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Capital Reports

Executive and Legislative Action for Week of Oct. 20

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Oct. 20. Members of the General Assembly are scheduled to return to session Nov. 12.

ACLU May Challenge Speech Restrictions on Criminal Offenders

By John L. Kennedy |

Andy Hoover, legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, said the group is looking into a possible challenge to SB 508, signed last week by Gov. Tom Corbett, which allows crime victims or prosecutors to prevent certain conduct, including speech, by offenders.

Corbett Eyes Bill to Allow Municipal Gun Ordinance Challenges

By John L. Kennedy |

Legislation that would allow any group or individual to challenge a local government gun ordinance stricter than state law, and recoup attorney fees, is before Gov. Tom Corbett.

Executive and Legislative Action for Week of Oct. 13

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Oct. 13. Members of the state House of Representatives were scheduled to return to session Oct. 20. Members of the state Senate are scheduled to return to session Nov. 12.

Waterfront Buffer Changes Sent to Governor

By John L. Kennedy |

HB 1565, which would eliminate a mandatory 150-foot development buffer from streams and other waterways the Department of Environment Protection classifies as "high quality," is before Gov. Tom Corbett.

Corbett Eyes Bill to Close DUI Loophole

By John L. Kennedy |

Legislation that would require a conviction for a first DUI offense before conviction and sentencing for a second offense is before Gov. Tom Corbett. The state House of Representatives attached the language to SB 1239.

Legislative Action for Week of Oct. 6

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of legislative action for the week of Oct. 6. Members of the General Assembly are set to return to session Oct. 14.

Drug Database Wouldn't Have Search Warrant Provision

By John L. Kennedy |

The state House of Representatives is poised to approve SB 1180—which would establish a pharmaceutical database to prevent "doctor shopping"—without language supported by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, and some members on both sides of the aisle, that would require a search warrant to gain access to the database.

Senate Wants Economic Development Projects in Panel's Control

By John L. Kennedy |

The state Senate Appropriations Committee amended HB 2420, a debt ceiling reduction bill covering capital projects, to place final say over what projects are chosen with the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

Legislative, Executive Action for Week of Sept. 29, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of legislative and executive action for the week of Sept. 29. Members of the General Assembly were scheduled to return to session Oct. 6.

Pa. Gets National Recognition for Reducing Recidivism

By John L. Kennedy |

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections recently received recognition from the U.S. Department of Justice's National Reentry Resource Center for its effort in reducing recidivism.

Gubernatorial Candidates Get Feisty in Second Debate

By Marc Levy |

A lively second debate between Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf became tense Wednesday as Wolf sought to assign blame to Corbett for budget deficits and struggling schools while Corbett tried to frame Wolf as the candidate who will favor labor unions over taxpayers.

Executive, Legislative Action for Week of Sept. 22, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Sept. 22. Members of the General Assembly were scheduled to return to session Sept. 29.

Bill Would Provide Standing in Gun-Ordinance Challenges

By John L. Kennedy |

The state House of Representatives amended legislation that would give any individual or group standing to challenge local gun-control ordinances.

Riparian Buffers Would Be Optional Under Legislation

By John L. Kennedy |

The state House of Representatives approved a measure that would make optional riparian buffers and riparian forest buffers, which can minimize pollution from erosion.

Executive, Legislative Action for Week of Sept. 15, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Sept. 15. Members of the General Assembly are scheduled to return to session Sept. 22.

Debt-Reduction Bills Lined Up for Final House Passage

By John L. Kennedy |

The state House of Representatives Finance Committee on Sept. 15 approved two bills that would cap and reduce the state's debt limit, one over objections of some Democrats on the committee who argued it would hamper the state's response to certain emergencies.

Democrats Critical of Pa.'s Line of Credit

By John L. Kennedy |

State Treasurer Rob McCord extended a $1.5 billion line of credit to Pennsylvania, though he and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale were critical of the need for it.

Executive, Legislative Action for Week of Sept. 8, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Sept. 8. Members of the General Assembly were scheduled to return to session Sept. 15.

Study: Pa. Employee Pension Plan One of the Worst

By John L. Kennedy |

The Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System is one of the three most inequitable in the country, according to a recent study by the Washington-based Urban Institute.

Poll Shows No Gain for Corbett in Re-election Race

By John L. Kennedy |

The results of a new poll show Gov. Tom Corbett has made up little ground, if any, on Democratic challenger Tom Wolf in the gubernatorial race.

