Newtown-Based Firearms Trade Association Spends More Lobbying Congress than NRA

Newtown-Based Firearms Trade Association Spends More Lobbying Congress than NRA

One Connecticut-based firearms industry trade group has spent more on lobbying than the National Rifle Association.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry trade association based in Newtown, has spent 40% more than the NRA lobbying Congress since 2019. For 2021 alone, OpenSecrets – a nonpartisan nonprofit tracking money into politics – reports an estimated $5 million spent by NSSF on lobbying; the NRA spent $4.92 million.

read more
Pennsylvania Poised to Join EMS Grouping, Lessening Barriers for Workers

Pennsylvania Poised to Join EMS Grouping, Lessening Barriers for Workers

Pending the signature of Gov. Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania will be the 22nd state to join an EMS compact making it easier for emergency workers to practice across state lines.

The agreement standardizes privilege to practice rules, validates licenses in a national registry, and grants emergency medical workers the ability to work across state lines on a short-term basis. By aligning rules and standards, Pennsylvania poses fewer barriers to out-of-state workers who may relocate to the commonwealth.

read more
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Rules Against Tolling Plan

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Rules Against Tolling Plan

Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court on Thursday ruled to stop a tolling plan that would have affected nine bridges throughout the state.

In November 2020, the state Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Public-Private Transportation Partnership Board voted to open the door to tolling bridges on Interstate 78, Interstate 79, Interstate 80, Interstate 81, and Interstate 83 to fund their repair or replacement. Cumberland County, Bridgeville Borough, South Fayette Township and Collier Township eventually sued Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) administration to prevent the state from establishing the collection booths.

read more
Wolf to Veto Pennsylvania Poll Watcher Legislation

Wolf to Veto Pennsylvania Poll Watcher Legislation

A Pennsylvania Senate bill to allow a voter to act as a poll watcher outside of his or her own county passed the state House of Representatives this week, though Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said he will veto it.

Sponsored by Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Gettysburg), the “Poll Watcher Empowerment Act” received the support of every Republican and no Democratic representative. When it passed the Senate earlier this month, every Republican voted for it and every Democrat voted against it except for Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Bethlehem).

read more
Children’s Biography of Drag Queen RuPaul Temporarily Removed from Connecticut Town Library After Complaint by Parent

Children’s Biography of Drag Queen RuPaul Temporarily Removed from Connecticut Town Library After Complaint by Parent

A children’s biography of LGBTQ activist and drag queen RuPaul was temporarily removed from the children’s section of the public library in Colchester, Connecticut, after a parent complained about a “sexually provocative graphic” in the book, town First Selectman Andreas Bisbikos (R) told The Connecticut Star.

Bisbikos explained the book, Who Is RuPaul?, has been temporarily removed until the Cragin Memorial Library director can assess the best location for it.

read more
Pennsylvania House Democrat Sponsors Constitutional Amendment for Abortion and Gay Marriage

Pennsylvania House Democrat Sponsors Constitutional Amendment for Abortion and Gay Marriage

Days after several Pennsylvania Senate Democrats proposed legislation to codify the recently overturned Roe v. Wade decision, one senator is spearheading a more expansive measure to enshrine abortion and various sexual rights in the Pennsylvania Constitution.

State Sen. Steve Santarsiero (D-Doylestown) issued a memorandum to colleagues on Tuesday asking them to cosponsor his amendment. It would codify not only the 1973 Roe ruling that forbade states from prohibiting abortion but also the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision disallowing bans on gay marriage. Other “privacy”-related rights Santarsiero wishes to write into the state Constitution include those identified in the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut ruling, which disallowed contraception bans, and in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision, which barred sodomy laws. 

read more
Connecticut’s Minimum Wage Set to Increase

Connecticut’s Minimum Wage Set to Increase

Connecticut is set to raise its minimum wage from $13.00 per hour to $14.00 per hour in compliance with a law passed by the state’s leaders in 2019.

