Lame duck session days may be used for pension reform

After Tuesday’s House Republican closed-door caucus, which reportedly included a strategizing session related to the passage of pension reform, the prime author of the leading pension reform proposal in the House remained optimistic about the proposal’s passage.

However, according to Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill), it is not “unwarranted” to use the tool of adding extra session days—possibly even after the November election—to move his pension reform proposal over the finish line.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Last dance for medical marijuana?

According to House Republican leadership, the last dance for the issue of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania is likely destined to be joint committee hearings on Senate Bill 1182, which passed the Senate just two weeks ago, and not consideration of a legalization measure on the House floor.

Steve Miskin, spokesperson for the Speaker and House Majority Leader, told reporters Tuesday afternoon that joint hearings will be held between the House Judiciary and House Health committees, but no specific timeframe for the hearings has been established.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Hunger awareness torch passed as Hunger Garden marks fifth full year

Hunger awareness torch passed as Hunger Garden marks fifth full year

The Capitol Hunger Garden closed for the fifth year at a ceremony Tuesday and the hunger awareness torch was passed between Senate Republicans.

For the past five years, the Hunger Garden and the Hunger Caucus, on the Senate side, has been headed up by Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster), who is leaving the General Assembly at the end of this legislative session.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Capitol Quick Hits for 10.7.14

Capitol Quick Hits for 10.7.14

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

  • Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga), chairman of the House Health Committee, held a press conference in the Main Rotunda to bring awareness to further screen and provide health care to those who may be infected with hepatitis C, and to call on the Senate to join the House in unanimously passing HB 2003. HB 2003 would require medical providers and hospitals to offer hepatitis C screenings to those born between 1945 and 1965. 
  • Credit unions and the Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation sponsored a Financial Education Reality Fair in the Capitol East Wing Rotunda. The Reality Fair allows Harrisburg High School students to experience making financial decisions as if they were independent adults. 

  • The Pennsylvania Business Council Foundation announced the launch of Pennsylvania Scorecard, an online tool for measuring Pennsylvania’s business and economic performance, and submitted a report to the Senate Economy, Business and Jobs (EBJ) Caucus.
  • Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and State System Chancellor Frank Brogan held a press conference in the Capitol Media Center to announce an ongoing performance audit of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and how the agency is complying with state and federal laws related to campus safety and sexual violence prevention.
  • Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga) held a press conference in the Main Capitol Rotunda to urge the passage of HB 2471, legislation that would make oral anticancer drugs more affordable for patients. The bill has passed the House and now awaits approval in the Senate.
  • Music therapists from all over the Commonwealth gathered and in the East Wing Rotunda to celebrate October as Music Therapy Month.
  • The ride-sharing company Uber held a rally in the Main Rotunda to support uberX ridesharing and to urge lawmakers to pass regulations that would permit Uber to operate permanently in Pittsburgh, as well as in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, State College, the Lehigh Valley, the Wyoming Valley, Reading, Erie, and Lancaster. 



Tuesday, October 7, 2014/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Event Central
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VIDEO: Folmer discusses medical marijuana

VIDEO: Folmer discusses medical marijuana

With SB 1182 now out of the Senate, Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) provides some insight on the discussion in the House on his medical marijuana legislation. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Video
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