Entries by PAMatters

Bath Salts Ban Heads to Governor’s Desk

Bath salts are dangerous – even deadly – yet legal.  The bath salts that state lawmakers are targeting aren’t what you bought mom for her birthday.  These are synthetic stimulants created to mimic the effects of cocaine and methamphetamine.  “They have a lot of psychotic effects and hallucinations and things like that,” says State Senator […]

Biomass Project Will Benefit Western PA

The USDA is targeting 5,344 acres in northeast Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania for a new Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) project.  US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says they will incentivize to grow “giant miscanthus,” which is a hybrid grass that can grow 13-feet tall.  “The land that will be used to grow this crop will […]

Santorum 2nd in Pennsylvania Presidential Poll

The GOP primary may well be decided by the time Pennsylvanians vote in 2012, but the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute didn’t shy away from the chance to take the pulse of PA voters.  Former Pennsylvania US Senator Rick Santorum comes in second in his home state, with 16% support. Frontrunner Mitt Romney leads PA with […]

The Challenge of Congressional Redistricting

Every ten years state lawmakers are called upon to redraw the state’s Congressional map.  In addition to ensuring population equity and fair representation of minorities, PA lawmakers must again account for the loss of a Congressional seat due to population shifts.  “When you’re shrinking from 19-members in Congress to 18, you have to grow the […]

Voters Split on Governor Tom Corbett

A new Quinnipiac Poll finds a split job approval rating (39 – 38) for Governor Tom Corbett.  While 39% is a relatively low job approval number, pollster Tim Malloy says there is some good news: “He is doing far better than his counterparts; Gov. Scott of Florida, Gov. Kasich of Ohio, who are in negative […]

Should PA Lift its Sunday Hunting Ban?

Pennsylvania’s prohibition on Sunday hunting doesn’t mesh with today’s busy lifestyles, according to State Rep. John Evans (R-Erie), who chairs the House Game and Fisheries Committee.  “There are limited opportunities that folks have to go out into the field,” Evans tells us.  In the weeks ahead, Evans will introduce legislation that would simply lift the […]

Bill Calls for Funding, Accountability Changes for Charter, Cyber Schools in Pennsylvania

The Democratic chairman of the state House Education Committee is proposing changes to the funding and oversight of cyber charter and charter schools in Pennsylvania.    Representative Jim Roebuck (D-Phila) says the amendments to the state’s Charter and Cyber Charter School law would improve administrative oversight and accountability. Roebuck says the bill would establish state responsibility […]

State House to Consider Voter ID Bill

The State House is expected to begin debating a controversial voter ID bill this week.  It would require all voters to present a valid photo ID each time they go to the ballot box, and Governor Tom Corbett says he would sign such a bill.  “I think we want to keep the integrity of the […]

Transportation Commission Works Toward August Goal

The Transportation Funding Advisory Commission, created by Governor Tom Corbett’s executive order, is on pace to submit recommendations by August 1st.  PennDOT spokesman Dennis Buterbaugh says the objective is to find another $2-billion to $2.5-billion dollars to annually inject into Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure.  That’s the majority of an annual $3-billion dollar transportation funding gap that […]