Entries by PAMatters

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 […]

Governor Tom Corbett Not Budging on Surplus Issue

Through the first eleven months of the fiscal year, the Department of Revenue reports that collections have outpaced expectations to the tune of $540-million dollars.  Many lawmakers are ready to tap into that money to mitigate some of the proposed budget cuts.  However, Governor Tom Corbett isn’t ready to use the “S” word… surplus.  “I don’t […]

June 11th is “Get Outdoors Day”

This Saturday (June 11) is “Get Outdoors Day”.   Surveys show that kids spend 50% less time outdoors than they did 20 years ago according to Jim Hubbard, Deputy Chief for the U. S. Forest Service.  Hubbard says they want families to reconnect and experience nature. He says just being there is worth it.  He says […]

Bill Aimed at Preventing Teacher Strikes Would Not Include an Outright Ban

One package of bills has been introduced to ban teacher strikes in Pennsylvania.  But   there’s another plan that would not go that far.  The “Back to Educating Our Kids” act would require negotiations between teachers and school districts to start earlier, dividing the process into negotiation, fact finding, mediation and arbitration.   If talks move to […]

Senate Approves Drivers Cell Phone Ban

Texting while driving would be a primary offense.  Talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving would be a secondary offense, under legislation that passed the State Senate Wednesday afternoon.  It started out as a simple secondary offense texting ban, but Tommy Tomlinson’s bill was amended in committee to include hand-held cell phones and other […]

PA’s First Human Trafficking Response Team Announced

Police, prosecutors and non-profit groups have joined forces to announce the state’s first Human Trafficking Response Team.  It will cover a five county area in Central Pennsylvania, according to Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico.  “Just as we’re a major pass through for commerce, we can also be a thoroughfare for human trafficking,” Marsico said […]

Shale Protesters Complain of Inaction

Several hundred protesters, representing 13-environmental and related groups, converged on the state capitol Tuesday.  “We keep coming back to Harrisburg because [Marcellus Shale] drilling’s been going on in Pennsylvania for almost four years now, and what has our state legislature done?  They have done nothing,” said Myron Arnowitt, Pennsylvania state director of Clean Water Action.  […]

A ‘Sea of Red’ at the State Capitol

Between 800 and 1,000 Pennsylvania members of AARP gathered on the state capitol lawn, Tuesday, for their annual lobby day.  All donned red AARP t-shirts.  State director Dick Chevrefils says they came to share their voices with the legislature about the issues that are important to the AARP.  “There’s a family caregiver piece of legislation […]

Lawmakers Introduce Bills to Ban Teacher Strikes in Pennsylvania

Legislation has been introduced to make Pennsylvania the 38th state to ban teacher’s strikes.   The Strike-Free Education Pact would ban teacher strikes and lockouts in Pennsylvania and sets penalties for illegal work stoppages.  Representative Todd Rock (R-Franklin) says teacher strikes produce no winners. He says the biggest losers are always the children. Rock says it’s […]