Holiday news you may have missed

Checking-in for the first time since Christmas? Well, lots happened that you may have missed and we’d like to get you back up to speed.

While you might have known that just before Christmas, the General Assembly delivered a $30.2 billion budget to the governor’s desk without his agreement, you might have missed the governor’s line-item veto of that measure on December 29th.

In sum, Gov. Tom Wolf’s use of his veto blue-lining pen allowed about $23 billion to get out to state government, local government, and public schools.

Despite his actions, Gov. Wolf was not thrilled about the budget that landed on his desk.

“I am expressing the outrage that all of us Pennsylvanians should feel about the garbage Republican legislative leaders have tried to dump on us,” he said. “This budget is wrong for Pennsylvania and our legislators—the folks we elected to serve us need to own up to this—they need to do their jobs.”

Monday, January 4, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Gov. Wolf taps law school dean, county judge for seats on PA high court

Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday evening announced his selections to fill two vacancies on Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, picking Duquesne University Law Dean and Professor Kenneth Gormley and Centre County President Judge Thomas Kistler.

Gov. Wolf noted the selections were arrived at in “a collaborative process” with Senate leadership.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Sen. Gordner wants more legislative oversight of regulations

According to a co-sponsorship memo circulated this week, Sen. John Gordner (R-Columbia) will be introducing legislation in the coming weeks to provide greater legislative oversight in Pennsylvania’s regulatory review process.

Currently, each standing committee of the General Assembly has oversight of regulations from certain departments as designated by the President Pro Tempore and Speaker of the House.

Friday, January 30, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Gov. Wolf will sign Senate medical marijuana proposal

Gov. Wolf will sign Senate medical marijuana proposal

In what was described as a 180-degree change from the prior administration, Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday told legislators and families supporting the legalization of medical marijuana he would sign such legislation if it got to his desk.

“I believe that doctors should have the ability and the right to prescribe the drugs they understand and makes the most sense for their patients,” he said. “No Pennsylvanian should suffer needlessly when we have the ability to treat them.”

The bill, currently in the form of Senate Bill 3, is largely the same product that passed the Senate last year by a 43-7 vote.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Lawsuit filed over Arneson’s firing focuses on office’s independence, quasi-judicial function

In the latest in the saga over Gov. Tom Wolf’s firing of current/former Office of Open Records executive director Erik Arneson saw the Senate Republican Caucus file a lawsuit on his behalf Monday afternoon.

The lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment for the caucus as to Arneson’s status and seeks to have the court use its powers of injunctive relief to place Arneson back at OOR’s helm.

In making their argument, the Senate Republicans offer that the OOR’s executive director is not subject to the governor’s at-will removal given the independent nature of the office and the quasi-judicial function of the office, both of which they claim courts have found act as checks on the governor’s authority to remove appointees. 

Monday, January 26, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views