Mike Turzai

Matt Rourke / AP

The Democrat running against State House Speaker Mike Turzai says the Republican isn’t taking domestic violence legislation seriously.

Speaker Calls Window For Sex Abuse Lawsuits 'A Compromise'

Sep 12, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

The Republican speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives says his chamber is poised to take up changes to the state's limits on child sexual abuse lawsuits, predicting a 2-year window to allow victims with older claims to sue would pass.

Speaker Mike Turzai on Wednesday called the 2-year window "a compromise" compared to a different proposal to entirely eliminate limits of lawsuits for victims of all ages.

Last month's sweeping grand jury report on child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church also recommended a 2-year window.

Matt Rourke / AP

The speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives didn't look very far to find a new member of the board for the system of state-owned universities: he appointed himself.

Speaker Mike Turzai said Monday that he was honored to join the 20-member Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors.

The Allegheny County Republican says he wants to help ensure the schools are preparing students for jobs that are available and to help resist proposals to increase tuition, room or board.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Kerry Cannon, 31, of Bethel Park, works the salad bar at an Eat n' Park restaurant, a job she said she enjoys. She has Down syndrome, and said she has a good life. 

Pennsylvania House of Representatives / legis.state.pa.gov

Abuse allegations against Delaware County Representative Nick Miccarelli have put state Capitol law enforcement in a somewhat unprecedented situation.

Two weeks ago, the Philadelphia Inquirer and L&P’s The Caucus reported that two women who dated Miccarelli accused him repeated abuse.

Late last week, one of those women went public.

GOP Leaders To Seek Halt To Pennsylvania Congressional Map

Feb 21, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Republican leaders of the Pennsylvania Legislature said Wednesday they will soon ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the imposition of new congressional district maps, two days after they were announced by the state's highest court.

House Speaker Mike Turzai said that later Wednesday he and his Senate counterpart will request an emergency stay of what he called a "completely partisan, ultimate gerrymander."

Marc Levy / AP

At its annual winter meeting Saturday, the Pennsylvania Republican Party endorsed York County state Senator Scott Wagner for governor.

The hat-tip gives Wagner a powerful new talking-point as he attempts to unseat Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

Wagner had a strong lead in straw votes leading up to the endorsement—pulling 175 out of 317 nods from around the state.

Lawmakers Won't Meet Deadline To Vote On Congressional Map

Feb 8, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania Legislature said Thursday they would not be able to meet a court-ordered deadline to hold a vote on a replacement map for the state's congressional districts, but that they still hoped to develop a plan in the coming days.

Matt Rourke / AP

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to intervene in the case requiring Pennsylvania lawmakers to draw new congressional districts before the May primary, there’s just three days left to create a new map.

Matt Rourke / AP

The state Republican Party is starting its monthlong series of meetings with candidates for governor and other top offices to decide who it will endorse next month.

It’s still anyone’s guess who the party will back, or even whether members will tap a gubernatorial candidate at all.

In the meantime, endorsements are rolling in from other organizations across the state.

Matt Rourke / AP

After months of deliberation, state House Speaker Mike Turzai has announced he is running for the Republican nomination for Governor.

The Pittsburgh-area lawmaker is now the fourth GOP challenger to Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, who’s seeking a second term.

The field also includes conservative Republican state Senator Scott Wagner, lawyer Laura Ellsworth, and former health care systems consultant Paul Mango.

Turzai has served in the House since 2001, and became speaker two years ago.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Technology alone won’t prepare people to build careers or pursue education in a rapidly changing economy.

That was the message from Google executives and state and local officials who gathered at the company’s Pittsburgh headquarters Thursday to announce new online tools and more than $1 billion in funding for nonprofits that seek to close gaps in education and the labor market nationwide.

Alex Brandon / AP

President Donald Trump took to the midstate Wednesday to pitch his tax plan to a cheering crowd of blue-collar workers and conservative Pennsylvania politicians.

He’s selling the proposal as one that would boost the middle class and small businesses—though many opponents say it would be a better deal for the rich. 

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

The Pennsylvania Senate could vote Monday or Tuesday on whether to put the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority under state oversight.

A bill that would empower the Public Utility Commission to oversee the embattled agency has been pending before the full Senate since June 30. When the chamber returns from summer recess Monday, it will have two days to act on the measure. Without action by Tuesday, the bill will be removed from the Senate calendar with the possibility of later consideration.

Pennsylvania's Ugly Budget Fight Gets Personal And Regional

Sep 18, 2017
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The feel-good bipartisan spirit that Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf tried to instill last year in Pennsylvania's Capitol is gone, stomped to bits in an increasingly ugly budget stalemate.

House Panel Rebrands Marcellus 'Impact Fee,' Now Calling It 'Severance Tax'

Sep 11, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

What’s in a name?

A lot, apparently, when it comes to Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry.

Wolf To GOP: State's Finances Will Soon Be 'Much More Dire'

Aug 29, 2017
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf warned House Republican leaders Tuesday that failing to fully fund the state budget will put Pennsylvania in "a much more dire financial situation" in the coming weeks.

