House reception to minimum wage proposal frosty, as governor pulls overtime regulations from IRRC

House reception to minimum wage proposal frosty, as governor pulls overtime regulations from IRRC

Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration withdrew controversial overtime regulations from a meeting of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission Thursday, banking on the House moving a plan to raise the minimum wage--pausing the overtime changes in the process.

But the proposal, which passed the Senate on a 42-7 vote Wednesday night, has been met with a frosty reception in the House, both from conservatives skeptical of any increase and Democrats who are frustrated that the governor backed off his push for a $15 minimum wage.
Thursday, November 21, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
After repeated attempts, Senate passes 'historic' statute of limitations reform

After repeated attempts, Senate passes 'historic' statute of limitations reform

The Senate signed off Wednesday night on major reforms to the state’s statute of limitations, an effort to better protect victims of sex abuse, and achieving in the process what many considered to be a Sisyphean effort.

After two sessions of coming up short in approving a two-year retroactive window for victims to sue their abusers, regardless of when the statute of limitations expired, lawmakers took a different tact this session, opting to create the window via an amendment to the state’s constitution.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
House GOP unveils transportation funding plan, proposes winding down MLF transfers

House GOP unveils transportation funding plan, proposes winding down MLF transfers

House Republicans unveiled their survey of the state’s infrastructure needs Wednesday, calling for a cycling down of transfers from the Motor License Fund to bankroll State Police, as well as a consolidated permit process for major building projects and other items to help boost road and transit construction.

The Republican Transportation Infrastructure Task Force, chaired by Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia), was rolled out in July, at a time when PennDOT has notified municipalities that the existing pot of transportation dollars is set to shrink.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
House Judiciary passes bills aimed at protecting corrections officers; vote on 'monumental' criminal justice reform to come

House Judiciary passes bills aimed at protecting corrections officers; vote on 'monumental' criminal justice reform to come

The House Judiciary Committee passed a slate of bills Tuesday to beef up protections for corrections officers, raising the eyebrows of some of the committee’s more liberal members despite a pledge from the chairman that more aggressive criminal justice reform measures will get a look next month.

The bills, which include increasing penalties for assaulting a corrections officer and allowing county corrections officers to lock their personal firearms in their vehicles, all passed with some measure of bipartisan support.
Tuesday, November 19, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Yudichak to register as independent, caucus with GOP in blow to Democratic hopes of re-taking Senate

Yudichak to register as independent, caucus with GOP in blow to Democratic hopes of re-taking Senate

Sen. John Yudichak, a moderate lawmaker from Luzerne County, announced Tuesday he would be leaving the Democratic party and changing his registration to independent, leaving Democrats short an important seat in their fight to retain control of the upper chamber.

Yudichak, who will now be caucusing with Republicans, said in a letter that the decision came as a result of the increasingly partisan nature of the General Assembly. He won re-election for a third Senate term last year in a district that is becoming increasingly conservative, including parts of rural Luzerne and Carbon counties.
Tuesday, November 19, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
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