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Capital Reports

Executive and Legislative Action for the Week of April 7, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of April 7. Members of the General Assembly are set to return to session April 28.

Senate OKs Measure to Ban Cash Gifts to Public Officials

By John L. Kennedy |

Two measures that would ban cash gifts to lawmakers and other public officials cleared the Senate.

House GOP Balks at Senate Change to Labor Anti-Intimidation Bill

By John L. Kennedy |

A bill that would eliminate a carve-out in the Crimes Code that some say creates a loophole for intimidating activity during labor strife has been amended by the state Senate in a way that alters its original intent, according to a spokesman for the Republican caucus of the state House of Representatives.

Counsel Could Probe Legislative Corruption Under New Measure

Following is a listing of legislative action for the week of March 31. Members of the General Assembly were set to return to session April 6.

Counsel Could Probe Legislative Corruption Under New Measure

State Rep. Seth Grove, R-York, plans to introduce legislation in the state House of Representatives that would allow the attorney general, Senate president pro tempore or speaker of the House to appoint independent counsel to begin an investigation into corruption allegations against state lawmakers.

Senate to Consider Bill to Curb Violence During Labor Strikes

Legislation initiated in the state House of Representatives that seeks to eliminate violent activities during labor strikes is now before the full Senate after completion of the Judiciary Committee's work on the bill.

PUC Fast-Tracks Tighter Regulation of Variable-Rate Energy Contracts

The Public Utility Commission is giving interested parties only seven days to submit comments to its proposed change in regulations covering electric retail markets in Pennsylvania.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of March 17. Members of the General Assembly were set to return to session March 24.

Committee OKs Bill to Ease Challenges to Gun Ordinances

Legislation that would grant private citizens standing to challenge local gun ordinances and would allow for the reimbursement of the cost of any civil action, including loss of income, cleared the state House of Representatives judiciary committee.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of March 10. Members of the General Assembly were set to return to session March 17.

General Assembly Moves on Gas Royalty Legislation

The state House of Representatives and Senate are both advancing bills in response to hundreds of constituent complaints about being shortchanged on natural gas royalty payments.

Bill Would Remove Protections in Union Disputes

The February arrests by federal agents of 10 leaders of Ironworkers 401 on racketeering and conspiracy charges brought renewed energy for floor approval of HB 1154, which would strike a startling provision from the state's Crimes Code.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of March 3. Members of the General Assembly were set to return to session March 10.

Most Natural Gas Migration Is Natural, Study Says

February corporation tax revenue of $58.2 million was $6.8 million below estimate. Year-to-date corporation tax collections total $1.5 billion, which is $81.1 million, or 5.7 percent, above estimate.

Spiking Electric Rates Have Harrisburg Buzzing

Frigid weather this winter has resulted in more than cabin fever for some Pennsylvania electric customers.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of executive, legislative and judiciary action for the week of Feb. 24. Members of the General Assembly are set to return to session March 10.

Corbett Trails Potential Democratic Challengers in Poll

Gov. Tom Corbett trails York County businessman Tom Wolf by 19 points - a margin of 52 percent for the Democrat to 33 for the Republican incumbent- according to a poll released by Quinnipiac University.

Senate Panel Scrutinizes Healthy PA Plan

Lawmakers last week zeroed in on Gov. Tom Corbett's efforts to overhaul the Medicaid system during Department of Public Welfare budget hearings.

Executive and Legislative Action for Week of Feb. 10, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive, legislative and judiciary action for the week of Feb. 10. Members of the General Assembly are set to return to session March 10.

Turzai Viewed as Front Runner to Succeed Smith as Speaker

By John L. Kennedy |

It may be very early, but political experts and lobbyists said state Rep. Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, is the odds-on favorite to be the next speaker of the state House of Representatives. Speaker Sam Smith, R-Jefferson, announced last week that he will not seek re-election in the November general election.

Growth in State Prison Population at 40-Year Low

By John L. Kennedy |

The growth in the state's prison population over the last two years was negligible for the first time since 1971, according to figures released by the state Department of Corrections.

Lawmakers Set to Consider Measure to Curtail SLAPP Lawsuits

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Pennsylvania Senate's judiciary committee is set to hold a hearing on proposed legislation that would offer broader protection against SLAPP suits.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Feb. 3. Members of the General Assembly are set to return to session March 10.

Lawmakers Expected to Eye Public Pension Reform Measures

The General Assembly is almost certain to approve some form of public pension reform as part of the annual budget process this year, lawmakers and lobbyists said last week in the wake of Gov. Tom Corbett's budget address.

Corbett Insists on Prompt Phase Out of Franchise Tax

Gov. Tom Corbett's pledge not to slow down the demise of the capital stock and franchise tax, or CSFT, has been applauded by the state's business community. The tax was scheduled to be phased out in January, but lawmakers extended its life as part of the current year's budget until 2016.

Medical Marijuana Bill Faces First Public Hearing

The state Senate law and justice committee heard some passionate testimony on why marijuana should be legal in Pennsylvania to treat certain medical conditions, but the legislation, SB 1182, still faces significant obstacles in Harrisburg.

Sexual Predator Reporting Expansion Bill Clears House

Residents of a Bucks County borough furious they had no knowledge that a counseling center was treating sexual predators led to expanded reporting legislation, HB 1874, approved by the state House of Representatives judiciary committee.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of legislative action for the week of Jan. 27. Members of the General Assembly were set to return to session Feb. 3.

With Special Election, GOP Begins Fight to Hold Senate Majority

Intraparty tension surrounding a special election in York County for a state Senate seat could foreshadow a tense year for Senate Republican efforts to keep their majority. The GOP now holds a slim 27-23 lead in the Senate.

State-Federal Accord Expected to Keep Pa. Children in CHIP

Thousands of lower-income Pennsylvania families will be able to stay in the Children's Health Insurance Program through 2014 under an agreement the Corbett administration reached with Washington.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of legislative and executive action for the week of Jan. 20. Members of the General Assembly were set to return to session Jan. 27.

Lawmakers Denied Party Status by Justices in Litigation Over Act 13

By Max Mitchell |

The leaders of each house of the General Assembly have been denied party status in the Act 13 litigation.

Legislation Would Require School Boards to Post CBA Notice

Legislation to require school boards to provide no less than 48 hours' public notice prior to voting upon any proposed collective bargaining agreement or employment contract cleared the state House of Representatives in a 102-98 vote

Drillers Would Be Shielded Under New Fracking Water Bill

Marcellus Shale drillers would be shielded from liability when using coal mine drainage water for fracking under legislation approved by the state Senate appropriations committee with a 16-9 vote.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Jan. 13. Members of the General Assembly are set to return to session today.