Pennsylvania Legislature

Headshots of Brad Bumsted, left, and Angela Couloumbis
Photo provided

A year-long investigation by The Caucus and Spotlight PA found lawmakers across Pennsylvania are obscuring campaign spending by not reporting the details to the public -- which is legal in the state. 

Democrats Hope To Ride Spending Wave To Pa. House Majority

Oct 24, 2020
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — National political winds, strong fundraising and heavy spending by outside groups are fueling Pennsylvania Democrats’ hopes that they can pick up the nine seats they need to retake control of the state House of Representatives after a decade in the minority.

Woman standing with End Child Marriage sign
Unchained at Last

Right now in Pennsylvania, there’s no minimum age for marriage. A 16 or 17-year-old can get married with a parent’s permission. A child younger than that can be married with consent from a parent and judge.

But legislation passed by both the state Senate and House would change that.

“It’s that rare legislation that harms no one, costs nothing and saves children from a human rights abuse. There is no drawback," said Fraidy Reiss, founder and executive director of Unchained at Last, an organization working to end child marriage.

Pennsylvania Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, one of the most prominent voices for reforming Pennsylvania's public defense system, in his office in Montgomery County.
Emma Lee / WHYY

If you hunt hard enough around Harrisburg, it is possible to find lawmakers who are on board with allocating state money for the public defense of the poor.

Possible, but not easy.

One of the most prominent voices on the issue is State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf. The 78-year-old lawmaker, whose Harrisburg tenure dates back nearly four decades, has an issue with Pennsylvania’s system of public defense that is rooted in the U.S. Constitution.

Pennsylvania has the largest full-time legislature in the country.
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

A long-awaited study out of the Pennsylvania General Assembly offered a scathing assessment of the state’s capital punishment system this week, saying the death penalty comes at a high cost to state taxpayers without deterring crime.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's Senate is rejecting a proposed constitutional amendment to reduce the number of its seats, but it's putting the onus back on the state House of Representatives to decide whether voters should get the question of shrinking it.

The Senate voted 42-7 on Thursday to send the measure back to the House after it stripped out a provision to reduce the Senate from 50 seats to 38.