Lawmaker To Examine Welfare In PA

HARRISBURG – A York County lawmaker says he plans to take a closer look at Pennsylvania’s public welfare system through public hearings later this fall. Responding to a question during a recent telephone town hall meeting, the Chairman of the Senate Intergovermental Operations Committee, York County Sen. Scott Wagner says he plans to schedule at least one public hearing withing the next 60 days on the distribution of welfare benefits in Pennsylvania. Wagner says he continues to receive reports from constituents about individuals who abuse the welfare system.

SEN. SCOTT WAGNER

SEN. SCOTT WAGNER

 

Reaction To Scranton Pension Audit

HARRISBURG – York County Rep. Seth Grove commented on state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s report on the Scranton municipal pension system, stating that it shows the need for pension reform. In the report, DePasquale stated that based on a recent audit and current estimates, the city’s pension funds could run out of money in less than three to five years and could force Scranton into bankruptcy. Furthermore, the report shows that over a five-year period, the city’s pension payment obligations nearly tripled, from $3.3 million in 2008 to $9.3 million in 2013. Grove said the need is now to reform public pension systems before it is too late. Grove authored a pension reform measure – House Bill 1581. If signed into law, public safety employees hired in townships and boroughs across the state, with the exception of Philadelphia, would be entered into a hybrid benefit system combining the elements of defined contribution and defined benefit plans. Current employees would maintain their existing retirement benefits; however, those benefits would be removed from collective bargaining. The bill is under consideration by the House Local Government Committee. Grove hopes lawmakers will consider the bill when they return to session.

REP. SETH GROVE

REP. SETH GROVE

Israel, Hamas & Prophecy Spotlighted

LANCASTER – The tension between Israel and Gaza continues with Hamas sending airstrikes against Israel. Dr. Jim Showers is Executive Director of The Friends of Israel, a Christian organization bringing biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah while fostering solidarity with the Jewish people. He talked about tension in that region and the fact that Hamas is a terrorist organization wanting to annihilate Israel. Showers said it is hard for Israel to enter into a peace agreement with somebody who exists to see you destroyed and annihilated. He encouraged people to follow the biblical instruction in Psalm 122:6 to pray for the peace of Israel. The Friends of Israel will be holding a prophecy conference September 5-9 at the Eden Resortin Lancaster. To find out more go to www.foi.org. You can hear more from Dr. Jim Showers on Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight at 12:30 on WDAC and at 2 p.m. on 1075Alive.fm. You can listen to the program online by CLICKING HERE.

DR. JIM SHOWERS

DR. JIM SHOWERS

 

Arrest In Lancaster Shots Fired Incident

LANCASTER – Lancaster Police arrested a man after responding to a shots fired call early Thursday morning in the 300 block of Beaver Street. Authorities determined there was a domestic disturbance outside where a man fired at least two shots from a handgun and the male forced a female into a house. Officers surrounded the house and saw a male inside holding a large knife. The man refused repeated commands to exit the residence. Officers entered the house and successfully deployed a taser in order to take 43-year-old Ryan Singh into custody. He was identified as the man who fired the gun. The female was not hurt. The investigation into how Singh obtained a gun is ongoing. Singh is not legally permitted to possess a firearm, as he has a prior felony conviction. Singh faces several charges and is being held in Lancaster County Prison on $300,000 bail.

RYAN SINGH

               RYAN SINGH

Quilt Camp Volunteers Needed

MOUNT JOY – Volunteers are needed for the first ever Quilt Camp held at the Lancaster County Global Aid Network Distribution Center. The Quilt Camp is September 8-12 with hours Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m.till 2:45 p.m. You will need to pack a lunch. Persons without sewing experience are also needed to help with cutting fabric and other tasks.The Distribution Center is located at 1506 Quarry Road in Mount Joy. For more information or if you plan to attend, call 717-285-4220 or e-mailblankets@gainusa.org.

GLOBALAID

Feds Approve Healthy Pennsylvania Plan

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania has secured agreement with the federal government to implement the portion of his Healthy Pennsylvania plan that will improve and bring financial stability to the state’s Medicaid program. Gov. Tom Corbett says the state now can increase access to quality, affordable health care through the private insurance market. Pennsylvania is the 27th state to accept Medicaid expansion money under the federal health care law. The governor had initially refused to accept the money without securing changes to give the coverage some characteristics of private insurance. For more information, visit www.healthypa.com.

GOV. TOM CORBETT

     GOV. TOM CORBETT

 

Protection For Variable Electric Rate Customers

HARRISBURG – Legislation designed to protect customers with variable rate electric contracts is on the calendar to be considered by the PA House when they return to session in Harrisburg. House Bill 2104 was proposed in response to crippling price spikes during last winter’s polar vortex weather system. Bill sponsor, Montgomery County Rep. Bob Godshall said consumers must be protected from profiteering by companies which are looking to capitalize on the weather. The measure limits electric rate increases for customers with variable rate to no more than 30% per billing cycle and requires switching requests to be completed within five business days. The bill also requires all electric supplier contracts to contain certain language that clearly explains the contract terms, and electric suppliers must provide customers with a copy of their contract.

REP. BOB GODSHALL

REP. BOB GODSHALL

Harrisburg City Treasurer Resigns

HARRISBURG (AP) – Harrisburg City Treasurer John Campbell is stepping down due to theft charges related to his previous job. Campbell resigned Thursday after being charged with stealing from the Historic Harrisburg Association. He declined to comment on allegations he took about $8,400 for personal use. However, Campbell denied any wrongdoing as the city’s treasurer. He says he welcomes the mayor’s call for an independent audit of that agency. A spokeswoman for Mayor Eric Papenfuse says City Council will advertise immediately for a new treasurer.

JOHN CAMPBELL

                  JOHN CAMPBELL

Lancaster Roundtable On Health Initiative

LANCASTER – Congressman Joe Pitts will host a roundtable dialogue in Lancaster today as part of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s 21stCentury Cures initiative. The event will feature leading national, regional, and local health care innovators from the government, private, and public sectors. 21stCentury Cures is a bipartisan effort to pave the way for new medical innovation. As Chairman of the Health Subcommittee, Congressman Pitts has convened hearings looking into subjects such as drug innovation, the role of incentives, modernizing clinical trials, new communications technology, and barriers to communication. Pennsylvania is home to a number of cutting edge medical companies and leading research hospitals. Pitts is hoping that their insight will contribute to the committee’s effort to encourage new cures and therapies that improve patients’ lives. It will take place at 1:30 p.m.at the Lancaster Farm and Home Center at 1383 Arcadia Road.

REP. JOE PITTS

    REP. JOE PITTS