Wolf's letter to Speaker Mike Turzai, Majority Leader Dave Reed and six other House GOP leaders urged them to act quickly to fill the budget's $2.2 billion revenue gap.

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania has had an unbalanced budget for nearly a month, and advocacy groups around the commonwealth say they have real concerns Governor Tom Wolf will soon have to start freezing spending as a result.

Matt Rourke / AP

State Senators are scheduled to return to session Wednesday for a two-day stint, in an effort to iron out differences in a budget that’s nearly a month overdue.

The chamber plans to pick up where it left negotiations two weeks ago, and appears to be largely disregarding last week’s House session.

The major options being considered to fill a $2 billion gap in the $32 billion budget have been borrowing against a state fund to plug last year’s significant shortfall, select fund transfers, and a gambling expansion.

Leaders have also floated some form of tax increase.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A few dozen protesters gathered outside of Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai’s McCandless office Tuesday, calling on the Republican representative to balance the budget by taxing natural gas and corporations.

Pine Township resident Linda Bishop led a small group of constituents into the office with a list of concerns. Others representing SEIU unions, the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network and Fight for $15, stayed outside chanting for more funding for education and fewer tax cuts to corporations.

House To Hold Session Amid Swirling Budget Disagreements

Jul 21, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives prepared to return to Harrisburg for an unusual weekend session amid a three-week stalemate with the Senate and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf over how to resolve a gaping hole in state government's $32 billion budget plan.

Budget Deadlock Politics Are First Debate In Governor's Race

Jul 17, 2017
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Call it the first act of the governor's race.

The slow-motion arc of Pennsylvania's budget negotiations — with a backdrop of a huge deficit, potential credit downgrade and two-week-old deadlock — has served as a sort of first debate stage for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the would-be contenders hoping to contest Wolf's re-election bid next year.

It is an early opportunity to boost their candidacies, and hurt an opponent, in a setting being watched closely by insiders.

Turzai Says He'll Keep Speaker's Job If He Runs For Governor

May 23, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai says he won't step down from his position atop the Republican-controlled chamber should he get into the race to challenge Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's re-election bid next year.

The Allegheny County Republican spoke Monday at the Pennsylvania Press Club, and says he hasn't heard anyone ask Wolf resign to run for governor.

He says he's seriously considering running. He says he's working on a number of issues in the Capitol right now and is looking toward Labor Day as an appropriate time to announce his candidacy.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Leaning heavily on his military credentials, Pine Township resident Paul Mango last night announced his intention to run for Pennsylvania governor in 2018. The West Point graduate and former principal at the business management consulting firm McKinsey & Company became the second Republican to declare his candidacy, joining State Senator Scott Wagner of York County in the race.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

State House Republicans are attempting to chart a new course for liquor sales in Pennsylvania, pushing a traditionally state-run system further and further toward privatization.

Matt Rourke / AP

The 2018 gubernatorial election is still well over a year away. But already, Republicans are announcing intentions to contest Democratic incumbent Tom Wolf’s bid for reelection.

It’s likely that GOP House Speaker Mike Turzai—long rumored to be interested in higher office—will soon be among them.

Pittsburgh-based political agency Cold Spark Media has confirmed it’s working with the Allegheny County Republican. Mark Harris, a partner with the agency acting as Turzai’s strategist, said the politician may explore a run more seriously after the state budget is finished.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

UPDATE: Dec. 13, 2017:

This week, the state legislature approved a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. The current law allows abortions up to 24 weeks. Gov. Tom Wolf has promised to veto the bill and legislators likely don't have enough votes to override his veto

Chris Knight / AP

The top-ranking Republican in the Pennsylvania House says he's encouraged by aspects of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's budget proposal, but says there's a lot in the details that needs to be closely examined.

House Speaker Mike Turzai said Tuesday that Wolf took a few pages from the GOP playbook in crafting a $32.3 billion spending plan that does not raise income or sales tax rates.

Still, Turzai says he'd like to see more emphasis on privatizing government functions, encouraging school choice and reducing state debt.

Gov. Wolf To Address Joint Session On Opioid Epidemic

Sep 26, 2016
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

 

When Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf brings his message on combating the opioid epidemic to a joint session of the state legislature Wednesday, he will be speaking to a group that for the most part is already aware of the issue.

“They’re all fed up with this,” said State Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Beaver, Greene, Washington) of her constituents.  “It’s a scourge and they know that we have to all stand together and try every angle we possibly can.”

Last year, more than 3,000 Pennsylvanians died of an opioid overdose including 424 in Allegheny County.

Matt Rourke / AP

 

Last June, nearly 200 members of the state House of Representatives and Gov. Tom Wolf pushed for a special legislative session to address the opioid crisis that has killed more than 5,000 Pennsylvanians in the past two years.

House Speaker Mike Turzai stood inside the Capitol rotunda just a few months ago.

"We will be asking the Governor to give this heightened attention by calling the General Assembly into special session," he said.

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