Executive, Legislative Action for Week of Sept. 1, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Sept. 1. Members of the General Assembly are scheduled to return to session Sept. 15.

Legislation Would Decriminalize Out-of-State Liquor Purchases

By John L. Kennedy |

State Rep. John Taylor, R-Philadelphia, announced he will introduce legislation that would decriminalize the purchase of out-of-state wine and liquor.

Lawmaker Urges End to Minimum Sentencing Loophole

By John L. Kennedy |

State Rep. Todd Stephens, R-Montgomery, said he is urging his colleagues to strengthen the Crimes Code in the wake of a Pennsylvania Superior Court ruling that declared many of the state's mandatory minimum sentencing provisions unconstitutional.

Legislative, Judicial Action for Week of Aug. 25, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of legislative and judicial action for the week of Aug. 25. Members of the General Assembly are scheduled to return to session Sept. 15.

Pa. Municipal Pension Systems Strained, Auditor General Says

By John L. Kennedy |

Scranton's pension system is on a path to running out of funds in three to five years, according to an audit performed by the office of Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.

Report: Kane Issued Administrative Subpoenas on Shale Players

By John L. Kennedy |

Attorney General Kathleen Kane has issued administrative subpoenas throughout the shale industry in Pennsylvania, according to a story published on Capitolwire.com.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

Executive and Legislative Action for Week of Aug. 18

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Aug. 18. Members of the General Assembly are scheduled to return to session Sept. 15.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

Health Department Updates Fracking Complaint Process

By John L. Kennedy |

The state Department of Health announced that it has updated its handling of complaints related to fracking in the Marcellus Shale region.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

PUC Appeals Decision Stripping Its Review Authority

By John L. Kennedy |

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission appealed a Commonwealth Court ruling that stripped it of its authority to review local government ordinances under the oil and gas law, Act 13 of 2012.

Executive and Legislative Action for Week of Aug. 11, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Aug. 11. Members of the General Assembly are scheduled to return to session Sept. 15.

Bill Would Give DAs Power to Eye Contractor Wage Practices

By John L. Kennedy |

Legislation introduced in the state Senate would give the state's district attorneys the authority to investigate construction employers' wage-and-hour practices, specifically complaints that some are misclassifying workers in order to gain an unfair competitive advantage.

House Measure Would Get Rid of Common Core Standards

By John L. Kennedy |

State Rep. Gordon Denlinger, R-Lancaster, introduced HB 2439, which would roll back Pennsylvania's version of Common Core educational standards adopted by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission last November.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

Executive and Legislative Action for Week of Aug. 4, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Aug. 4. Members of the General Assembly are scheduled to return to session Sept. 15.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

Funding Vote for Philadelphia School District Called Off

By John L. Kennedy |

State House of Representatives leadership decided not to call members back to Harrisburg for a scheduled Aug. 4 session day to vote on legislation allowing Philadelphia to impose a $2-a-pack tax on cigarettes to raise money for the school district.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

State Police to Fight U.S. Justice Department Sex Bias Suit

By John L. Kennedy |

A recent federal court ruling that the FBI engaged in gender discrimination in its physical fitness requirements should help the Pennsylvania State Police defend its standards against a July 31 complaint by the Department of Justice, legal experts said.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of legislative and executive action for the week of July 28. The state House of Representatives is scheduled to return to session Aug. 4; both houses of the General Assembly are scheduled to return to session Sept. 15.

Legislation Aims to Remove 'Politics' From Doctor-Patient Relationship

Democrats in both houses of the General Assembly have simultaneously introduced legislation, called the "Patient Trust Act," that would prohibit the enforcement of laws that require health care professionals to provide patients with medically inaccurate information that advances a legislative or political agenda.

Bill Requires PLCB to ShowTaxpayer Dollars Paid for Ads

The state's monopoly on liquor sales faces an unrelenting challenge from some quarters in the General Assembly. In the latest round, state Rep. Stephen Bloom, R-Cumberland, introduced legislation, HB 2426, that would require the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to make it clear that their liquor advertisements are funded with taxpayer dollars.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of July 21. Members of the state House of Representatives are set to return Aug. 4; state Senate members are set to return Sept. 15.

Public Pensions Become Political Battleground

Moody's Investors Service lowered Pennsylvania's credit rating last week, and the news became instant fodder for both Democrats and Republicans in a gubernatorial election year.

