December 28, 2012

Dec. 31 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The Dec. 31 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Click Here to print entire Digest.

Read About Hundreds Of Award-Winning Environmental Stewards From 2012

Individuals, businesses, farmers, schools, local governments, students of all ages, nonprofit groups and organizations just like you are doing great things to protect and restore Pennsylvania's environmental all the time and in every corner of the Commonwealth.

If you don't believe us, read about these award-winning performances in the following 87 stories included in the PA Environment Digest in 2012.
You've got NO excuse!

Friday NewsClips

Editorial: Governor Should Travel On Own Dime
Brubaker Raises Questions On Lottery Privatization Plan
Senate Committee To Hold Hearing On Lottery Privatization
Lottery Privatization Bid Could Be Delayed, Talks Continue
Former HACC VP Is Focus Of County Investigation
Corman Wants $60M Penn State Fine Kept In PA
Greenleaf Seeks Task Force On Mass Shootings
Age Discrimination Lawsuits By Judges Moved To Federal Court
Editorial: PA Doctors Need Database For Drugs
Turnpike Tolls Will Increase Again On Jan. 6
Op-Ed: No Double Standard For Charter Schools
Click Here for today's PA Environmental News

December 21, 2012

Dec. 24 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The Dec. 24 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Click Here to print entire Digest.

Survey Shows 78 Percent Support More Funding For Conservation, Recreation

The Growing Greener Coalition Thursday pointed to a newly released statewide survey as clear evidence of strong public support for state funding to preserve farmland and open space, provide parks and trails and protect rivers and streams.
Overall, the survey found that more than 92 percent of the 608 Pennsylvanians surveyed think that state funds dedicated to preserving farmland and open space, providing parks and trails and protecting rivers and streams should continue to be used for these purposes.
In addition, the survey found that nearly 78 percent of respondents support increasing state funds to conserve and protect open space, clean water, natural areas, wildlife habitats, parks, historic sites, forests and farms even if would cost the average household $10 more annually.

New State Website Confirms DEP Lost Over 22% Of Positions Over Last 10 Years

Gov. Corbett Thursday launched a new website-- PennWATCH-- designed to provide the public with more information on how taxpayer dollars are spent.
The website confirmed the Department of Environmental Protection has lost 615 permanent positions-- nearly 20 percent-- since the 2002-03 fiscal year.  The agency’s permanent complement fell from 3,211 to 2,596.
But these numbers include over 105 positions added by DEP to regulate Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.  When these are added in, DEP lost over 22 percent of its permanent positions over the last 10 years.
The numbers also do not include the 50 to 100 vacancies resulting from normal turnover of staff and the freeze on additional hiring Commonwealth wide.
“Pennsylvanians deserve to know how their tax dollars are being allocated and spent,” Corbett said.  “PennWATCH gives citizens unprecedented access to information on the state budget, revenues, spending and workforce.

Friday NewsClips - We're Still Here Edition

Corbett Defends Free Trips From Marcellus Shale Businessman
Corbett Defends Trips He Accepted For Free
Natural Gas Exec Paid For Corbett 2011 Vacation
Touting Transparency, Corbett Declines To Explain Free Vacation
Corbett Unveils Budget/Spending Website
New State Website Lists Salaries, Other Spending
State’s PennWATCH Website Makes Tons Of Info Available
Corbett Unveils State Website For Citizens
Corbett: Focus Should Be On Mental Illness, Not Guns
Casey Aside, PA Politicians Guarded On Gun Control
Editorial: Change America’s Gun Culture
Corbett May Hold Hearings On Lottery Privatization
State Universities Lose Chancellor
Head Of State Universities Steps Down
State Universities Chancellor Resigns To Take New Job
Threat Targets President Of Carnegie Mellon
Orie Melvin Seeks Extra Screening Of Jurors
Editorial: Judges Can’t Be Above The Law
School Test Cheating Probe Winds Down
PA’s Unemployed Feel Tested By Corbett’s Belt-Tightening
Click Here for today's PA Environmental News

December 20, 2012

Senate Democrats Name Committee Chairs, Completing Appointments

Senate Democrats today followed Senate Republicans yesterday in naming the Chairs of each of the Senate's standing committees.  This completes the process in both the Senate and House.  In January, when the General Assembly reconvenes, the committee members will be announced.
          Here are the Republican and Democratic Chairs named in the Senate--
Aging & Youth
Republican: Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Lehigh)*
Democrat: Sen. LeAnna Washington (D-Washington)

Agriculture & Rural Affairs
Republican: Sen. Elder A. Vogel, Jr. (R-Beaver)
Democrat: Sen. Judith Schwank (D-Berks)*

Republican: Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre)
Democrat: Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia)

