Final fate of Philly cigarette tax, medical marijuana bills still unclear

The week of September 15 saw movement and rumbling concerning the final fate of two ongoing legislative sagas that will likely see action in the last scheduled session week of September: a bill authorizing a $2-per-pack cigarette tax and legislation authorizing certain forms of medical marijuana.

The action to be taken on these bills is still uncertain as legislative review of the proposals is ongoing.

Friday, September 19, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Could the desire for a veto override lead to a substantive lame duck session?

The rumor du jour during the first week of the legislature’s fall voting session centered not around pensions, liquor, or the Philadelphia cigarette tax authorization, but rather on the possibility that the General Assembly will vote to override the governor’s line-item veto of legislative expenditures in the 2014-2015 General Appropriations bill and Fiscal Code.

While no plan is set in stone, the going theory seems to posit if such a vote is to occur, it will likely occur in a lame duck voting session to be held after the November 4 General Election. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Capitol Quick Hits for 9.16.14

Capitol Quick Hits for 9.16.14

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

  • The PA Prostate Cancer Coalition held its annual rally in the Main Rotunda to support public policy calling for the formation of a Prostate Cancer Task Force to study the impact of prostate cancer in Pennsylvania as well as identifying gaps and needs in men’s health literacy.
  • Treasurer Rob McCord and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale hosted a press conference to discuss the line of credit extended to the General Fund and to sound “alarm bells” that the General Fund balance has dipped below zero so early in the fiscal year.
  • Anti-Human Trafficking advocates from around the Commonwealth gathered in the Main Rotunda to support an anti-human trafficking law, Act 105. The Act increases penalties and clearly defines human trafficking (including sex trafficking, which disproportionately affects girls and women) as well as increases resources and protections for survivors.
  • After a recently released report by the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF) highlighting the increasing danger of long guns, CeaseFire PA and other advocates gathered in the Capitol to urge the expansion of background checks to cover the private sale of long guns. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Event Central

Keeping up with the neighbors: New Jersey, Maryland, and New York

New Jersey legalizes sports betting, Maryland deals with medical marijuana implementation, and New York holds a primary election.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014/Author: Mike Howells
Categories: News and Views

Quick approval of Philadelphia cigarette tax authorization bill far from certain

The House Rules Committee Tuesday voted to send House Bill 1177, which would authorize a $2 per pack cigarette tax for Philadelphia to fund its schools, to the House floor.

The committee did so after removing provisions in the legislation added by the Senate that created additional CRIZ zones and made changes to the hotel tax.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views