No New Drilling Leases Until Court Decision Rendered

The Corbett administration has agreed not to sign any new natural gas leases for drilling on state land until a ruling on the use of the funds raised through the leases is rendered by the Commonwealth Court.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of executive, legislative and judiciary action for the week of July 14. The state House of Representatives is set to return to session Aug. 4; the state Senate is set to return Sept. 15.

Corbett Ramps Up Re-election Efforts

Gov. Tom Corbett began a statewide tour and with it his re-election campaign, immediately after signing the state budget July 10.

Legislators Consider Possible Response to Funding Cuts

Legislative leaders are mulling their options after Gov. Tom Corbett wiped $65 million from programs and other spending earmarked for use by the General Assembly when he signed the state budget.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of July 7. Members of the General Assembly are scheduled to return to Harrisburg on Sept. 15.

Fate of Philadelphia Cigarette Tax Uncertain

It's unclear if state House of Representatives members will return to Harrisburg before the scheduled date of Sept. 15 to vote on legislation that would allow Philadelphia to enact a $2-per-pack tax on cigarettes. The city needs the money to fund its schools, which may not open on time without the additional funding.

Drug Overdose Immunity Bill in Limbo

One of the bills overlooked in the frenzy of the final budget approval in Harrisburg would provide immunity for those who witness a drug overdose and seek emergency help.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of June 30. The state Senate was set to return to session July 7. The state House of Representatives is set to return to session Sept. 15.

Public Pension Reform Delayed in General Assembly

The pension systems covering public school teachers and state employees will continue to add $10 million a day in debt for the foreseeable future with the General Assembly's failure to send a pension reform bill to Gov. Tom Corbett before summer recess, according to the state Public Employee Retirement Commission.

Attorney Fees in Municipal Easement Cases Could Be Reduced

Legislation that would reduce fees paid by municipal authorities to help homeowners cover the cost for an attorney and other professionals in certain easement cases awaits Gov. Tom Corbett's signature.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of June 23. Members of the General Assembly were set to return to session June 30.

Bills Would Require Separate Oil and Gas Well Regulations

The state House of Representatives and Senate are moving identical measures that would require the state Department of Environmental Protection to enact separate regulations for conventional and nonconventional oil and gas wells—the newer wells in the Marcellus Shale that rely on horizontal drilling.

State Budget Process Begins in Earnest

The formal part of the annual budget process in Harrisburg has begun with state House of Representatives approval of a $29.1 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of legislative and executive action for the week of June 16. Members of the General Assembly were set to return to session June 23.

Medical Marijuana Legislation Poised for Legislative Action

Legislation that would legalize the use of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions is expected to clear the state Senate Law & Justice Committee this week and then to be taken up quickly by the full Senate, according to one of the bill's prime sponsors.

Fiscal Officials Confirm State Budget Shortfall

The state's Independent Fiscal Office released its final prediction for revenue collections for the 2013-14 fiscal year, and the numbers show what officials feared all along. When the fiscal year ends June 30, actual revenues are expected to fall short of anticipated collections by $572 million.

Recent Actiom

Following is a listing of legislative action for the week of June 9. Members of the General Assembly were set to return to session June 16.

Hybrid Judicial Selection Legislation Shelved Until Next Year

A hybrid system of electing and selecting appellate judges was pulled from the state House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voting schedule last week when support weakened over a disagreement in language in some of the provisions of the bill, according to one of the bill's prime sponsors, state Rep. Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster

Gun Legislation Wins Support From Both Sides

Pending amendments from gun-control advocates and gun rights supporters typically stall any legislation changing state gun laws. But state Rep. Todd Stephens, R-Montgomery, managed to thread the needle in debate in Harrisburg over gun control.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

Executive and Legislative Action for Week of June 2, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of June 2. Members of the General Assembly were set to return to session June 9.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

Streamlined Economic Development Program Clears House Committee

By John L. Kennedy |

One of Gov. Tom Corbett's first initiatives in office was a plan to consolidate the many economic development programs under the state Department of Community and Economic Development. Lawmakers balked at the initial plans because in their view the plans conceded too much power to the executive branch at the expense of the legislative branch.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

Measure Would Limit Uses of Welfare Funds, Child Support Cards

By John L. Kennedy |

State Rep. Mike Reese, R-Westmoreland, conceded his legislation to prevent welfare recipients from using their benefits to buy tobacco products and alcohol or visit casinos would be hard to enforce, but said it was an important first step to take.

