State prison system on lockdown as unknown substances sicken employees

State prison system on lockdown as unknown substances sicken employees

All state correctional institutions are on indefinite lockdown Wednesday as the administration deals with more reports of unknown substances sickening state corrections officers.

During August, 29 staff members have fallen ill in ten of Pennsylvania's prisons after coming into contact with the substances. State Police testing since has only revealed that one case involved synthetic cannabinoids.

“The safety and security of our employees is my number one concern,” Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said in a statement. “Our state prisons, especially those in the western part of the state, have experienced recent incidents in which employees have been sickened and we need to get to the bottom of this issue now.”

Wednesday, August 29, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Janus impact on women of color, gender pay gap in Democrats' spotlight

Janus impact on women of color, gender pay gap in Democrats' spotlight

Marking Black Women Equal Pay Day earlier this week, Rep. Morgan Cephas (D-Philadelphia) hosted a hearing in Philadelphia to discuss the impact on women of color of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME.

The date, August 7, represents how long it takes for women of color to make the same amount of money than their white male counterparts by the end of the previous year.
 
“On average, black women are paid 38 cents [per dollar] less than white men,” Cephas said. “They face double discrimination based on gender and racial biases.”

Friday, August 10, 2018/Author: Taylor Allen
Categories: News and Views
Redistricting reform on the ropes for 2021 as June turns to July

Redistricting reform on the ropes for 2021 as June turns to July

Redistricting reform, after months of negotiations, maneuvering, postcards and lobbying, is nearly out of time as it stalls out in the House.

The hold-up clashes with part of the justification for the judicial language in the first place. But a Senate official pointed to House votes to justify why the change was needed for reform to pass at all.

Friday, June 29, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Governor signs budget eight days ahead of deadline in bipartisan deal heavy on education

Governor signs budget eight days ahead of deadline in bipartisan deal heavy on education

In the span of a week, Pennsylvania moved a budget from the backrooms of the legislature to governor’s desk — where it was signed into law early this evening.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed the state’s $32.7 billion dollar budget with $560 million in increased spending and no new taxes Friday night after it passed both chambers in a whirlwind week.

Friday, June 22, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Ahead of redistricting floor fight, a wave of amendments crashes on the House

Ahead of redistricting floor fight, a wave of amendments crashes on the House

In the collective memory of the Legislative Reference Bureau, June 21, 2018 will always stand out.

According to Vince Deliberato, who has worked at LRB since the ‘80s and is the current director, no one can remember a day that tops the 721 amendments that passed into the office Thursday.

Thursday, June 21, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
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