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Erik Arneson

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NEWS
September 24, 2002 | By Amy Worden INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
A bill that would require voters to produce photo identification at the polls touched off a Senate skirmish yesterday as the legislature returned from summer recess. Senate Democrats called a news conference to announce that the bill, which passed the House in June, was a blatantly discriminatory throwback to the pre-civil rights era. "It's a callous, open and malicious attempt to suppress senior-citizen vote, minority vote and handicapped vote," said Sen. Vincent Fumo (D., Phila.
NEWS
June 24, 2011 | By John Manganaro, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A bill that would require Pennsylvanians to show photo identification at the polls cleared the House on Thursday after nearly 10 hours of partisan debate over three days. The 108-88 vote sent the measure to the Senate. The bill would require most voters to show photo ID before casting a ballot in any election. Residents now have to show ID only the first time they go to the polls. Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R., Butler), the sponsor, said the measure was necessary to cut down on "significant voter fraud plaguing Pennsylvania's elections.
NEWS
June 25, 2007 | By Mario F. Cattabiani, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
HARRISBURG - Gov. Rendell announced this morning that he is abandoning his push to raise the state sales tax, crediting a "soaring" Pennsylvania economy for producing more than $500 million in unanticipated revenue. Through mid-June ? two weeks shy of a complete fiscal year ? Harrisburg has taken in $502 million more in revenue than first projected, negating, for now, the need to increase Pennsylvania's 6 percent sales tax by 1 percentage point, Rendell said at a Capitol news conference.
NEWS
August 26, 2009 | By DAFNEY TALES, talesd@phillynews.com 215-854-5084
AMID SPECULATION that Heidi Ramirez is leaving the School Reform Commission under political pressure, the status of the commission has grown even murkier. Gary Tuma, Gov. Rendell's spokesman, confirmed last night that Rendell has withdrawn his nomination for Joseph Dworetzky, who was his pick for another open spot on the board that oversees Philadelphia's public schools. Tuma said he wasn't sure when the nomination was pulled, but said that it was at least a week ago. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi said the nomination was recalled June 30 - the deadline for the state budget.
NEWS
March 23, 2010 | By Amy Worden INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
The state House yesterday positioned Gov. Rendell's $29 billion budget proposal for final approval today before it goes to the Senate, where it is expected to face opposition. The 2010-11 spending plan calls for a $335 million increase in basic education funding and smaller increases for health and welfare and economic development. All other budget lines are reduced, said Rep. Dwight Evans (D., Phila.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. "There are no [new] taxes, and it's on time," said Evans, adding that he hoped the Senate would act quickly and secure - for the first time in eight years - passage of a budget before the June 30 deadline.
NEWS
June 28, 2008 | By Mario F. Cattabiani and Angela Couloumbis INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Legislative leaders met several times in closed-door talks yesterday as they continued to work toward a compromise state budget with the Rendell administration. The House and Senate have planned rare weekend voting days for today and tomorrow but almost certainly will miss Monday's constitutional deadline to pass a fiscal blueprint for 2008-09. It will mark the sixth consecutive year that Gov. Rendell has not signed a budget bill by the July 1 start of the fiscal year. With the deadline looming, the goal of negotiators is not necessarily to have a completed budget in place on time but to reach a "gentleman's agreement" soon on the spending framework.
NEWS
August 25, 2009 | By Amy Worden INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
Gov. Rendell said yesterday that he would support an expansion of the state sales tax as a way to end the budget crisis. Numerous products and services - including sports tickets, dry cleaning, and toothpaste - are exempt from the 6 percent sales tax, and Rendell said it was time to consider taxing them. "We need to look at a lot of exemptions," he said at a news conference, giving candy and gum as examples. He agreed that food and clothing should remain exempt, but said there was no reason that candy and gum should be classified as food.
NEWS
July 12, 2007 | By Mario F. Cattabiani and Amy Worden INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
As Philadelphia mayor, and now as Pennsylvania governor, Ed Rendell has never been known for his thick skin. Ask any reporter who has ever covered him. They all expect, from time to time, to get an admonishing call from Rendell for stories which, in his view, "couldn't be more wrong. " But earlier this week, a Harrisburg activist really got under Rendell's skin. In an Inquirer story on Tuesday about the state budget impasse and the Democratic governor's problems with GOP legislators, Eric Epstein said that Rendell had "misread the political landscape.
NEWS
June 17, 2010 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - With the budget deadline two weeks away, Gov. Rendell on Wednesday issued a challenge to the legislature: Stay put until the budget bill is signed into law. "No one should go home; the people of Pennsylvania expect that," Rendell said at a late afternoon news conference. "We are not going to put a necessary sense of urgency on this to get this done unless people make a sacrifice to get it done. " House and Senate leadership indicated a willingness to hunker down to get the budget done.
NEWS
November 19, 2005 | By Dale Mezzacappa INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Virtually unnoticed in the wake of the pay raise controversy in Harrisburg is a fast-moving legislative initiative that would impose constitutional limits on state budget increases. Alarmed opponents say the limits being considered could cause everything from higher tuition at state universities to the elimination of funding for foster care and programs for the elderly and disabled. But the Republican leadership says the move is overdue and necessary, and won't necessarily lead to program cuts.