Legislative Action for Week of May 26, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of legislative action for the week of May 26. Members of the General Assembly were set to return to session June 2.

Online Gambling, Liquor Privatization on Table in Budget Talks

By John L. Kennedy |

Lawmakers were set to return to Harrisburg on June 2 to start their busiest legislative schedule all year as they work toward a June 30 deadline for approving a spending plan for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

Corbett's Drilling Order Faces Hurdles

By John L. Kennedy |

Gov. Tom Corbett's order to allow additional "limited" leasing for natural gas drilling in the state's parks and forests isn't going through without a fight.

Executive and Legislative Action for Week of May 19, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of May 19. Members of the General Assembly are set to return to session June 2.

Retail Electricity Final Review Begins

By John L. Kennedy |

The Public Utility Commission's proposed regulations establishing additional guidelines for the retail electricity industry went before the Independent Regulatory Review Commission on May 22 for the first step in the review process.

Steel Industry, Workers Urge End to Foreign Dumping

By John L. Kennedy |

Steel workers, management and top elected officials rallied in Pittsburgh last week to stop what they say is foreign dumping of seamless tubes, or oil country tubular goods (OCTG), used in the gas and oil industry. A U.S. Steel spokesman said the practice is similar to one used by China in 2008.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

Executive and Legislative Action for Week of May 12, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of May 12. Members of the General Assembly are set to return to session June 2.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

State Pension Costs Have Lawmakers in Fiscal Bind

By John L. Kennedy |

The state's share of the cost of state employee and public teacher pensions has lawmakers looking at all options to fulfill the constitutional mandate that they approve balanced budgets, legislative sources said. The fiscal year ends June 30 and the state Department of Revenue estimates that the state's share of pension costs for the next fiscal year will be $700 million.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

Measure Floated to Ensure Pa. Control of Interstate Highway Tolls

A central Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced a measure to ensure that Pennsylvania officials have the final say over whether interestate highways running through the state are tolled.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

Legislative Action for Week of May 5, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of legislative action for the week of May 5. Members of the General Assembly are set to return to session the week of June 2.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

Senate OKs Database to Monitor Prescription Drugs

By John L. Kennedy |

The state Senate has approved SB 1180, which would create a pharmaceutical database aimed at stopping patients from "doctor shopping" for drugs.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

Natural Gas Royalty Legislation Stymied on House Floor

By John L. Kennedy |

After getting stymied on the state House of Representatives floor, state Rep. Garth Everett, R-Lycoming, said he'll try again with a different version of legislation that guarantees lease holders minimum royalties for natural gas extraction.

Executive and Legislative Action for Week of April 28, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of April 28. Members of the General Assembly were set to return to session May 5.

Union Steps Up Effort to Stop Liquor Store Privatization

By John L. Kennedy |

The union representing liquor store employees recently started running television and radio ads suggesting that having additional, private outlets selling alcohol would endanger children.

Lawmakers See No 'Lame Duck' Session After General Election

By John L. Kennedy |

Leaders of the General Assembly have indicated they will hold no sine die, or "lame duck" session, in the period after the November elections and before Nov. 30, when the 2013-14 session is scheduled to come to an end.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of April 21. Members of the General Assembly were set to return to session April 28.

Legislation Would Authorize Local Police to Use Radar

By John L. Kennedy |

Legislation allowing local police in Pennsylvania to use radar to catch speeders has been introduced in the state Senate, and the state House of Representatives transportation committee is planning to hold a hearing on similar bills in late May.

Anti-SLAPP Bill Backers See Hearing as Chance to Gain Traction

By John L. Kennedy |

Supporters of anti-SLAPP legislation said a public hearing on the bill in Philadelphia on April 24 could draw enough attention to give the measure some momentum in the General Assembly.

Recent Action

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of April 14. Members of the General Assembly are set to return to session April 28.

General Assembly Leaders Restart Liquor Privatization Talks

Leaders of both houses of the General Assembly are actively discussing some level of liquor privatization as part of the enactment of a state spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1, according to several legislative sources.

Corbett Signs Into Law Child-Protection Package

Gov. Tom Corbett signed a package of four child-protection bills.

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.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

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.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

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.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

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.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

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.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

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.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

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.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

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.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

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.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

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.

Protest for the legalization of medical marijuana

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.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

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.