HARRISBURG - Lebanon County Sen. Mike Folmer and Montgomery County Sen. Daylin Leach held a press conference in the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg to continue efforts to pass medical cannabis legislation. Folmer says it’s a matter of saving lives. The measure has 25 co-sponsors with bipartisan support: 11 Republicans and 14 Democrats. Senate Bill 3 would allow patients who have a recommendation from their doctor to purchase and use medical cannabis from centers licensed by a to-be-created State Board of Medical Cannabis Licensing. The entire process would be regulated by licensing including medical cannabis growers, processors, and dispensers. Smoking would be prohibited. Folmer said his biggest fear is getting a phone call from a mom saying their child has passed away because Pennsylvania did not allow them access to this medication. The bill has been referred to the Senate State Government Committee, in which Folmer serves as Chairman.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Gov. Tom Wolf is vowing to sign a medical marijuana bill if it reaches his desk. He offered his support to parents of children who are suffering daily from debilitating seizures during a visit to Wolf’s Capitol offices after a news conference in which lawmakers announced they would reintroduce medical cannabis legislation. That bill was opposed by then-Gov. Tom Corbett.
HARRISBURG (AP) – PA House Majority Leader Dave Reed says property tax reform, public pensions, and liquor privatization need to be in the mix as budget talks get underway with the state’s Democrat governor. The lawmaker from Indiana County commented that the education debate should focus on whether there’s enough funding and how it’s distributed, whether there’s a better alternative to school property taxes, lowering pension costs, and changing how schools operate. Reed also hopes the House will approve a medical marijuana bill and said a grand jury may have gone too far in recommending changes to the state law preventing journalists from being compelled to reveal confidential sources.
HARRISBURG – Legislation will be reintroduced this legislative session to give adult adoptees the authority to access their original birth certificate without redactions. Rep. Kerry Benninghoff of Centre & Mifflin Counties says adoptees in Pennsylvania are being denied the opportunity to discover a piece of their identity. Original birth certificates are not restricted to anyone else, including children in foster care. He says it’s time to remove this barrier, which keeps adoptees from rightful access to their information. Last session, legislation passed unanimously in the House and was approved by the Senate Aging and Youth Committee. The session expired before the legislation was taken up by the full Senate. Benninghoff added that government should not be permitted to deny an adult the right to their own personal history.
MANOR TOWNSHIP – A Lancaster County man was arrested for the sexual assault of a child. 57-year-old David Morrison of Conestoga faces numerous charges after a three month investigation by Manor Township and Southern Regional Police Departments. The crimes occurred between 2003 and 2008. Morrison was released from Lancaster County Prison after posting $75,000 bail.
MANHEIM TOWNSHIP – A Lancaster County man is being charged with a series of burglaries and thefts in three different townships. Between September 20 and 24, 2014, officers from Manheim Township and East Hempfield Township received numerous reports of residential burglaries and thefts from vehicles in the East Petersburg area. Entry was made through force and through unlocked doors. A multi-jurisdictional investigation was conducted, during which detectives found that 40-year-old Jason Stewart of East Petersburg had sold some of the stolen items at a local buy and sell shop. On September 24, Stewart was taken into custody during an attempted burglary in West Hempfield Township. At that time, he was committed to Lancaster County Prison, where he remains.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Philadelphia region was spared the brunt of a massive coastal storm that is shutting down much of New England. The National Weather Service projects snow fall totals for the region of 3-5 inches, down from forecasts of a foot or more. Still, all schools and city offices in Philadelphia remained closed. Non-essential state workers in the city were told to come into work two hours late. Regional commuter rail was operating on a Saturday schedule. Gov. Tom Wolf declared a state of emergency and Philadelphia’s mayor declared a snow emergency, ordering vehicles removed from snow emergency routes. The National Guard activated 150 guardsmen. More than 80% of flights in and out of Philadelphia International Airport today have been canceled.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – State transportation officials are warning drivers that restrictions may be imposed during the winter storm. Pennsylvania Turnpike officials say speeds may be reduced to 45 mph between the Harrisburg East exchange and the Delaware River bridge and on the Northeast Extension, and commercial vehicles may be restricted. Road crews are out in the region this morning. Main roads are in good shape, but drive carefully on secondary and back roads. Many schools are delaying the opening of classes today. WDAC’s Winter Watch comes around 15 and 45 minutes past the hour. You can see a complete list of weather related announcements at wdac.com.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Airlines operating at Philadelphia International Airport have canceled most flights today, but there are no plans to close the airport. Officials will be distributing pillows, blankets, bottled water, snacks and kits containing personal care items to stranded passengers. And there will be some cots available in designated sleeping zones. Airports from Washington, north into New England are impacted by the snow. Check with your airline if you are flying today.
WASHINGTON, DC (AP) – Amtrak will suspend rail service in New England and modify service between New York and Washington today due to snowy conditions. The Acela Express and Northeast Regional service between New York and Boston will be suspended today. Other rail lines running between New York City and Albany, New York; Brunswick, Maine and Boston; Washington and St. Albans, Vermont; and New Haven, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts are also suspended. Amtrak said passengers should expect reduced frequency in service.