Saturday, May 18, 2013
Medicaid expansion continues to hang over Gov. Tom Corbett and budget-making lawmakers.
Saturday, May 18
By Eric Boehm | PA Independent HARRISBURG – Democratic leaders in the General Assembly say Gov. Tom Corbett has delayed long enough on a decision about expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania. And if the governor won’t make a decision, they are ready to force his hand. “If Gov. Corbett is unwilling to do the right thing, my colleagues in the Senate must send a clear message that this is unacceptable. It’s time for a vote on Medicaid expansion,” said state Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, on Tuesday. Hughes has filed a resolution to force the state Senate to vote on Medicaid expansion. If a majority of senators support the resolution, a proposal to force the state to accept the expansion would be busted out of committee and brought …
Friday, May 17, 2013
Lehigh County Executive Bill Hansell was recently hospitalized with pneumonia and subsequently diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, according to a release from Lehigh County. Tom Muller is now acting executive.
Lehigh County Executive William H. Hansell, who was appointed last summer to fill the unexpired term of former Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham, has resigned his post for health reasons, according to a release from the county. Hansell was recently hospitalized with pneumonia and subsequently diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He has started undergoing treatment and felt he needed to devote his energy to restoring his health, the release said. “I have been proud to serve as Lehigh County Executive for the past year," Hansell said in the prepared release. "I felt that it was the culmination of my 52-year career in local government. The decision to resign has been one of the hardest I’ve had to make in my professional life.” Thomas …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Incumbent Percy Dougherty faces a challenge from Scott Aquila for the Republican nomination to a Lehigh County commissioner seat in a District that includes South Whitehall, Upper Macungie, Lower Macungie and Alburtis.
Incumbent Lehigh County Commissioner Percy Dougherty faces a challenge from Scott Aquila for the Republican nomination for the board's District 2 seat. The primary is Tuesday. District 2 includes South Whitehall, Lower Macungie, Upper Macungie and Alburtis. Patch sent a questionnaire to Dougherty and Aquila and is posting their replies in their entirety. Click on the name of the candidate to read his information, including educational and family background as well as each candidate's vision for the county, qualifications and priorities. Percy Dougherty Scott Aquila The winner of the Republican primary will square off in the November general election against the likely Democratic nominee, Susan Ellis Wild, who is unopposed for her party's …
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, a Democrat, announced Tuesday that he's exploring another run for the Senate; Sestak narrowly lost to Pat Toomey in 2010.
A rematch between former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey is in the works as Sestak announced Tuesday that he's exploring a run for the Senate in 2016. Democrat Sestak, a former Navy vice admiral, lost narrowly to Republican Toomey in 2010. Sestak, of Delaware County, has formed an exploratory committee—the equivalent of launching a campaign in terms of Federal Elections Commission paperwork, according to a Washington Post report. Can Sestak beat Toomey? Who would you vote for if the Senate election was held today? Tell us in the comments section below. Tuesday's announcement ends speculation that Sestak, 61, is raising money to challenge Gov. Tom Corbett. Sestak raised $460,000 in the first quarter of this year. A Sestak-…
Political foes Scott Ott and Dean Browning seek the Republican Party nomination for Lehigh County Executive in the May 21 primary.
Two political foes—Scott Ott and Dean Browning—are seeking the Republican Party nomination for Lehigh County Executive in the May 21 primary. Ott, 51, of Lower Macungie, is currently a Lehigh County commissioner. He is co-host of a current events talk show for PJTV, a conservative online network. Browning, 57, of South Whitehall, is former Lehigh County commissioner and board chairman. He is executive vice president, finance and administration, and chief financial officer at New World Aviation. Patch sent a questionnaire to Ott and Browning and is posting the replies in their entirety. Click on the name of the candidate to read his information, including educational and family background as well as each candidate's vision for the county …
Monday, May 13, 2013
South Whitehall commissioners to have public hearing Wednesday on possible transfer of a new liquor license to P.J. Whelihan's.
South Whitehall commissioners will hold a public hearing at its meeting Wednesday on the transfer of a restaurant liquor license to P.J. Whelihan's, which hopes to tear down its existing restaurant and build a new, bigger eatery. The commissioners meet at 7:30 p.m. at the administration building, and the hearing is among the items on the agenda. The resolution is to approve the transfer of restaurant liquor license R-2618. Information on who had the license was not immediately available. However, according to the Pennsylvania Liquor License Co., a restaurant license is for those establishments that are at least 400 square feet and that primarily provide food service. Eateries with an "R" license may serve liquor, wine and beer products, …
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Police and emergency crews will converge on Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom Monday for a mass casualty drill.
Pennsylvania lawmakers are discussing whether or not to increase driver fees and, possibly, gas prices to get more funding for roads.
Sunday, May 12
By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent HARRISBURG — In 1997, a postage stamp cost 32 cents, a dozen eggs about $1.17, and a gallon of gas about $1.32. It was also the most recent time Pennsylvania lawmakers touched the state gas tax to raise more money for roads and bridges, said Senate Transportation Minority Chair John Wozniak, D-Cambria. As consumer costs have risen, so have the costs for roads. “I challenge anybody to say they’ve stopped at a convenience store and a cup of coffee is the same today as it was 15 years ago,” Wozniak said. “Government isn’t immune to market forces.” As a result, drivers may have to pay more, too. Wozniak was among the lawmakers who voted in favor of a $2.5 billion transportation funding package, which passed …
If lawmakers accomplish nothing on Pennsylvania's pension crisis by June 30 when the state budget deadline hits, the issue will be larger and more difficult to grapple with next year.
Sunday, May 12
By Eric Boehm | PA Independent HARRISBURG — There is little disagreement that Pennsylvania’s $47 billion-and-growing public pension debt represents a serious threat to the financial future of the state, its school districts and taxpayers. But there is little in the way of agreement when it comes to how that debt can, or should, be addressed. Gov. Tom Corbett and some allied lawmakers seized the bully pulpit recently in what appeared to be an effort to spark some movement on the public pension issue that mostly has been dead in the water since Corbett pitched a package of reforms in February. Corbett has pegged his proposed budget for fiscal year 2013-14 on supposed savings from overhauling the state’s public pension system to save $175 …
Saturday, May 11, 2013
A new TV commercial thanks U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey for trying to expand gun background checks.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns on Thursday announced a new television commercial thanking Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) for co-sponsoring an amendment to expand background checks, according to Huffington Post. The ad urges Toomey, of Zionsville, Lehigh County, to keep fighting for background checks although Toomey has said he's turning his attention back to economic issues since his amendment failed in the senate. Toomey achieved his highest approval rating ever since brokering the unsuccessful compromise on background checks. The issue put Toomey in the national spotlight and he was even spoofed on "Saturday Night Live." Mayors Against Illegal Guns is backed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.