Banking & Insurance
Republican: Sen. Don White (R-Indiana)
Democrat: Sen. Michael Stack (D-Philadelphia)

Communications & Technology
Republican: Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny)*
Democrat: Sen. Lawrence Farnese (D-Philadelphia)

Community, Economic & Recreational Development
Republican: Sen. Kim L. Ward (R-Westmoreland)*
Democrat: Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny)

Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure
Republican: Sen. Robert M. Tomlinson (R-Bucks)
Democrat: Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Lehigh)

Republican: Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon)*
Democrat: Sen. Andrew Dinniman (D-Chester)

Environmental Resources & Energy
Republican: Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Bradford)*
Democrat: Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne)

Republican: Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster)
Democrat: Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna)*

Game & Fisheries
Republican: Sen. Richard Alloway (R-Franklin)
Democrat: Sen. Richard Kasunic (D-Somerset)

Intergovernmental Operations
Republican: Senator-elect Scott E. Hutchinson (R-Venango)*
Democrat: Sen. Sean Wiley (D-Erie)*

Republican: Sen. Stewart J. Greenleaf (R-Montgomery)
Democrat: Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery)

Labor & Industry
Republican: Sen. John R. Gordner (R-Columbia)
Democrat: Sen. Christine  Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia)

Law & Justice
Republican: Sen. Charles T. McIlhinney, Jr. (R-Bucks)*
Democrat: Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny)

Local Government
Republican: Sen. John H. Eichelberger, Jr. (R-Blair)
Democrat: Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin)*

Public Health & Welfare
Republican: Sen. Patricia H. Vance (R-Cumberland)
Democrat: Sen. Shirley Kitchen (D-Philadelphia)

Rules & Executive Nominations
Republican: Sen. Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware)
Democrat: Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny)

State Government
Republican: Sen. Lloyd K. Smucker (R-Lancaster)*
Democrat: Sen. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny)*

Republican: Sen. John C. Rafferty, Jr. (R-Montgomery)
Democrat: Sen. John Wozniak (D-Cambria)

Urban Affairs & Housing
Republican: Sen. David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill)*
Democrat: Sen. James Brewster (D-Allegheny)

Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness
Republican: Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne)
Democrat: Sen. Tim Solobay (D-Washington)

Thursday Clips

Corbett Took Free Vacation From Marcellus Business Owner
Report: Massive Confusion Over Voter ID
Kathleen Kane, First Elected Female Attorney General
Democrats Expect Debate On Transportation Funding
Administration In Talks To Extend Lottery Bid Deadline
Editorial: Why Rush To Privatize Lottery?
Erie Casino Table Games Revenue Drops 33.8 Percent
Ridge: Gun Issue More Complicated Than Bans
State University Faculty Union Girds For Possible Strike
Former Corrections Secretary Tapped to Lead CA System
Click Here for today's PA Environmental News

December 19, 2012

Speaker Names Republican, Democrat Committee Chairs

Speaker-Designate Rep. Sam Smith (R-Jefferson) Wednesday announced the appointments of both Republican and Democratic committee chairmen for the 2013-14 Legislative Session, which begins in January.
“These House committees will tackle the serious issues facing Pennsylvania and, through public hearings and meetings, vet those issues and proposed solutions with public,” Smith said. “These men and women of both caucuses will lead the way in preparing legislation for the full House to consider.”
Smith made the following appointments, which are unofficial until announced on the House floor:

Aging and Older Adult Services:
Republican: Rep. Tim Hennessey (R-Chester)
Democrat: Rep. Steve Samuelson (D-Lehigh)

Agriculture and Rural Affairs:
Republican: Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny)
Democrat: Rep. Joseph Petrarca (D-Armstrong)

Republican: Rep. Bill Adolph (R-Delaware)
Democrat: Rep. Joe Markosek (D-Allegheny)

Children and Youth:
Republican: Rep. Kathy Watson (R-Bucks)*
Democrat: Rep. Louise Bishop (D-Philadelphia)

Republican: Rep. Chris Ross (R-Chester)*
Democrat: Rep. W. Curtis Thomas (D-Philadelphia)*

Consumer Affairs:
Republican: Rep. Robert Godshall (R-Montgomery)
Democrat: Rep. Peter J. Daley (D-Washington)*

Republican: Rep. Paul Clymer (R-Bucks)
Democrat: Rep. James Roebuck (D-Philadelphia)

Environmental Resources and Energy:
Republican: Rep. Ron Miller (R-York)
Democrat: Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware)*

Republican: Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Mifflin)
Democrat: Rep. Phyllis Mundy (D-Luzerne)

Game and Fisheries:
Republican: Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron)
Democrat: Rep. Gary Haluska (D-Cambria)

