Katie Meyer

Matt Rourke / AP

For almost four entire days last week, the computer system Pennsylvania uses to process unemployment compensation crashed, making it impossible for people to file continuing claims.

AP

Pennsylvania is home to a lot of old dams—many of which are privately owned.

The state agency that regulates those dams says it has serious concerns about 145 of them.

The new numbers come from the Associated Press. After a two-year investigation, reporters found more than 1,600 dams around the country that could be susceptible to collapse.

Kevin McCorry / WHYY

Seven people who work or have worked for Pennsylvania’s state government are suing in hopes of getting back union dues they paid.

The suit was filed by the same nonprofits who brought last year’s landmark Janus case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled public sector unions can’t take dues from non-members.

Until recently, lead plaintiff David Schaszberger was a statistical analyst in Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry.

Katie Meyer / WITF

Pennsylvania’s Republican U.S. Senator, Pat Toomey, is trying to head off some of the big environmental promises ​that a few Democratic Presidential candidates are making. 

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board, which regulates all the wine and spirits sales in the commonwealth, is touting its contributions to state coffers.

Its annual report shows it set its highest-ever sales record last year—$2.67 billion.

The board kicked more than $185 million of that back to the commonwealth’s general fund, and even more in taxes. It wasn’t the highest contribution in recent years, but it is in line with the legislature’s increasing tendency to rely on the PLCB for cash.

Bret Hartman / AP

Pennsylvania voters gave Marsy’s Law an overwhelming victory in the 2019 general election.

With more than 70 percent of precincts reporting results late Tuesday night, the proposed amendment, which aims to protect crime victims’ rights by adding existing laws to the state constitution, had support from more than 73 percent of voters.

But the victory may only be temporary. Thanks to a last-minute lawsuit, Marsy’s Law is in legal limbo.

Matt Rourke / AP

Several state House lawmakers are trying to pass a package of bills designed to make Pennsylvania’s two massive, underfunded state pension systems more transparent, and a little cheaper.

Katie Meyer / WITF

Governor Tom Wolf’s office has confirmed that for nearly five months, he and other administration officials have been quietly negotiating a potential way to stop holding undocumented immigrants at the controversial Berks Family Residential Center. 

Marsy's Law Explained

Oct 28, 2019
Bret Hartman / AP Images for Marsy'sLawForAll.org

When Pennsylvanians go to the polls on November 5th, they’ll see a question on the ballot alongside the candidates for Superior and Commonwealth Court judges. It reads:

Mike Stewart / AP

Often, women’s public bathrooms don’t provide menstrual products—and if they do, they usually cost money.

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

A commonwealth court judge is expected to decide within days whether a broad victims’ rights amendment, known as Marsy’s Law, can go into effect if voters approve it on Nov. 5, or if it will be frozen until the legal fight over its constitutionality is resolved.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The state House has voted to exempt volunteer fire departments from Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law, which journalists and the general public can use to request information from public entities.

Supporters of the bill say it is a needed correction to a burdensome system, but opponents say it just makes the departments needlessly opaque.

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

A group of Pennsylvania state legislators gathered in the Capitol on Monday to rally support for their effort to dramatically restrict access to abortion.

Katie Meyer / WITF

Census officials are working to encourage black Americans to participate in the once-a-decade survey.

Katie Meyer / WITF

Democratic Governor Tom Wolf got some unexpected visitors Wednesday—or at least, the hallway outside his office did.

Rick Bowmer / AP

Pennsylvania’s auditor general says when his team set out to determine how much addiction to opioids—and in particular, the powerful synthetic drug fentanyl—costs Pennsylvania, they immediately ran into some problems.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania’s Department of State has a new web page designed to help people apply for professional licenses, which the commonwealth requires for around 130 jobs—from hairdressing to funeral directing to auctioneering.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Two of the bills teed up for potential action when the legislature returns to Harrisburg next week would potentially raise salaries for local officials for the first time in more than two decades.

The measures, which are set for a final vote in the Senate, both have bipartisan support.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Like many states, Pennsylvania gave its lawmakers and other state employees a paid holiday today in celebration of Columbus Day. 

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania’s prison system is launching a pilot program to test alternative corrections techniques — and they’re looking to Nordic countries for inspiration.

Bret Hartman / AP via Marsy'sLawForAll.org

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday filed an eleventh-hour challenge to a proposed constitutional amendment set to be on the ballot next month.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

A bill that aims to let more people with disabilities access a program that gives them medical services appears primed to move quickly through the state Senate.

It may be a rare area where Democrats and Republicans can agree on health care.

Haven Daley / AP

The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is suing Lebanon County’s court system and probation department over a decision to bar people on parole from using medical marijuana.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The U.S. Agriculture Secretary caused some indignation on a recent visit to Wisconsin after saying small dairy farms may not survive a changing market.

Jacqueline Larma / AP

After hours of sometimes-tearful testimony from panels that included legal experts, representatives of the Catholic Church and insurance industry, and people who were sexually abused as children, it remains unclear whether the state Senate will agree to change the rules governing child sex abuse cases.

The Judiciary Committee held a hearing Wednesday on long-stalled proposals to extend, and in some cases abolish, the statutes of limitations in those cases.

Michael Rubinkam / AP

The agency that oversees Pennsylvania’s state parks has released the preliminary version of a plan meant to govern the system for the next 25 years.

Reed Saxon / AP

The Trump administration’s new plan to repeal an Obama-era clean water regulation has been met with deeply mixed reactions in Pennsylvania, and across the country.

Gerald Herbert / AP

A bill that would raise Pennsylvania’s tobacco-buying age from 18 to 21 has breezed through the state Senate—and there’s evidence it’ll get a warm reception in the House, too.

This isn’t the first time lawmakers have floated bills to raise the age for buying tobacco products. But it is the first time one has made it through a chamber in at least a decade.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

For the first time, Gov. Tom Wolf is throwing his full support behind legalizing recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Department of General Services

Pennsylvania is the only state in the country that provides its lieutenant governor with a state-funded residence, and state senators have decided they’re ready for a change.

They’re moving a bill that would kick the lieutenant out for good, and give the building to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

The three-story, 2,400-square-foot house once served as the residence for the governor. It has been empty since January, when Democrat John Fetterman took office.

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