HARRISBURG – PA Senate Republican leaders are disappointed in Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of a liquor privatization bill. Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said Wolf chose the status quo and sided with powerful special interests over Pennsylvania consumers. The plan listened to the wants of consumers, added $220 million to state revenues, and brought the Commonwealth in line with 48 other states. They added it’s unfortunate that Gov. Wolf has rejected moving Pennsylvania into the 21st Century when it comes to the sale of wine and spirits. The two remain committed that Pennsylvania should not be in the business of selling liquor. As negotiations with the Governor move forward, liquor discussions will continue to be a part of the debate.
HARRISBURG – The PA Senate passed a bill that would speed testing of DNA evidence stemming from sexual assaults. House Bill 272 requires the state Health Department to designate laboratories approved to receive and test such evidence and requires authorities to submit evidence within 15 days to an approved lab, which would complete testing within six months. The measure also mandates reports on testing backlogs and permits local authorities to upload testing results into databases to help solve sexual assault cases. It requires notifications to victims or surviving family members when DNA testing has been completed. The bill is now on the governor’s desk for his signature.
HARRISBURG – Two pieces of legislation aimed at reducing the number of DUI-related accidents in Pennsylvania has been introduced. House Bill 1441 would create the Pennsylvania Habitual DUI Offender Registry and would require an individual convicted of five or more DUIs, within 20 years prior to enactment, to register. It would also apply to convictions for operating a watercraft under the influence. The registry would be modeled after one in the state of Ohio. In addition, House Bill 1439 would create the Persons Not to Consume Alcohol Database. Under the direction of the state Liquor Control Board, the database would be designed to be used by state liquor store employees to deny habitual DUI offenders, upon presenting ID, the purchase of alcohol. The database would include names listed on the habitual DUI registry as well as individuals who would apply to be self-excluded from purchasing alcohol from Pennsylvania state stores.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering changes to the state’s Right-to-Know Law to make it harder for inmates to seek records and to let governments charge more for commercial requests. A set of changes made it out of a state Senate committee this week, and the sponsor says he’s hopeful about getting a floor vote this year. The bill would revamp the time frame in which appeals are heard by the Office of Open Records and would formalize the office’s authority to privately examine disputed records as part of its appeals process. The bill also would affect Pennsylvania’s four state-related universities: Penn State, Temple, Pitt, and Lincoln. It would give people more information about salaries paid to university employees and provide financial records in search-able online databases.
EAST LAMPETER TOWNSHIP – Police in Lancaster County are asking for the public’s help in identifying two people connected to a theft of a customer’s white Apple iPhone with a black case at the McDonalds at the East Towne Mall around 1:48 p.m. Sunday, June 28th. One is described as a heavyset white female wearing a light blue top and blue jeans. The second is a white male, described as balding with a beard, wearing a blue T-shirt and shorts, who was with the woman and is a person of interest. Pictures of both individuals can be seen below. Anyone with information on the identity of these individuals is asked to contact East Lampeter Township Police at 717-291-4676.
DILLSBURG (AP) – The victims of an apparent murder-suicide at a York County pub have been identified. It happened just before 9 p.m. Thursday at Flapjack’s Restaurant and Pub in Dillsburg. Authorities say 31-year-old Arthur Guise of Dillsburg came onto the deck of the pub and shot 33-year-old Sharon Williams of Mount Holly Springs, before taking his life. York County Coroner Pam Gay said her office was told that Williams was a former girlfriend of Guise. About 50 people were on the deck at the time of the shooting.
HARRISBURG – In light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on same sex marriage, Constitutional Attorney Randall Wenger encouraged Christians to stand firm in the long run and remain hopeful even though there will be more challenges facing those who hold to the view of marriage as only between one man and one woman.He says Supreme Court decision can be changed or reversed, but that takes time to accomplish. Wenger will discuss the impact of the high court’s decision 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.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed legislation to privatize the state store system. Wolf said selling off the liquor system isn’t a good business decision and warned the plan would have led to higher prices. The decision comes after the Democrat also vetoed the primary budget bill. Wolf also vetoed a budget-related public schools bill that contained a new formula to distribute state aid to districts. The governor says it didn’t reversed deep cuts in school funding. He also vetoed another key budget-related bill that guided how money is spent. The governor hasn’t announced whether he’ll sign a bill that would make changes the two large public-sector pension plans for teachers and state workers.
HARRISBURG – The PA House passed legislation that will help families facing the financial challenge of caring for individuals with disabilities. House Bill 1319 would create a tax-free savings account to pay for qualified expenses associated with aiding an individual with disabilities, including transportation and education. These savings accounts are commonly referred to as ABLE savings accounts. The legislation is intended to supplement, not supplant, benefits provided to individuals with disabilities and provide a mechanism for their families to prepare for their long-term care. It would allow for an account to be established that is similar to a PA 529 account used for college savings, and would follow all of the requirements and regulations of a traditional 529-qualified tuition program account. The bill now moves to the state Senate for consideration.
HARRISBURG (AP) – A planned three-month closure of a key central Pennsylvania highway next year is drawing flak from local businesses. Randy Rohrer, owner of a Susquehanna River boatyard along U.S. Route 11/15 in Marysville, said that the closure from May through July 2016 will hurt his business during a busy season. PennDOT says the work is needed to prevent debris from falling from the rock slopes cut out of a mountain during the 1930s. The project will require the use of giant cranes that won’t leave room for traffic. The work will be done when the days are long so contractors can work longer. Although the work site is relatively small, its location along the river will require lengthy detours.