Thursday, July 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Monday, July 7, 2014, 8:43 AM

Want something done or stopped in your state Capitol?

Gonna cost ya.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Harrisburg lobbying expenses -- at least those actually filled with the state -- topped a half-billion dollars in 2013.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 8:44 AM

June didn't bring PA a budget. It didn't bring Philly sought after help for schools. But the Legislature and Gov. Corbett at least managed to bring Pennsylvania its own official firearm.

Yep, quietly (I don't recall any announcement, press release or bill-signing event), the House and Senate passed (by wide margins) and Gov. Corbett signed a measure making the Pennsylvania longrifle the state's official gun.

Got some international attention. Reuters reported early in June that the measure was on the move and that PA could join four other states -- Arizona, Indiana, Utah and West Virginia -- in having an official firearm.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 8:47 AM

In addition to reflecting Republican goals of passing on time with no new taxes, the state budget now sitting on Gov. Corbett's desk -- whatever it lacks -- keeps some things intact.

For example:

-- the Legislature remains untouched as a measure to reduce its size dies in the Senate; its reserve (slush) fund of $153 million in taxpayer money stays in place; and it's annual operational budget gets a one-percent boost to $280 million.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 8:25 AM

And now we hear from the heart of Pennsylvania's political "T."

The "T" is that section of the state that runs up the middle and across the top and is known for its conservative Republican constituency and it's bleed-blue-and-white love for Penn State football.

So what says the "T?"

POSTED: Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 8:49 AM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a/k/a BE)

JB: I just know you saw that story about exploding wine sold in State Stores.

BE: Oh, yeah. A real party-starter.

POSTED: Monday, June 16, 2014, 8:50 AM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a/k/a BE)

JB: Yo, chief, not sure you caught it, but the Harrisburg Patriot-News is offering a way to fill the state's huge budget hole without any real heavy lifting.

BE: And by "heavy lifting" I assume you mean doing nothing on pensions, liquor reform or broad general taxes?

POSTED: Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 9:06 AM

Now batting: House State Government Committee Chairman Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler County.

Here's the pitch....CRACK!

It's a long fly ball to deep right field. It's off the wall. And Metcalfe is into second base with a stand-up double standard.

POSTED: Monday, June 9, 2014, 8:34 AM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer and Baer's editor, a/k/a BE)

BE: I see our state Senate is once again poised to pull the trigger on reforming our archaic liquor system.

JB: Yawn.

About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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