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Archive: February, 2013

POSTED: Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 10:40 AM

A top legislative Republican has resurrected his plan to change the way Pennsylvania's Electoral College votes are allotted.

Senate Majority leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware) has introduced a bill that would scrap the state's winner-take-all method and replace it with a system based on the percentage of votes a candidate draws statewide.

The bill, which has 12 cosponsors, all of them Republicans, differs slightly from Pileggi's legislation from last year that would have divided votes according to the winners in the 18 congressional districts.

Amy Worden @ 10:40 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Friday, February 22, 2013, 5:51 PM
Michael Krancer, 53, of Bryn Mawr, Montgomery County, is Pennsylvania's Secretary of Environmental Protection.

 

Pennsylvania's environmental protection chief found himself on the hotseat on climate change this week during legislative hearings on his agency's budget.  

In hearings before the House and Senate appropriations committees, Democratic lawmakers pressed DEP Secretary Michael Krancer on the issue of climate change, specifically did he believe it was real?

Amy Worden @ 5:51 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Thursday, February 21, 2013, 8:11 AM

Budget hearings continue in the House and Senate today.

In case you missed them testifying before Senate lawmakers yesterday, the row officers return to the Capitol make the case for funding in the 2013-2014 state budget today in the House.

Democrats control the three row offices. Some expect tougher lines of questioning by House Republicans compared with the veritable lovefest in the Senate. As one insider put it: the House will be more like mixed martial arts than the fencing match we saw on Wednesday.

Amy Worden @ 8:11 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 7:22 AM
Pennsylvania's capitol building in Harrisburg.

Budget hearings get underway in the Capitol today beginning at 10 a.m.

These hearings are the annual opportunity for agencies and row offices to brief the legislature on their activities and - usually - plead for more money in the new state budget.

The hearings also offer lawmakers in the House and Senate a chance to question agency heads on any subjects of interest to them, which can lead to fireworks.

Amy Worden @ 7:22 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Thursday, February 14, 2013, 12:27 PM
Gov. Corbett (right) and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey greeted Kathleen Kane before she took her oath of office as state attorney general this month. MATT ROURKE / Associated Press

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane rejected the Corbett administration's contract with a British firm to manage the $3.5 billion Pennsylvania Lottery, saying it "contravenes the Pennsylvania constitution."

Kane, speaking at a press conference, said among other things the contract "usurps the power of the Gaming Control Board's to regulate expanded gaming."

"We review approximately 5,000 contracts a year, and while most are approved, we not rubber stamp any one of them," Kane said, as cameras clicked away as she read her statement.

Amy Worden and Angela Couloumbis @ 12:27 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 1:59 PM

The state Senate voted unanimously today 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.”

Angela Couloumbis @ 1:59 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 1:49 PM

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.”

Angela Couloumbis @ 1:49 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Tuesday, February 12, 2013, 8:49 AM

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.

Amy Worden @ 8:49 AM  Permalink | 0
About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based right in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.



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