pa government

Every time Pennsylvania voters are asked to make their picks in a race for the Supreme Court, they have to indulge in a polite fiction – one that party leaders and candidates both seem to dislike.

Laura Benshoff / Keystone Crossroads

 Even if you're really good at budgeting, if your boss were four months late with your check you might have trouble paying your bills. With no state budget nearly four months into the new fiscal year, even the wealthiest counties in Pennsylvania are making cuts or draining their rainy day funds to pay their bills.

aidaneus / Flickr

Gil Penalosa evaluates intersections, neighborhoods, and whole cities by asking one question: can an 8-year-old and an 80-year-old go for a walk here and feel safe? If the answer is “no,” there’s work to do. Penalosa is the founder and chair of a Toronto-based non-profit called 8-80 Cities, which advocates for urban biking, walking, parks, trails, and public spaces. He sees the walkability of a city as intimately tied to public health, sustainability, economic development, quality of life, and just about every other measure of urban vitality.

David Wilson / Flickr

Across Pennsylvania, social services providers are searching for political leverage to end a budget impasse in which they are becoming the collateral damage.  Nonprofits in Berks County have floated the idea of inundating lawmakers' fax machines. A Pittsburgh foundation in August called for liquor stores to be shuttered until a state budget is approved.

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Thursday a bill that could clear the way for more oil and gas companies to use treated mine water for fracking.

Wolf Tax Plan Voted Down By House

Oct 7, 2015
Mary Wilson

Governor Tom Wolf’s revised tax package failed a vote in the state House Wednesday, with nine members of his own party voting against it.

 A Republican state Senator is trying to nudge along legislation to legalize services like Uber and Lyft, and Senator Camera Bartolotta's bill is similar to one proposed by a Democrat.

courtesy of Gov. Tom Wolf / via Facebook

  An interim budget heads to the governor’s desk, after the Republican-controlled state House approved it. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf has vowed to reject the package of bills, saying he wants a deal on a full year’s budget.

Advocates are pushing a state proposal to make the unpaid family members who look after their sick loved ones a more central part of patient care. The AARP was joined by a major hospital industry group on Tuesday at the Capitol for a rally in support of the state House measure which, among other things, mandates that caregivers receive thorough instruction from the hospital that is discharging their loved ones.

PA Senate Passes Stopgap Budget

Sep 18, 2015
pennstatenews / Flickr

The Pennsylvania Senate has passed what looks to be a doomed interim state budget meant to get public money flowing again to schools, social services providers, and a variety of other projects.

Wolf: I Will Veto GOP's Stopgap Budget

Sep 17, 2015

  The tone of state budget talks hit a new low this week as the governor promised to veto a stopgap measure meant to get state funding flowing to entities facing their own fiscal cliff due to the months-long standoff over a state budget.

Should pornographic e-mails exchanged by state employees on state computers be released to the public? That was the question being hashed out in state court Wednesday.

Child Welfare Services Sue Over PA Budget Deadlock

Sep 16, 2015

A coalition of social services providers is suing Governor Tom Wolf's administration for leaving them high and dry during the state budget impasse.

PA House Group Readies Report On Medical Marijuana

Sep 15, 2015
Spiritual Enlightenment / Flickr

A group of Pennsylvania House lawmakers tasked with finding a way “get to yes” on medical marijuana legalization is winding down its work. A spokeswoman for Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) said recommendations would be delivered to GOP House Majority Leader Dave Reed in the next few weeks.

GOP Readies Stopgap Budget, But Details Scarce

Sep 11, 2015
Maguis & David / flickr

Republican state lawmakers could put Democratic Governor Tom Wolf in a tricky spot with their next budgetary maneuver: they say they’ll be back in session this month to approve a temporary spending plan.

Social service providers in Pennsylvania are at a loss. They're losing money and, increasingly, they're losing their patience.

Mary Wilson / WITF

An activist who has crusaded for a year to learn who exchanged pornographic e-mails within the state Office of Attorney General says he might be about to make headway - thanks to public comments made by Kathleen Kane herself.

PA Budget Talks Go Underground

Sep 1, 2015
Lindsey Lazarski / Keystone Crossroads

State budget talks are being kept on the QT this week, as Democratic Governor Tom Wolf plans to meet with top Republican lawmakers without the press lurking outside.

New PennDOT Site Helps Motorists

Aug 31, 2015

PennDOT has unveiled a new web site to help keep motorists aware of new and ongoing highway construction. Projects.penndot.gov shows work already underway or slated to begin this year, as well as those in the planning stages as part of the agency's 4 and 12-year plans.

Criminal sentencing in Pennsylvania will soon shift from looking at the past to trying to predict the future as well. The state will become one of the first to incorporate risk assessments into sentencing decisions.

governortomwolf / Flickr

The pace of Pennsylvania state budget talks maybe picking up, with each side trading proposals over the past week. The latest offer came Wednesday: Republicans asked Democratic Governor Tom Wolf to support ending the traditional pension for future state and school workers. In return, they said they would vote for the governor's proposed $400 million funding increase for schools.

Kane Speaks: "A Story That Begins With Pornography"

Aug 13, 2015
Diana Robinson / Keystone Crossroads

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane refused to take questions after addressing reporters for the first time since she was criminally charged for allegedly concealing her efforts to embarrass her critics by dredging up secret investigative material, sharing it with a reporter, and lying about it under oath.

panationalguard / Flickr

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane plans to take reporters’ questions Wednesday, days after she was arraigned on charges including perjury.

Kane has said she’s innocent and will not resign, but she did not address the media when she turned herself in on Saturday.

Pennsylvania Aims To Improve Victim Outreach

Jul 30, 2015

Victims of sexual violence in Pennsylvania may receive more support as the state adopts a new approach to keeping tabs on them.

PA Senate Proposal Would Limit Drone Use

Jul 26, 2015
Harvey Barrison / Flickr

A state Senate plan in Pennsylvania would curb the use of drones by state and local government.

Katie McGinty, chief of staff to Governor Tom Wolf, is stepping down, reportedly to prepare for an announcement of her candidacy for U.S. Senate in 2016.

DAVID GRANT / Flickr

Legislative leaders in Pennsylvania say after three weeks without a state budget, they’re now starting to get around to detailed discussions.

Wolf Says GOP Will Blink First In Budget Standoff

Jul 21, 2015

Governor Tom Wolf thinks state lawmakers opposed to his budget ideas are starting to crack under public pressure.

hbarrison / Flickr

Nonprofit organizations that receive state funding in Pennsylvania are preparing to make some difficult decisions if the commonwealth budget stalemate stretches through August.

surroundsound5000 / Flickr

Phony medical doctors will face stiffer penalties under a state law taking effect later this summer.

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