Amid process concerns, a bill limiting state spending growth moves to House floor

Amid process concerns, a bill limiting state spending growth moves to House floor

Democrats on the House State Government Committee cried foul Monday afternoon as the committee unexpectedly was called to meet to vote on House Bill 472.

The legislation—a constitutional amendment introduced in the House by Rep. Tim Krieger (R-Westmoreland)—would limit the growth in state spending to a formula based on the sum of the increase in the rate of inflation and the increase in Pennsylvania’s population.

There are exceptions for emergency spending, the funding of pension obligations, and the need for additional funding, all of which require three-quarters approval from the legislature.

The PLS Reporter reported on the legislation in a story last week.

Monday, March 2, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Lawmakers seek to protect small businesses from potential PIT increase

Lawmakers seek to protect small businesses from potential PIT increase

Republican members from both chambers Monday announced the introduction of the Small Business Tax Fairness package, legislation they say will help bring consistency and fairness to small businesses that pay the personal income tax.

The bills include House Bill 700—introduced by Rep. Steve Bloom (R-Cumberland)—which would allow for tax deferrals off of income made from like-kind exchanges; House Bill 701—introduced by Rep. Seth Grove (R-York)—which would allow small businesses paying personal income tax to use net operating losses to set off profits; and House Bill 702—introduced by Rep. George Dunbar (R-Westmoreland)—which would increase the section 179 threshold deduction to $100,000.

Monday, March 2, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Capitol Quick Hits for 3.2.15

Capitol Quick Hits for 3.2.15

Here are the highlights from news conferences, rallies, and advocacy days held in the Capitol today:

  • Environmental advocacy group PennEnvironment released a report this morning which found that nearly four million Pennsylvanians live within the potential evacuation zone for an oil train accident. The report cites predictions that over the next two decades trains carrying crude oil or ethanol may derail ten times each year.
  • Rep. Mike Schlossberg (D-Lehigh) and Rep. Becky Corbin (R-Chester) held a press conference today to announce that they will introduce legislation to end philosophical immunizations exemptions in Pennsylvania. Rep. Corbin emphasized the effectiveness of vaccines to eradicate polio and explained that vaccines must be widely distributed in order to work effectively.
  • Rep. Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) and Dr. Suess’s “The Cat in the Hat” teamed up today in the Capitol Main Rotunda to celebrate the 16th annual National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day. Rep. Adolph read Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham to a group of local preschoolers from Hansel & Gretel Early Learning Center.
  • The York County Convention and Visitors Bureau was joined by the York County Delegation for a press conference in the East Wing Main Rotunda this morning to highlight York County tourist attractions and to support legislation that would allow counties to increase the hotel tax.
  • The Pocono Raceway held a press conference this afternoon to announce that it will be offering a ten percent discount for first responders through its existing partnership with ID.me. 

Monday, March 2, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Event Central
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Legislators seek to change laws protecting pedophiles

Legislators seek to change laws protecting pedophiles

Seeking to end what they call state-sanctioned protection for perpetrators of child sexual abuse, a group of lawmakers has introduced legislation to reform Pennsylvania’s civil and criminal statute of limitations on when victims can bring such claims forward.

“[Statute of limitations] reform is what will level the playing field for victims of sexual abuse,” said Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks), who has introduced House Bill 661, which extends the civil statute of limitations from 30 to 50 years for adult victims of child sexual abuse to bring a claim against their perpetrator.

Monday, March 2, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
House-passed liquor bill likely to change

House-passed liquor bill likely to change

After over five hours of debate, the House—as expected—passed its version of a liquor privatization proposal by a 114 to 87 vote Thursday afternoon.

The proposal is largely the same measure that passed that chamber last session, but languished in the Senate Rules and Executive Nominations Committee without reaching then-Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk.

Despite the passage of House Bill 466, House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) seemed resigned to calling the legislation just a starting point.

Thursday, February 26, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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