HARRISBURG - Senate Democrats outlined their liquor modernization plan a day
after the House of Representatives passed what Senator Brewster calls "an
ill-conceived" privatization plan. They feel we have a valued asset in our
wine-and-spirits stores, and they can be a tremendous resource for taxpayers
for years to come if we modernize and adapt. Allegheny County Sen. Jim
Brewster says The last thing we should do is sell off an asset for a below-market
price in an attempt to serve an ideological impulse.
Sen. Brewster says his bill would improve the selection and prices at state stores,
allow them toj stay open longer and on Sundays, and allow the Liquor Control
Board to sell beer and wine in grocery stores.
He said the modernization plan produced by Senate Democrats has the potential to produce an extra $150-200 million annually.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Gov. Tom Wolf says he wants to allow more Pennsylvania seniors to obtain health care in their home instead of a nursing facility. In an event today at the AARP office in Philadelphia, Wolf told about 30 people that his upcoming budget would expand home- and community-based long term care for an additional 5,500 people. The Democrat says the proposal would make long-term care for seniors more convenient and personal. Wolf says avoiding nursing-home care for those people would save taxpayers $162 million a year. Wolf also says he wants to make it easier for patients eligible for home health care to have their homes modified to make them more accessible. The new governor is set to unveil his first state budget plan on Tuesday.
LANCASTER – The son of evangelist Billy Graham is speaking out on issues impacting our nation and world today. Franklin Graham tells us times at present are far different than the days of his 96-year-old father. Graham said his father spoke out about the threat of communism. He said he believes his father would be speaking about the issues of today and warning the church about the threat of Islam, which is the greatest threat to the Church of Jesus Christ in this country and around the world. He encouraged Christians to run for local, state, and federal office and take a solid stand on moral issues impacting our nation. However, Graham says his hope is not in politicians, but on Christ Jesus. Franklin Graham will be the guest on Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight at 12:30 on WDAC and 2 p.m. on 1075Alive.fm. You can listen to Franklin Graham’s interview online right now at wdac.com under our blog.
LANCASTER TOWNSHIP – More information was released regarding a Lancaster County death investigation. Police responded to a home in the 500 block of S. West End Avenue in Lancaster Township around 5 p.m. Thursday. Officers learned a family member had gone to the home to check on the occupants who had not been seen for at least two weeks. The family member entered the home using a key and found both occupants deceased. Preliminary investigation indicates both men lived in the home alone. The heating system was not running, there was no running water, and a gas oven was turned on, heating part of the home. There were no obvious signs of foul play. Both victims, who were unidentified, were turned over to the county coroner who will determine the cause of death.
HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf says his administration has identified $109 million in projected cost savings and efficiencies within the first two weeks of the creation of the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Modernization, and Efficiency or GO-TIME. Wolf is also confident that given this progress, the office will exceed the $150 million mark mandated by his executive order for fiscal year 2015-16. The $109 million in projected savings will be achieved through the application of more efficient procurement processes, modernizing technology used to manage public works projects, and streamlining and consolidating administrative functions across departments.
HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by Lebanon County Rep. Mauree Gingrich to provide work experience for high school students with disabilities, received unanimous support in the House Labor and Industry Committee. Gingrich, who serves as Committee Chairman, welcomed several students with disabilities and members of the “I Want to Work Campaign,” a self-advocacy campaign that helps young people with disabilities get jobs and internships while in high school. Under House Bill 400, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation would facilitate the process of job and career development between local education agencies and employers to ensure the successful transition of high school students with disabilities into competitive, integrated employment. It would require the OVR to prepare the students for internships, on-the-job training, and full and part-time employment in an integrated work environment. It would also provide placement assistance and job coaching. House Bill 400 now goes to the full House for consideration.
HARRISBURG – To recognize March as National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, state officials are promoting resources intended to help individuals with a gambling addiction. To seek confidential help for yourself or a loved one, visit www.paproblemgambling.com or call 1-877-565-2112 or 1-800-848-1880. The warning signs of a gambling addiction can include denying there is a problem; lying about where the money is going; borrowing money to gamble or pay off debts; missing work to gamble; and/or feeling powerless to stop gambling. In 2014, the PA Gambling Helpline received over 17,000 calls from men and women ranging in age from teens to older adults. The PA Gaming Control Board offers those with a gambling problem a way to keep themselves out of PA casinos through voluntary self-exclusion. A person wishing to be placed on the Self-Exclusion List can obtain more details at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov or calling 717-346-8300. To date, more than 8,000 individuals have requested to be placed on the Self-Exclusion List.
ANNAPOLIS, MD (AP) – Eighteen-year-old active duty service members from Maryland can vote, smoke, and fight for their country, but they can’t have a drink. Legislation is being proposed that would allow active duty service members who are at least 18-years-old to be served beer and wine. The service member would be required to show their armed forces identification at the bar or restaurant where they are being served. The bill is scheduled for a hearing today. The Washington Regional Alcohol Program opposes the bill saying that supporting troops and supporting the national minimum drinking age of21 are not mutually exclusive.
LANCASTER – Lancaster Mennonite will be acquiring Hershey Christian School in Hummelstown, Dauphin County. Headmaster Al Roth writes in the school newsletter “Connections” that LMS Superintendent, Dick Thomas visited the school and discussed with the staff the history of the merger of the schools and how the transition would unfold. Roth said the new joint venture has fantastic potential to help grow the Body of Christ as they are able to expand staff and facilities as the Lord enables. Lancaster Mennonite has four other campuses in Lancaster County.
LANCASTER TOWNSHIP – Authorities in Lancaster County are investigating the deaths of two men found in a home in the 500 block of South West End Avenue in Lancaster Township. Police responded to the scene around 5 p.m. The identities of the men have not been released and autopsies to determine the cause of death have been scheduled.