Pension reform’s last gasp?

Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill), the main author of the oft-discussed hybrid pension reform plan, told The PLS Reporter Monday that he hopes ongoing discussions this week will lead to a vote on his pension reform plan by the end of session.

Monday, October 6, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

House medical marijuana gambit may be up in smoke

Friday, Rep. Ed Gainey (D-Allegheny) announced his intention to offer an amendment to a bill during Tuesday’s voting session that would provide for the legalization for medical marijuana. His proposal is identical to a proposal that recently passed the Senate.

As the situation developed Monday, it appears the attempt to offer the amendment might be up in smoke.

Monday, October 6, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Property taxes are disliked, but are not high, report says

A report released Thursday by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Centers concludes that while property taxes are disliked, they are not high.

The report entitled Reform Not Repeal: Pennsylvania Can Provide Property Tax Relief and Protect Public Schools, examined property taxes  in all 500 Pennsylvania school districts and concluded the number of districts where property taxes are high—defined as more than four percent of taxable income—is relatively low, requiring a targeted, not sweeping approach.

Thursday, October 2, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Prescription drug monitoring legislation leaves long road behind it

Bills allowing for the monitoring of prescription drugs by pharmacists and physicians have been floating around the General Assembly for more than a year, but the effort to bring them to what will be a likely conclusion this session has lasted well over a decade.

The Senate version of the bill, Senate Bill 1180 introduced by Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland), was moved out of the House Health Committee last week after months of legislative wrangling over competing versions of the legislation in either chamber.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Municipal police regionalization is supported, but not without incentives

Following the release of a report last week by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee on municipal police regionalization, those involved in the legislature and municipal government say there is support for increased regionalization, but not without significant incentives.

Currently, all Pennsylvania municipalities are allowed to have local police departments, but only Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton are required to provide police services.

The number of municipalities providing their own full-time police services has decreased in recent years.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views