Entries by PAMatters

Senate Passes Budget Bill as Deadline Looms

The new fiscal year begins on Friday, but Pennsylvania may still have its first on-time budget in eight years.  The State Senate voted along party lines (30 to 20) to pass a GOP-backed $27.15-billion dollar spending plan Tuesday evening.   “This year marks a return to a state budget paid for with state revenues,” says Senate Republican […]

Expanded Castle Doctrine Becomes Law

Law abiding gun owners’ rights to self defense just got stronger in Pennsylvania.  Governor Tom Corbett signed the expanded “Castle Doctrine” privately on Tuesday.  “It codifies existing law… it codifies the self defense law under common law,” Corbett said in response to questions at an unrelated news conference.   “If you believe that your home is […]

Web Based Anti-bullying Program Being Introduced in Time for the new School Year

A new web-based program aimed at bullying is ready for the new school year– free of charge.  “The Bullying Academy” was being introduced this week at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference in Philadelphia . It’s  a project of the Students in the Know Foundation. Executive Director Tommy Walser says the program goes […]

Firefighter Cancer Presumption Legislation Heads to Governor

  The state Senate has given approval to the Firefighter Cancer Presumption legislation and it’s heading to the Governor for his signature. House bill 797 won unanimous approval from the state Senate on Monday.  It would cover firefighters who contract cancer on the job under the state’s Workers Compensation Act.  State Senator John Gordner (R-Columbia), […]

Survey Shows Social Media Being Used More Often When Disaster Strikes

A new survey shows Americans are relying more on social media and texting when disaster strikes.   “Get Ready,  America!, the National Hurricane Survival Initiative, has released a survey that shows social media and texting are becoming the leading ways people will communicate in a disaster.  The Sachs/Mason-Dixon commissioned poll found 72% of Americans are members of […]

New Website Simplifies Process for Reporting Suspected Child Abuse

A new website is on line to provide statewide resources for reporting and preventing child abuse.  It’s a joint effort of Penn State’s College of Medicine, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and School of Law. “Look Out for Child Abuse” is designed to be a one stop resource for completing a CY-47 form, Pennsylvania’s official […]

Marcellus Shale Job Creation Numbers Questioned

A new report questions the number of jobs created by the Marcellus Shale boom between 2007 and 2010. The “not so mighty Marcellus” might describe the results of their analysis according to Dr. Stephen Hertzenberg, Executive Director of the Keystone Research Center.  He says their review shows less than 10,000 jobs created rather than the […]

Food and Drug Administration Unveils New Cigarette Warning Labels

The Food and Drug Administration has unveiled nine new cigarette warning labels. The warnings will take up the top 50% of a pack of cigarettes and 20% of an advertisement for cigarettes.  They include graphic images of diseases related to smoking, such as lung disease and oral cancer. Tobacco companies have until September 2012 to comply. […]

House Members Introduce Their Own School Choice Measures

With no action expected on Senate Bill 1 this summer, some state House members are introducing their own school voucher legislation.   Representative Curt Schroder (R-Chester) has introduced two measures as alternatives to the Senate bill. HB 1679, the “Opportunity Scholarship and Educational Improvement Tax Credit Act”, will offer $5,000 opportunity scholarships to all students.  Representative […]

Governor Corbett Signs Unemployment Bill

Governor Tom Corbett has signed a bill to ensure the continuation of a federally funded, 13 week period of unemployment compensation benefits.  Senate Bill 1030 also makes reforms that will save Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation fund an estimated $133 million annually. The Governor called it good legislation and an important step toward reforming Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation […]