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Session Weekly Wrap-Up

Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of May 6, 2012

The Senate voted 39 to 8 in favor of Senate Bill 1466, a $27.6 billion 2012-13 state budget bill that would make numerous funding restorations while holding the line on taxes. Under the bipartisan legislation, the Senate restored approximately $500 million in funds...

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Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of April 29, 2012

The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 157, which would create a 15-member “Task Force on Homeless Children’s Education” charged with examining the educational needs and status of homeless children Pennsylvania and recommending a statewide proposal to provide a...

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Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of April 1, 2012

The Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 1167, which allows a service member to petition the court to modify a custody agreement. The modification will grant custody rights to one or more biological relatives. It will include a proposed custody schedule with the...

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Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of March 25, 2012

On a party-line vote of 29-19, the Senate passed a joint resolution that would amend the state Constitution to prohibit Pennsylvanians from being required to obtain health insurance coverage or from being penalized for not doing so.  Senate Bill 10 would amend the...

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Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of March 11, 2012

The Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 623, which would require the Department of General Services to set an annual contracting goal of not less than 5 percent for contracts of small businesses owned by veterans. Currently, these targets exist for businesses owned...

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Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of March 4, 2012

By a narrow 26-23 vote, the Senate passed House Bill 934, the controversial Voter ID bill that will require voters to present photo identification each time they vote.  Democrats railed against the Republican pushed initiative, calling it a “solution in search of a...

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Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of February 5, 2012

By a 31-19 vote, the Senate approved controversial legislation that taxes and regulates the gas drilling industry. The conference committee report (approved 4-2 on a party line basis) on House Bill 1950 establishes a drilling “impact fee” on a sliding scale over 15...

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Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of January 22, 2012

By a vote of 43-7, the Senate approved a measure that allowed 17,000 Pennsylvanians to continue to receive extended unemployment benefits.   The legislation, Senate Bill 1375, was needed for the state to draw down federal money that would pay for the extension.  The...

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Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of January 15, 2012

By a vote of 44-6, the Senate approved House Bill 169, which would increase the prize limits allowed for organizations conducting small games of chance.  The legislation is similar to Senate Bill 444, which passed the Senate last year.  HB 169 has slightly higher...

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Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of December 12, 2011

By a narrow 26-24 vote, the Senate passed the Republican-crafted Congressional redistricting map contained in Senate Bill 1249. This legislation redraws the boundary lines for Pennsylvania’s 18 Congressional districts. Senate Democrats, who unsuccessfully tried to...

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Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of December 5, 2011

By a vote of 40-9, the Senate passed House Bill 242, which makes a number of changes to the state Liquor Code, including granting small distilleries (producing less than 100,000 gallons of spirits) the right to sell their products directly to the public from on-site...

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Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of November 14, 2011

By a party-line 29-20 vote, the Senate passed Senate Bill 1100, which would establish an impact fee on Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.  Under this legislation, the fee would be $50,000 the first year, reducing in $10,000 increments each year.  In years four...

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Senate Democratic Wrapup for the Week of October 31, 2011

The Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 444, which would increase the prize limits for Local Option Small Games of Chance and tighten regulations on small games licensees. Changes in prize limits would include: Single chance from $500 to $1,000; Weekly limit for an...

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Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of October 24, 2011

The Senate narrowly passed Senate Bill 1 by a vote of 27-22.  The measure would create a taxpayer-funded school voucher program to allow children in low-income households and failing school districts to attend a private or parochial school. The bill would enable...

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Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of October 17, 2011

By a vote of 37-13, the Senate passed a bill giving the governor broad powers to take over the finances of the City of Harrisburg after the city’s refusal to accept a state-advised Act 47 recovery plan. Senate Bill 1151 allows the governor to declare a fiscal...

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Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of September 26, 2011

The Senate voted 42 to 7 for legislation that provides passenger limits for junior drivers. Under House Bill 9, for the first six months after the issuance of the junior driver’s license, the junior driver may not drive with more than one passenger under the age of 18...

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Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of June 19, 2011

  By a 45-5 vote, the Senate passed legislation expanding the provision of the so-called “Castle Doctrine” that protects the right of homeowners to use deadly force against intruders in their home and property. Under previous law, homeowners were able to use deadly...

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Senate Democratic Wrap-Up for the Week of June 26, 2011

In a 30-20 party line vote, the Senate passed a controversial fiscal 2011-12 spending plan that imposes massive cuts on schools, health care services, job creations programs and critical services for many of the state’s most vulnerable citizens. The state’s $27.15...

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