GOP appropriators eyeing reforms to state budget process

GOP appropriators eyeing reforms to state budget process

In Harrisburg, June is known  — sometimes infamously — as the month that bears the annual state budget. This year, some lawmakers are hoping to make reforms to the budgetary process to create a more transparent approach to the yearly negotiations.

Republican lawmakers in the House have put together a four-bill package that aims to provide the legislature with more oversight and information as they develop the budget. 
Wednesday, May 29, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
Would House Bill 11 save Three Mile Island? Exelon says yes, but some lawmakers aren’t so sure

Would House Bill 11 save Three Mile Island? Exelon says yes, but some lawmakers aren’t so sure

Proponents of a bill that would add nuclear power to the state’s alternative energy portfolio and provide a ratepayer-funded subsidy to nuclear power companies argue that it could save the struggling Three Mile Island power plant in Dauphin County. However, during the second House Consumer Affairs Committee hearing for House Bill 11 on Monday, some lawmakers questioned how significant the bill’s effect would be, and whether it would actually save the plant at all.   
 
The Three Mile Island generating station is scheduled to be decommissioned this fall, barring aid from state government officials. Supporters of House Bill 11 argue that the legislation is necessary not only to keeping energy costs affordable and stable, but to also save the plant from premature retirement. 
Monday, April 15, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
Health professionals, lawmakers seek improvements to prescription drug monitoring

Health professionals, lawmakers seek improvements to prescription drug monitoring

The House Human Services Committee heard from health professionals Tuesday on the effectiveness of the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), which collects information on controlled substance prescriptions in the state. And while the program has proven to be an effective tool for combatting the prescription of opioids in Pennsylvania, officials and legislators alike believe there is room for improvement in the PDMP to better address opioid addiction. 
 
Meghna Patel, director of the Pennsylvania PDMP office, said since being launched in August 2016, the PDMP system has provided prescribers and dispensers access to important prescription information that helps them prescribe medication in a safe manner. 
Tuesday, April 9, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
Stakeholders raise the alarm on nuclear power

Stakeholders raise the alarm on nuclear power

Interested stakeholders packed the Majority Caucus Room Monday for a House Consumer Affairs Committee hearing on legislation that would add nuclear energy to the state’s alternative energy portfolio, an effort that supporters believe would keep energy rates stable while saving the nuclear power industry in Pennsylvania.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge was a leading voice in the hearing, offering a defense of the bill for the positive effects it could have on the environment and the Pennsylvania economy. 
Monday, April 8, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
Democrats reveal plan to combat workplace harassment, discrimination

Democrats reveal plan to combat workplace harassment, discrimination

Pennsylvania Democrats are hoping that one of their latest legislative packages will help curb discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus released a seven-pronged plan earlier this week that aims to make work a fear-free environment for Pennsylvanians.

 

Titled “Work Without Fear – It’s Your Right,” the Democratic plan aspires to give both workers and companies the resources they need to limit harassment and discrimination. Democrats will include measures to require interactive harassment and discrimination training for all employees, interns and volunteers across the state, as well as proposals to help protect employee rights in the workplace.

Friday, February 15, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
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