Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

It’s time for Pennsylvania to switch to an open primary

The 2016 election cycle has been unlike any presidential election in history.

The excitement and drama of the election has been fun and alluring for some, but for others, this election cycle has become repulsive.

With the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations seemingly in the bag, many voters feel disenfranchised by their political parties.

It isn’t hard to find people who are eager to disassociate with their political party.

It isn’t hard to find people who are eager to disassociate with their political party.

Just ask a former Ted Cruz or Bernie Sanders supporter or look at #NeverTrump or #NeverHillary on twitter.

There are conservatives who feel that the Republican Party no longer represents their ideas and progressives who feel the same towards the Democratic Party.

People are actively rejecting party labels.

But when you look at the numbers prior to the Pennsylvania primary, it tells a slightly different story.

Read the full article at PennLive.

Here’s how medical marijuana will slow down opioid abuse in Pa.

We have a problem in Pennsylvania. Most of us are personally aware of the devastating impact this epidemic has had on our state.

If you don’t have someone who has suffered within your own family, you likely know someone from  your high school class or community who is  fighting an uphill battle against this devastating addiction.

It’s time to do something about opioid abuse in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania’s opioid abuse epidemic has been rocking the state for several years.

More than 2,500 fatal overdoses were reported in Pennsylvania, last year. According to a recent federal Drug Enforcement Agency report, Pennsylvania is ranked ninth in the nation in per capita deaths from drugs, at almost 19 deaths per 100,000 people.

Read the rest on Penn Live, here.

Let Pa. students carry a concealed weapon for self-defense

According to a September 2015 Association of American Universities study, one in four females who spend four years at a college have been sexually assaulted.

When will Pennsylvania allow its young women to protect themselves on campus?

It’s not as if the Pennsylvania higher education system isn’t aware of the problem.

During freshman orientation at any of the Pennsylvania state System of Higher Education universities, students are immediately inundated with information about the realities of sexual assault on college campuses.

As my time at my state university continued, I saw even more attention being given to sexual assault.

There were posters being hung around the buildings telling students where to call if they had been assaulted and more support groups forming to help mend those who had been taken advantage of.

But one important point was always missing from these official discussions on ending campus assaults.

With such a prevalent issue effecting campuses across the nation including Pennsylvania, why doesn’t the state System of Higher Education have a uniform policy on whether students are allowed to legally carry a concealed weapon for self-defense?

Read the full article at PennLive, here.

Pennsylvania’s civil asset forfeiture laws among worst in America

The Institute for Justice recently released the second edition of its Policing for Profit report on the abuse of civil asset forfeiture. According to the report, the Keystone State “has some of the worst civil forfeiture laws in the country.” The Institute for Justice gave Pennsylvania a D-, with only Massachusetts and North Dakota scoring worse.

The city of Philadelphia was especially bad, garnering special notice in the main body of the report for what is described as a “forfeiture machine” that serves as a cash cow for the city police, and district attorney’s office. As the report notes “between 2002 and 2013, forfeiture revenues were equivalent to nearly one-fifth of the Philadelphia district attorney’s budget.”

This low grade is tied to three main factors: the “low bar to forfeit,” with “no conviction required”;  “the poor protections for innocent third-party property owners”; and the bad incentives created by the fact that “100 percent of forfeiture proceeds go to law enforcement.”

Read the rest on Watchdog here.

Pennsylvania should encourage a revival of civil society by cutting taxes

Pennsylvania has been without a budget for over three months, and now Governor Wolf is is holding school funding hostage. The budget stalemate was caused by the governor’s proposed tax increase—the largest in the state’s history.

Governor Wolf claims that the tax increase is necessary to achieve a balanced budget. But opponents of the governor’s plan are right to object. A recently released report by the American Legislative Exchange Council has found that increasing taxes reduces charitable giving.

The report found that when all state taxes are considered, “a 1 percentage point increase in the total tax burden is associated with a 1.16 per cent drop in charitable giving per dollar of state income.”

This is the result of the subsequent reduction in personal income and economic growth, which results from increased taxes. There is also a crowding out effect, where individuals view increased taxes as a substitute for charity.

The last point is especially important, as it has larger implications for the future health of civil society.

Read the full article at CapX America.