Search results for Karen Langley
Dec 29, 2015 / By Karen Langley and Mary Niederberger / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday signed into law much of a Republican-passed state spending plan, relieving financial pressure from Pennsylvania schools and political pressure from the state officials who have spent six months of the fiscal year trying to put a budget in place. Mr. Wolf, a first-year Democrat, called the spending bill delivered to him “garbage” that did not balance and provided too little funding for education. But the governor, who vetoed a full state budget in June and
May 08, 2015 / By Karen Langley / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — The rate at which former Pennsylvania state inmates are rearrested or return to prison has declined in the most recent tally, the Department of Corrections said Thursday. Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said in an interview that the prisons as a whole house 1,200 fewer inmates than in 2012, when sentencing overhauls were put into law. The decline comes after decades of growth in the prison population. Mr. Wetzel, who served as corrections secretary under Gov. Tom Corbett and h
Sep 26, 2014 / By Karen Langley / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — Old email accounts of top current and former Pennsylvania officials — including the state police commissioner, the top environmental regulator and Gov. Tom Corbett’s former spokesman — contained sexual images and videos, the attorney general’s office said Thursday. Aides to Attorney General Kathleen Kane named eight former employees whose agency email accounts, they said, included images ranging from photographs of nude women to graphic videos of sexual acts. The emails were sent
Jul 03, 2014 / By Karen Langley / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — The standstill over the state budget continued through a second day of the fiscal year Wednesday as Gov. Tom Corbett again urged legislators to send him a bill remaking the pensions of future state and school workers. Mr. Corbett said his office continues to review the $29.1 billion state budget legislators approved late Monday. He added he is waiting for the fiscal code, legislation needed to implement the budget, which the House was preparing Wednesday night to send back to the
Jun 30, 2014 / By Kate Giammarise and Karen Langley / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG -- Senate Republicans on Sunday turned from an earlier openness on using taxes to close a state budget shortfall, sending toward the floor a trimmer spending plan than Gov. Tom Corbett proposed earlier in the year. At $29.1 billion, the state general fund would be hundreds of millions of dollars smaller than Mr. Corbett called for in February, before months of poor revenue collections left Pennsylvania facing a budget gap of well more than $1 billion. The Senate and House are expe
Jun 30, 2017 / By Angela Couloumbis and Karen Langley / Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — With hours to spare before the midnight deadline, the Republican-controlled Legislature on Friday approved a new budget for Pennsylvania, but one missing a critical piece: a plan for how to pay for it. The state House and Senate each overwhelmingly passed a nearly $32 billion spending bill that would increase funding for public schools, early childhood and special education, and services for the intellectually disabled. Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, has praised the spending plan, c
Jun 29, 2017 / By Karen Langley / Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf and a Boston terrier named Libre on Wednesday signed legislation to strengthen Pennsylvania’s laws against animal abuse and neglect. The Democratic governor used a pen and ink. Then Libre’s paw was dipped in paint and he put his stamp on a copy of the bill. The now-healthy dog was rescued from severe neglect last year in Lancaster County, and became an inspiration for activists and lawmakers seeking to revamp animal-cruelty statutes. “We need to make sure that we a
Jun 27, 2017 / By Angela Couloumbis and Karen Langley / Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — It’s crunch time in the state Capitol. Pennsylvania legislators returned Monday in a race against the clock to strike a deal on a state budget for the fiscal year that begins Saturday. Nothing much was moving. Disagreements over how much to expand gambling continue to dominate budget talks, with a top Senate Republican on Monday saying the key hangup is over whether the state should allow up bars, restaurants and other establishments with a liquor license to legally install up t
Jun 24, 2017 / By Karen Langley / Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — At a rally Friday morning in the state Capitol, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey urged voters to help him and other Democrats defeat the Senate Republicans’ plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. "In the next couple of days, into the very last hour, please keep advocating," Mr. Casey, D-Pa., told several dozen people gathered in the rotunda. "Please keep writing and marching and calling, and going on social media, and calling senators in other states as well as Pennsylvania. Keep going, keep
Jun 22, 2017 / By Karen Langley / Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — As state law stands, Pennsylvania is scheduled to begin requiring students in two years to pass standardized Keystone examinations in order to graduate high school. But with the signing of a new law Wednesday, students in career and technical education programs will be allowed to demonstrate their readiness for a diploma in other ways. "There are so many career pathways that exist within the economy of Pennsylvania," said Rep. Mike Tobash, R-Schuylkill, one of the bill's sponsor
