While liability questions persist, sanctuary city bill advances in House

While liability questions persist, sanctuary city bill advances in House

A bill forcing Pennsylvania municipalities to help enforce federal immigration laws was modified and advanced out of the House Judiciary Committee by a strong bipartisan margin Wednesday afternoon.

The bill, SB 10 from Sen. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny), originally let citizens hurt by an undocumented immigrant sue their local government for damages if they do not aid in immigration enforcement. It passed 19-5.

Now, under language borrowed from Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia), it lets residents of sanctuary cities or other jurisdictions preemptively sue their governing body to overturn the policies.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Compromise Harrisburg recovery plan advances out of committee

Compromise Harrisburg recovery plan advances out of committee

Harrisburg could have another five years of extra taxing authority under a bill advanced out of committee Tuesday.

Worked out over a working weekend, HB 2557 from Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland) was amended to put Harrisburg under an Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, much like the one that managed Pittsburgh, for the next five years.
Tuesday, October 9, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Marijuana partial decriminalization bill takes first steps as session draws to close

Marijuana partial decriminalization bill takes first steps as session draws to close

By a wide bipartisan margin, the House Judiciary Committee advanced today legislation cutting back on punishments for marijuana possession.

The bill, Rep. Barry Jozwiak’s (R-Berks) HB 928, limits the first two penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana to summary offenses with no jail time and a maximum $300 fine.
Tuesday, October 9, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
First round of school safety funding allocated to more than 250 districts, law enforcement agencies

First round of school safety funding allocated to more than 250 districts, law enforcement agencies

Pennsylvania handed out $8.4 million in school safety grants Thursday.

The money, separate from the $60 million allocated during the year’s budget, will aid 269 different school or law enforcement entities with reducing violence in and around schools, whether with school resource officers, training, metal detectors or ID systems.

“Parents and students deserve to have confidence that our classrooms are safe places for children and teachers,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement.
Friday, October 5, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Running as a reformer is easy, but making a difference is a separate matter

Running as a reformer is easy, but making a difference is a separate matter

Eric Epstein is no stranger to the halls of Harrisburg.

Whether handing out screeds on nuclear waste concerns or firing up outraged Pennsylvanians over midnight pay hikes, he’s been a common sight at the Capitol since the early ‘80s.

But now, with green door hangers promising gift bans, regular town halls and a salary level from decades ago, he’s trying to win his way into the building full time as a Democrat holding the “radical center” ground.

“Saturdays we’re divided by Penn State, Notre Dame, Pitt. Sundays we’re divided by Steelers and Eagles. But we come back together,” Epstein said one overcast weekend while knocking doors in Colonial Park. “We gotta do that with politics again.”
Friday, October 5, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
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