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Loophole

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NEWS
April 13, 2011
City officials need to get rid of a loophole in Philadelphia's campaign-finance law that lets deep-pocketed donors skirt contribution limits. This legal end run nullifies the city's rules that prohibit a political-action committee from giving more than $10,600 to any individual candidate each year. The campaign-giving limits, which Mayor Nutter supported as a City Council member, are designed to minimize the potential impact on city policy by any one donor or political committee.
NEWS
June 5, 1986 | By Tony Frasca, Special to The Inquirer
The Haddon Township Board of Commissioners introduced an amendment Tuesday night to strengthen the township's rent-control ordinance. Officials said the amendment, if approved, would close a loophole used successfully last month by a landlord in an appeal for a hardship rent increase. Commissioner Gerald DeFelicis said the amendment would require certification by the rent-control officer that the building was inspected and found to be in compliance with township building codes no more than 90 days before the application for the hardship increase.
BUSINESS
December 16, 2009 | By Bob Fernandez INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Federal Communications Commission will seek to close a loophole that has kept Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers games off satellite TV in Philadelphia and given a huge competitive advantage to Comcast Corp. An FCC official said the agency would circulate an order today that will close the "terrestrial loophole" that allows Comcast to withhold Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia from DirecTV and Dish Network. The five-member regulatory board could vote on the order in January. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski says the loophole should be closed to level the competitive playing field among pay-TV companies, a commission official said.
NEWS
March 14, 1991 | By Daniel LeDuc, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
When lobbyists spend thousands of dollars on legislators, buying them football tickets, expensive dinners and trips to Florida golf resorts, nobody has to report that money as long as the lawmakers and lobbyists don't "expressly" discuss pending legislation. That loophole in New Jersey's lobbying law is supposed to be closed when the legislature follows a blue-ribbon ethics panel's recommendation that all the money spent earning the goodwill of legislators be publicly reported - whether or not legislation is discussed.
NEWS
November 24, 1988 | By Mack Reed, Special to The Inquirer
Delaware motorists who refuse breath tests or blood-alcohol samples automatically lose their driver's licenses for a year. It's the law. Yet about 30 percent of Delawareans arrested for drunken driving now drive straight through a legal loophole and back onto the road, months before they should be allowed, according to Frank Carver, chairman of a state task force that is revising the law. The loophole exists in part of the 1982 drunken-driving law...
NEWS
September 2, 2008
Your editorial "Flawed law" (Aug. 27) highlighted several problems with Pennsylvania's gaming law. In particular, it hit one of our most serious flaws in state government as a whole: the loophole that allows lawyers to sidestep the revolving-door ban from state employment to private industry and back again. This issue has plagued us since the Supreme Court decision in Gmerek v. State Ethics Commission, which held that the court has the "exclusive authority to regulate the practice of law. " Attacking the Lobbyist Registration Law, the plaintiff challenged the authority of the State Ethics Commission to regulate the conduct of lobbyists who happened to be lawyers.
NEWS
October 2, 1986 | By John McDonough, Special to The Inquirer
The Maple Shade Township Council last night unanimously adopted an ordinance to strengthen a law prohibiting the drinking of alcoholic beverages in public. Mayor Joseph P. Dugan said the ordinance, an amendment to the township code, would deter drinking in parking lots, which he said was a problem. "Young people have been drinking beer into the wee hours of the morning and leaving (the beer cans) there for someone else to pick up," Dugan said. The new ordinance eliminated a loophole in the township code.
NEWS
June 16, 1999 | by Mark McDonald , Daily News Staff Writer
Organized labor flexed its considerable muscle yesterday and showed why it's still formidable at hardball lobbying when City Council gave initial approval to a bill that would close a loophole used by building contractors to evade prevailing wage laws. The bill, sponsored by Councilmen James Kenney and Richard Mariano, targeted agencies like the Office of Housing and Community Development and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation that use a mixture of public funds but often work with private companies.
NEWS
January 26, 1990 | By Idris M. Diaz, Inquirer Staff Writer
City Councilman John F. Street yesterday introduced legislation aimed at closing a loophole in a 1988 law that could permit buyers of certain upscale condominium developments to escape millions in real estate tax payments. Intended exclusively for owners of units at the Rittenhouse condominium- hotel, the legislation, which granted a five-year tax break to condo buyers at the development, has been found by local tax assessors to apply to three other new luxury developments in the city.
NEWS
August 31, 2010
WHAT IS the so-called "Florida loophole," and why is it such a bone of contention in Philadelphia? Under reciprocity agreements with Florida and some other states, Pennsylvanians can get nonresident permits from those states through the mail to carry concealed weapons, even without a Pennsylvania permit. Philly cops say it allows people who have been denied a gun permit in Philadelphia to circumvent local authorities. But gun-rights advocates say that it's necessary, because the Philadelphia Police Department is much stricter on applicants than other counties in the state.
