Senate committee advances short-term fix to UC call center funding

Senate committee advances short-term fix to UC call center funding

The Senate Labor and Industry Committee advanced Senate Bill 250 Tuesday afternoon along an 8-4 vote.

 

The legislation, introduced by Committee Majority Chairman Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland), would provide $15 million in funding from employee contributions to the Service and Infrastructure Improvement Fund that would allow up to 392 currently furloughed call center and other unemployment compensation-related workers to return to work.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Wagner, Manderino trade jabs over UC funding dispute at L&I budget hearing

Wagner, Manderino trade jabs over UC funding dispute at L&I budget hearing

Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York) and Labor and Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino traded jabs during the department’s Senate budget hearing Tuesday morning, as the spat between Senate Republicans and the Wolf administration over the failure to authorize UC call center service and infrastructure funding continues.

 

The failure to authorize the funding resulted in layoffs of nearly 500 employees and the closure of three unemployment compensation call centers around the state, as well as the Harrisburg overflow center.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Commonwealth Court allows judicial retirement age ballot question to be considered in November

Commonwealth Court allows judicial retirement age ballot question to be considered in November

The Commonwealth Court Wednesday sided with Respondents Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson), and Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) when it held that the General Assembly used the proper legislative means of delaying ballot question on raising the judicial retirement age from the originally planned April vote to the November General Election.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Senate loads liquor component of budget framework

Senate loads liquor component of budget framework

The Senate Law and Justice Committee voted along party lines Wednesday to amend in to House Bill 1460 an amendment which would provide for liquor modernization and expanded wine and beer sales as part of the budget framework.

Speaking to the changes to the liquor system, Committee Majority Chairman Chuck McIlhinney (R-Bucks) said the most controversial piece of the changes made allows R-license holders to sell four to-go bottles of wine in addition to two six packs.

Other changes in the bill increase the number of R-licenses by allowing “dead R-licenses” to be auctioned off according to certain restrictions, opens all state liquor stores for Sunday sales, and for 24-hour alcohol service in casinos.

The bill also provides for a study commission to look at if and how Pennsylvania should privatize either or both its wholesale or retail liquor markets with those recommendations to be made to the General Assembly by June 30th.

In total, Sen. McIlhinney anticipated the changes will bring in an additional $115 million in revenue above the $80 million in profits seen by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board with that number tapered for this year since Pennsylvania is halfway through its current fiscal year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Liquor privatization bill forges ahead amid concerns over job losses

Liquor privatization bill forges ahead amid concerns over job losses

A compromise plan to privatize Pennsylvania’s liquor stores forged ahead Sunday evening as House Bill 466 was amended and later passed by the Senate Law and Justice Committee.

The measure now moves to the Senate Floor where it is anticipated to be passed, along with pension reform and the budget and other related bills, by the conclusion of legislative business Tuesday.

“We have an agreed-to product with the House, it certainly hasn’t been easy,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson), who sponsored the amendment comprising the plan. “Clearly constituents in my district—a very rural area that may see less convenience—they want to see privatization, that’s what they’ve asked for because they feel the state should be out of this business.”

According to the proposal, state-owned retail wine and spirits stores will be closed based upon a formula where the Liquor Control Board will be instructed that if one of the two of the closest licensees to a state-owned store is actively selling alcohol in the manner of a state-owned wine and spirits store, then the state-owned store will be forced to shut down.

Sunday, June 28, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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