Monday, April 8, 2013
Weekly updates from Moon-area state Rep. Mark Mustio.
Monday, April 8
This week’s Headline Harrisburg report “uncorks” just some of the government-limiting aspects of liquor privatization that await Pennsylvanians under House Bill 790. First of all, our current state-run liquor system was created in 1933 by then-Gov. Gifford Pinchot, who declared that the PA Liquor Control Board’s mission was to make liquor sales “as inconvenient and expensive as possible.” When you consider that now only two states, Pennsylvania and Utah, still maintain complete control over wholesale and retail operations, the LCB’s original mission statement becomes even more antiquated and prohibitionist. Not surprisingly, the public overwhelmingly and consistently agrees. Opinion poll, after opinion poll, confirms the same thing: …
Sunday, April 7, 2013
A concern about noisy nighttime trash collections in a North Hills community raises a bigger question of whether trash collection, lawn mowing, construction and other noisy activities in Pittsburgh's suburbs should have time limits.
Complaints from residents in a North Hills community have brought to light a problem that many municipalities have faced over time—when to restrict noise-making activities. Noise at night has been the topic of conversation at many board of commissioners and council meetings throughout the Pittsburgh area over the years. Ross Township commissioners are amending an ordinance to restrict the collection of garbage from commercial and/or non-residential areas from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. Currently, trash collection is not allowed in Ross between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. under an ordinance enacted in 1993. The township's decision was made after residents complained about noisy, night garbage collections near three North Hills School District buildings. …
Friday, April 5, 2013
Significant transportation investments must be made in the coming months, says Robinson-area state Sen. Wayne Fontana says.
Friday, April 5
Pennsylvania has one of the largest highway networks in the country and is one of the most heavily traveled, ranking fifth nationally in miles of state-maintained highways. In March, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) released its first ever Transportation Performance Report which details the Commonwealth’s efforts in safety, mobility, system preservation and accountability. The results of the report underscored the need for a significant transportation investment in the coming months. The Transportation Performance Report highlights how Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure continues to deteriorate at an alarming rate without a long-term solution or sufficient investment into the problem. Everything from …
Monday, April 1, 2013
Rep. Mark Mustio, R-Moon, discusses efforts to implement real-time tracking of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine purchases in Pennsylvania.
Monday, April 1
Uncorking the pros of liquor privatization A few short days after the PA House cast a historic vote in favor of House Bill 790, which contains my commonsense liquor privatization amendment, to end full government control of wine and spirits sales in the Commonwealth, I received a photograph from a constituent vacationing in Florida. In particular, the Now Hiring sign photographed below “uncorks” just some of the pro liquor privatization benefits that await Pennsylvania under House Bill 790, especially in the area of job creation. Just like Florida and several other states, I have personally visited such as Washington and Oregon, if Pennsylvania’s state liquor store system were sold off, or privatized under House Bill 790 our entire …
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Take our poll and give a grade to the roads, bridges and other parts of the public infrastructure.
The American Society of Civil Engineers has released its 2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure. Every four years, the ASCE grades the nation, state by state, on the condition and performance of the nation’s infrastructure in the form of a school report card—assigning letter grades that are based on physical condition and needed fiscal investments for improvement. Put mildly, the country didn't do so well. America's GPA (grade point average) came in at a D+. The ASCE says some investment is needed to raise that GPA—an estimated $13.6 trillion by 2020. Pennsylvania fared a little better, earning a C- as its grade. The report card indicates the state has 852 high-hazard dams, 5,540 structurally deficent bridges and notes that 57 …
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
A Moon resident writes that a mixed-use development would have been a better fit for the property at University Boulevard and Brodhead Road, where developers plan to construct a Walmart superstore.
To The Entire Board Of Supervisors Of Moon Township, It has been nearly a year since I sent you this letter that was sent to the Board of Supervisors in response to the Comprehensive Planning meeting of May 9, 2012. A full year has passed for the board to act and rezone the property that Walmart Corporation owns and has been unable to develop as a result of MoonFirst’s actions. MoonFirst is a community group that has resisted the idea of a big box development with a single use located in the heart of Moon Township. MoonFirst has pressed the Board of Supervisors to move ahead and rezone that property in case Walmart decides to sell their property or abandon their current development plan and propose a distribution warehouse, with continuous…
Monday, March 25, 2013
Updates from the state representative's Harrisburg office.
Mustio approves amendment to end state liquor monopoly The House voted this week to advance a measure, which contains my commonsense liquor privatization amendment, to end full government control of wine and spirits sales in the Commonwealth. The major intent of this amended version of House Bill 790 is to make beer distributors operating in Pennsylvania a convenient one-stop shop for all of their customers’ needs with regard to wine, spirits and beer. House Bill 790 phases out Pennsylvania’s current state-controlled wine and spirits stores gradually, as the number of privately operated outlets grows. The legislation would make available 1,200 licenses to sell wine and spirits, with beer distributors given the first opportunity to obtain…
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Or does it act more as a business? And what about the other major nonprofits in the area?
In a June 2012 "Taxpayer Alert," Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner questioned the fairness of nonprofits that have expanded their roles beyond the traditional definition of a charitable organization, but still maintain tax-exempt status. "In these challenging financial times, it is our duty and responsibility to address the questions raised by a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling and determine if properties are used for a truly charitable purpose," Wagner said in the report. "While exemptions are justified for clearly charitable organizations such as churches, soup kitchens and many others, some are plainly unfair." A 2012 state Supreme Court decision has given local governments a tool to challenge the loopholes in a five-…
Friday, March 22, 2013
The bill, introduced by Robinson-area state Sen. Fontana, aims to streamline the process of reporting child abuse.
As a response to the Jerry Sandusky and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia child abuse scandals, the Pennsylvania General Assembly created a Task Force on Child Protection in January 2012. The mission of the task force was to review the state’s child protection laws and procedures. After months of testimony throughout the state by various advocacy groups and professionals who deal with child abuse on a daily basis, the task force released their recommendations in November 2012. At a press conference on Tuesday, a bipartisan package of bills was introduced that provide for sweeping reform by updating Pennsylvania’s child protection laws based on recommendations by the taskforce. My longtime proposal, now Senate Bill 31 (SB 31), was part of …
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Check out what's circulating on social media after RMU's win.
What was your reaction to the game?