HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Family Council, the state’s largest pro-family advocacy organization, called on PA legislators to reject proposed legislation that would undermine the tolerance and religious freedom for which this Commonwealth is known and was founded. Ironically named the “Fairness Act,” would empower government to unfairly punish Pennsylvanians who continue hold that marriage is the special and sacred union of one man and one woman. Michael Geer, President of the PA Family Council, said Pennsylvania is a place where people care for one another, It’s who we are. It’s what we do. The thousands of quality, faith-based charities, ministries, businesses, schools, and individuals across Pennsylvania that serve people in need are a great example of that. He added that the ‘Fairness Act’ would put this all at risk by punishing those who choose not to embrace or promote actions or events that violate their beliefs.
WASHINGTON, DC (AP) – Democrat U.S. Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware has become the 30th senator to back the Iran nuclear deal. Carper’s announcement today puts Senate Democrats closer to two crucial vote totals. Thirty-four votes are needed to uphold a presidential veto of a resolution disapproving of the agreement. Forty-one votes would allow Democrats to block the resolution from passing in the first place next month. Democrat PA Sen. Bob Casey has not yet decide on how he will yet vote on the Iranian nuclear deal.
LANCASTER – Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight looks at this week’s attempt by House Republicans to end a state budget standoff. The GOP lawmakers tried to override the governor’s veto line by line, but needed some Democrat votes to succeed. No Democrats voted for the override. Commonwealth Foundation President and CEO Matthew Brouillette doesn’t understand the governor’s action of a total budget veto of a budget proposal when there was considerable agreement between both sides. He says while GOP lawmakers have been negotiating, Gov. Wolf has not been compromising. Brouillette also discusses the need for public pension reform in Pennsylvania. Hear more from Commonwealth Foundation President and CEO Matthew Brouillette on Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight at 12:30 on WDAC and 2 p.m. on 1075Alive.fm. You can listen to the program online right now at wdac.com under our blog.
CARROLL TOWNSHIP – An area GOP state representative announced he is the running for a state Senate seat. Rep. Mike Regan officially announced that he will be a candidate for State Senate District 31 in 2016. That seat is currently held by Sen. Pat Vance. Elected to the state House in 2012, Regan represents portions of Cumberland and York Counties in the House, where he has led on reform and has worked to protect taxpayers and families. His legislation to increase penalties for luring a child was signed into law last session. He also authored legislation, which has passed the House, to deny welfare benefits to persons convicted of drug distribution crimes and non-compliant Megan’s Law registrants. Sen. Vance has not announced whether she will run again for another term.
HARRISBURG – Legislation has been proposed to eliminate “sanctuary cities” in Pennsylvania. Sen. Rich Alloway of York & Adams Counties sponsored the measure to encourage municipalities to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in efforts to apprehend persons of interest. “Sanctuary cities” are municipalities where officials deliberately ignore requests from the federal government to detain illegal immigrants and do not report the individuals to the Department of Homeland Security for deportation. Under Alloway’s bill, governing bodies such as counties or municipalities would be prohibited from adopting rules or ordinances that contradict federal immigration policy. Municipalities that do not enforce immigration policy would not be eligible for state grants for law enforcement purposes and could be sued for negligence for releasing an individual with a detainer that subsequently committed another crime. Alloway introduced his bill after the issue gained national attention when Kathryn Steinle was shot by Francisco Sanchez, an illegal immigrant from Mexico with seven felony convictions who has been deported five times, but due to the city of San Francisco’s policy not to report Sanchez’s incarceration to the appropriate federal agency, he was promptly released and Kathryn was killed.
EAST LAMPETER/DOVER TOWNSHIP – Police have released photos of suspects involved in two incidents in our area. Lancaster County authorities are searching for a black male suspect wearing a green T-shirt and black shorts who attempted on July 25th to steal an air conditioner out of the Wal-Mart in East Lampeter Township, Lancaster County without paying. The suspect was confronted by loss prevention and fled in a small blue car. Anyone with information on the identity or the whereabouts of the suspect is asked to contact East Lampeter Township Police at 717-291-4676. York County officials are trying to identify two individuals who are persons of interest in an incident that occurred in Dover Township. If you can identify them, contact Northern York County Regional Police at 717-292-3647.
Commonwealth Foundation President Matt Brouillette Discusses PA Budget Impasse & Public Pension Reform
Kori Pennypacker & Ryan Hess With Bible2School
HARRISBURG – State officials launched Pennsylvania’s online voter registration system. The online registration application is now available for use by eligible citizens at www.register.votesPA.com. Joined by Secretary of State Pedro Cortes, Gov. Tom Wolf said online voter registration is about making the voting experience more convenient and accessible. He added that the online voter registration system is secure, improves accuracy, and will reduce costs for counties. The new site, available in English or Spanish, also allows currently registered voters to more easily make updates to their voter record, such as a change of name, address or party affiliation. Additionally, registered voters may use the new site to request assistance at the polling place. The online system is more secure for applicants because the form will be transmitted directly to the proper county voter registration office for processing. In contrast, a traditional paper application containing personal information might pass through several hands before the registration is complete.
HARRISBURG – Two months into a budget stalemate, Senate Republicans say they are receiving strong support for their opposition to Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed tax increases. As Senate Republicans conduct tele-town hall meetings across the Commonwealth, they also conduct polls to help them determine how their constituents feel about pending legislation. At his most recent tele-town hall meeting, Lancaster County Sen. Ryan Aument said his constituents made their voices heard. His constituents overwhelmingly urged him not to support a budget that includes a $4.7 billion increase in taxes which include higher state sales and personal income taxes. Constituents told Aument to support public pension reform which currently has a whopping $58 billion dollar unfunded liability and that legislators and new public sector hires need to be placed into 401(k) style retirement plans. Aument said polls also show strong support for legislation eliminating property taxes in the state.