Legislators move forward with plan to retool lieutenant governor's mansion; Fetterman says he supports

Legislators move forward with plan to retool lieutenant governor's mansion; Fetterman says he supports

A Senate committee unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that would retool the Lieutenant Governor’s Mansion, after Lt. Gov. John Fetterman became the first in recent memory not to reside in the property at Fort Indiantown Gap.

Pennsylvania is the only state in the country to provide the lieutenant governor with a taxpayer-funded residence, although lawmakers have been looking to change that in recent years. 
Thursday, September 26, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Senate hearings reveal need for more behavioral health services; gun control legislation still in question

Senate hearings reveal need for more behavioral health services; gun control legislation still in question

A spate of marathon Senate Judiciary Committee hearings revealed a glimpse into the complex task of reducing gun violence across the commonwealth, and while panelists appeared to agree on the need for expanded mental health services, the future of gun-related legislation remains in question for members of the General Assembly.  

The long-awaited hearings, promised by Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) as a “prelude to action” following two summer mass shootings in the U.S., featured testimony from psychiatrists, gun rights advocates, prosecutors and gun control advocates — who all appeared to agree that residents lack access to mental health care that could reduce instances of violence. 
Wednesday, September 25, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
City Controller releases report on voting machines procurement process

City Controller releases report on voting machines procurement process

Philadelphia City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart (D) announced Wednesday her investigation into the city’s procurement process for new voting machines found the deal was completed too hastily, opaquely, and without much regard for new procedures. However, the contract will move forward and the vendor has been paid. 

Rhynhart’s office began investigating the matter in January after citizens complained about the process to select new voting machines following a state mandate. Election Systems and Software won the $29 million contract in the spring and kept the deal despite the city’s findings in August that levied a record $2.9 million fine for undisclosed lobbying. 
Wednesday, September 25, 2019/Author: Marco Cerino
Categories: Philadelphia
Wolf says he supports marijuana legalization following release of listening tour report

Wolf says he supports marijuana legalization following release of listening tour report

Gov. Tom Wolf called on the General Assembly Wednesday to hold a “serious debate” on the legalization of recreational marijuana in the commonwealth, citing the results of Lieutenant Gov. John Fetterman’s statewide listening tour as evidence that the state was ready for the switch.

Fetterman’s report, which was formally delivered to the governor Wednesday, said 65 to 70 percent of those who participated in the tour in-person and online supported legalization. Only a handful of counties had attendees who opposed legalization and virtually all in attendance believed decriminalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis was a good idea, Fetterman said.
Wednesday, September 25, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb laments lack of transparency in city’s property sales process

Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb laments lack of transparency in city’s property sales process

Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb released a performance audit of the city’s Department of Finance Tuesday afternoon. The audit found that the city’s public sales process is lacking in transparency and contains a process open to fraud. 

In an audit that examined the department’s property acquisition, disposition process, the role of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, and the Pittsburgh Land Bank, findings included that city-owned property is priced by the URA, however those prices aren’t publicly disclosed until later in the process. Furthermore no formal agreement exists between the authority and the city for the prices set for city properties.
Wednesday, September 25, 2019/Author: Atiya Irvin-Mitchell
Categories: News and Views
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