HARRISBURG (AP) – The structure of a deal to end Pennsylvania’s five-month budget stalemate appears to be in trouble. House Democrat leaders told rank-and-file members in an email late Saturday that budget talks hit a snag. They say Republican leaders told Gov. Tom Wolf there isn’t enough rank-and-file GOP support to pass a state sales tax increase to offset rebates for local school property taxes. They also say they’re looking at alternative sources of money. A spokesman for House Republican Leader Dave Reed says the sides continue to meet. But he also says Democrat leaders have their own problems with the proposed deal announced less than two weeks ago. It calls for a $2 billion state sales tax increase to help balance the budget and reduce school taxes.
HARRISBURG (AP) – The PA Senate is juggling a long-simmering fight over who pays for public schools. A potential vote today is arriving just as Gov. Tom Wolf and top lawmakers try to hold together the skeleton of a five-months-late budget deal. Some privately worry it could destabilize those efforts. It’s also no small matter. It would require a multi-billion dollar state takeover of public school funding from school boards. It’s not yet clear whether it will pass. To end school property taxes, the personal income tax rate would rise from 3.07% to 4.34% while more types of food, clothing, and shoes would be exposed to a 7% sales tax, up from the current 6%. But it’s also not clear whether it is adequate to fully replace school property taxes.
LANCASTER COUNTY – Many Lancaster County churches and organizations will be hosting free Thanksgiving meals for the needy or for those wishing fellowship. Some locations will offer transportation and home delivery. CLICK HERE to find locations in Lancaster County that will be serving.
LANCASTER – Lancaster County’s largest day of online giving netted a record amount of over $6.1 million for over 300 local organizations, including many Christian groups. The 24-hour giving marathon on Friday called ExtraOrdinary Give was a special time to show support to our local community and a way to give a little extra to those who need it most. You can see how the organizations fared by going to www.ExtraGive.org and click on “Leaderboard.” Next year’s ExtraOrdinary Give will take place on November 18, 2016.
MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP – York County authorities are searching for a man who fired a handgun at a police officer. Around 10 p.m. Sunday, an officer stopped a car in the parking lot of the Crossroads Shopping Center in Manchester Township. The officer detected a strong smell of marijuana and had the man step from the vehicle. The man then pulled a handgun and fired three rounds at the officer. The man jumped into his car and fled. He was last seen traveling on Heidelberg Avenue towards the Susquehanna Trail. The officer was not wounded by the gunfire, but did sustain facial injuries. Police are searching for 24-year-old Trev Jackson of York as the suspect. He is charged with criminal attempt homicide, aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment. His vehicle is a dark green or blue 1994 Buick LeSabre sedan with PA registration JVZ-6735. Jackson is considered armed and dangerous. If you see him, call 911 immediately or contact Northern York County Regional Police at 717-292-3647.
PARADISE TOWNSHIP – Police are investigating a fatal single vehicle crash on West Canal Road near Short Road in Paradise Township, York County. It happened Sunday around 7:20 p.m. There’s no other details available regarding the crash. Police plan on releasing further details later today.
LANCASTER – The Extraordinary Give is Lancaster County’s largest day of online giving. The 24-hour giving marathon running now until midnight tonight will benefit more than 300 local organizations including many Christian groups. Every dollar donated at www.ExtraGive.org will be stretched with at least $300,000 from the Lancaster County Community Foundation, Rodgers & Associates, and other corporate sponsors. The Extraordinary Give is a special time to show support to our local community and a way to give a little extra to those who need it most. Last year, nearly $4.5 million was raised. All donations are tax deductible.
HARRISBURG – In recognition of their legislative efforts to curb drunk driving across Pennsylvania, two Lancaster County lawmakers – Sen. Lloyd Smucker and Rep. Keith Greiner – were each named “2015 Legislator of the Year” by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Greiner is prime sponsor of House Bill 278, which would require the use of ignition interlock devices for certain first-time DUI offenders. Smucker is a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 290, which would require the use of ignition interlocks for DUI offenders, and is the sponsor of Senate Bill 839, which increases the criminal penalty for an individual who commits three DUI offenses within 10 years to a third degree felony. House Bill 278 and its companion legislation, Senate Bill 290, are both being reviewed in the House Transportation Committee. Senate Bill 839 is before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate showed signs of improvement last month as employers added jobs. The state Department of Labor and Industry said the jobless rate slid two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.1% in October, although it still remains above Pennsylvania’s post-recession low of 5% reached last December. The national rate is 5%. The biggest gainers were the leisure and hospitality and education and health services sectors. Construction payrolls fell the farthest.
HARRISBURG – The special Senate committee considering possible action against PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane held its final public hearing this week. Committee members have been receiving testimony that focuses on whether the embattled Kane can perform her duties with a suspended law license. The panel heard from Kane’s top deputies who testified they are making the best of a bad situation. Following the testimony, Committee member, Luzerne County Lisa Baker commented on the impact Kane’s troubles are having on her office. She said that Kane can not make a legal decision, review privileged documents, can’t participate in privileged conversations, and can’t perform law related activities even with a supervising attorney. The Special Committee on Senate Address plans to issue a report by next Wednesday on whether Kane is able to serve in her position.