HARRISBURG (AP) – The PA Legislature is rushing to wrap up its work on what is expected to be its last voting day of the two-year legislative session. Bills on the move could include legislation to reform Pennsylvania’s two big public pension plans and to temporarily extend a mandate that casinos pay tens of millions of dollars to host communities. Lawmakers expect to work late into the night as they make one final try to pass a slew of bills. Other bills on tap include a package to fight opioid addiction and to make it easier for gun owners and groups including the National Rifle Association to sue municipalities over their firearms ordinances.
HARRISBURG – A measure to reinstate Pennsylvania-born adult adoptees’ rights to access their original birth certificates is on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. Currently, adoptees may petition the courts for a copy of their original birth records; however, that request may be denied by a judge. House Bill 162 would reinstate the right of adult adoptees to apply for and receive a copy of their original birth certificate. To address privacy concerns, the bill was amended to allow birth parents to redact their names. Birth parents who choose not to redact their names can submit a contact preference form to indicate whether or not they wish to be contacted. Adoptees will be eligible to apply for a copy of their original birth certificates one year after the bill is signed into law.
HARRISBURG – Legislation to ensure the independence of the Office of state Inspector General is on its way to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk. House Bill 1618, sponsored by Lancaster County Rep. Mindy Fee, would place the office of Inspector General in statute, and would require Senate confirmation of any individual nominated for the office. Fee said the bill continues the bipartisan spirit of cooperation in rooting out wasteful practices in state government.
HARRISBURG – Two dozen of the most egregious commercial toll violators each owe the PA Turnpike Commission more than $20,000 in unpaid tolls and violations, according to a list released by Turnpike officials. All told, the trucking firms have collectively ignored more than 19,000 violation notices and owe over $1.5 million. Of the top commercial violators, ten companies are from New Jersey and eight are from Pennsylvania. The violations occur when vehicles drive through EZPass lanes and don’t have an electronic toll-paying device attached or don’t have enough money in their EZPass account to cover the tolls. CLICK HERE to see the list of violators.
HARRISBURG (AP) – A trial has been delayed for former Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed, who is charged with stealing historic artifacts from the city. Reed had been scheduled to go to trial on Monday. The state attorney general’s office says a pre-trial conference will be held that day instead. Reed had been charged in July 2015 with nearly 500 counts. In May, a judge threw out hundreds of charges saying they were too old to prosecute. Reed now faces 114 charges. Investigators allegedly found scores of city-owned artifacts in Reed’s home or a separate storage facility. Prosecutors have said Reed also tried to sell antique firearms on consignment.
LANCASTER – As you go throughout your day, remember our morning announcer Mike Stike in your prayers. Mike is recuperating after some surgery. If you would like to send him a get well card, you can send it to us here at WDAC, P.O. Box 3022, Lancaster, PA 17604. We will see that he gets them.
HARRISBURG (AP) – A public pension reform bill approved in a party-line committee vote Tuesday night goes next to up-or-down votes in the PA House and Senate. The bill would reform traditional pension benefits for newly hired state government and public school employees and add plan options that rely on a 401(k)-style benefit. The changes would not yield any short-term savings for the state and school districts, but supporters say it will shield them from spikes in pension obligations in the fut
HARRISBURG (AP) – The PA Senate approved legislation to temporarily reinstate a mandate that casinos pay millions of dollars to host communities, after it was struck down by the state’s highest court. The bill would mandate a different formula to create the same structure that yielded some $140 million in the last fiscal year, but only until May 1. Senate officials say the next seven months will give lawmakers time to work on a permanent solution. The money has gone to local government budgets, institutions, and projects in Philadelphia and 11 counties. The court ruled last month that the previous local assessment was unconstitutional because it treated the state’s casinos unequally, and imposed a heavier burden on lower-performing casinos.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Officials are making progress on rules to govern PA‘s new medical marijuana program. The Department of Health posted draft regulations for dispensaries. They would prohibit facilities within 1,000 feet of schools or day care centers and require visitors to be notified they’re under constant video surveillance. Employees would be required to be at least 18 years old. The grower and processor regulations will be published online and in the Pennsylvania Bulletin this weekend. They’ll deal with tracking the product, fee amounts, and tax reporting rules. The state is giving people until Nov. 4 to provide their feedback.
MANHEIM TOWNSHIP – A twin engine plane landed safely at Lancaster Airport yesterday morning despite damage to its landing gear after it hit a deer during takeoff from a suburban Philadelphia airport. The pilot was able to make a hard landing of the Beechcraft BE58 in Lancaster at 8:35 a.m. after takeoff from Wings Field in Blue Bell. Minor damage to the underside and propellers was reported. The plane owned by Aero-Tech Services was taking three passengers to Pittsburgh for business. The four people aboard were uninjured.