Greenleaf bills to fund probation and parole enforcement through cuts to prison population move ahead

Greenleaf bills to fund probation and parole enforcement through cuts to prison population move ahead

Three bills meant to get low level criminals out of jail and use the cost savings for the state’s stressed parole and probation system passed the Senate unanimously this week.

SB 1070, 1071 and 1072, all sponsored by criminal justice crusader Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), were the second round of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) reforms, the first of which passed in 2012.

Friday, April 27, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Wolf opioid executive orders add fuel to political fire of workers comp bill

Wolf opioid executive orders add fuel to political fire of workers comp bill

On the eve of deciding whether to sign or veto a bill that restricts workers’ compensation in the name of fighting quackery and opioids, Governor Tom Wolf announced a slew of executive orders to reform how injured workers heal.

“Pennsylvania’s injured workers must have access to reliable, safe, and effective prescription drugs that assist their recovery and ability to re-enter the workforce, while keeping in mind the need to safely and appropriately prescribe all medications, including and especially opioids,” Wolf said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

Thursday, April 26, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
New report on state university system breaks little new ground but fires up debate

New report on state university system breaks little new ground but fires up debate

A report released Wednesday on the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) confirmed a need for reform in the system, but stopped short of prescribing explicit best practices for legislators to enact. 

The report, from the RAND Corporation — a non-profit policy think tank — was initiated through a resolution from Sen. David Argall (R-Schuylkill) that passed the chamber in April 2017. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Senate leadership gets behind redistricting as Folmer looks for fixes in second hearing

Senate leadership gets behind redistricting as Folmer looks for fixes in second hearing

With a little more than two months left to pass a bill and start the long, winding road to a constitutional amendment, Senate leadership now appears fully in on passing a bill to change how the state conducts redistricting.

“We want to be done by June, before we leave,” Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) said yesterday, adding: “It won’t be exactly Senate Bill 22 — we will amend it, I'm sure — but we’ll definitely keep the same spirit and same direction that SB 22 goes in, making an independent commission.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
IFO report predicts proposed severance tax would make up for cut in state corporate income tax rate

IFO report predicts proposed severance tax would make up for cut in state corporate income tax rate

A recently released Independent Fiscal Office review of Governor Tom Wolf’s 2018 budget analyzed three marquee proposals found within — a cut in the state’s corporate net income tax, a natural gas severance tax and raising the minimum wage to $12.00.

Taken together, the IFO predicted an average annual gain of $418 million each year in state revenue, which peaks in the early 2020s before falling down by 2023.

Friday, April 20, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
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