HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf outlined a contingency plan to protect 382,000 Pennsylvanians from losing subsidies that help them afford federal health insurance coverage. Wolf sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the intent to implement a State-based Marketplace for Pennsylvanians to shop for health insurance coverage in the event the U.S. Supreme Court rules that people are not eligible for subsidies to help them afford health coverage in states where the federal government runs the health insurance marketplaces. The letter does not mean that Pennsylvania has to set up a state-based marketplace. It also does not mean that Pennsylvania must submit an application, nor does it mean that the state will be transitioning to a state-based marketplace. It leaves the door open so the state has the option in the event of an adverse Supreme Court ruling. The Supreme Court is expected to rule in late June on a lawsuit arguing that people in states where the federal government runs the health insurance marketplaces are not eligible for subsidies to help them afford coverage.
LANCASTER – Lancaster Area Habitat for Humanity will be dedicating a new home tomorrow. The home at 659 Fairview Avenue is the last of 18 Habitat homes to be built at the Fairview Avenue project, which began in May 2009 and now covers 1.3 acres of land. The new energy efficient home is a triplex with four bedrooms covering 1,925 square feet. The home owners with five children expect to move in to their new home this month and have completed 500 hours of sweat equity. A number of Lancaster dignitaries will be on hand for the dedication.
MANHEIM TOWNSHIP – Authorities are searching for a woman who may have taken money. A Lancaster woman reported on April 12 that she left her wallet on the counter at the Turkey Hill at 806 New Holland Avenue in Manheim Township. Upon returning, she found the wallet was returned by a woman, but $400 was missing from the wallet. A review of surveillance video showed a woman leaving the store with the wallet and then bringing it back in. Investigators would like to speak to the woman who can be seen in a photo below. If anyone recognizes the woman, contact Manheim Township Police at 717-569-6401, ext. 0. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call 717-569-2816.
HARRISBURG – The Wolf Administration has begun posting details of the expenses claimed for reimbursement by his top staff and cabinet officials. The new interactive website on Thursday showed a total of just over $37,700 in expenses claimed by 23 top administration officials beginning in January and running through March. Press Secretary Jeff Sheridan says Wolf is the first governor to take such a step. Acting Banking and Securities Secretary Robin Wiessmann clocks in with the most expenses claimed at $3,300, while Acting Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas hasn’t submitted any expenses for reimbursement. The website does not post actual receipts. Rather, it breaks down the expenses into 12 different categories, including airfare, hotels, parking, and train fare. CLICK HERE for a link to the webpage and then click under “Cabinet Expenditures.”.
FORT INDIANTOWN GAP – Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County is scheduled to host live-fire mortar exercises between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m., beginning today through this Sunday. Fort Indiantown Gap announces training that is expected to result in increased noise levels as a courtesy to nearby residents. Fort Indiantown Gap is the only live-fire, maneuver military training facility in Pennsylvania. Fort Indiantown Gap announces training that is expected to result in increased noise levels as a courtesy to nearby residents. Fort Indiantown Gap is the only live-fire, maneuver military training facility in Pennsylvania.
HARRISBURG – A state lawmaker plans to introduce legislation to raise PA’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. Montgomery County Sen. Daylin Leach’s bill would also index the minimum wage to inflation and eliminate the tipped minimum wage. Leach explained his proposal to his Senate colleagues in a co-sponsorship memo, which said “it’s time for employers to pay their fair share and for workers to get a fair shake.” Leach will speak about his new bill at a rally today in Philadelphia.
HARRISBURG – Berks County Sen. Judy Schwank hosted a roundtable discussion by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and interested parties about the employment challenges facing people with criminal records. The discussion took place on the campus of Reading Area Community College. Schwank said non-violent offenders who have committed lesser crimes have found themselves shut out of the workforce upon their release from prison. Legislation has been introduced aimed at removing work barriers for ex-offenders by making it easier for those who committed non-violent small crimes to expunge their records and prohibiting employers from pre-screening job applicants for criminal records.
HARRISBURG – Legislation to clarify the arrest powers and jurisdiction of campus police officers employed by our 14 state-owned universities has been approved by the state Senate Education Committee. Lancaster County Sen. Lloyd Smucker, who chairs the committee, said he drafted Senate Bill 678 in the wake of a 2014 Superior Court decision which affected the jurisdictional authority of campus police. Smucker added that the court decision has the potential to further strain already overburdened police departments in college towns and jeopardize safety for college students and educators. The bill is now before the state Senate for consideration.
DOVER, DE (AP) – The Delaware House has postponed a vote on legislation adding electronic cigarettes to the state‘s indoor smoking ban. The bill adds electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, to the existing prohibition on smoking in restaurants, bars, and other public places. Conflicting amendments to exempt businesses that sell e-cigarettes from the ban forced the postponement of Thursday’s scheduled vote until next week.
HARRISBURG – The PA House Insurance Committee approved legislation allowing insurance companies to deliver life insurance policies and annuities electronically. House Bill 972 now goes to the full House for consideration. Under current law, insurers must either hand deliver or send via certified mail to a policyholder an insurance policy or annuity. In addition to hand delivery, insurers would also be allowed the option for electronic delivery of a policy or annuity. In the event a dispute would arise as to whether a policy or annuity was delivered to a policyholder, the burden of proof would remain with the insurer through reports and record keeping.