July 15, 2015 |
A state judge on Monday ruled that environmental groups and a state senator could not intervene in New Jersey's tentative $225 million settlement with ExxonMobil Corp. in a controversial pollution case. The decision delivered a blow to groups such as the New Jersey Sierra Club that say the settlement does not recoup what they believe Exxon owes the state after contaminating 1,500 acres of land, groundwater, and surface water for decades at the company's sites in North Jersey. The settlement also covers the state's claims with Exxon at a number of gas stations and 16 other facilities, including one in Paulsboro.
July 11, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) scored a victory Thursday as the Senate advanced a plan to help rein in potential child sex abusers, a proposal he has featured in early campaigning for reelection. The Senate voted, 98-0, in favor of a Toomey amendment to make it illegal for school districts to write letters of recommendation for employees who are known sex offenders against children or who face credible accusations of sexual misconduct. Districts that violate the policy could lose federal funding.
July 10, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - If Katie McGinty runs for the Senate, the chief of staff for Gov. Wolf has at least one big supporter. U.S. Rep. Robert Brady, Philadelphia's Democratic chairman, says he is "100 percent in her corner. " "Honorary campaign manager, anything she needed me to do," Brady said Wednesday after speaking to her earlier in the day. McGinty's name is the latest to emerge as a possible Democratic challenger to the Republican incumbent, Pat Toomey, in a widely watched race that could help determine control of the Senate.
July 8, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski suspended his campaign for the Senate on Monday, four days after FBI agents executed search warrants at Allentown City Hall. In a statement, Pawlowski said he was pausing the campaign "to fully focus on assisting in the federal investigation of Allentown contracting practices both prior to his being elected and since. " He said he would reevaluate when he had a clearer picture of the investigation. The news came after agents raided the office Thursday, seized documents, and interviewed Pawlowski and city Managing Director Francis Dougherty, according to a source close to the investigation.
June 27, 2015 |
Atlantic City is one step closer to getting a PILOT to steer it through rough economic seas. On Thursday, the New Jersey Senate passed a rescue package, including the long-awaited PILOT - Payment in Lieu of Taxes, a new casino taxation system - and other bills aimed at stabilizing the city's dire finances. The bills, stalled since December amid political wranging and an unsettled labor situation at Trump Taj Mahal, now go to Gov. Christie. The bills have been endorsed by both the casino industry and elected officials, including Mayor Don Guardian, who has said the stabilized tax system under the new PILOT was better than defending against repeated tax appeals that have put the city near bankruptcy.
June 26, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - The Senate approved a bill Wednesday that would let Pennsylvania consumers have wine shipped directly to their homes. The measure, which now heads to the House, allows all wineries to obtain a permit to ship any quantity. Under current law, out-of-state retailers have only been allowed to send wine to a state-run liquor store for residents to pick up. The GOP-led House could vote on the measure as early as next week, said House Republicans spokesman Steve Miskin. Though the bill has support in both parties, drama unfolded on the Senate floor when it came up for debate Wednesday.
June 24, 2015 |
JUST LAST FRIDAY, South Carolina's two Republican U.S. senators were silent or vague when asked by the Daily News whether the Confederate flag should be removed from the grounds of their state Capitol. Yesterday, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott stood with Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as she called for the flag to come down. The whirlwind of events following the murders of prominent African-American pastor and state Sen. Clementa Pinckney and eight of his parishioners in their Charleston church last Wednesday may have helped the senators make up their minds.
June 17, 2015 |
The state Senate unanimously passed a bill Monday that would delay by two years a requirement that high school students pass Pennsylvania's Keystone exams to graduate. Under the plan, the proficiency tests - in algebra 1, biology, and literature - will not go in effect for incoming freshmen until the 2018-19 school year. Some people would like to see the exams postponed indefinitely. "I would have liked to have seen a bill passed that ended the Keystones, period, but that's not possible at this stage," said Sen. Andy Dinniman (D., Chester)
June 12, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Key senators are reconsidering a plan to give railroads five more years to finish installing a mandated new safety system - signaling a potentially tougher stand to speed up work in the aftermath of the Amtrak Train 188 derailment in Philadelphia last month. "If we can figure out a way to get there sooner, we certainly want to be open to that," Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.), chairman of the Senate committee overseeing railroads, said after a hearing Wednesday. "If that entails something that doesn't require a blanket five-year extension, then we're open to that.