The legislation implemented a plan to raise the state’s minimum wage from $10.10 in 2019 to $15 over the span of five years.

read more
Tyler Shanafelter’s Mother Urges Law to Strengthen Fentanyl Dealer Sentencing

Tyler Shanafelter’s Mother Urges Law to Strengthen Fentanyl Dealer Sentencing

On Monday, Laura Shanafelter joined lawmakers at the Harrisburg Capitol’s East Wing Rotunda to urge passage of legislation named after her late son to strengthen sentences for fentanyl dealers.

Called “Tyler’s Law,” the measure sponsored by state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Gettysburg) would impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years on any fentanyl pusher who facilitated a sale resulting in someone’s death. The senator has lamented that these dealers often get sentences of only a few years in cases when investigation even occurs.

read more
Latest Pennsylvania Budget Estimate Has Modest Economic Growth, Dip in Tax Revenue

Latest Pennsylvania Budget Estimate Has Modest Economic Growth, Dip in Tax Revenue

Pennsylvania’s economy will have modest real economic growth but also a dip in tax revenues in the next fiscal year as one-time boosts fade away, according to the latest revenue estimates from the Independent Fiscal Office.

The estimate for fiscal year 2022-23 does not assume a recession will hit, but does assume inflation will still be a problem, which cuts away at real gains in areas such as wages and salaries.

read more
Pennsylvania Senate Democrats Propose Codifying Roe

Pennsylvania Senate Democrats Propose Codifying Roe

Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on Friday, Pennsylvania Senate Democrats proposed codifying abortion rights by state statute.

Sen. Katie Muth (D-Royersford) circulated a memorandum asking Senate colleagues to cosponsor the legislation that would keep the practice legal in Pennsylvania. So far, Sens. Amanda Cappelletti (D-Norristown), Lindsey Williams (D-Pittsburgh), Maria Collett (D-North Wales), Judith Schwank (D-Reading), Christine Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) and Carolyn Comitta (D-West Chester) have signed onto the measure.

read more
Education Voucher Program Works Its Way Through the Pennsylvania Senate

Education Voucher Program Works Its Way Through the Pennsylvania Senate

The Pennsylvania General Assembly has moved another step closer in creating a scholarship program for students in underperforming schools to transfer elsewhere.

HB2169, narrowly passed in the House in April, would grant a $6,800 Lifeline Scholarship to students in the bottom 15% of the lowest-performing schools and allow them to use the money on tuition, tutoring, and other educational expenses.

read more

More Headlines…

Tong, Lamont Speak Out Against Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade Decision

Connecticut’s top law enforcement official said Friday he would sue to prevent a nationwide ban on abortions.

Attorney General William Tong said following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, a 1973 landmark decision that prevented states from banning abortions, that if Congress tries to invoke legislation that would ban abortions across the nation, he would be the first to take court action.

read more

Tong Announces Settlement with Cruise Line over Data Breach

A $1.25 million multistate settlement has been reached in a data breach case, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said.

Connecticut is one of 45 states named in the settlement against Florida-based Carnival Cruise lines. The case was filed after a 2019 data breach revealed personal information for 180,000 Carnival employees and customers across the country.

read more

Economist: ‘When It Comes to Connecticut, Businesses Are Being Incentivized to Look Elsewhere’

LEGO Group’s decision to spend $1 billion to build a new factory near Richmond, Virginia, has led economy and industry experts to raise questions about the status of the Denmark company’s Connecticut headquarters.

The global toymaker announced at a press conference with Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) its plans to build a new factory in Chesterfield, a move that would expand its production in the United States and create about 1,760 new jobs.

read more

Pennsylvania House Committee Passes Bills to Move Presidential Primary, Allow Out-of-County Poll Watchers

Pennsylvania’s House State Government Committee on Wednesday passed a Senate bill to move the state’s presidential primary date and another measure to allow out-of-county poll watchers. 

The first of the two bills was sponsored by Sen. John Gordner (R-Bloomsburg) and passed his chamber unanimously last December. And yet only two of the House panel’s 10 Democrats, Kristine Howard (D-Malvern) and Ben Sanchez (D-Abington), backed the legislation during Wednesday’s vote. 

read more

Top Teachers’ Union Backs Democratic Senate Candidate John Fetterman

John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee to represent Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate, was endorsed by the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) and the National Education Association (NEA).

