HARRISBURG – The state Senate today voted unanimously to abolish the Philadelphia Traffic Court, just weeks after nine of its former and current judges were charged in a sweeping federal probe into ticket-fixing.
The chamber passed two separate bills – one that would eliminate the court from the state constitution and another that would transfer its responsibilities to Philadelphia Municipal Court.
“After the most recent round of indictments, the situation in Philadelphia Traffic Court is so bad that only one judge out of seven is still serving on the court,” said Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware), the bills’ prime sponsor. “There is no good reason for taxpayers to continue footing the bill for a court that is unnecessary and has become an embarrassment to the state’s judicial system.”
Politics sometimes makes strange seat-fellows.
Take the State of the Union address. Republicans and Democrats in Congress have tried, albeit awkwardly, in the past few years to sit together in a show of bipartisanship.
But Pennsylvania may represent a first tonight when state Sen. Anthony Williams, a Philadelphia Democrat, joins Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey as Toomey's only guest at President Obama's State of the Union Address.
Here's a mouthful and an eye-opener:
What's the difference between Attorney General Kathleen Kane's probe of then Attorney-General Tom Corbett's Sandusky investigation and Gov. Corbett's current lawsuit against the NCAA over Sandusky-related sanctions?
About $513 - an hour.
Pennsylvania voters say no to guns in the classroom and generally support President Obama's gun control measures.
That's according to a new Mercyhurst University poll released today.
The poll was released the same day Vice President Biden hosted a roundtable discussion in Philadelphia on gun violence, a topic expected to be a focal point of the president's first State of the Union address of his new term on Tuesday.
Gov. Corbett presents his 2013-2014 budget today beginning at 11 a.m. in the House chamber. You can follow all the action on PCN www.pcntv.com or follow your Capitol correspondents @inkyamy and @angelasink on Twitter, #pabudget.
Throughout the day Corbett's cabinet secretaries will offer briefings on their agencies, also broadcast on PCN.
Here's the schedule:
A former federal prosecutor who led the inquiry into the botched 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, has been named to lead the review of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse probe.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane named H. Geoffrey Moulton, Jr., an associate professor at Widener University Law School, as special deputy attorney general to lead the office's internal investigation into how the Sandusky case was handled, said Kane in a statement.
"Mr. Moulton is a highly respected former federal prosecutor who will assist us in providing a comprehensive and independent examination of the facts surrounding the handling of the Sandusky investigation," said Kane. "Once the facts have been uncovered, my office will make these findings available to the public."
Pennsylvania voters support stricter gun-control laws, including a national ban on sales of assault weapons and high capacity magazines, as well as universal background checks, a new poll found.
Voters said they approved (60-37 percent) of a national ban on the sale of assault weapons and supported (59-39 percent) a ban on high capacity magazines, according to a Quinnipiac University poll taken one month after the massacre of 20 children and six adults at a school in Newtown, Conn.
By an overwhelming (95-5 percent) margin, voters supported requiring background checks for all gun buyers.
Activists on both sides of the gun debate converge in Harrisburg today to deliver their messages to lawmakers.
The most outspoken pro-gun lawmaker rolled out his latest bill at a gun rights rally, sponsored by the greass roots group Pennsylvania Responsible Citizens this morning in the bitter cold on the Capitol steps.
Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R., Butler) told the crowd that his bill would make it a crime for Pennsylvania's attorney general or any other law enforcement in Pennsylvania to enforce any new federal gun control laws by "liberal gun grabbers."
It could be three strikes for Gov. Corbett on the Grover Norquist tax pledge.
That's according to Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform, which said in no uncertain terms that Corbett's plan to lift the cap on the oil company franchise tax is in fact a tax increase.
ATR's spokesman Patrick Gleasontold Capitolwire.com that Corbett's proposal is "a clear tax increase whose burden will be borne by consumers not company."
When he was asked on a radio program earlier this month about restricting gun shows at public facilities, like the Pennsylvania Farm Show, Gov. Corbett pondered the possibility -- for the political equivalent of about two seconds - well, ok, more like six hours, before issuing a statement that everyone is welcome at these public spaces.
Well, now the London-based exhibition company that runs the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show at the Farm Show - which bills itself as the largest outdoor show in North America - is doing just that.
It has pulled the plug on assault weapons at the show just two-and-a-half weeks before it is to open.