Senators skeptical over proposed human services agency consolidation

Senators skeptical over proposed human services agency consolidation

In a situation unique to recent budget hearing history, four departments up for potential consolidation appeared jointly before the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday to answer questions about the proposed merger and various agency operations.

 

Normally appearing separately—as they did in the House—the agencies discussed the merits of the proposed consolidation and worked to assuage the fears of senators skeptical of the alleged benefits of the merger.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
House Republicans set out to the high SEAS for budget savings

House Republicans set out to the high SEAS for budget savings

As the three-week stretch of budget hearings is starting to wind down, House Republicans on Wednesday unveiled an initiative that will allow them to hear from state employees instead of the agency heads that have been appearing before the appropriations committees since the end of February.

 

Dubbed “SEAS” for State Employees Achieving Savings, a cadre of House Republicans led by Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks) announced the creation of a web portal that will allow state employees to directly contact the House Appropriations Committee with cost-savings ideas they have developed while operating on the front lines of state government.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Pittsburgh partnership to invest $1 million for safe water plan

Pittsburgh partnership to invest $1 million for safe water plan

The Peduto administration announced Wednesday a partnership with Pittsburgh stakeholders to provide free water filters to help reduce the high lead levels found in some city residents drinking water. 

The city, along with Peoples Gas and the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority, will spend a combined $1 million, $500,000 from Peoples Gas and matched with $250,000 from each the city and PWSA, to provide “point of use” filters to be installed at the tap of a residential home. 
Wednesday, March 8, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Pittsburgh
Allegheny County Council bans indoor vaping in public places

Allegheny County Council bans indoor vaping in public places

During their regular meeting Tuesday evening, Allegheny County Council voted in favor to ban the use of e-cigarettes everywhere regular cigarettes are not allowed. 

The council members voted 8-5, with two members abstaining, to ban vaping in public places such as health-related properties, indoor workplaces, restaurants, schools, sports facilities, and transit stations. That proposal was crafted and recommended by the county health department in fall 2016. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Pittsburgh
Lawmakers begin process of examining gaming expansion proposals, fix to local share assessment

Lawmakers begin process of examining gaming expansion proposals, fix to local share assessment

The House and Senate committees responsible for oversight of gaming-related legislation began the process Tuesday of examining much-discussed proposals to expand gaming in Pennsylvania and also fix the local share assessment paid by brick-and-mortar casinos to host municipalities that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found unconstitutional last year.

 

Tuesday’s joint hearing kicks off the start of considering comprehensive changes to Pennsylvania’s Gaming Act that are under significant time constraints.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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