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NEWS
November 3, 1988 | By Russell E. Eshleman Jr., Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
In one instance, it's a case of too late. In the other, it's a case of too little. Nevertheless, voters in Erie and Reading next week will have the opportunity to show government officials how they feel about two key issues in their areas - the worthiness of the state legislature and the fight against drugs - in a pair of notable, but nonbinding, ballot questions. In Erie County, voters on Tuesday will be able to register their objections or support for the middle-of-the-night pay increase the General Assembly gave itself and other state officials last year.
NEWS
May 8, 2007
AMENDING the state constitution to enact term limits for the Legislature similar to those already imposed on the governor has supporters and detractors. While there are valid points on both sides, you wouldn't expect a politician who, in the dark of night, voted to raise his own salary to have the audacity to oppose giving the public some form of constitutional protection against politicians who cast votes and exploit the benefits of office in an attempt to remain in power indefinitely.
NEWS
October 24, 2003 | By Christine Flowers
In the tragedies of Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles, conflicts between human beings were often resolved by the "deus ex machina," the unexpected and inexplicable hand of the Olympian gods. Wednesday, a contemporary calamity was likewise resolved (or, depending on your viewpoint, further complicated) by the hand of the Florida state legislature. A last-minute initiative, which passed both the Senate and the House by comfortable margins, authorized a hospital in Clearwater, Fla., to resume giving fluids to Terri Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman who has become the center of a national debate on the right to die. Schiavo, a Huntingdon Valley native who has been in a persistent vegetative state for over a decade, does not fit neatly into any category.
NEWS
November 7, 2007
  State Senate Mark Cimino (R). . . 20,560 Stephen M. Sweeney (D). . . 29,613   State Assembly Electing two. Phil Donohue (R). . . 19,454 Jeffrey Stepler (R). . . 18,864 John Burzichelli (D). . . 29,936 Douglas Fisher (D). . . 29,799   State Senate 99 percent of the vote. Shelly Lovett (R). . . 14,105 Fred Madden (D). . . 20,799   State Assembly Electing two. Patricia Fratticcioli (R). . . 15,397 Patricia Fratticcioli (R)
NEWS
April 21, 2008
FIRST SENATORIAL DISTRICT ANNE DICKER HOUSE DISTRICTS 172nd: RICHARD COSTELLO 179th: GUY D. LEWIS 184th: CHRISTIAN DiCICCO 186th: KENYATTA JOHNSON 198th: BYRON DAVIS
NEWS
October 2, 2014
LET'S TALK about the focus of the governor's race. Specifically, let's talk about how the focus underplays or outright misses a couple of critical questions. Republican Tom Corbett and Democrat Tom Wolf spar over school spending, taxes, pension reform and more. But little or nothing is said about relationships with the Legislature. You remember the Legislature? That's the place where governors go to get policy enacted: education policy, tax policy, pension policy and more.
NEWS
November 23, 1990 | By John M. Baer, Daily News Staff Writer
With Philadelphia looking for help from the state Legislature to ease its fiscal crisis, the Legislature has adjourned for the year without taking action. But it didn't leave the Capitol without acting on other matters. In its final days, the Legislature passed: A measure to get tough on stuffed-toy makers by hiking fines from $300 to $1,000 for those who fail to meet the quality standards of the Stuffed Toy Manufacturing Act. A "potty parity" bill requiring government buildings and other facilities to have more restrooms for women than men because research shows women use restrooms longer.
NEWS
January 8, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The 199th Pennsylvania legislative session opened Tuesday with lawmakers in the House and Senate being sworn in to first or new terms. Rep. Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny) won a standing ovation from his colleagues after being unanimously elected speaker. Senators also took their oaths, and President Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) was unanimously reelected. Both chambers begin the two-year session with stronger Republican majorities: the 50-member Senate has 30 GOP members and the 203-member House of Representatives 119. That makeup is bound to set the stage for showdowns with incoming Democratic governor Tom Wolf, who takes office Jan. 20. Among the priorities for the legislature and Wolf will be figuring out how to close an estimated $2 billion budget deficit.
NEWS
December 4, 2014
PSST . . . Want a little fun fact about your Legislature? Get this: The 2015-16 legislative session is underway. Yep, started Monday. State Constitution says so. And even though lawmakers aren't sworn in and won't be until Jan. 6, they're already drawing pay - 'cause that's just how they roll. All 253 House and Senate members, including those newly elected last month, get paid the first of the month, including the first of this month. Put another way, the nation's largest full-time legislature, legally in session but not actually in session, gets a payday in time for the holidays more than a month before being sworn in to office.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
June 27, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - New Jersey lawmakers Thursday overwhelmingly approved legislation that would give Cooper University Hospital control over emergency medical services in Camden. It passed without debate on the floor of either house of the Legislature despite vociferous opposition from the current provider of paramedic services in Camden, Virtua Health System, which operates in every town in Burlington and Camden Counties. The bill now heads to Gov. Christie's desk and seems likely to be signed into law, given that he has worked with Cooper's chairman, George E. Norcross III, on many initiatives in the city.
