Recreational marijuana laws put on hold by NJ and NY. What’s that mean for Pennsylvania?

Jan Murphy | Wednesday, May 29, 2019, Harrisburg Patriot News

Pennsylvania’s neighbors to the north and east were seemingly hot on the trail of legalizing marijuana and it didn’t go unnoticed by Gov. Tom Wolf.

The strong interest in legalizing recreational cannabis coming out of New York and New Jersey was cited as a reason why Wolf sent Lt. Gov. John Fetterman on a statewide listening tour to hear what Pennsylvanians thought of the idea.

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Gov. Tom Wolf is sworn in for second term

Angela Couloumbis and Liz Navratil | Tuesday, January 15, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf took the oath of office Tuesday for a second term as Pennsylvania government’s chief executive, urging “faith” in the state’s ability to rise above ideological divides to fix problems together while embracing tolerance and diversity.

In his speech outside the state Capitol, the mild-mannered Democrat noted that his administration, working with a Republican-led legislature, was able to achieve major policy changes in the last four years, including legalizing medical marijuana, relaxing the state’s iron grip over alcohol sales, and beginning to rein in public pension costs.

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Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf, at halftime of an 8-year tenure, says he’ll focus on achievable goals

Charles Thompson | Monday, January 14, 2019, Harrisburg Patriot News

If you are hoping for sweeping policy changes or some kind of political adventure as Thomas Westerman Wolf begins his second term as Pennsylvania’s 47th governor Tuesday, you may be disappointed.

Pennsylvania’s manager governor, by most accounts and his own words, isn’t consumed right now with crafting a legacy for the history books, or positioning himself on the hot list of 2020 Democratic Party VP picks.

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Federal shutdown to pinch state in about two weeks, Gov. Tom Wolf says

Ed Blazina | Monday, January 7, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pennsylvania will begin to have problems as a result of the partial federal government shutdown in the next two weeks, especially in the area of human services, Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday.

Speaking after a Strip District event at Iron Workers Local Union No. 3 training center to promote workforce development, the governor said he expects employees whose salaries are paid with federal funds will be laid off if the shutdown doesn’t end soon. His office is still gathering information on how many people could be furloughed, but it likely would be several thousand.

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19 for ’19: From Gritty to Fetterman, Pennsylvanians you’ll be talking about in 2019

Charles Thompson | Wednesday, January 2, 2019, Harrisburg Patriot News

Happy New Year, PennLive readers.

We spent a good part of our Christmas break gazing in to our crystal ball to come up with a forward-looking list of Pennsylvanians we think you’ll be interested in keeping an eye on as 2019 unfolds.

Our list is predictive, and subjective; only time will tell how well it holds up.

But we can say that is has been culled through conversation with some of the brightest minds in the state. As you peruse, we hope it helps you learn a little more about Pennsylvania, what’s been going on here, and what lies ahead in 2019.

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10 reasons why marijuana could be legal in Pennsylvania (eventually)

Ron Southwick | Thursday, December 27, 2018, Harrisburg Patriot News

When Gov. Tom Wolf said last week it’s time to explore the possibility of legalizing pot in Pennsylvania, he brought a fresh wave of attention to the controversial issue.

After addressing the topic in a question-and-answer session on Twitter, Wolf said he wasn’t immediately throwing support behind any legislation. But citing other states that have allowed the sale of marijuana, Wolf said it’s worth examining their experiences and assessing whether or not Pennsylvania should follow suit.

To be clear, recreational marijuana isn’t coming any time soon.

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Pa. governor calls for ‘serious’ look at legalizing recreational pot

Wednesday, December 19, 2018, The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s governor says it’s time for the state to consider whether to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf made the comment Wednesday while answering questions from the public on Twitter.

Wolf says “more and more states are successfully implementing marijuana legalization,” and Pennsylvania should learn from their efforts.

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Low-interest loans available for Pa. homeowners affected by August floods

Paul Vigna | Monday, December 17, 2018, Harrisburg Patriot News

Harrisburg – Gov. Tom Wolf on Dec. 12 announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved his request to declare a disaster in Bradford, Columbia, Delaware, Northumberland, Schuylkill and Susquehanna counties after significant flood damage to homes and businesses was sustained from severe storms between Aug. 10 – 15, 2018.

“Despite the devastating impact of these storms and the hard work of county and state emergency management personnel to document the damage and make the case for providing aid through the Individual Assistance program, the federal government determined that the scope of the damage didn’t warrant such aid,” Wolf said in the release. “In lieu of funding from that program, my office immediately sought support through the SBA. Low-interest loan programs like these have proven to be important financial lifelines for families recovering from catastrophic weather events.”

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Does Pa. really need new voting machines? County commissioners question funding, timing

Jan Murphy | Monday, December 3, 2018, Harrisburg Patriot News

If Gov. Tom Wolf thinks county commissioners’ concerns about his directive to buy new voting machines will go away with last week’s promise to try to get the state to help pay for them, he’s got another thing coming.

Commissioners interviewed late last week offered a litany of other reasons beyond funding – and that’s a major concern –why they think this mandate to replace their machines with ones that create a paper trail by 2020 is unnecessary and being done hastily.

