A “last ditch effort”: Scarnati hopes for deal Tuesday evening on grand jury recommendations

A “last ditch effort”: Scarnati hopes for deal Tuesday evening on grand jury recommendations

As pressure continues to mount on the Senate to pass a bill to help survivors of child abuse, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) said a deal was nearly in place


“We have almost all the components to a bill agreed to with a [victim’s compensation] fund,” Scarnati said. “We’re down to looking at what a window would look like. Attorneys are working, I’m working, we’re trying to come up with a compromise, something that Rep. [Mark] Rozzi will like.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Domestic abuser firearm restrictions awaits Wolf's signature

Domestic abuser firearm restrictions awaits Wolf's signature

After two years of pushing for a bill to restrict domestic abusers access to firearms, Deb Marteslo, Pennsylvania lead for Moms Demand Action, was nervous before the last barrier to the governor’s desk — a final floor vote in the state Senate.

“We’ve been stymied so many times, I wasn’t allowing myself to think it’s a done deal,” Marteslo said.

But by a 43-5 bipartisan vote, the senators approved HB 2060, which mandates convicted domestic abusers give up their guns within 24 hours of a final protection from abuse order and limits who can hold onto them for safe keeping Wednesday.
Wednesday, October 3, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
With supporters cheering it on, domestic violence bill advances hesitantly through Senate

With supporters cheering it on, domestic violence bill advances hesitantly through Senate

A bill meant to strip firearms from convicted domestic abusers advanced out of committee Monday, but details have Senators from both sides of the aisle questioning the bill despite a similar measure passing unanimously in spring.

Passed last week by a bipartisan 131-62 margin in the House, HB 2060 shortens the length of time from 60 days to 24 hours for a final PFA recipient to hand over their guns, while also removing a provision that allowed friends and family hold to hold the firearms for safekeeping.
Monday, October 1, 2018/Author: Kara Barmoy
Allegheny legislators unveil policing reform package

Allegheny legislators unveil policing reform package

Following the shooting of 17 year-old Antwon Rose, Jr. by an East Pittsburgh police officer in June, western Pennsylvania legislators vowed to come back with steps to reduce police violence.

Today, three months later, Pittsburgh House and Senate Democrats unveiled a slate of measures to reform law enforcement training practices, police oversight, and improve mental health counseling and cultural awareness in an effort to head off rising tensions between residents and police. 
Thursday, September 13, 2018/Author: Mike Howells
Categories: News and Views
Democratic lawmakers call for expansion of indoor smoking standards

Democratic lawmakers call for expansion of indoor smoking standards

A decade since the enactment of the Clean Indoor Air Act, Allegheny County lawmakers came together to celebrate the law’s passage and call on their colleagues to increase the law’s authority.

When first implemented, the law forbade smoking in public areas, but allows for exceptions — too many as far as some elected officials are concerned.

“This is a matter of fairness,” Rep Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) said. “We know the law works, but let’s make it work for everyone.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2018/Author: Atiya Irvin-Mitchell
Categories: News and Views
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