Abortion bill, high school civics test pass House in afternoon votes

Abortion bill, high school civics test pass House in afternoon votes

The House passed one bill that drew fiery opposition and another that won nearly the entire chamber's support during session Monday.

The former, a bill to ban abortion on the basis of a Down syndrome diagnosis, touched on a partisan wedge issue. The latter, having high school students take a civics test at some point before graduation, was a far easier sell.

Monday, April 16, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Capitol fills with redistricting advocates as House and Senate look to reconcile competing bills

Capitol fills with redistricting advocates as House and Senate look to reconcile competing bills

While hundreds of citizens gathered today in the rotunda, hosting signs with white knights slaying a dragon labeled “gerrymander” and chanting “this is what democracy looks like,” the object of their desires — politically independent redistricting — was poised to undergo some negotiations.

House State Government Committee Chairman Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) said Monday he expected to meet with his Senate counterpart Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) that night to discuss the farthest-reaching and widest supported redistricting bills — HB 722 and SB 22.

Monday, April 16, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Bill to put SNAP work requirements in the hands of General Assembly passes House committee

Bill to put SNAP work requirements in the hands of General Assembly passes House committee

Sponsored by Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill), HB 1659 requires the Department of Human Services seek approval from the General Assembly before asking for a work requirement waiver for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Monday, April 16, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
In Pennsylvania’s quest to change electoral process, open primaries have bipartisan champions

In Pennsylvania’s quest to change electoral process, open primaries have bipartisan champions

In front of a packed room of redistricting reformists on March 28, Sen. Richard Alloway (R-Franklin) brought up a fresh point in the contentious row over how to change Pennsylvania’s elections: open primaries.

Alloway’s suggestion came as he tried to make sense of Sen. Lisa Boscola’s (D-Northampton) bill, SB 22, to start a non-partisan redistricting commission.

Friday, April 13, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
As Governor prepares to sign criminal justice bill, sights turn to future reform

As Governor prepares to sign criminal justice bill, sights turn to future reform

With one bill waiting for a signature, another waiting for tinkering in the Senate and Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery) on his side, Governor Tom Wolf announced his desire to push criminal justice reforms through the legislature Thursday.

The proposed agenda includes state funding for public defenders, building a standardized risk assessment tool for judges assigning bail and a “clean slate” law to help minor criminals clear their records and rejoin society.

Friday, April 13, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
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