Maryland’s Governor Back To Work

ANNAPOLIS, MD (AP) – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is out of the hospital and back at work after his first round of chemotherapy for non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Hogan posted messages on social media saying, “It feels great to be back in Annapolis!” He spent yesterday catching up with staff and working. The first-term Republican governor spent five days at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore receiving treatment. He said the disease was at an advanced stage, but his prognosis was good.

GOV. LARRY HOGAN

             GOV. LARRY HOGAN

Record Number Of Bald Eagle Nests In PA

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania has a record number of bald eagle nests. So far this year, 277 bald-eagle nests have been documented with nesting eagles present in at least 58 of the state’s 67 counties. That shatters the 2014 preliminary number of 254 nests, which also was an all-time high. And more nests remain to be counted as the year goes on. Of the nests reported so far this year, 20 are new, which could mean they were built and used for the first time this year or if they existed previously, they were reported for the first time this year. The Game Commission urges all eagle nests be reported. The easiest way to report a nest is to contact the Game Commission through its public comments email address: pgccomments@pa.gov and use the words “Eagle Nest Information” in the subject field. Reports also can be phoned in to a Game Commission Region Office or the Harrisburg headquarters. The Game Commission‘s Eagle Cam went offline Thursday after watching two adults hatch two eggs, and both chicks growing large enough to fledge in June. More than 1.4 million people worldwide watched the live video stream from the nest near Hanover, York County.

Busy Time On The PA Turnpike

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission expects about 2.8 million vehicles to be traveling on the toll road over the Independence Day holiday. That figure is up from the 2.7 million vehicles last year. The heaviest traveled day is expected to be today with nearly 700,000 vehicles predicted to be on the Turnpike. With that volume of traffic expected on the roadway, motorists need to stay alert and be aware of distracted drivers over the holiday. In the event of emergency-lane closures, the Turnpike will activate its Variable Message Signs and Highway Advisory Radio to alert motorists. As the holiday traffic increases, so will the patrols by the State Police, which plans to have troopers out enforcing speed limit and no-texting laws.

Be Safe With Fireworks

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvanians are being reminded to stay safe and follow state law when enjoying fireworks displays. State law allows consumers to use only small “novelty” fireworks, such as sparklers and trick noise makers. These fireworks can be sold by retail establishments with valid permits. State law prohibits the use and sale of most fireworks, except to certain organizations for public displays, and then only after proper bonding, permits, registration, and inspection requirements have been met. Items such as Roman candles, cherry bombs, and M-80s are illegal in Pennsylvania. Some municipalities even ban the use of sparklers, so check your local laws before attempting to buy or use sparklers. For more information on Pennsylvania laws regarding fireworks, visit the State Police web site at www.psp.pa.gov, and click on “Public Safety” at the top of the page. The National Council on Fireworks Safety says fireworks should only be used outdoors away from structures and automobiles; always have water ready; and never attempt to relight a “dud” firework. Sparklers should only be used close adult supervision; stay at least six feet from others while using sparklers; never hold or light more than one sparkler at a time; and be sure to drop[ the spent sparkler directly into a bucket of water as the wire stays hot for some time.

SPOTLIGHT: JULY 4, 2015

Constitutional Attorney Randall Wenger Examines The Impact On The U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision On Marriage

Independence Law Center, 23 N. Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101

717-657-4990

www.independencelawcenter.org

Try Again On PA Budget Monday

HARRISBURG (AP) – A state budget meeting between Gov. Tom Wolf and legislative leaders ended less than a half-hour after it began. The governor met behind closed doors with senior lawmakers on Wednesday to chart a direction for talks now that he’s vetoed a Republican-crafted spending plan. The two sides agreed to have staff aides meet again on Monday. Wolf told attendees that he’s still considering the liquor privatization and public-sector pension reform bills that are on his desk. Wolf hasn’t said whether he’ll veto them, too.

GOV. TOM WOLF

                      GOV. TOM WOLF

Lancaster County Lawmaker Disappointed At Gov’s Budget Veto

HARRISBURG – House and Senate Republicans are expressing disappointment following the governor’s veto of an on-time budget bill. The measure provided increased funding for education and other key services and programs without higher taxes. Sen, Ryan Aument of Lancaster County said he was proud of the budget passed by the General Assembly. The lawmaker added the budget presented to the governor included a 3.6% increase in spending. He said most families he’s talked to would be incredibly satisfied if they saw a 3.6% increase in their income, so why not the governor? The Wolf plan proposed a 16% increase in state spending. Aument said that when the governor’s plan came up for a vote in the state House, it received zero votes.

SEN. RYAN AUMENT

SEN. RYAN AUMENT

PA’s 2014-15 Tax Collections Exceed Projections

HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania’s tax collections for the just-ended fiscal year exceeded projections by $412.2 million. The state Revenue Department said General Fund tax revenue totaled $30.6 billion or 1.4% above estimates. Sales and personal income taxes exceeded projections only slightly. Sales-tax collections totaled $9.5 billion were 0.2% more than anticipated and personal income taxes generated $12.1 billion, or 0.6% above estimates. Corporation taxes totaled $5.1 billion, which is $240 million or 4.9% ahead of projections. Inheritance taxes generated $1 billion, exceeding estimates by 7.3%, while the realty transfer tax collections totaled $413.8 million, lagging projections by 7.5%.

Pennsylvania AG Sues Operator Of 14 Nursing Homes

HARRISBURG – PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane is suing the operator of 36 nursing homes in the state, saying their staff failed to meet residents’ most basic human needs. The court complaint filed Wednesday encouraged others with complaints about Golden Living facilities to contact her office. The complaint names 14 Golden Living Centers including those in Harrisburg, Camp Hill, Gettysburg, and Pottsville. A Golden Living spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond. The lawsuit says the Golden Living facilities are enormously profitable and its parent companies were unjustly enriched. It’s asking the court for a settlement equal to all the money they received from the 14 centers.

Expanded Fireworks Proposed For PA

HARRISBURG – Legislation is being proposed that would lift the ban on the sale of consumer fireworks, known as “Class C” fireworks, and allow businesses legally operating in the state to sell consumer fireworks, such as bottle rockets, Roman candles, and mortars, to Pennsylvania residents. Currently, the sale of novelty fireworks, such as sparklers and party poppers, is legal to Pennsylvania residents. Consumer fireworks can only legally be purchased by non-residents. Bill sponsor, Beaver County Sen. Elder Vogel says Pennsylvanians should be able to purchase such fireworks in the state. The proposal would generate additional revenue for the Commonwealth. In addition to the state’s current 6% sales tax, the measure would also authorize an additional excise tax on the sale, which is to be directed to fund fire programs and EMS providers.

SEN. ELDER VOGEL

SEN. ELDER VOGEL