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NEWS
October 19, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A BILL to eliminate a little-known carve-out in state law that allows a person in a labor dispute to stalk, harass or threaten another person in the dispute is expected to die Monday when the House concludes voting this session. The House is not planning to vote on a Senate-amended version of House Bill 1154 during its final voting day. State Rep. Ron Miller, R-York, who sponsored the bill, and others have had concerns about the Senate-amended bill. Yesterday, he said it's "unfortunate" that the bill will die. "There should not be a loophole in the law. There should not be an exemption.
NEWS
October 18, 2014 | By Dylan Purcell and Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writers
The Pennsylvania Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday to close a loophole that for years has let repeat drunken drivers legally stay behind the wheel. The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association applauded the passage. "It is always gratifying when the legislature comes together on a bipartisan basis and takes steps to protect the public, and that is exactly what happened here," said Greg Rowe, the association's legislative liaison. Gov. Corbett's office said he would sign the bill.
NEWS
July 18, 2014
WANT TO open a bar in Pennsylvania and avoid the standard six-figure price tag for a liquor license? The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, through its extraordinarily lenient interpretation of the state liquor code, lets you do it for as little as $500. All it takes is a one-page application with none of the lengthy red tape and criminal background checks applicants normally face. The discount license is an unforeseen product of a 2012 liquor code amendment crafted by the Legislature to make it easier for licensees to cater one-day private events.
BUSINESS
June 16, 2014 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
Hurricane season is starting slowly, and weather forecasters predict that El NiƱo may help spare us this year. But as Hurricane Sandy reminded our region, you never can predict when you'll be in bad luck's bull's-eye. So it's a good time to consider how to avoid another kind of harm: from a Swiss-cheese insurance policy. Some Sandy victims found, for instance, that if losses were caused by both wind and water, a term with a whale of a name - an "anti-concurrent-causation clause" - could help an insurer sidestep or lowball a claim.
NEWS
March 18, 2014
IT'S LIKE A KID asking the teacher for more homework. When I heard that South Philly auto-body repairman Domenico Nigro wants more oversight and regulation by the city or state, that's what I thought. What business owner wants more government involvement in his or her affairs? The answer: One who cares about the safety of customers and other citizens. People who do heavy repair work on your car are not required to be certified to guarantee their competence. That just floors him. Nigro's wife, Victoria, is a hair stylist and is tested and certified by the state.
NEWS
March 6, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
The ink is barely dry on the city's agreement to sell Philadelphia Gas Works for $1.86 billion to a Connecticut energy company, and critics are already seeing loopholes in promised customer protections. Under the purchase agreement announced Monday, UIL Holdings Corp. is required to maintain a three-year rate freeze and continue PGW's low-income subsidies. But advocates who have read the 87-page agreement say it appears to contain provisions that would allow the new owners to hedge those commitments.
NEWS
August 5, 2013 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Despite having one of the toughest pay-to-play laws in the nation to regulate the awarding of contracts in connection with campaign contributions, New Jersey also has one of the largest loopholes. Essentially, if local government agencies publicly bid a contract, pay-to-play rules, including strict donation limits, don't apply. But there's a loophole in that, too - if a local town has its own pay-to-play law - and that might be causing potential problems for Camden. Camden officials have said they did nothing wrong in appointing a politically connected auditing firm to audit the city's books this year after the firm earlier donated thousands of dollars to Mayor Dana L. Redd's reelection campaign and a related political action committee.
NEWS
July 28, 2013 | By Ed Rendell and Tom Ridge
We may have our differences, but we heartily agree that our tax code is overly complicated and inefficient, and that we need to start controlling our skyrocketing national debt. Structural tax reform can address both problems. To that end, Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.) and Rep. Dave Camp (R., Mich.) are coming to Philadelphia on Monday. They head the Senate and House committees responsible for tax policy, and both are committed to reforming the tax code. They are visiting cities across the country seeking support and input for the overhaul from taxpayers and business owners.
NEWS
July 19, 2013 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - On a scorching summer morning in a state known for its staunch defense of the Second Amendment, the mother of one of the victims in last year's shooting at a Connecticut school came to the Capitol to talk about gun laws. Francine Lobis Wheeler, whose 6-year-old son was among 20 first graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown in December, said she came not as an expert on policy or law, but as a mother with a credential no parent wants: "I have lost a child to gun violence.
NEWS
June 5, 2013
By Pamela Lampitt Most New Jerseyans agree: It is absolutely critical to keep individuals suffering from serious mental illness from purchasing firearms. Stopping individuals with potentially dangerous mental illness from obtaining weapons is not just common sense; it is indispensable to protecting our communities from gun violence. But a glaring loophole in state law permits people with serious mental illnesses to easily pass through the background-check system and purchase firearms.
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