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Pennsylvania in focus: Senate sends Gov. Tom Wolf bill prohibiting local government from banning, taxing plastic bags

By   /   June 15, 2017  /   News  /   No Comments

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pa. Senate sends bill to Wolf prohibiting local government from banning, taxing plastic bags

Those filmy plastic bags from the grocery or corner deli are convenient and cheap, but they also can become urban tumbleweeds, one reason cities across the country have banned or imposed fees on them.

Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Legislature doesn’t want local governments to have the option.

The state Senate on Wednesday passed and sent to the governor legislation that would prohibit cities, towns and counties from banning or taxing recylcable plastic bags. Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, opposes the measure but has not decided whether to veto it, a spokesman said.

It is one of a string of legislative efforts over the years designed to pre-empt municipalities from acting on their own on controversial issues. Backers say that such a prohibition in the case of plastic bags is necessary to prevent job losses, while environmental groups opposed the legislation, arguing that communities should have the option in order to fight litter.

Lawmakers and aides say they do not know of any local laws restricting plastic bags in the state.

Patriot News: Proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline through Pennsylvania debated

Supporters and opponents came out in force to offer testimony on the construction of the 183-mile natural gas pipeline through Pennsylvania.

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection heard testimony on the proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project at Lebanon Valley College in Annville. The issue being discussed was the outstanding DEP permits that the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company must receive in order to build the pipeline.

The proposed pipeline seeks to connect gas-producing regions in northeast Pennsylvania to natural gas customers in mid-Atlantic and southern states. If approved, the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline would go through northern, central and southern areas of the Pennsylvania.

Several dozen people attended the public hearing Wednesday night. Those that provided testimony had opinions that varied from enthusiastic support to strong opposition.

Erie Times-News: New Pennsylvania law opens up wine, liquor sales at ballparks

There’s a new pitch being made at UPMC Park this season: wine and liquor.

For years, the SeaWolves and other baseball clubs across Pennsylvania were restricted to selling wine and liquor only in private areas, such as suites. But Act 166, which altered the state’s liquor code in January, has changed all that.

Now, you can choose from about 18 brands of wine and liquor at two stations in the ballpark — in the concourse on the first-base side and in the left-field picnic area.

Pinot grigio might not seem a normal fit with Cracker Jack and hot dogs, but William Cleis suspects that will change, at least for some. Cleis is the director of operations for Professional Sports Catering, the Illinois-based concessionaire for the SeaWolves since 2011, which holds the ballpark’s liquor license.

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