Lawyers spar in Commonwealth Court over challenge to Marsy's Law; initial decision expected in coming days

Lawyers spar in Commonwealth Court over challenge to Marsy's Law; initial decision expected in coming days

A Commonwealth Court judge is expected to rule in the coming days whether to halt the certification of votes on the proposed crime victims’ rights amendment to the state constitution, scheduled to appear on ballots in next month’s election, until after it is determined whether it passes constitutional muster.

Lawyers for both parties sparred for over two hours on the matter Wednesday morning, with the League of Women’s Voters and the ACLU supporting a preliminary injunction that would allow voters to head to the polls next month but not actually let the constitutional amendment take effect if it passes.
Wednesday, October 23, 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
Despite Wolf opposition, both chambers move forward moratoriums on closing White Haven, Polk centers

Despite Wolf opposition, both chambers move forward moratoriums on closing White Haven, Polk centers

Supporters of the White Haven and Polk state centers received a rare bit of good news Tuesday, as a last-ditch attempt to halt their closure gained committee approval despite a spokesperson for Gov. Tom Wolf saying he opposes the legislation.

Lawmakers from Venango and Luzerne counties, where Polk and White Haven are located respectively, vowed a legislative response after the Department of Human Services said in August that it would close the two facilities, citing the desire to transfer more patients to community-based care.
Tuesday, October 22, 2019/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views
PA sees record revenue, handle from sports betting in September

PA sees record revenue, handle from sports betting in September

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced Thursday that September 2019 saw state casinos and sports book operations earn almost $14.9 million in revenue on over $194.5 million in bets made. Both are state records. 

Sports betting has slowly expanded in the Keystone State, with various outlets opening gradually since November 2018. Online betting started earlier this year, making September the first month with full options available comparable to other states during the peak betting season of college and pro football.
Tuesday, October 22, 2019/Author: Marco Cerino
Categories: News and Views
House committee moves bill to lift 300-plus year-old Sunday hunting ban to floor

House committee moves bill to lift 300-plus year-old Sunday hunting ban to floor

Lawmakers moved one step closer Monday to eliminating the three-century-plus ban on Sunday hunting in the state, with a bill amended to protect against trespassing in an attempt to win the support of the state Farm Bureau.

After a contentious public hearing last month, lawmakers voted to advance the bill authored by Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) from the House Game and Fisheries Committee on a 21-4 vote. Rep. Toren Ecker (R-Adams), Rep. Barbara Gleim (R-Cumberland), Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga) and Rep. Parke Wentling (R-Crawford) were the only members to vote in opposition.
Monday, October 21, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
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