HARRISBURG – Legislation that will increase access to quality health care was approved by the PA Senate and is heading to the governor’s desk. House Bill 1619 will allow Pennsylvania to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which is designed to permit eligible licensed physicians in one state to treat patients in other states via telemedicine, increasing health care access to patients in underserved areas. An estimated 80% of the physician population licensed in the United States could be eligible to practice telemedicine in states where they don’t reside. Pennsylvania is now included in a growing list of states that have enacted legislation to join the Compact. Currently, 17 states have already enacted similar legislation to also join the Compact.
YORK (AP) – A Berks County teen is being charged as an adult with endangering hundreds of people by allegedly shooting two men outside a high school football game last month. Online court records show 15-year-old Stephon Brown of Reading remained jailed pending his preliminary hearing Oct. 28. York Police say he shot two men in the parking lot outside William Penn High School’s home opener in York against McCaskey High School of Lancaster on Sept. 9. Both districts have beefed up security at football games as a result. Brown has been charged with aggravated assault, illegal possessing a firearm as a minor, criminal mischief, and 2,000 counts of reckless endangerment stemming from the crowd that was endangered and inconvenienced when police responded to the shooting.
BELLEFONTE (AP) – Testimony continues in a former assistant football coach’s defamation and whistleblower lawsuit over his treatment by Penn State. Mike McQueary claims the school put him on paid leave and then didn’t renew his contract in retaliation for reporting that Jerry Sandusky abused a child in a team shower, and for helping prosecutors convict him. He’s seeking more than $4 million in lost wages and other damages. A lawyer for the university says it’s not Penn State’s fault that McQueary hasn’t been able to find a coaching position.
HARRISBURG – Lawmakers in Harrisburg are moving closer to a showdown with Gov. Tom Wolf over a bill designed to make it easier for gun owners and organizations like the National Rifle Association to challenge cities’ firearms ordinances in court. The PA Senate approved Senate Bill 1330 Monday. State House approval is still required, and Gov. Wolf has said he opposes the bill. The proposal expands the definition of who has standing to file legal challenges to local gun ordinances to include any gun owner or membership organization, such as the NRA. In general, Pennsylvania bars its municipalities from enforcing firearms ordinances that are stronger than state law.
HARRISBURG – Legislation allowing parents or guardians with adult children in their care to receive disability license plates was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf. Bill sponsor, Sen. Tom McGarrigle of Chester & Delaware Counties had been working with a mother in his district seeking a disability license plate for her vehicle as she is the primary caretaker for her adult son. Her son is 21-years-old and lives with blindness, autism, and cerebral palsy. Because her son is an adult, PennDOT refused to provide the disability plate. Act 55 of 2016 will provide access to vehicle disability license plates to parents, including adoptive parents or foster parents of adult children in their care who qualify for a disability license plate.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Prosecutors will seek a jail or prison sentence for former PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who faces sentencing next week after a jury convicted her of leaking grand jury material to a newspaper and then lying about it under oath. Kane has two children and will push for probation or house arrest at the Oct. 24 hearing. She stepped down after her August conviction on two felony and seven misdemeanor counts. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele argued in a memo Monday that Kane abused her power to settle a personal vendetta. He will seek consecutive sentences on many of the counts. He says the maximum sentence is 12 to 24 years in prison.
WEST YORK (AP) – The West York Borough Council has voted to accept the resignation of its mayor over his racist Facebook posts. The Council voted Monday to confirm Mayor Charles Wasko’s resignation, effective Friday. Wasko acknowledged the posts, but said he was the victim of a “witch hunt” originating with a fight over the borough’s acting police chief. Wasko has offered to resign if the borough reinstates the previous police chief, who is on paid leave. Council president Shawn Mauck will fill in as interim mayor.
LANCASTER COUNTY – Two Lancaster County fires kept units busy. One happened around 12:30 a.m. today at the Monro Muffler and Brake Shop in the 100 block of Rohrerstown Road in East Hempfield Township. Investigators are looking into what caused the fire. No one was hurt. Crews battled a barn fire yesterday around 4 p.m. in the 2400 block of Colebrook Road in Rapho Township. Units arrived on the scene and found a working fire. No one was hurt. A cause is being investigated.
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and its faculty union continue their media blackout as they try to negotiate a contract before a strike deadline this week. The state system and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties jointly announced the media embargo on Saturday hoping that minimizing distractions will help them reach a new deal. The union says about 5,500 faculty and coaches at 14 state-owned universities will go on strike Wednesday at 5 a.m. if they don’t reach a deal. The last faculty contract expired June 30, 2015. The key issues appear to be health insurance cost increases and the schools’ greater use of temporary faculty.
HARRISBURG – Legislation is being drafted in the PA Senate to create a retirement savings plan for private employees in the Commonwealth. The measure would offer a deferred compensation style plan to Pennsylvanians employed outside the public sector. Blair County Sen. John Eichelberger, who is co-sponsoring the legislation, said it is critical to empower Pennsylvanians now to create retirement savings before they leave the workforce. The Employee Benefit Research Institute has projected that almost half of current workers are at risk of having insufficient income to meet basic expenses in the retirement years.