One year after Tree of Life shooting, legislators look to counter anxiety at houses of worship with new security grants

One year after Tree of Life shooting, legislators look to counter anxiety at houses of worship with new security grants

In previous years when synagogues and other Jewish organizations in Pittsburgh received anti-Semitic hate mail, they merely threw it away. 

But such threats are now harder to ignore. The Tree of Life massacre, an anti-Semitic shooting that took place in Squirrel Hill a year ago which left 11 dead, marked a watershed moment for faith groups in the city. Now those letters which were previously dumped in the trash are instead forwarded to a director of Jewish community security and then on to the FBI.

Monday, October 28, 2019/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views
Lawmakers roll out bipartisan licensure reform bill

Lawmakers roll out bipartisan licensure reform bill

Fresh off the passage of the Clean Slate Act in 2018, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers are looking to build off their criminal justice reform victory and remove employment barriers for former offenders. 

Senators John DiSanto (R-Dauphin) and Judy Schwank (D-Berks) were joined by House Minority Whip Rep. Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia) and Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) Wednesday to stump for an occupational licensure reform bill that would prohibit state boards from denying professional licenses based on past criminal convictions that are unrelated to the profession.
Wednesday, May 22, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
Would House Bill 11 save Three Mile Island? Exelon says yes, but some lawmakers aren’t so sure

Would House Bill 11 save Three Mile Island? Exelon says yes, but some lawmakers aren’t so sure

Proponents of a bill that would add nuclear power to the state’s alternative energy portfolio and provide a ratepayer-funded subsidy to nuclear power companies argue that it could save the struggling Three Mile Island power plant in Dauphin County. However, during the second House Consumer Affairs Committee hearing for House Bill 11 on Monday, some lawmakers questioned how significant the bill’s effect would be, and whether it would actually save the plant at all.   
 
The Three Mile Island generating station is scheduled to be decommissioned this fall, barring aid from state government officials. Supporters of House Bill 11 argue that the legislation is necessary not only to keeping energy costs affordable and stable, but to also save the plant from premature retirement. 
Monday, April 15, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
Did You Get The Memo? Proposals for a ban on kratom, school self-defense training and Right-to-Know reforms

Did You Get The Memo? Proposals for a ban on kratom, school self-defense training and Right-to-Know reforms

A weekly look at new proposals from lawmakers in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. In our latest iteration of our weekly feature on new co-sponsorship memoranda, we take a look at proposals to ban the herbal supplement kratom, potential changes to the state’s Right-to-Know Law, and self-defense training for school employees. 

Friday, April 12, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
Did You Get The Memo? Licensure reform, terminal illnesses and political contributions

Did You Get The Memo? Licensure reform, terminal illnesses and political contributions

State lawmakers have found common ground in the past year, tackling issues such as ethics reform, drug addiction and workforce development. Legislators on both sides of the aisle have expressed an interest in even more collaborative efforts, including those that continue to address the ongoing opioid crisis, as well as occupational licensure reform. 

In the past week, a variety of proposals have been introduced in the General Assembly, touching on everything from occupational licensure to criminal justice reform. In this week’s feature, we look at some of the newest proposals introduced in Harrisburg and what they could mean for Pennsylvania citizens.
Friday, April 5, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
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