Hakstol: “He’s been effective in OT, no question.”

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