December 29, 2006 |
State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo (D., Phila.) hopes the ouster of two Senate Republican leaders, the second-ranking House Democrat, and dozens of other state lawmakers might do the trick this time. For the second consecutive year, Fumo proposed a package of bills yesterday aimed at opening up the legislative process, offering the public more cellophane and less tinfoil when it comes to the business of Harrisburg. Last session, Fumo's bills to accomplish that went nowhere. This time, Fumo said, the difference might be the toll that voters have exacted on lawmakers for their votes on the 2005 pay raise, which passed at 2 a.m. with no public debate.
October 9, 1987 |
Pennsylvania's sentencing guidelines - a boon to prosecutors and a bane to criminal defendants - were struck down yesterday by the state Supreme Court, which ruled that the Legislature had unconstitutionally created the guidelines in 1982. But because the high court ruled that it was not the guidelines themselves that were unconstitutional but the legislative process used to enact them, advocates said they would immediately campaign to re-enact the guidelines. "The authority to write new guidelines was not taken away from us," said John Kramer, executive director of the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing.
November 25, 1986
The Pennsylvania legislature should let the sun set on the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, an obscure agency of state government that is due to go out of existence at the end of this year unless a bill to extend its life is enacted. It should be allowed to die a natural death. It would be a merciful way to go. Created three years ago, the commission's principal power is to prevent state departments and agencies from implementing regulations for one reason or another - such as lack of clarity or contradictions with other regulations or laws.
September 21, 2005
COVERAGE by the Daily News of the challenges still facing Fairmount Park and the decision by City Council members Darrell Clarke and Blondell Reynolds Brown to defer action on their parks/recreation consolidation has created a tremendous opportunity for Philadelphia and Mayor Street. This original proposal to eliminate the Fairmount Park Commission and transfer its responsibilities to the city Department of Recreation would have required a November 2005 ballot question. The Philadelphia Parks Alliance, many citizens and the Committee of Seventy publicly opposed this bill because there would have been no time for meaningful public participation in the legislative process, or time for voter education if a ballot question was in fact approved by Council.
January 21, 1991 |
The most influential legislative staff person in Harrisburg - often referred to as the "51st senator" because of his knowledge and expertise - is a candidate for the top job at one of the state's most powerful lobbying groups. Sources said last Friday that the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which represents business interests, had put Stephen C. MacNett, general counsel to Senate Majority Leader F. Joseph Loeper Jr. (R., Delaware), on its "short list" of candidates for its presidency.
December 15, 2005
POWERFUL STATE senator and NRA member Vince Fumo has finally found a cooling-off period he can like. It's one we approve of, as well. Yesterday Fumo unveiled a number of proposals aimed at slowing down the whole bill-becomes-a-law process in Harrisburg - actually giving legislators time to consider their actions - and making the transaction as transparent as possible. Fumo, a Democrat, is expected to introduce the bills next month and look for co-sponsors. We hope he attracts a formidable number.
May 29, 1989 |
There are no directions to "Collect $200 from Lobbyist" or "Advance to Nearest Expensive Restaurant. " And there is certainly no order to "Go To Jail. " But other than that, it's kind of like the real thing. For those who have said for years that the legislative process is a game, there is now conclusive evidence. Complete with cut-out moving pieces, red and blue Chance cards and a playing board, the amusement event everyone has been waiting for is out - "How a Bill Becomes a Law in Pennsylvania - A Game About the Legislative Process.
February 19, 1989 |
Alma Saravia can't remember when her interests in women's rights and the legislative process weren't closely intertwined. "I had gotten involved with the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, then I went to grad school for a master's in social policy analysis," the 36-year-old Burlington City attorney said. She was interning at the state legislature in Trenton in 1979 when the Commission on Sex Discrimination in the Statutes was formed, so she shifted her internship and became the commission's first executive director - before finishing graduate school.
July 13, 2013 |
Tasked with drawing a map that would decide which party controlled New Jersey for a decade, the five Democrats and five Republicans settling the high-stakes battle in 2011 needed a tiebreaker. Each group came up with three names. The man at the top of both lists: Alan Rosenthal, a longtime political science professor at Rutgers University who had served on redistricting commissions before. A national expert on state legislatures, Dr. Rosenthal, 81, died Wednesday, July 10, after a battle with cancer.
January 11, 2008 |
The ACLU's lobbyist is departing the Capitol after 15 years. Larry Frankel, legislative director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania through four gubernatorial administrations, has accepted a job overseeing state lobbying efforts at the group's national office in Washington. While most of his work has involved trying to stop bills the ACLU believes violate the Constitution, Frankel has also successfully fought for bills that protect or expand civil rights, including one requiring post-conviction DNA testing and another restoring funding for family planning services.