HARRISBURG (AP) – Sen. Bob Casey is in the state hammering the Republican health care bill in the U.S. Senate. Casey, speaking after a rally today at the Capitol, warned that the bill would change society radically because the country will stop taking care of people who need it most. Casey and others say Pennsylvania stands to lose more than many other states. Also against it are Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania’s hospitals, the Arc of Pennsylvania, the AARP of Pennsylvania and labor unions. Pennsylvania’s Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey helped write the bill, and says he’s likely to vote for it, in part because it puts Medicaid on a sustainable path.
LANCASTER – One of the most recognized barns in America is being rebuilt again in Lancaster County. The Star Barn was seen for years along Route 283 outside of Harrisburg until it and the ancillary structures were taken down and stored. David Abel purchased the structure and has plans to restore it in Elizabethtown, Lancaster County. He talks about the history and the biblical context of the building. The Star Barn Raising Festival is set for July 2-4 at Ironstone Farm and is open to the public. More information about the festival is available at www.thestarbarn.com or call 717-367-0100, ext. 24. Volunteers can actually help at the barn raising. If you can help in the morning, afternoon or an all day shift, please send an email to email@example.com or leave a message at 717-361-5828. David Abel talks more about the project on Saturday afternoon’s Spotlight at 12:30 on WDAC and at 2 p.m. on WBYN 107.5. You can listen to the program online right now at wdac.com under “WDAC Podcasts.”
HARRISBURG – A proposal to generate additional revenues for state government by using targeted tax cuts to spur business growth was unveiled by state Cumberland County Rep. Greg Rothman. His House Bill 1584 would reduce Pennsylvania’s Corporate Net Income Tax rate from 9.99 to 5.99% beginning in 2018. Pennsylvania’s CNI tax rate currently is one of the highest in the nation. Rothman said his bill would make Pennsylvania economically competitive by cutting the rate, mirroring the 1981 Kemp-Roth federal law that generated a historic increase in business activity and tax revenues. The bill will be assigned to a state House committee for consideration.
HARRISBURG – A bill protecting hunters who turn themselves into the state Game Commission after mistakenly taking an animal has unanimously passed the PA House. Presently, a hunter who harvests a deer or turkey of the wrong sex or who accidentally takes two animals can turn them into a wildlife conservation officer and receive a new tag, pay a small fine, and suffer no license revocation. House Bill 359 would expand the practice to include bear and elk. It does not change any of the penalties that a hunter faces for illegal out-of-season kills, except for the elimination of license revocations in those instances where the hunter self-reports and surrenders the animal. The bill helps to address situations where a hunter erroneously wanders into a wrong area, takes an out-of-season game animal, but upon learning of the honest mistake and within 24 hours, turns him or herself and the animal into the Game Commission. The bill now heads to the Senate.
HARRISBURG – PA hunters had one of their safest years on record in 2016. The number of hunting related shooting incidents statewide was the second-lowest ever, and for only the second time on record, a year passed without a single fatality related to gun handling while hunting or trapping in Pennsylvania, according to a newly released report from the state Game Commission. There were 25 hunting-related shooting incidents statewide during 2016. Only 2015 had a lower number of incidents with 23. And the only other year without a hunting-related fatality in Pennsylvania was 2012. Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said the trend of increasingly safer hunting is something of which PA’s hunters and the Game Commission’s team of volunteer instructors can be proud. Decades ago, hundreds of incidents occurred annually, year after year in Pennsylvania.
HARRISBURG (AP) – PA U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey is praising the health care bill written by fellow U.S. Senate Republicans, but is not saying whether he’d vote for it. Toomey’s statement came after Senate Republicans released their long-awaited bill to dismantle ObamaCare. The bill can still undergo changes, and Toomey says he’ll examine it and welcome feedback. Toomey calls the Senate’s bill an important and constructive first step in replacing Obama’s seven-year-old law with something better and stable. Toomey also lauds the bill’s curbs on federal Medicaid spending, and says it does not pull the rug out from anyone who’s covered. Gov. Tom Wolf says such cuts to Medicaid will hurt seniors in need of nursing care, working families, children with disabilities, and rural hospitals. For more background on the health care proposal, you can CLICK THIS LINK.
WASHINGTON, DC – PA U.S. Sen. Bob Casey will host a town hall in Lancaster on Saturday, June 24. Casey will answer questions from constituents from 2 – 3:30 p.m. at Franklin & Marshall College’s Roschel Performing Arts Center at 602 College Avenue in Lancaster. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are not required. Anyone wishing to attend will be given a seat on a first come, first served basis.
HARRISBURG – A new report says Penn State needs to address skyrocketing tuition and spiking enrollment of out-of-state students and international students, compared to in-state student enrollment. PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said tuition jumped by more than 500% over the past three decades, driven in part by an ambitious building boom and falling state government subsidies. The study also says background clearances are missing for some adults who work at youth camps on campus. He says Penn State’s 36-member board of trustees is too large, and is urging lawmakers to fully apply PA‘s open-records law to the university. Penn State says it’s working to reduce costs and find new revenues. The university says there’s no bias against in-state students.
HARRISBURG – Chester County Sen. Andy Dinniman introduced legislation to protect pets left unattended in hot cars. Senate Bill 636 makes it a summary offense to confine an animal in a vehicle under conditions that jeopardize the pet’s health. A police officer, public safety professional or humane officer would have the authority to remove the animal if they believe it is suffering and is endangered after a reasonable search for the owner or operator of the vehicle. The rescuer would not be held liable for any damages. A note would be left for the vehicle’s owner as the pet would be taken to a veterinary clinic. The vehicle operator would be responsible for any costs incurred for veterinary care.
LANCASTER – Police say a pit bull that mauled two young children in Lancaster as they sat helplessly strapped into their car seats is being euthanized next week. A 5-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl suffered wounds to their faces after the dog broke through a fence and attacked them Monday on Lafayette Street. The children’s mother was able to pull the dog away from the van with the help of several others. Lancaster Police say the girl was released from the hospital Thursday. The boy is still hospitalized in serious, but stable condition. The dog’s owner is voluntarily euthanizing the animal June 30. The dog is currently under quarantine.