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Gov. Tom Wolf commits to push for the state to pick up at least half the cost of new voting machines

Jan Murphy | Thursday, November 29, 2018, Harrisburg Patriot News

Gov. Tom Wolf is committed to seeking to have the state to pick up at least half of the cost county governments face in replacing their voting machines.

In an email distributed to the county commissioners on Thursday evening, the Wolf Administration indicated the governor will be asking the General Assembly to kick in money to help defray the approximate $110 million cost to replace voting machines statewide.

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Will Gov. Tom Wolf and the GOP-controlled General Assembly get along better?

Jan Murphy | Thursday, November 8, 2018, Harrisburg Patriot News

With the election now over, Gov. Tom Wolf can shift his focus to pushing a second-term agenda that heavily builds on accomplishments of his first four years with a new lieutenant governor at his side.

The Democratic incumbent indicated in his brief victory speech on Tuesday night to his supporters with his Cabinet members standing before him and Lt. Gov-elect John Fetterman beside him, that is exactly what he wants to do.

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New law could alter how much Pa. Lottery winners get to spend

Jan Murphy | Tuesday, October 30, 2018, Harrisburg Patriot News

A new law took effect on Tuesday that will help some Pennsylvania Lottery winners spend their winnings.

The law, which was enacted by Gov. Tom Wolf a year ago, applies only to those lucky enough to win a single prize of more than $2,500.

It makes it so winners who owe back state taxes will have that amount deducted from their lottery winnings, provided their appeal rights on their tax debt has expired or were exhausted.

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Saving pets, slowing speeders, more: 16 bills Pa. legislators decided should become law

Jan Murphy | Friday, October 19, 2018, Harrisburg Patriot News

Gov. Tom Wolf better limber up his hand and have a good supply of ink on hand to sign or veto the cornucopia of bills that the General Assembly sent him over the course of the past few weeks.

Lawmakers were moving bills at a fast pace to avoid having them die due to inaction when the 2017-18 legislative session ends on Nov. 30.

Both chambers only have one day scheduled between now and then.

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Work zone cameras are coming to Pa. to enforce lower speed limits

Jan Murphy | Tuesday, October 2, 2018, Harrisburg Patriot News

Legislation to encourage motorists to keep their speeds in check in work zones and on roadways patrolled by state police is on its way to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk for enactment.

The Senate on Tuesday voted 47-1 to pass a bill that permits automated speed enforcement cameras in work zones on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, interstates, and other “federal aid” highways such as Routes 22/322 or 11/15 in the midstate in a five-year pilot project.

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Pennsylvania puts money in ‘rainy day fund’ for first time in years

Wes Venteicher | Thursday, July 12, 2018, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Thursday that Pennsylvania made a $22 million payment into its so-called rainy day fund, bringing the fund’s balance to $22.5 million.

The payment was the first significant deposit into the account since 2009, when the state drained it of $755 million amid the Great Recession.

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Program sets up Pa. children with seed money to start saving for college

Jan Murphy | Tuesday, June 26, 2018, Harrisburg Patriot News

Pennsylvania has become the latest state to automatically give a forward-looking birthday present to babies born in Pennsylvania or adopted by Pennsylvania residents after Dec. 31.

It’s a present that the newborn or his or her parents may be grateful for down the road when it comes time to to pay for the child’s post-secondary education, which is increasingly becoming a requirement in the 21st century workforce.

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In Pennsylvania, it’s budgeting the election-year way. But the economy helped.

Charles Thompson | Tuesday, June 19, 2018, Harrisburg Patriot News

It seems almost too easy to say it, but the 2018-19 state budget set for a vote in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Wednesday does have all the elements of an election-year budget.

And why not?

This is 2018 after all.

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Wolf calls on Pennsylvania Legislature to raise minimum wage

Brian C. Rittmeyer | Wednesday, June 13, 2018, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is calling on state lawmakers to raise the state’s minimum wage.

In a Wednesday morning tweet on Twitter , Wolf noted that more than half of the states have raise their minimum wage — including all states bordering Pennsylvania.

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Manufacturing initiative open for students

Johann Calhoun | Friday, May 4, 2018, The Philadelphia Tribune

Gov. Tom Wolf announced the opening of a new fellowship program through his Manufacturing PA Initiative designed to partner Pennsylvania’s best and brightest undergraduate and graduate students with local manufacturers to develop new technologies and advance innovation statewide.

“While exploring all the ways in which we could advance technology and innovation in the manufacturing sector, we realized that some of our best resources are the minds and enthusiasm of our students,” Wolf said. “By helping connect these students with manufacturers and giving them a real-world application for their research, we’re giving manufacturing companies greater ability to harness young talent to develop transformative new processes and technology.”

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Wolf eyes voting reform plan

Tuesday, March 27, 2018, Tribune News Report

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor wants legislation to let people register to vote on the day of elections and loosen the state’s strict rules for absentee ballots.

Gov. Tom Wolf said on Monday everyone who gets a license from the state Department of Transportation or signs up for a public service should be automatically registered to vote, unless they specifically opt out.

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