December 20, 2015
WASHINGTON -- The Senate on Friday confirmed former Bucks County Congressman Patrick Murphy to become undersecretary of the Army, the branch's second-ranking civilian post. Murphy, an Iraq war veteran, represented Pennsylvania's eighth district from 2007 to 2011. He was confirmed by a voice vote. As undersecretary, Murphy will handle much of the business side of the Army, including areas like staffing, purchasing equipment and training. Murphy, 42, spent seven months in Iraq, starting in 2003, where he served as a convoy commander and lawyer in the Judge Advocate General's Corps.
December 16, 2015 |
TRENTON - A Republican state senator unveiled a plan Monday to replenish New Jersey's near-depleted transportation fund without raising the tax on gasoline. Sen. Jennifer Beck (R., Monmouth) said a combination of economic growth based on conservative revenue projections, scaling back public employees' health benefits as Gov. Christie has called for, and increasing fines on motor vehicle violations such as texting while driving would help provide $1.6 billion annually for seven years to the Transportation Trust Fund.
December 15, 2015
Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R., Centre) said Sunday he plans to introduce legislation that would privatize the Philadelphia Parking Authority, generating what he said would be more money for city schools. In an email sent to fellow senators, Corman said a privately operated parking authority would "become a much more valuable asset to the public and the Philadelphia School District by having the authority's commercial practices run by an actual business operator.
December 12, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Senate on Thursday passed nearly all the final pieces of a long-overdue budget plan, including a bill that would let consumers for the first time purchase wine in some supermarkets and restaurants, and legislation to distribute $350 million in new school funding. The liquor bill calls for enabling licensed supermarkets, restaurants, and bars to sell as many as four bottles of wine to customers. The education measure would spread more money to schools this year using a blend of approaches favored both by Gov. Wolf and the Republican-led Senate.
December 11, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - The state Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to launch the process that could remove Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane from office. The Republican-controlled chamber scheduled a Jan. 12 hearing on whether Kane, who is facing criminal charges and whose law license has been suspended, can continue to function as the state's top law-enforcement official. At the hearing, Kane, a Democrat, will be able to testify and present evidence, if she chooses to participate. Her lawyer could also speak.
December 10, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - If one day could crystallize the budding U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania, it may have come Tuesday. In Philadelphia, candidate Katie McGinty embraced more support from the Democratic establishment, racking up endorsements from Mayor Nutter, the city controller, and eight City Council members. Her chief rival, Joe Sestak, planned policy events on housing laws and the fight against ISIS, while a third Democrat, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, reinforced his maverick image with a one-sentence headline-grabbing campaign announcement: "Donald Trump is a jagoff.
December 10, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania House on Tuesday passed its own budget plan, then saw it gutted and amended by the Senate - the latest sign of discord and division over how to resolve the state's budget crisis. The $30.3 billion Republican-backed plan, passed along party lines in the House, called for increases in the cigarette tax and new revenue from Internet gaming. But it abandoned most of the concepts in a more costly proposal that has bipartisan support from the Senate and Gov. Wolf, and it included far less than the $350 million in new schools funding the governor has sought.
December 9, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - The Senate panel exploring whether to launch the process of removing Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane from office voted unanimously Monday to put before the full Senate a measure that would do just that. The chamber is expected to vote this week on whether to hold a formal hearing early next month. The hearing would focus on whether Kane, who is facing criminal charges and has had her law license suspended, can continue to function as the state's top law enforcement official.
December 8, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - The state Senate returned to the Capitol Sunday night to begin considering portions of the budget agreement with Gov. Wolf, even though the deal still appeared to be near collapse. A key Senate committee voted Sunday evening to approve the $30.8 billion deal Wolf has struck with the Republican-controlled legislature - despite the House's unexpected admission Saturday that there were not enough votes in that chamber to pass it. The political curve ball draped the Capitol in uncertainty - some even called it chaos - but senators nonetheless plowed forward with their intention to vote on the deal with the governor in the hopes that it can quickly resolve differences with the House.
December 3, 2015 |
OTTAWA - Tuesday night was the story of Evgeny Medvedev's season wrapped up into a few quick, successful hours in Canada's capital. There was the good: his first NHL goal on a perfectly placed wrist shot just over three minutes into the second period and some really good play on the power play and in some other areas throughout the night. And there was also the bad: an ill-advised clearing attempt from his defensive zone that led to an easy Senators goal toward the end of the first period.