NEWS
June 24, 2015
ISSUE | SCHOOL FUNDING All fall down on job Although I share the view that it's City Council's responsibility to provide adequate and consistent funding for Philadelphia schools, more attention should be given to the state legislature's role in creating the problems the School District faces ("Indecent proposal," June 17). Since the late 1990s, the legislature has ducked its responsibility for adequately funding the pension fund it created and manages. To correct this oversight, the legislature has passed the responsibility for addressing pension fund obligations to local districts - which in turn have had to dramatically increase taxes and/or reduce operating costs and programs.
BUSINESS
May 29, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gov. Wolf announced Wednesday that a new task force will formulate "policies, guidelines and tools" governing pipelines that deliver natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation. Wolf said the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force will include representatives from state agencies, the legislature, federal and local governments, the pipeline and natural-gas industries, and environmental groups. John Quigley, acting secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, will serve as chairman.
NEWS
May 11, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Pension reform and property-tax relief are two issues on which state legislators and governors have spent years trying to reach consensus. Now, they will attempt to do so in less than two months. This week, both issues will take center stage in the Capitol as the Republican-controlled legislature tries to solidify its negotiating position on two issues pivotal to any budget deal. Senate leaders plan a vote on a comprehensive but controversial proposal to change future pension benefits and increase contributions from current employees.
NEWS
March 10, 2015 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - A measure aimed at stabilizing this city's taxes has stalled in the Statehouse, just three weeks before a deadline for the casinos to challenge their assessed value in a shrinking gaming market, leaving embattled Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian caught between two of the state's most powerful politicians. Gov. Christie and Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) are at odds over the fate of an Atlantic City tax relief plan, formally known as the Casino Property Taxation Stabilization Act, that Sweeney sponsored.
NEWS
February 7, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - New Jersey senators voted Thursday to change the penalties for drunken driving, requiring all first-time DWI offenders to install Breathalyzer-like devices in their vehicles in lieu of lengthy suspensions of their licenses. The legislation was praised by the safety group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which said New Jersey would become the 25th state to require first-time DWI offenders to install ignition-interlock devices. The bill, which passed the Senate, 29-4, on Thursday and was approved, 46-15 with 14 abstentions, in the Assembly in June, now heads to Gov. Christie.
NEWS
January 8, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The 199th Pennsylvania legislative session opened Tuesday with lawmakers in the House and Senate being sworn in to first or new terms. Rep. Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny) won a standing ovation from his colleagues after being unanimously elected speaker. Senators also took their oaths, and President Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) was unanimously reelected. Both chambers begin the two-year session with stronger Republican majorities: the 50-member Senate has 30 GOP members and the 203-member House of Representatives 119. That makeup is bound to set the stage for showdowns with incoming Democratic governor Tom Wolf, who takes office Jan. 20. Among the priorities for the legislature and Wolf will be figuring out how to close an estimated $2 billion budget deficit.
NEWS
January 6, 2015
POPE FRANCIS is due in Philly in September. I wish he were due in Harrisburg tomorrow. That's when the Legislature comes to the Capitol to be sworn in for a new two-year term. And you remember how His Papalness last month peppered the Curia, those running the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church? Well, I wish he'd bestow the same sort of "blessing" on those who run our state government. Somebody should. And he or she can use the pope's outline. If you missed it, Francis lambasted church leaders for, among other things, vanity, selfishness and the "pathology of power.
NEWS
January 6, 2015 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The ceremonial start to the 2015-16 legislative session begins Tuesday in the Capitol with the swearing in of House and Senate lawmakers - including nine newcomers from the southeast. The governor-elect, Democrat Tom Wolf, does not take office until Jan. 20. What will happen in the intervening weeks is as yet unresolved, with House and Senate leaders saying they are leaving the door open on scheduling voting days while Gov. Corbett is still in office. The prospect of the GOP-controlled legislature's rushing through controversial bills with a lame-duck Republican governor raised hackles among Democrats last month.
NEWS
December 23, 2014 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - It was a strange experience for Jim Gerlach: After more than 20 years in public office, he was sitting out an election. Gerlach, a Chester County Republican, had decided to leave office after a decade in the state legislature and 12 years in Congress - making for some odd feelings as he saw campaigns ramp up last fall without him. Gerlach, 59, is one of three local members of Congress who leave office Jan. 3. He, Jon Runyan (R.,...
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