The top teachers’ union backed the Democrat, saying he is “exactly the kind of leader” they need in the nation’s capital.

read more

Pennsylvania’s Cities, Big and Small, Have Yet to Recover from the Pandemic’s Downturn

Comparing urban areas across America, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have struggled to recover since the pandemic, showing lackluster economic performance with job levels still below pre-pandemic times.

That performance puts Pennsylvania’s two biggest cities about average in America, according to an analysis from the Brookings Institution on urban economic recovery since COVID-19.

read more

Crime Victims’ Loved Ones Condemn Philadelphia District Attorney Krasner

John Toomey, flanked by other relatives of slain Philadelphians as well as state lawmakers at the Pennsylvania Capitol Building in Harrisburg on Tuesday, tearfully discussed the fate that befell his 15-year-old son Sean. Many who gathered near him showed similar anguish as they listened.

Toomey and dozens of his fellow bereaved Philadelphians convened at the legislative building’s front lobby to condemn the performance of District Attorney Larry Krasner (D) since he became the city’s top prosecutor in 2018.

read more

Tong: Connecticut Homeowners Should Be Aware of Solar Power Contracts

Residents are being advised to research solar companies before entering into contracts, Attorney General William Tong said.

The state’s top law enforcement official and Michelle Seagull, commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection, are warning Connecticut homeowners who are interested in installing solar panels on their property to perform research and be cognizant of misleading marketing and high-pressure sales tactics.

read more

Philadelphia Voters Want Lower Property Taxes, but Higher Taxes on the Rich

Philadelphia has one of the worst city tax burdens in America, and voters aren’t pleased. It will also be a struggle for city leaders to find a politically popular solution.

A poll from the Pew Charitable Trusts found that Philadelphians have become more opposed to taxes, but an anti-tax revolt isn’t brewing in the city either.

read more

Pennsylvania State House Committee Passes Performance-Based Incentives for University Funding

A bill to create a performance-based funding incentive for three public universities passed the Pennsylvania House Education Committee on Monday, with all 15 Republicans supportive and all 10 Democrats opposed.

Beginning in Fiscal Year 2023-24, the bill would apply to Pennsylvania State University, Temple University and the University of Pittsburgh, three of Pennsylvania’s four state-related universities. (The fourth, Lincoln University, is a historically black institution that relies primarily on commonwealth funding.)

read more

Massachusetts Bishop Revokes ‘Catholic’ Status of Jesuit School Flying LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter Flags

A bishop has revoked the “Catholic” status of a Jesuit middle school in Worcester, Massachusetts, for defying his order to stop flying flags supporting the LGBTQ “pride” and Black Lives Matter (BLM) movements.

“The Nativity School of Worcester is prohibited from this time forward from identifying itself as a ‘Catholic’ school and may no longer use the title ‘Catholic’ to describe itself,” Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester announced in a decree Thursday.

read more

Alluding to Fetterman, Senator Proposes Requiring Officials to Notify Pennsylvania Executive and Legislature of Health Emergencies

State Sen. David Argall (R-PA-Mahanoy City) last week proposed a rule that Pennsylvania’s statewide elected officials must disclose urgent medical conditions to the governor and legislative leaders.

He indirectly mentioned the most recent example of a statewide elected official who apparently neglected to disclose a life-threatening condition: Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D). Now a candidate for the U.S. Senate to replace the retiring Republican Pat Toomey, Fetterman suffered a stroke four days before the May 17 primary.

read more

Pennsylvania Makes It Easier for Foreign Nurses to Get Licensed

A new law in Pennsylvania makes it easier for foreign nurses to get certified in the state, expanding the potential pool of health-care workers as the state confronts a nursing shortage.

Act 22 updates nursing license requirements by allowing the State Board of Nursing to approve graduates of international nursing programs to sit for the registered nursing examination. So long as the education they received outside the United States meets the state board’s standards, graduates can get licensed much quicker than before.

read more