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NEWS
February 9, 2015 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Controversy has nipped at Erik Arneson's heels over the nearly two decades he served as a spokesman for Senate Republicans. His first boss, Sen. David "Chip" Brightbill, became majority leader after his predecessor was sent to jail for corruption. Brightbill, of Lebanon County, was ousted in 2006 over an ill-fated legislative pay raise. And Arneson's last boss, Sen. Dominic Pileggi of Delaware County, was pushed out as majority leader in a coup last fall. But now Arneson, 44, for years the affable face of Senate Republicans, is at the center of his own high-profile storm.
NEWS
January 18, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG Politics, not good policy, fueled the controversial push by Republicans in Harrisburg in 2011 to change the way Pennsylvania awards its electoral votes in presidential elections, according to a Washington-based ethics group. The Pennsylvania nonprofit All Votes Matter spent tens of thousands of dollars lobbying elected officials to push the change. It was largely funded by out-of-state groups with ties to Charles and David H. Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankroll conservative causes.
NEWS
April 5, 2012 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A bill to reduce the size of the Pennsylvania legislature withstood a battery of criticism to easily clear the state House on Wednesday, the first such vote by lawmakers to trim their own ranks in 45 years. The bill, which passed 140-49, would reduce the House from 203 seats to 153 and the Senate from 50 senators to 38 - thus relieving the state of the dubious distinction of having America's second-biggest state legislature. The proposal now goes to the Senate, where the concept, at least, has the support of Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware)
NEWS
June 24, 2011 | By John Manganaro, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A bill that would require Pennsylvanians to show photo identification at the polls cleared the House on Thursday after nearly 10 hours of partisan debate over three days. The 108-88 vote sent the measure to the Senate. The bill would require most voters to show photo ID before casting a ballot in any election. Residents now have to show ID only the first time they go to the polls. Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R., Butler), the sponsor, said the measure was necessary to cut down on "significant voter fraud plaguing Pennsylvania's elections.
NEWS
January 15, 2011 | By MENSAH M. DEAN, deanm@phillynews.com 215-854-5949
After signing 119 death warrants over the last eight years and watching as not one of the condemned first-degree murderers was executed, Gov. Rendell yesterday called on lawmakers to overhaul the state's death-penalty law. "As a former district attorney and death-penalty supporter, I believe the death penalty can be a deterrent - but only when it is carried out relatively expeditiously," Rendell wrote in a letter to members of the General Assembly....
NEWS
November 30, 2010 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - For eight years, Gov. Rendell has lobbied hard in the halls of the Capitol for what he calls "commonsense" handgun laws. He wanted to limit sales to individuals to one handgun a month. He wanted owners to report lost or stolen weapons. He wanted to close a loophole in state law that he believes lets criminals use gun permits obtained in other states. At each turn, the legislature - including some of his allies in the Democratic-controlled House - knocked down the proposals like so many slow-moving clay birds on a skeet-shooting range.
NEWS
November 16, 2010 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - In a surprise move late Monday, the state House of Representatives voted to override Gov. Rendell's veto of a school-code bill that he contended gave unfair tax breaks to certain charter-school landlords. If the Senate follows suit, it would mark the first time the legislature has overridden a Rendell veto, sending the governor off with a parting slap as he wraps up his second and last term. On Oct. 22, Rendell vetoed the bill, which includes a long list of education initiatives, because of a provision that would exempt from property taxes those nonprofit foundations that rent their properties to charter schools.
NEWS
October 23, 2010 | By John P. Martin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gov. Rendell on Friday vetoed a comprehensive education bill that he said gave an unfair tax break to charter-school landlords - a move that blindsided and outraged some legislators and advocates of the measure. The provision would have exempted nonprofit foundations that rent property to charter schools, and let them apply the tax break retroactively. But the governor's veto took down with it a wider law that included about 20 other initiatives - among them, ones to combat student violence, make textbooks more affordable, and improve financial literacy.
NEWS
October 21, 2010 | By Angela Couloumbis, INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG - Gov. Rendell on Thursday said the effort to strike a deal this year on a natural gas tax was "dead," finally uttering the one word that no one had dared even whisper about the issue. In doing so, the governor blamed legislative Republicans, saying they have refused for weeks to "negotiate in good faith" on establishing a tax rate for drilling in the Marcellus Shale, and accusing them of pandering to the drilling industry at the expense of Pennsylvania's taxpayers. "They clearly desire to put the costs of natural gas drilling on the backs of Pennsylvania taxpayers, rather than on the large multinational oil and gas corporations who stand to reap enormous wealth from our state's resources," Rendell said in a statement Thursday morning.
NEWS
October 12, 2010 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The governor got his meeting. But he didn't get his deal. Gov. Rendell on Monday met with a small group of legislators and representatives from the natural-gas industry in hopes of resuscitating talks on taxing the extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale. In the end, no consensus emerged. But the governor, through a spokesman, called the meeting, which lasted about an hour, a "terrific discussion" and said he believed the group made "significant progress" toward a deal.
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