Amid concerns, House committee advances changes to child protection law

While a number of members expressed concern that House Bill 1276 will roll back significant changes made to background-check provisions of Pennsylvania’s child protection laws, the House Children and Youth Committee moved the bill to the full House for consideration Monday by a vote of 24 to 2.

According to a House Republican caucus bill summary of the legislation, House Bill 1276 is aimed at narrowing background check requirements for employees and volunteers who work with children and clarifying 2014 changes to the law that have drawn the most complaints.

While a number of concerns were raised about the bill, Chairman Kathy Watson (R-Bucks) said any amendments would have to be offered in the floor and not in committee.

“I want to give everyone the opportunity to be heard…but it might not happen very seriously in the committee,” she said.

Monday, June 8, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
VIDEO: Costa reacts to Senate rejection of Marcus Brown as state police commissioner

VIDEO: Costa reacts to Senate rejection of Marcus Brown as state police commissioner

Following a Senate vote of 26 to 22 to not confirm Acting State Police Commissioner Col. Marcus Brown's nomination, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa gives his reaction to the vote. 

Monday, June 8, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll
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Scarnati on Col. Brown confirmation process: “This is a nightmare that none of us have asked for”

Scarnati on Col. Brown confirmation process: “This is a nightmare that none of us have asked for”

The Senate on Monday declined to confirm Acting State Police Commissioner Col. Marcus Brown’s nomination to lead the Pennsylvania State Police by a vote of 26 to 22.

While three Republican senators joined all Democrats in supporting the nomination, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) told reporters Col. Brown’s failure to win confirmation was not the result of any one incident or controversy.

“I think the bigger issue was how the nominee handled these questions, the forthrightness he used to come forward,” he said. “His story kept changing on a number of these issues.”

Monday, June 8, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Competing hearings continue House examination of pension reform legislation

Two competing House hearings Thursday continued the examination of Senate Bill 1, the Senate-passed defined contribution pension reform legislation.

Thursday, June 4, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Capitol Quick Hits for 6.3.15

Here are the highlights from news conferences, rallies, and advocacy days held in the Capitol today: 

  • A coalition of 40 organizations representing education, labor, environmental, human services and community development groups from across the Commonwealth held news conference this afternoon calling on the members of the General Assembly to enact Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed severance tax on the extraction of natural gas.
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) members, legislators, and stakeholders gathered in the Capitol today to announce the release of ACLU’s latest report- Guilty Property: How Law Enforcement Takes $1 Million in Cash from Innocent Philadelphians Every Year, and Gets Away with It – and speak to their audience about reforming the current laws regulating civil asset forfeiture.  
  • The Keystone Research Center hosted a conference call this morning to release a pension primer that analyzes the economic and legal ramifications of SB 1 and to discuss the experience of state that shifted from existing defined-benefit pensions to individual 401 (k)-style defined contribution accounts.
  • The Pennsylvania Cancer Fairness Coalition was joined by patient advocates, and healthcare professionals in the Main Capitol Rotunda to support SB 536, legislation that would provide for oral chemotherapy. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Event Central
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