O'Neill announces end to reelection bid as Dems formalize four ballot replacements

O'Neill announces end to reelection bid as Dems formalize four ballot replacements

One last state House Republican is out, and four Dems were officially put on the ballot this week as the lineups for state legislative elections are formalized two months prior to Election Day.

Rep. Bernie O’Neill (R-Bucks) withdrew from his race Aug. 13. The deadline for parties to file a replacement candidate is Aug. 23.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
High speed rail or hyperloop? One lawmaker says Pennsylvania should give new transit tech a look

High speed rail or hyperloop? One lawmaker says Pennsylvania should give new transit tech a look

Home to the Steamtown National Historic Site, Scranton is better known for its antique locomotives, a memento of the age of steam, than for sleek, electrified high-speed rail.

But Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne) knows that despite years of chatter, the Lackawanna Valley is no closer to a proposed rail connection to New York City to update that image. So, he is looking to the future.

Last month, Kaufer floated a co-sponsorship memo to ask the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study the feasibility of a hyperloop to connect Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, with a branch route up to Wilkes-Barre and the Electric City as well.

Monday, August 13, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Municipalities tire of rockets' red glare, bombs bursting in air, after first summer of legal fireworks

Municipalities tire of rockets' red glare, bombs bursting in air, after first summer of legal fireworks

The scream of bottle rockets, roar of roman candles and pop-pop-pop of firecrackers were all available to everyday Pennsylvanians this summer for the first time, but the state’s municipalities have already had enough.

From Wilkes-Barre to Williamsport to Altoona, local governments have floated their own plans to cut down on the use of fireworks within their jurisdictions, even if they have outstanding concerns about whether their restrictions will even be legal.

Monday, August 13, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Details of expanding rural broadband get tricky at committee hearing

Details of expanding rural broadband get tricky at committee hearing

A heated discussion over broadband expansion broke out Thursday between local government associations and state representatives at a hearing of the House Consumer Affairs Committee.

The meeting, held in front of a packed room, was on Rep. Frank Farry’s (R-Bucks) HB 2564, which allows telecommunications companies to install small broadband boxes or poles alongside public roads or other rights-of-way.

Thursday, August 9, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
School officials ask for consistent funding, Republicans ask about armed employees at safety hearing

School officials ask for consistent funding, Republicans ask about armed employees at safety hearing

The tragic repeat of school shooting headlines moved the Pennsylvania legislature to act this year, to the tune of $60 million extra school safety funding.

But with the budget signed and the distribution system — through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency — set, state Republicans have turned to finding out what else they can do.

From social media bullying to school safety surveys to arming trained school personnel, all were discussed Wednesday at Cedar Crest High School in Lebanon as the Senate Republican Policy Committee held its third roundtable on keeping pupils protected.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
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