Senate Committee Holds Hearing in First Step Toward Broader Ethics Reform

Senate Committee Holds Hearing in First Step Toward Broader Ethics Reform

A Kentucky lawyer and a government watchdog organization were the lone testifiers at Monday’s Senate State Government Committee hearing on possible ethics reform legislation.

The hearing was called in response to numerous news reports regarding a sting operation halted by Attorney General Kathleen Kane that showed state legislators taking cash gifts in exchange for votes on pending legislation.

Noting the Senate just passed a bill and a rule banning cash gifts from lobbyists or those seeking business before the state, committee chairman Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) said the hearing is the first step in broader ethics reform.

Monday, April 28, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views

Education Funding Formula Bills Clear Senate Committee

The Senate Education Committee unanimously passed to the full Senate two bills which could have effects on education funding in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 1316 by Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) would provide for changes to Pennsylvania’s special education funding formula in conformity with the recommendations of the Special Education Funding Formula Commission established under Act 3 of 2013.

House Bill 1738 by Rep. Bernie O'Neill (R-Bucks) would provide for a Basic Education Funding Formula Commission similar to that of Act 3. 

READ MORE to find out how the House and Senate are cooperating on changing the special education funding formula and when the bills could be considered by the full Senate.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views


Human trafficking is the second largest criminal operation in the world. Pennsylvania is one of only two states lacking a sex trafficking statute.

A group of Senators and advocates met in the Capitol Tuesday morning to show their support for a bill attempting to change both of those facts.

Senate Bill 75, introduced by Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), aims to provide a definition of human trafficking and prohibit it in Pennsylvania while also giving power to prosecute the perpetrator of human trafficking. The bill also provides training to respond to human and sex trafficking, details a coordinated response plan, and provides for victim services and protection.

“We have to stop treating victims as criminals,” said Sen. Greenleaf. “That’s what’s happening right now.”

Showing bipartisan support for the bill, Senators Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) and Andrew Dinniman (D-Chester) agreed with Sen. Greenleaf.

“This is nothing short of human slavery,” opined Sen. Leach. He said Senate Bill 75 would make Pennsylvania one of the most progressive states in the country when it comes to human trafficking enforcement.

Sen. Dinniman stated the impetus to move the bill should come from Pennsylvania’s Quaker founding, a group that he said was vehemently anti-slavery. “We and you are part of a tradition in this Commonwealth, that every man and woman is of value,” Sen. Dinniman said.

Read more.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views