Gift ban legislation clears critical House committee

Gift ban legislation clears critical House committee

In what would be a monumental change to state ethics requirements, the House State Government Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill that would ban public officials from taking cash gifts and tighten restrictions for what other gifts they may receive.

House Bill 1945 was reported out of committee after a unanimous vote and would update state law to ban all cash gifts to public officials and employees.
Tuesday, November 19, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
5 bills to watch for the week of November 18

5 bills to watch for the week of November 18

We get it, session weeks are busy. That’s why we put together a list of the bills being discussed in committee and on the floor of the General Assembly that are worth devoting your precious time to tracking. From a lobbying gift ban to school choice, here are five bills to watch for the week of November 18.
Friday, November 15, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
State lawmakers renew effort to fund voting machines, pass election reforms

State lawmakers renew effort to fund voting machines, pass election reforms

State lawmakers on Tuesday unveiled an omnibus election reform bill that will be tethered to $90 million in county funding for voting machines, reviving an effort that was stopped by a veto from Governor Tom Wolf back in June.

 

The bill would resuscitate a number of reforms included in the since-vetoed Senate Bill 48 — namely, the elimination of the straight-party ballot option and a reduction in the number of ballots that counties are required to print per election. However, the new legislation would also create a variant of no-excuse absentee voting, which would allow any commonwealth resident to vote by mail.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
New poll says Pennsylvania voters support redistricting reform

New poll says Pennsylvania voters support redistricting reform

A new survey of over 900 voters released Wednesday suggests that Pennsylvania voters favor reforming how the state’s political maps are drawn, reinforcing results of a state report that said state residents would prefer maps to be drawn by an independent commission, rather than elected officials.

 

The September poll, conducted by Franklin & Marshall College and sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and Fair Districts PA, a redistricting advocacy group, found that 67 percent of respondents support the idea of an independent commission to draw state maps, a proposal that has been floated in the state legislature ahead of 2020 census.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
Redistricting is back on House State Government agenda but legislators are still in search of agreement on the matter

Redistricting is back on House State Government agenda but legislators are still in search of agreement on the matter

With a packed crowd necessitating an overflow room in the Capitol, the first House hearing on redistricting reform in some time drew no shortage of interest Wednesday as lawmakers look to determine the optimal way to draw district lines, although a tangible compromise remains some distance out.

Interest in redistricting was virtually non-existent in the House State Government Committee under its previous chair, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler). But that appears to be shifting under new leader Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming), who convened the hearing to give members a sense of the landscape.
Thursday, September 19, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
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