Plenty of Democrats have called for a tax on natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, but now a Republican has joined the chorus.
Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R., Bucks) is proposing a 4.9 percent severance tax on natural gas drilling that he said would generate close to $640 million for the Commonwealth next year.
"It's going to be a tough budget year," said DiGirolamo. "There is an awful lot of need."
The state House on Wednesday passed a bill authorizing the Pennsylvania Game Commission to set a bounty on coyotes.
The bill, approved by a vote of 111-78, would establish a "coyote incentive program" by offering $25 for coyotes killed in the Commonwealth - the first such bounty offered on a wild animal in 50 years.
Bill sponsor, Rep. Michael Peifer (R., Pike), said anecdotal evidence in the northeast suggests there is a rise in population and nuisance complaints. There is already an open season on coyotes with more than 41,000 killed by hunters last year, an increase of 15 percent over the previous decade.
It seemed like a feel-good piece of legislation that would sail through the state House.
After all, who would object to recognizing International Human Rights Day and commemorating the 65th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
UPDATE - My colleague Angela Couloumbis caught up with Chris Abruzzo as he was leaving the Democratic caucus meeting this afternoon. He told her "it was a good informative dialogue" and that he felt he was able to clarify comments he made last week about climate change.
" I was able to at least more clearly to delineate for the members of the caucus where I stand," he said. "I acknowledged that there are impacts." Abruzzo said he is concerned about manmade factors that may contribute to climate change and agreed there is an impact "from things like air pollution" on human health.
He went on to say that he believes he went further on the issue than his predecessor Michael Krancer. "I think I have gone further than my predecessor in acknowledging the issue and I think I made that clear in the hearing."
The Corbett administration said today it will submit a waiver sometime after mid-January seeking to use billions in federal Medicaid funds to provide health insurance for hundreds of thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians.
The details of the proposal will be made public Friday when the plan is released in the weekly Pennsylvania Bulletin.
In a briefing with reporters, state officials said they will submit the proposal following a series of hearings across the state but gave no projected timetable for its implementation.
Today's confirmation hearing for Gov. Corbett's nominee to head the Department of Environmental Protection was largely rolling along smoothly until a climate-changing question - on climate change.
Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery) asked Acting DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo whether he believed in climate change, and whether he thought humans have contributed to the earth's temperature rising. Leach, no doubt, was remembering an exchange earlier this year between legislators and the DEP's former secretary, Michael Krancer, who seemed reluctant to give a definitive answer to the very same question (Krancer later clarified his views).
Democrat Tom Wolf is putting his money where his crudites would go.
The York County businessman says instead of holding a fancy party in a gilt-edged suite at the Waldorf-Astoria during the annual Pennsylvania Society gathering next week, he will donate the cash to Pennsylvania food banks instead.
Wolf wrote in a letter that while he always enjoys the event and planned to host a reception this year, after talking it over with his wife Frances, decided to "take a different route."
The Corbett administration is certainly not afraid of turnover. Since taking office in January 2011, for instance, the governor has shaken up his inner circle twice, and has seen a half dozen cabinet secretaries take leave.
So it should come as little surprise that the governor's press office has quietly gone through an extreme makeover of its own over the last few months.