House aims to boost volunteer fire, EMS companies with 23-bill package

House aims to boost volunteer fire, EMS companies with 23-bill package

House lawmakers have pushed this week a series of proposals they say are designed to boost the fortunes of the state’s volunteer firefighter and EMS companies amid declining enlistment and financial hardship.

The package of bills came out of the SR 6 commission, which traveled the state to evaluate threats to first responders and firefighters. Their end product totals 23 bills, including loan forgiveness for those who sign up as volunteer firefighters, making it easier for companies to secure loans and helping first responders suffering from trauma to get care.
Wednesday, October 23, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
As the dairy industry struggles, lawmakers hope to spur growth with a new tax relief program

As the dairy industry struggles, lawmakers hope to spur growth with a new tax relief program

It’s no secret that Pennsylvania’s dairy industry is facing hard times.

 

A recent report from the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee found that Pennsylvania dairy farmers are experiencing “one of the longest sustained periods of low producer prices for milk,” which has led to a decline in the number of dairy farms across the commonwealth.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
Plan to defer community colleges costs near submission

Plan to defer community colleges costs near submission

Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski (D-Luzerne) plans to introduce soon a bill that would help Pennsylvanians attend community colleges and graduate on time, while also filling job spots across the state in key industries and trades.
 
Pashinski introduced a co-sponsorship memo in April for his plan as an attempt to lessen student debt. Currently Pennsylvania ranks second in the nation, with the average citizen owing over $37,000 for student loans.
Wednesday, October 23, 2019/Author: Marco Cerino
Categories: News and Views
Lawyers spar in Commonwealth Court over challenge to Marsy's Law; initial decision expected in coming days

Lawyers spar in Commonwealth Court over challenge to Marsy's Law; initial decision expected in coming days

A Commonwealth Court judge is expected to rule in the coming days whether to halt the certification of votes on the proposed crime victims’ rights amendment to the state constitution, scheduled to appear on ballots in next month’s election, until after it is determined whether it passes constitutional muster.

Lawyers for both parties sparred for over two hours on the matter Wednesday morning, with the League of Women’s Voters and the ACLU supporting a preliminary injunction that would allow voters to head to the polls next month but not actually let the constitutional amendment take effect if it passes.
Wednesday, October 23, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
State lawmakers renew effort to fund voting machines, pass election reforms

State lawmakers renew effort to fund voting machines, pass election reforms

State lawmakers on Tuesday unveiled an omnibus election reform bill that will be tethered to $90 million in county funding for voting machines, reviving an effort that was stopped by a veto from Governor Tom Wolf back in June.

 

The bill would resuscitate a number of reforms included in the since-vetoed Senate Bill 48 — namely, the elimination of the straight-party ballot option and a reduction in the number of ballots that counties are required to print per election. However, the new legislation would also create a variant of no-excuse absentee voting, which would allow any commonwealth resident to vote by mail.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
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