Friday, 1 August 2014

A proposed new state tax on national oil company

A proposed new state tax on national oil company profits has been attacked by Republicans, who say it's impractical, possibly illegal and likely to result in higher gas prices.

A report from a progressive think tank suggests none of those fears are accurate.

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center says the "gross profits tax" would be a "good funding source" for Pennsylvania's public transit systems.

The 6.17 percent levy on the percentage of profits derived from a firm's Pennsylvania business would relieve the company from paying corporate net income tax, but the total tax paid would be much higher.

Researcher Sharon Ward says world demand for oil is so high right now - and refining capacity so low - that oil company profits will remain high and absorb the impact of any change to Pennsylvania law.

"Some lawmakers are concerned that the tax will translate into higher prices at the pump. The issue is much more complex than the discussion has been to date. We use what we believe is a more economically sound model. We think that the bulk of the tax, perhaps as much as 90
percent, will be paid by shareholders, not drivers," Ward says.

So far, the oil profits tax has attracted few fans in the legislature, but many mass transit systems have cut or are cutting service, so some kind of action is expected this summer.
As state budget negotiations pause briefly for the holiday in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's chambers of commerce are pushing for
business-friendly approaches.

Chamber leaders gathered at the Capitol to lobby against much of Governor Rendell's proposed budget.

They said they have a different philosophy when it comes to how the state should be spending money.

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry vice president Gene Barr said people will be poorly served and negatively affected by higher taxes or fees.

"Letting the free-market system work makes the most sense for Pennsylvania - trusting on the resources and ingenuity of its citizens and letting its citizens make the best decisions about themselves and their families will be the engine that drives Pennsylvania forward. And
state chambers and local chambers are a critical piece of that economic engine driving forward," Barr said.

House Democrats are pointing out that the spending plan they forwarded to the Senate did not contain the sales tax increase originally suggested by Rendell.

The administration says a revenue surplus means the budget can be balanced without that tax hike.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

PA officials remind employers of child labor laws

The state is reminding potential employers about Pennsylvania’s child labor laws as summer school vacations begin. State and federal laws limit when those under 18 can work. Whichever law is more stringent is the one that applies in a given situation. Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry spokesman Troy Thompson notes summer employment can yield gains for both employers and young employees – as long as the rules are followed.

Thompson says children under 14 can be newspaper carriers or caddies, they can do neighborhood chores and they can do some farm work, but that’s about it. He says young high-schoolers can work more hours, while older teens face fewer restrictions."Youth ages 16 and 17 can work a maximum of 8 hours a day – there are no limits between the times they can work – or 44 hours a week during summer vacation with no night work limit. They can be issued a transferable work permit to be used if they change jobs," 

Thompson says. Occupations classified as dangerous are off-limits. These include electrical, explosive and excavating work and activities like welding, roofing and mining. More information is available at the department website, keyword "labor laws."

Friday, 3 August 2012

Public broadcasting

Public broadcasting includes radio, television and other electronic media outlets whose primary mission is public service. Public broadcasters receive funding from diverse sources including license fees, individual contributions, public financing and commercial financing.

Public broadcasting may be nationally or locally operated, depending on the country and the station. In some countries, public broadcasting is run by a single organization. Other countries have multiple public broadcasting organizations operating regionally or in different languages.

Historically, in many countries (with the notable exception of the US), public broadcasting was once the only form or the dominant form of broadcasting. Commercial broadcasting now also exists in most of these countries; the number of countries with only public broadcasting declined substantially during the latter part of the 20th century.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Governor Corbett Issues Flag Order to Honor Fallen Firefighters on Oct. 16

Governor Corbett Issues Flag Order to Honor Fallen Firefighters on Oct. 16

Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett today ordered all U.S. and Pennsylvania flags
at the Capitol Complex and at commonwealth facilities statewide to fly at half-staff
on Sunday, Oct. 16 in honor of National Firefighters Memorial Day.
All Pennsylvanians are invited to join in this tribute.

Also today, Gov. Corbett announced that the Oct. 13 flag order he issued to honor
fallen Lower Burrell Police Patrolman Derek Kotecki will conclude at sunset on
Monday, Oct. 17, the date of Kotecki’s funeral.
Media contact: Kevin Harley, 717-783-1116

Monday, 12 September 2011

Governor Corbett Views Affected Flood Areas in the Harrisburg, Hershey, Lancaster and York Areas; Says the Worst of the Flooding is Over

Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett today said that the worst of the flooding in central and eastern Pennsylvania is over and that authorities are entering the recovery phase of this disaster.
“The people of this state owe a big debt of gratitude to the state police, to local fire, police and ambulance services. I also want to note the exceptional work done by the men and women of our national guard,” said Corbett.
Currently there are 12 unconfirmed deaths in the commonwealth associated with this disaster.
“A combination of planning, quick response and the bravery of our emergency crews has prevented that number from being far higher,” said Corbett.
The Governor reminded residents returning to their properties that many serious safety issues exist when re-entering their home. The following advice should be followed during the clean-up effort.
 Do not return to your home until your evacuation order has been lifted.
 Take great care while cleaning up
 Make sure utilities including gas and electric are disconnected before entering your basement
 Call your insurance agent to see what is covered
 Don’t do business with unlicensed contractors, call the Home Improvement Registration Hotline 1-888-520-6680
 Throw out food that has gone through the flood
 Check with local authorities before drinking your tap water
“We are counting on President Obama to recognize this as a major disaster and to issue a declaration saying so. This opens the doors to federal
assistance to public agencies and individuals, mostly through the Federal Emergency Management Agency,” said Corbett.
All residents with flood insurance should call their agents now, take photographs of everything inside and out, save all receipts and above all thoroughly check out all contractors you sign on to do work on your property.
At this point, the commonwealth will remain at a level two state emergency.
Media contacts:
Cory Angell or Ruth A. Miller, PEMA; 717-651-2009
Kelli Roberts, Governor’s Office; 717-783-1116

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

State Police Enforcement Effort Removes Trucks, Drivers from Service

Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania State Police placed 163 trucks and 39 drivers out
of service during a recent one-day enforcement effort that focused on inspecting
commercial vehicles that transport hazardous materials.
“Every day in the United States, trucks transport more than 800,000 shipments of
hazardous materials. As many of these shipments pass through Pennsylvania, it’s
our goal to make sure they are transported safely,” State Police Commissioner
Frank E. Noonan said today.
The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safe Transportation of Placarded Substances detail,
or S.T.O.P.S, was conducted Aug. 31 by members of the motor carrier enforcement
A total of 1,356 commercial vehicles were inspected during the effort, and 53
percent of the trucks inspected had at least one safety violation, Noonan reported.
Officers handed out 823 traffic citations and 1,268 written warnings for vehicle and
driver violations.
Find more information about State Police online at
Media contacts: Maria A. Finn or Sgt. Anthony Manetta, 717-783-5556
Editor’s Note: Following is a breakdown, by troop area, of the number of vehicles
inspected; number placed out of service; and citations issued by State Police during
the one-day program:
· Troop A (Cambria, Indiana, Somerset and Westmoreland counties), 87
inspections; 12 vehicles out of service; one driver out of service; 23
citations; 106 warnings.
· Troop B (Allegheny, Fayette, Greene and Washington counties), 104
inspections; 10 vehicles out of service; no drivers out of service; 51
citations; 88 warnings.
· Troop C (Clarion, Clearfield, Forest, Elk, Jefferson and McKean counties), 171
inspections; 14 vehicles out of service; four drivers out of service; 72
citations; 185 warnings.
· Troop D (Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence and Mercer counties), 144
inspections; seven vehicles out of service; three drivers out of service; 48
citations; 84 warnings.
· Troop E (Crawford, Erie, Venango and Warren counties), 72 inspections; 16
vehicles out of service; no drivers out of service; 47 citations; 83 warnings.
· Troop F (Cameron, Clinton, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter,
Snyder, Union and Tioga counties), 103 inspections; 14 vehicles out of
service; six drivers out of service; 96 citations; 91 warnings.
· Troop G (Bedford, Blair, Centre, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata and Mifflin
counties), 102 inspections; seven vehicles out of service; two drivers out of
service; 26 citations; 90 warnings.
· Troop H (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Perry and York counties),
33 inspections; five vehicles out of service; one driver out of service; 10
citations; 35 warnings.
· Troop J (Chester and Lancaster counties), 60 inspections; 15 vehicles out of
service; three drivers out of service; 50 citations; 92 warnings.
· Troop K (Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties), 71 inspections;
three vehicles out of service; one driver out of service; 47 citations; 48
· Troop L (Berks, Lebanon and Schuylkill counties), 68 inspections; seven
vehicles out of service; one driver out of service; 32 citations; 50 warnings.
· Troop M (Bucks, Lehigh and Northampton counties), 33 inspections; two
vehicles out of service; one driver out of service; 18 citations; 31 warnings.
· Troop N (Carbon, Columbia, Monroe and part of Luzerne counties), 42
inspections; 14 vehicles out of service; four drivers out of service; 72
citations; 15 warnings.
· Troop P (Bradford, Sullivan, Wyoming and part of Luzerne counties), 54
inspections; 10 vehicles out of service; two drivers out of service; 33
citations; 36 warnings.
· Troop R (Lackawanna, Pike, Susquehanna and Wayne counties), 76
inspections; 12 vehicles out of service; two drivers out of service; 50
citations; 82 warnings.
· Troop T (Pennsylvania Turnpike), 136 inspections; 15 vehicles out of service;
eight drivers out of service; 148 citations; 152 warnings.


