State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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Links: Voter ID law could be left mostly whole, judge to rule on stay of execution

Written by Mary Wilson, Former Capitol Bureau Chief | Sep 28, 2012 8:02 AM

Thumbnail image for capital_dome_cropped.jpgThe judge in the voter ID case is suggesting he may issue an injunction that keeps most of the law, and in the November election requires people without voter ID to vote by provisional ballot.

The state Board of Pardons did not vote on Terrance Williams’ second request for clemency yesterday, deciding to wait until a Philadelphia judge makes her ruling today on whether or not to stay the execution scheduled to take place next Wednesday. From the Patriot-News:

“It’s going to be a very unpredictable few days,” said Tom Dolgenos of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office outside the hearing room.

Judge Sarmina’s ruling on Friday — whatever she rules — is likely to be appealed. If Williams loses, then the Board of Pardons decision comes into play, and even if they vote unanimously for clemency, the final decision still rests with Gov. Tom Corbett.

The Board of Pardons had previously voted 3-2 in favor of granting clemency, but it requires a unanimous vote to forward a clemency request to the governor.

The defense asked for another hearing because the prosecution gave inaccurate information to the board in response to a question from one of the members who voted against clemency.

The PA Independent digs into the prospect of consolidating the commonwealth’s many, many municipal pension plans:

Auditor General Jack Wagner, who by law must audit the state’s municipal pensions annually, called for the consolidation effort last week, arguing that it would lead to higher investment returns and less risk for taxpayers.

“Pennsylvania has too many small and underfunded municipal pension plans that could cost taxpayers millions of dollars to maintain,” Wagner said. About 36 percent of the state’s municipal pensions lack adequate funding.

But how or whether these pension funds are consolidated will be determined by the lawmakers.


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