February 21, 2013
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling Tuesday that the state constitution does not give people a right to privacy when it comes to their home addresses, clarifying a matter that has emerged as a major point of dispute under the Right-to-Know Law. The justices gave their approval to a January 2012 Commonwealth Court decision throwing out a lawsuit by Mel M. Marin, a prospective congressional candidate who would not...
April 15, 2008 |
When Gov. Raymond P. Shafer gave the opening address at Pennsylvania's Constitutional Convention 40 years ago, he did not mince words. "Change is our master," he told the delegates. "We must master change. " The governor's comments were part of his broader remarks, and leaders who gathered to propose changes to the state's constitution - for the first time in 94 years - echoed his words. The speakers were frustrated that a document last revised completely in 1874 did not reflect the needs of society in the late 1960s and would not in the future.
December 14, 1999 |
Rep. Frank Serafini, the convicted perjurer who has remained in the state House despite calls for his ouster, is voluntarily forgoing legislative pay and benefits while he appeals. Serafini was protected from ejection by GOP colleagues earlier this month, even though the Pennsylvania Constitution specifically bars anyone convicted of perjury from holding public office. Republican officials have said that Serafini (R., Lackawanna) should be allowed to remain in the House while he pursues appeals.
November 19, 1999 |
Republican leaders in the state House say they see no reason to expel a fellow GOP lawmaker sentenced to prison yesterday on a federal perjury charge until he has exhausted all of his appeals. The lawmaker, State Rep. Frank Serafini of Moosic in Lackawanna County, was sentenced to five months in a federal prison and another five months in home detention for lying about making an illegal campaign contribution on behalf of a landfill company. Serafini said yesterday that he had not decided whether to resign the seat he has held for 20 years.
December 26, 1989
The Pennsylvania Senate has resurrected a clearly unconstitutional piece of legislation that would fiddle the 70-and-out retirement rule for most judges across the state. It comes on the eve of the forced retirement from the bench of two heavy hitters. Delaware County President Judge Francis J. Catania reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 in March; Commonwealth Court President Judge James J. Crumlish Jr. turns 70 in May. No matter who stands in line to benefit, however, this proposal would make bad law. The legislation would amend the judicial code to allow judges to serve until Dec. 31 of the year in which they turn 70. It would apply to about 20 judges next year, and another 18 or so in 1991.
December 14, 1999
Don't oust Pa. lawmaker while appeal is pending It is grossly unfair to portray the debate over whether Rep. Frank Serafini should remain as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives as simply a battle between political titans, one side wearing black hats and the other side wearing white hats. I believe it is a matter of basic, fundamental, due process fairness to permit Serafini to avail himself of his legal right to appeal before the House considers any move to expel him. That appeal is already in process.
December 6, 1999 |
The Republican House majority is expected to make history today by allowing a lawmaker convicted of perjury to take his seat and vote despite a provision in the Pennsylvania Constitution that makes him ineligible to serve. GOP legislators plan to block or vote down a Democrat-led effort to expel Rep. Frank Serafini, who was sentenced Nov. 18 to five months in federal prison for lying to a federal grand jury that was investigating an illegal campaign finance scheme. House Speaker Matthew J. Ryan (R., Delaware)
December 7, 1999 |
A jury found him guilty of perjury and a judge sentenced him to prison, but Rep. Frank Serafini won mercy yesterday from his Republican colleagues in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Using procedural tactics that quickly silenced debate, the GOP majority shut down a Democratic effort to expel the 22-year GOP veteran after the popular lawmaker tearfully proclaimed his innocence in the well of the House. In so doing, the Republicans made history - or infamy, as Democrats saw it. Serafini is the first lawmaker in recent memory to continue serving after being convicted of a felony that the Pennsylvania Constitution says disqualifies him from serving.
April 10, 2007 |
Over the last two years, the actions of Pennsylvania's General Assembly, executive branch, and judiciary regarding pay raises and bonuses, to name just a couple of issues, have sparked a public outcry for the reform of state government. The type of institutional change being called for can be accomplished only by revising the Pennsylvania Constitution. There are two ways to change the constitution: an amendment by the General Assembly or a constitutional convention. When Abraham Lincoln spoke to the nation in his first inaugural address in 1861, he said of a pending amendment to the United States Constitution: "To me, the convention mode seems preferable to the amendment process in that it allows amendments to originate with the people themselves, instead of only persuading them to take or reject propositions originated by others not especially chosen with a purpose.
April 23, 1991
It's kind of like shopping for a Jaguar, then driving home in a Jeep. It takes some getting used to when you're expecting a lot more. But if we only need something to get us from the brink of bankruptcy back onto the road to sound fiscal policies, a utility vehicle may be enough. Which is why we view possible passage of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority Act with guarded optimism. Yes, it is distinguished as much for what it wouldn't do as it is for what it would.