Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Pennsylvania in focus: Midstate lawmaker pushing property tax elimination, other cost-cutting reforms

By Watchdog News - August 08, 2017 at 07:14AM

ABC 27: Midstate lawmaker pushing property tax elimination, other cost-cutting reforms

Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) is a fresh face in the state legislature.

But the 66-year-old is a bit more grizzled in life. He spent 41 years in the United States Marine Corps, retiring as a colonel. He did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also a certified public accountant who laughs that he’s spent 30 years trying to keep companies out of bankruptcy.

The CPA warns that PA is running out of time to fix its finances.

“That’s two to four years from now before we have to turn this ship completely or the game’s over,” Ryan said from his Capitol office Monday.

The retired Marine colonel has what he calls a financial rescue plan and he’s on a mission to implement it.

“We can fix this, but it requires all of us to be realistic,” he said.

Realistic means sacrifices by all. He wants state government operations to take a 10-percent cut. He insists that’s not a cut to programs that citizens rely on but rather the bureaucratic cost of administering those programs.

Fox 43: Judge rules authorities can seize first Lancaster County property in Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline case

Authorities can seize the first property in the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline case, according to court documents.

U.S. Eastern District Court Judge, Jeffrey Schmehl, issued an order on Tuesday that gave the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company the right to condemn Jeffrey and Kim Kann’s property along Main Street in Conestoga Township.

According to the order, “the U.S. Marshal Service, or a law enforcement agency it designates, shall be authorized to investigate and arrest, confine in prison and/or bring before the Court any persons found to be in violation of this Order and in contempt of this Order.”

The company can now obtain temporary and permanent rights of way for the pipeline.

Thus far, it is the first eminent domain order against 30 Lancaster County landowners that have refused to sell their land for the pipeline.

Reading Eagle: Opioid crisis far worse in Pennsylvania, new study says

Pennsylvania’s opioid drug and heroin death rates are far worse than previously reported and are among the worst in the nation, according to a study published Monday in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

The study projected that Pennsylvania’s death rate from heroin was 8.1 per 100,000 people in 2014, far greater than the 3.9 per 100,000 figure previously reported by the federal government. The corrected figure gave Pennsylvania the fourth-highest rate in the nation, while previously it had ranked 20th.

The study projected that Pennsylvania’s actual death rate from all opioid drugs was 17.8 per 100,000 people in 2014, ranking it seventh in the nation, while the previous rate of 8.5 deaths per 100,000 had ranked it 32nd.

The previously reported rates, made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, relied on information taken from death certificates.

from Watchdog.org