Thursday, 25 August 2011

UPDATE - Health Officials Announce Measles Exposure in Lancaster and Philadelphia Counties

Aug. 24, 2011
UPDATE - Health Officials Announce Measles Exposure in Lancaster and
Philadelphia Counties
Harrisburg–The Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Philadelphia
Department of Public Health are advising the public of exposure to a case of
measles in Lancaster and Philadelphia counties.
An international traveler visiting Pennsylvania has been diagnosed as having
measles. He may have exposed other people to the disease while contagious at the
following dates, times and locations:
Philadelphia County
· Aug. 14, 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Greyhound Bus Lines station, 1001 Filbert
· Aug. 14, 5 p.m. to Aug. 17, 5:30 p.m., Philadelphia-Historic District Holiday
Inn, 400 Arch St.
· Aug. 15, 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Ride the Ducks Duck Boat Tour (Zone 1),
beginning at 6th and Chestnut Sts.
· Aug. 16, 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., 30th St. Station, 2955 Market St.
o The individual departed on the Amtrak Keystone Line Train #643 to
Lancaster, Pa.
· Aug. 17, 1:30– 5 p.m., 30th St. Station, 2955 Market St.
o The individual departed on the Amtrak Northeast Regional Train #171
to Manassas, Va.
Lancaster County
· Aug. 16, 12:06 – 3:30 p.m. and 5:40-9:10 p.m., Lancaster Amtrak stop, 53
McGovern Ave., Lancaster, Pa.
o The individual arrived via the Amtrak Keystone Line Train #643 from
Philadelphia, Pa., which then went on to Harrisburg, Pa.; he left on a
6:10 p.m. train, Keystone Service # 656, to Philadelphia, Pa. which
then went on to New York City. Persons riding between Lancaster and
Harrisburg or between Philadelphia and New York City might also have
been exposed to the measles virus that could remain in the air inside
the train.
· Aug. 16, 2:30 – 7 p.m. at the following locations:
o Amish Experience at Plain and Fancy Farm, 3121 Old Philadelphia Pike,
Bird-in-Hand, Pa.
o Glick’s Roadside Stand, 248A Monterey Road, Bird-in-Hand, Pa.
o Riehl’s Farm/Quilt Shop, 247 E. Eby Road, Leola, Pa.
Based on the dates of exposure in Pennsylvania, it is possible that symptoms could
develop as late as Sept. 7 if individuals were infected during the timeframes
mentioned above.
Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus. Symptoms begin one to two weeks
after exposure and include a runny nose, watery eyes, cough and a high fever.
After four days, a raised, red rash starts to spread on the face, down the body and
out to the arms and legs. The rash usually lasts four to seven days.
An individual with measles can spread the virus to others for four days before and
four days after the rash begins. It is spread during sneezing or coughing, by
touching contaminated objects and by direct contact with infected nasal or throat
secretions. Infected droplets and secretions can remain contagious on surfaces for
up to two hours.
Complications from measles can include ear infection, diarrhea and pneumonia,
encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain) and even death. Measles can also cause
miscarriages or premature delivery in pregnant women.
Most people in the United States are immune to measles, either because they
received the Measles Mumps Rubella (known as the MMR) vaccine in childhood, or
because they were exposed to measles in the pre-vaccine era.
The MMR vaccine is given to toddlers when they are 12 to 15 months of age, and a
second dose is required for all Pennsylvania school children. However, individuals
who have received only one dose of the vaccine, instead of the recommended two
doses, may still be at risk of infection with this virus.
The following groups of individuals are at risk of becoming infected with measles:
· Infants less than one year of age, because they are too young to receive the
MMR vaccine;
· Persons who were vaccinated with an inactivated vaccine, which was used
from 1963 through 1967, and have never been revaccinated;
· Persons born after 1957 who have only received one dose of MMR vaccine;
· Those who refused vaccination; and
· Those from parts of the world where there is low vaccination coverage or low
circulating measles.
If you or your children are at risk for measles and become ill with symptoms one to
two weeks after possible exposure, you should contact your health care provider
immediately and tell them that you’ve been exposed to measles so that precautions
can be taken to avoid exposing anyone else and the cause of illness can be
Health care providers who treat patients with a suspected case of measles should
immediately call their local health department and/or the Pennsylvania Department
of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (877-724-3258) for consultation and to arrange
For more information about measles, visit Anyone who is not
immune to measles and is interested in receiving MMR should ask their health care
provider or contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH.
Media contacts:
Christine Cronkright or Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Pa. Department of Health; 717-
Jeff Moran, Philadelphia Department of Public Health; 215-686-5244
Editor’s Note: This version amends previously reported information about the
traveler’s return trip to Philadelphia from Lancaster. It now includes an additional
trip via Amtrak.