pa government

Beemer Confirmed, Sworn In As PA Attorney General

Aug 30, 2016
Matt Rourke / AP Photo


Pennsylvania now has its third state Attorney General in just two weeks. The Senate has confirmed former state Inspector General Bruce Beemer’s nomination on Tuesday. Beemer, who’s served as Inspector General since early July, was nominated for the AG spot by Governor Tom Wolf.

Wolf Nominates Beemer As PA's Attorney General

Aug 19, 2016

(Harrisburg) -- Governor Tom Wolf has nominated an interim state Attorney General, in the wake of Kathleen Kane's conviction and resignation.

PA's Fiscal Situation Sees Good, Bad News

Aug 18, 2016
Maguis & David / flickr

There's good news and bad news for the commonwealth's state government finances. The New York-based Moody's credit rating agency is upgrading the battered rating of a state program that helps school districts get more favorable loan terms by giving a guarantee to repay bondholders.  

governortomwolf / Flickr

During his campaign, Tom Wolf pitched himself as "a different kind of governor." He made good on a promise to donate his salary to charity and refuses to drive a state car. Upon taking office, he swiftly enacted a gift ban for the executive branch and has been known to refuse freebies, such as a bottle of water.

PA's New Liquor Laws Going Into Effect

Aug 9, 2016
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is overseeing the rollout of what it calls the biggest liquor reform the state's seen since the end of Prohibition.

governortomwolf / Flickr


Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s plan to save $150 million in state money by this fiscal year has exceeded its goal, netting a total of $156 million in efficiencies.

PA's CRIZ Tax Incentive Program Changes Roll Out

Jul 31, 2016
Emily Previti, WITF

Lancaster officials met for the first time this week since changes to the state's City Improvement & Revitalization Zone, or CRIZ, program were signed into law. When a CRIZ is established, the state makes note of how much tax revenue is generated by businesses within the zone.

Katie Meyer / WITF


State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is planning an audit of how money’s being managed in Pennsylvania’s two biggest employee retirement systems. 

S&P Report Shows Good And Bad News For PA Finances

Jul 22, 2016
Photo by Governor Tom Wolf/Flickr

After Pennsylvania went two days without a revenue plan last week, Standard and Poor's Global Ratings put its credit on its "CreditWatch" list. Inclusion on the list signifies a state in danger of an imminent credit downgrade.

PA Governor Signs Industrial Hemp Bill

Jul 21, 2016
J. Paxon Reyes / Flickr

Governor Tom Wolf signed 15 new bills into law Wednesday, one of which notably legalized regulation of industrial hemp in Pennsylvania.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

The dust has settled on the 2016-17 Pennsylvania budget, and, as usual, debates over education funding and policy dominated much of the negotiations. Last year this time, Democrats and Republicans were still miles apart on budget talks, and it took until March to come to resolution. This year, a final deal was hashed out a mere 13 days late. 

Maguis & David / flickr

The state Senate voted Monday to approve an amendment that would undo parts of the state’s pending oil and gas regulations. SB 1229 is now in the House. The bill was introduced in May and initially pertained to horse breeding, however an amendment approved Monday restricts state environmental regulators from implementing some of their proposed regulations for Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale industry (known as Chapter 78a).

PA Budget Becomes Law; Some Lawmakers Cry Foul

Jul 12, 2016
Marc Levy / AP Photo

Pennsylvania officially has a budget.  The $31.5 billion spending plan is in effect as of midnight on Monday, without Governor Tom Wolf’s signature. But negotiations still aren’t finished on the revenue plan to back it up.

frankieleon / Flickr


Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf plans to let the state budget become law Monday at midnight without his signature. 

Katie Meyer / WITF


Ten days after the state budget’s deadline, Governor Tom Wolf plans to allow it to become law at midnight on Monday, with or without an agreement on how to fund it. 

PA Legislature Still Stuck On Spending Bill

Jul 6, 2016
(AP Photo/Marc Levy)

After a day of closed-door negotiations, party leaders seem no closer to a state budget agreement than they were when they left the Capitol last Friday.

PA Nonprofits Wary Of Another Budget Stalemate

Jul 6, 2016
Ben Allen, WITF

A new week has started, and state lawmakers have reported little progress on the commonwealth's now-overdue budget. For some nonprofits, the current situation is bringing up bad memories from last year's nine-month impasse.

In this year's budget negotiations, state legislators seem eager to show their constituents that last year's nine-month deadlock is well behind them. After receiving the House's nearly 31-point-six billion dollar spending plan Wednesday, the Senate quickly passed its general appropriations in a bipartisan vote, just a day before the Thursday deadline.

Proposed PA Budget Finds Opponent In Police Union

Jun 30, 2016

The Pennsylvania legislature's proposed budget plan isn't done yet, but it is already drawing the ire of the union representing state troopers. The nearly 36 billion dollar spending plan allocates funding for recruitment and training of three police cadet classes, which would likely yield 180 new troopers.

PA House Bans Private Surveillance Drones

Jun 29, 2016
Ben Allen

The Pennsylvania House is voting to criminalize the use of drones to put people under surveillance in private places. State representatives voted unanimously Tuesday for the bill, which calls for up to three months in jail and a $300 fine for first offenders. The bill bans surveillance while trespassing in a private place and is aimed largely at unmanned aircraft.

Katie Meyer

The state Senate Judiciary Committee has passed an amendment to weaken a bill that aims to make it easier for victims of childhood sex abuse to file charges against their attackers.

Katie Meyer

After a bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives, the Pennsylvania state budget is one step closer to completion, just before its Thursday deadline.

PA House Panel Passes $31.6B Budget Plan

Jun 28, 2016
Maguis & David / flickr

The state legislature has taken an unexpected first step toward passing this year's budget, with a House committee approving a $31.6 billion spending plan last night.

robotbrainz / Flickr

After a nine-month-long standoff over last year’s state budget, Pennsylvania lawmakers seem committed to getting a verdict out quickly this year. But there is still little information from the Capitol on what exactly the budget contains, and advocates from across the commonwealth are concerned the speed will come at the expense of quality.

Maguis & David / flickr


The Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee passed a bill to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in matters of housing and employment at a meeting on Wednesday. 

Lindsey Lazarski / WHYY

 Planning is underway to move the state's extensive archives - just days after the state announced its building a new facility in Harrisburg. The state says the $24 million facility will help meet the needs of a digital world.

PA Auditor Warns Of Costs Of Stalemate

Apr 29, 2016
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The state's top fiscal watchdog says another budget impasse would lead to a "backdoor tax increase" in Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania's AG Race, Experience Is Everything

Apr 20, 2016
AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane's decision not to run for a second four-year term as she faces a criminal trial this summer left a field of five candidates jockeying for her job. At a recent forum, one candidate in particular came loaded for bear.

Jennifer Szweda Jordan / The Allegheny Front

Pennsylvania's protracted budget negotiation ended nearly a month ago, but the fight continues over how $150 million in new education spending will be divided amongst the state's 500 school districts.

PA House OKs Retroactive Limits In Abuse Cases

Apr 12, 2016
Maguis & David / flickr

A long-sought measure to retroactively change the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases has been queued up for a final vote in the state House.