House Democrats have mixed results in amending charter school reform bill

House Democrats have mixed results in amending charter school reform bill

While House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a package of bills they said would bring equality to the public school system by providing parity between traditional and charter schools, when those proposals were offered as amendments to House Bill 97—the charter reform proposal before the House—they were met with mixed results in altering the bill.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Short-term UC call center funding fix awaits governor’s signature

Short-term UC call center funding fix awaits governor’s signature

What could have been last session’s last enacted bill is on its way to be this session’s first enacted piece of legislation.

 

With a 41-8 vote on Wednesday, the Senate sent to Gov. Tom Wolf a bill that would provide $15 million to fund operations at the Commonwealth’s unemployment compensation call centers for up to nine months.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Speaker Turzai’s push to “free the wine” advances in PA House

Speaker Turzai’s push to “free the wine” advances in PA House

Even though last session Pennsylvania lawmakers teamed up to “free the six pack” and allow for expanded wine sales in grocery stores, this session some Republican lawmakers are eyeing taking things a step further, not only expanding on the work done last session, but fully moving to divest Pennsylvania of the wholesale wine market.

 

Tuesday, two bills sponsored by House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) that would do that passed out of the House Liquor Control Committee along a narrow 15-13 vote that would do just that.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Charter school reform effort gets restarted in House

Charter school reform effort gets restarted in House

For the last several sessions, lawmakers in Pennsylvania have tried—but failed—to enact comprehensive reforms to the commonwealth’s charter school system.

 

Tuesday, that Sisyphean effort was restarted with the House Education Committee approving House Bill 97, vehicle legislation sponsored by Rep. Mike Reese (R-Westmoreland) that he said was akin to legislation that nearly got across the finish line last session in the form of House Bill 530.

 

According to Rep. Reese—the House member whose name has been attached to charter school reform the last two legislative sessions—the bill is aimed at leveling the playing field between charter schools (both brick and mortar and cyber) and traditional public schools.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Human services agency consolidation proposal gets started in legislature

Human services agency consolidation proposal gets started in legislature

Legislators from both parties in either chamber of the legislature have started the process of seeking support from fellow members to combine the Departments of Human Services, Health, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Aging into a consolidated Department of Health and Human Services.

 

The proposal—first articulated by Gov. Tom Wolf in his February budget address—has been carried forward in a spending plan crafted by House Republicans currently under consideration in the Senate after it passed the House just two weeks ago.

Monday, April 17, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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