Gaming Oversight:
Republican: Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford)
Democrat: Rep. Rosita Youngblood (D-Philadelphia)

Republican: Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga)
Democrat: Rep. Flo Fabrizio (D-Erie)

Human Services:
Republican: Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks)
Democrat: Rep. Angel Cruz (D-Philadelphia)*

Republican: Rep. Nick Micozzie (R-Delaware)
Democrat: Rep. Tony DeLuca (D-Allegheny)

Republican: Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin)
Democrat: Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (D-Berks)

Labor and Industry:
Republican: Rep. Mario Scavello (R-Monroe)*
Democrat: Rep. Bill Keller (D-Philadelphia)

Liquor Control:
Republican: Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia)
Democrat: Rep. Paul Costa (D-Allegheny)

Local Government:
Republican: Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery)
Democrat: Rep. Bob Freeman (D-Northampton)

Professional Licensure:
Republican: Rep. Julie Harhart (R-Lehigh)
Democrat: Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny)

State Government:
Republican: Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler)
Democrat: Rep. Mark Cohen (D-Philadelphia)

Tourism and Recreational Development:
Republican: Rep. Jerry Stern (R-Blair)
Democrat: Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland (D-Delaware)

Republican: Rep. Dick Hess (R-Bedford)
Democrat: Rep. Michael P. McGeehan (D-Philadelphia)

Urban Affairs:
Republican: Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York)*
Democrat: Rep. Ted Harhai (D-Westmoreland)*

Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness:
Republican: Rep. Stephen E. Barrar (R-Chester)
Democrat: Rep. Chris Sainato (D-Beaver)


Senate Republicans Standing Committee Chairs For New Session

Wednesday Majority Chair assignments were announced for each of the 22 Senate Standing Committees, according to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson).
“We are fortunate to have members from various backgrounds and regions across our Commonwealth who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Harrisburg,” Sen. Scarnati said. “Membership of committees will be announced prior to the reconvening of the Senate on January 22, 2013.”
The Majority Chairs will be--
Aging & Youth – Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Lehigh)*
Agriculture & Rural Affairs – Sen. Elder A. Vogel, Jr. (R-Beaver)
Appropriations – Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre)
Banking & Insurance – Sen. Don White (R-Indiana)
Communications & Technology – Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny)*
Community, Economic & Recreational Development – Sen. Kim L. Ward (R-Westmoreland)*
Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure – Sen. Robert M. Tomlinson (R-Bucks)
Education – Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon)*
Environmental Resources & Energy – Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Bradford)*
Finance – Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster)
Game & Fisheries – Sen. Richard Alloway (R-Franklin)
Intergovernmental Operations – Senator-elect Scott E. Hutchinson (R-Venango)*
Judiciary – Sen. Stewart J. Greenleaf (R-Montgomery)
Labor & Industry – Sen. John R. Gordner (R-Columbia)
Law & Justice – Sen. Charles T. McIlhinney, Jr. (R-Bucks)*
Local Government – Sen. John H. Eichelberger, Jr. (R-Blair)
Public Health & Welfare – Sen. Patricia H. Vance (R-Cumberland)
Rules & Executive Nominations – Sen. Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware)
State Government – Sen. Lloyd K. Smucker (R-Lancaster)*
Transportation – Sen. John C. Rafferty, Jr. (R-Montgomery)
Urban Affairs & Housing – Sen. David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill)*
Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness – Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne)

Wednesday NewsClips

Corbett Urges Caution On New Gun Control Measures
Observers Say PA Isn’t Ready For More Gun Control
Op-Ed: Corbett’s Office Is Following Right To Know Law
Poll: PA Republicans’ Mood Is For Compromise
Challenges Mount To Lottery Privatization Plan
Corbett Seeks To Counter Opposition To Lottery Plan
DeWeese Appeals Conviction On Corruption Charges
Orie Melvin’s Job As Judge Does Not Bar Her Prosecution
Orie Melvin: State Has No Authority To Prosecute Her
Court Asked To Dismiss Former Cal U President Lawsuit
LCCC Will Arm Security Personnel
State Treasury Adds Rebates To Unclaimed Property Listings
Philly Casino Applicants To Present Plans In Feb
PA Hit By Spike In Unemployment Comp Hotline Calls
Editorial: Kill Film Tax Credit
Cong. Dent Co-Sponsors Gay Rights Immigration Bill
Former Judge, Rep. Joseph Doyle Passes
Distressed Cities On Senate Democratic Agenda
Dauphin DA Considers Harrisburg Debt Inquiry
New Auditor General To Audit HBG Authority Finances
Harrisburg Carries $16 Million Deficit To Next Year
Editorial: State Should Ban Swaps
Click Here for today's PA Environmental News