Jan Murphy | Wednesday, December 27, 2017, Harrisburg Patriot News
Some 10,135 patients have registered to participate in Pennsylvania’s nascent medical marijuana program so far with 1,188 of them certified by physicians to participate in the program, according to the state Department of Health.
“Patients have started to receive their medical marijuana identification cards, bringing us one step closer to getting medication to patients in the next four months,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a news release.
Kris B. Mamula | Tuesday, December 26, 2017, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Medicare is cutting payments to a dozen hospitals in Western Pennsylvania in the coming year for excessive infections and other patient safety issues, including five Allegheny Health Network facilities in the Pittsburgh area.
Of Allegheny Health Network facilities, Allegheny General, Allegheny Valley, Forbes, Jefferson and West Penn hospitals were among those cited for having too many catheter-related urinary tract and surgical infections from hysterectomy and colon operations, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees Medicare.
Jan Murphy | Wednesday, December 20, 2017, Harrisburg Patriot News
A funding bill that will provide $115.2 million over four years to help operate the state’s Office of Unemployment Compensation and pay for a technology upgrade is now law.
Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday signed the legislation that the General Assembly intends to be the last infusion of state dollars that is put into the system, which it believes should eventually be able to operate only on the federal dollars it receives.
Mary Ann Thomas | Tuesday, December 19, 2017, The Tribune Review
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced this week that it will complete 2,000 more inspections for its oil and gas program in 2017 because of a new iPad app.
The innovation is timely as DEP oil and gas compliance inspections have jumped by more than 300 percent in the past decade, from 10,566 in 2007 to almost 35,000 in 2016, according to a DEP press release.
Marc Levy | Saturday, December 16, 2017, Associated Press
HARRISBURG — Frustrated by shortcomings it has identified in elder-abuse investigations, Pennsylvania is trying to take a harder line with county agencies that were tasked with fielding nearly 30,000 complaints last year.
The Department of Aging is starting to grade counties on a more aggressive compliance schedule after telling some they had failed, sometimes repeatedly, to meet regulations and expectations on how complaints must be handled.
Among the shortcomings identified by state inspectors were failures to show investigations had started within the timeframe dictated by state law and inadequately investigating a complaint and logging the casework, according to documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
Rich Cholodofsky | Thursday, December 14, 2017, Pittsburgh Tribune Review
The first of 10 satellite casino licenses to be built in Pennsylvania will be auctioned off next month.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has announced a series of nine dates throughout the first half of 2018 in which it will receive sealed bids to purchase licenses for facilities to operate casinos with up to 750 slot machines and eventually as many as 40 table games.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017, The Associated Press
HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Legislature finished for the year on Wednesday after passing veto-bound abortion restrictions, while anti-union legislation sought by top Republicans failed and legislation to tax Marcellus shale natural gas production remained in limbo.
The GOP-controlled House and Senate each adjourned until January after a flurry of votes and a relatively spectacular showdown on the House floor between 25 rank-and-file Republicans and House GOP leaders over a Marcellus shale bill that has been effectively filibustered for weeks by opponents.
Johnathan Lai | Monday, December 11, 2017, The Philadelphia Inquirer
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s congressional map is so skewed toward Republicans that computer software tasked with randomly drawing maps produced hundreds of drawings that were more politically neutral, according to testimony Monday on the opening day of a state gerrymandering trial.
“Partisan intent predominated the drawing” of the current congressional map, said University of Michigan political science professor Jowei Chen, an expert witness testifying for the group of Pennsylvania voters bringing the challenge.
The Public Forum is a bi‑monthly KQV Radio Talk Show where Cohen & Grigsby Lobbyists and various guests discuss hot issues impacting Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC and the business community.
Our host for tonight’s show is guest host David Kalson, Chair of the Emerging Business and Technology group at Cohen & Grigsby, with guest Dr. Noah Snyder, President and CEO of Interphase Materials.
We hope you will listen tonight at 7:00 PM at 1410 AM, KQV.
* * * * *
If you have questions please contact Michelle Vezzani at MVezzani@cohenlaw.com or the public affairs professional with whom you work.
Jonathan Lai | Friday, December 8, 2017, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Republican lawmakers used detailed data on the partisan leanings of voters when they created the current Pennsylvania congressional map, according to documents federal judges had ordered them to turn over in a trial that began this week.
Lawyers for House Speaker Mike Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati had fought to keep private a trove of documents as they prepared for the trial, which began Monday in Philadelphia. They also sought to block the documents in a separate, state gerrymandering trial that begins next week in Harrisburg.
Gary Rotstein | Thursday, December 7, 2017, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Gov. Tom Wolf says he believes all Pennsylvanians in their later years should have the ability to continue living at home like his 94-year-old mother, even if they become frail and develop disabilities.
In touting his Community HealthChoices initiative in Lawrenceville Thursday, he mentioned his mother’s options late in life as an example of what the program is intended to provide starting Jan. 1 for those older or disabled adults who rely on government-subsidized health and long-term care services.
Wes Venteicher | Wednesday, December 6, 2017, The Tribune Review
About 180,000 Pennsylvania children could lose health insurance early next year if Congress doesn’t reauthorize spending for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller.
The state-administered program, known as CHIP, covers children whose families make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but who might not be able to obtain or afford private insurance.
Stephen Huba | Monday, December 4, 2017, The Tribune Review
The shale gas boom in Pennsylvania and other Appalachian states has been the chief driver of growth in U.S. natural gas production since 2012, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Monday.
According to the EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report, natural gas production in the Appalachia region — namely the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays — has increased by more than 14 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) since 2012.
Joseph N. DiStefano | Friday, December 1, 2017, The Philadelphia Inquirer
The phones stopped working again at Pennsylvania’s unemployment-compensation offices Tuesday. “Due to vendor-related technical issues,” the Department of Labor and Industry said.
The same department has had to rely on what state auditors in May called “antiquated” software, written in the COBOL language used by punch-card programmers in the 1970s, since spending more than $160 million on a replacement system that failed.
Jan Murphy | Thursday, November 30, 2017, Harrisburg Patriot News
Protesting the automatic pay raise that takes effect on Friday for state lawmakers, citizen activist Gene Stilp brought his giant inflatable pink pig to the Capitol steps on Thursday to protest what he considers legislative abuse.
While inflating the 25-foot-long pig that wore a “Taxpayers Abused Again” sign, Stilp said the .81 percent automatic legislative pay raise may not sound like much “but it’s still a pay raise while Pennsylvanians are suffering.”
Matthew Santoni | Wednesday, November 29, 2017, The Tribune Review
If you thought the wait at the DMV was bad now, imagine what it will be like with 10.7 million Pennsylvanians in line.
As PennDOT brings its driver-licensing systems in line with the federal REAL ID standards, the agency is urging residents to start gathering the required identifying documents or check with the state in a few months to see if they’re already on file. The state anticipates being able to issue licenses compliant with the 2005 anti-terrorism identification program starting in spring 2019, said PennDOT spokeswoman Alexis Campbell.