Jun 01, 2017 / By Karen Langley / Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — As the Penn Hills School District tries to right its finances, state Rep. Tony DeLuca is renewing his call for the state Department of Education to step in and oversee the process. Mr. DeLuca, D-Penn Hills, wrote in a letter to a Department of Education official that he believes the district’s financial situation can’t improve without state intervention. He wants the state to appoint a chief financial recovery officer to oversee the district. When a school district enters the s
May 29, 2017 / By Angela Couloumbis and Karen Langley / Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — Overseas trips, tickets to sporting events and free entry into black-tie galas. Airfare to conferences around the country and corporate donations to community events they sponsor. These are but some of the gifts, lodging and hospitality that Pennsylvania lawmakers reported on their annual disclosure forms this month, even as protesters converged on the Capitol to demonstrate the legislature’s steadfast refusal to ban elected officials from accepting such largesse. The forms, whi
May 25, 2017 / By Karen Langley / Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — The speaker of the Pennsylvania House and another local state representative said Thursday they will introduce legislation to give the state Public Utility Commission oversight of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said he only learned of the planned legislation Wednesday. “We haven’t had a chance to see the bill,” Mr. Peduto said. “We were not consulted.” House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Marshall, and Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Carrick, said in a p
May 22, 2017 / By Karen Langley / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
HARRISBURG — While he hasn’t announced officially that he will run for governor, Mike Turzai told a Capitol crowd Monday that if he does, he won’t step down as Pennsylvania House speaker. The Allegheny County Republican was taking questions at a luncheon of the Pennsylvania Press Club when the moderator asked if he would keep his legislative leadership post while campaigning to unseat Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. “Yes, yes,” Mr. Turzai said. “You know, I haven’t heard anybody asking the governo
Dec 05, 2013 / By Karen Langley / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG -- A tentative agreement between the Corbett administration and a union representing state workers appears to have breathed new life into the governor's effort to hire a private manager for the Pennsylvania Lottery. A 20-year management agreement with Camelot Global Services, which operates the United Kingdom's lottery, has been stalled since February, when Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced that attorneys conducting a routine review of contracts had concluded the deal would v
May 14, 2017 / By Karen Langley / Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — Republican and Democratic voters on Tuesday will choose their nominees for Pennsylvania’s statewide courts, with competitive races for Superior Court and among the Democratic candidates for Commonwealth Court. For voters, judicial primary races tend to be low-profile affairs. Turnout in the primary elections in odd-numbered years, when municipal and judicial candidates run, was about 19 percent in 2015, when Philadelphia had a mayoral race on the ballot, and 14.7 percent in 2013.
May 05, 2017 / By Karen Langley / Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday sharply criticized the U.S. House health care vote and said he would fight to preserve access to care and protections for consumers. “This is a sad day for millions of Pennsylvania families who now continue to worry about their access to health care,” Mr. Wolf said in a statement after the House vote. “While some in Washington are celebrating today as a victory, this shallow and shameful attempt to score political points at the expense of t
Jan 13, 2017 / By Steve Twedt and Karen Langley / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pennsylvania will be testing what state officials termed a historic new payment model for rural hospitals designed to improve the health of Pennsylvania’s rural residents and help the hospitals they depend on stay financially solvent. With $25 million in funding from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model will try an innovative payment structure in which hospitals will be paid a set amount each month, instead of being reimbursed for services provided.
Apr 25, 2017 / By Karen Langley / Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s auditor general said Tuesday that he found major problems with the accounting and oversight of a fund related to issues plaguing the state’s unemployment compensation system. A dispute over how the state uses the supplemental money on its unemployment compensation system led to the layoffs of hundreds of workers in December and lengthy wait times for residents calling for assistance. In a news conference, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said his performance au
Apr 26, 2017 / By Karen Langley / Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — A measure that would cut funding to Planned Parenthood is heading to the full Pennsylvania Senate after getting approved by a committee Wednesday. The bill would prioritize spending on family planning services according to a list of categories. Its sponsor, Sen. John Eichelberger, a Blair County Republican, said the purpose is to provide adequate health services for patients. But he acknowledged its effect would be to strip funding from Planned Parenthood because, he said, it prov

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