Capitol Wire: Pennsylvania House insurance committee hearing coverage

Who is covering insurance committee meetings!? I am! This a brief for Capitol Wire, an online-only, subscription service for state government, policy wonks. I won’t post most subscription stuff, but this is just so damn boring, I know it just doesn’t matter. And, fair use law has to include something so short.

By Christopher Wink | Jun 16, 2008 | Capitol Wire

HARRISBURG (June 16) The House Insurance committee passed a flurry of legislation in a meeting Tuesday.

All told, six bills were reported from committee, though only two were the subject of any debate.

Four were passed unanimously, including the following: bills 1824, which would funnel federal funding to community-based health providers; 2490, which would make a refusal to renew an insurance policy based on an adjacent property an unfair practice; 2580, which would require health insurance policies to reimburse services provided by licensed occupational therapists, and 2625, which is a companion to 1824 and would establish a system of assessment for community-based health care providers.

Bills 1122, which would create a health insurance consumer advocate, and 2642, which would limit some rate increases used by insurance providers, passed but received some Republican opposition.

Cartoon courtesy of Allen Brown Insurance Agency.

Number of Views:2134

Capitol Wire: Child safety task force

Before the pressures of writing for legislative-heavy, paid subscription state government, online service Capitol Wire fully got to me, I started yesterday by covering a task force meeting. Brief, but still managed to be frighteningly dull.

Again, it’s a paid subscription, so I won’t be able to post full stories, but get a taste below and then fork up the $1,000 or so to get the insight that I – and men smarter than I am – will provide for an entire year.

A hearing byline for Capitol Wire

A Joint State Government Commission Task Force on Child Safety will release its advisory committee report “as soon as possible,” one member said today.

The task force and its report, which includes 12 recommendations for the General Assembly, came at the behest of a House Resolution from June 2005, requesting ways to curtail preventable child injuries and deaths.

Its recommendations include legislation that would create a post within the Pennsylvania Department of Health to address consumer and constituent concerns with child safety, require annual reports on child safety, and increase staff charged with child safety issues.

Check out CapitolWire.com. Image courtesy.

Number of Views:1586

Welcome to Capitol Wire, Christopher

This State Capitol post-graduate internship in Harrisburg has taught me plenty already. I spent my first two weeks working with a helluva state government reporter – more than a quarter decade in, and still happy with his life! – and did plenty for him and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

But, the value of this internship – rotating through the state’s five largest newspapers – keeps me moving. So, today I started with the other participant in the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents’ Association internship program – Capitol Wire, an online-only, subscription service catering to legislators, lobbyists, state government journalists, advocates, watchdogs and Capitol policy wonks everywhere.

What that means is I am about to get an entirely different level of education on state government.

Because the dirty secret of general interest newspapers is that they are general interest, so readers don’t tend to have in-depth of knowledge on most of the subjects about which they read, so – believe it – the journalists writing on those subjects are rarely experts either.

So, I am trying to navigate my way through a 900-word, in-depth review of a major health insurance initiative by the Rendell administration. Wish me luck.

Image courtesy The Capitol.

Number of Views:3976

Dwight Evans owns the world

Very good story by Brad Bumsted – top notch State Capitol reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – on Philadelphia’s own Dwight Evans.

Evans’ star rises to top of House

HARRISBURG — Over the past year, Rep. Dwight Evans has emerged as the most powerful member of the state House.

“Dwight Evans is the real powerhouse now in the (Democratic) caucus,” said G. Terry Madonna, a political science professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster.

As chairman of the Appropriations Committee, the affable Evans, 54, of Philadelphia is the fifth-ranking member on the depth chart of Democrats, who control the House by a one-vote margin.

Read the rest here.

We also learn that Evans loves Dancing with the Stars.

Image WHYY.

Number of Views:2335

Angry Journalist contribution

Of course you know the incredibly despondent Web site AngryJournalist.com.
Well, in order to not break the site’s rules of anonymity, I will just mention that I saw this post.
Angry Journalist #5095:

I am angry that an experienced journalist would have this conversation with a newly graduated intern:

Journalist: “I hate this place.”
Intern: Why do you stay?
Journalist: ”I don’t know what else to do.”

Photo courtesy.

Number of Views:3370

Academic honors during my Temple University career

Relevant academic honors

  • Honors Thesis, Two-Party Politics in Philadelphia, April 2008
  • Named among Top 100 young journalists in the country, UWire, May 2008
  • Commencement Speaker, Temple University’s 121st graduation, May 2008
  • First Place, Collegiate Keystone Press Award for Personality Profile, April 2008
  • Diamond Award, Temple University recognition for leadership, May 2008
  • Pi Sigma Alpha, political science honor society Delta Rho chapter, May 2008
  • Marks and Emma Kohn Memorial Award for excellence in social sciences, April 2008
  • Ted Von Ziekursch Scholarship for journalistic achievement, April 2008
  • Honors Department, Temple University entrant, July 2006
  • Diamond Award, Temple University recognition for student journalism, May 2006
  • Ralph Vigoda Collegiate Journalism Award, May 2006
  • First Place, Collegiate Keystone Press Award for Spot News, April 2006
  • Political Science Honors Department, Temple University entrant, April 2006
Number of Views:4506

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Dog kennel hearing

Coverage for today’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

HARRISBURG — Kennel owners told a House committee Thursday that a proposed overhaul of commercial dog laws in Pennsylvania would go too far.

“We don’t support a bill that makes it easy to criminalize largely law-abiding people,” said Rob Sexton, vice president of government affairs for the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, which includes members who raise hunting dogs.

Proposed criminal and civil penalties of up to $1,000 against violators are too steep, Sexton said.

“Treating all licensed kennels the same (with fines) would mean financial ruin to many, if not all, kennels.”

Read the rest on Pittsburgh Live. Image courtesy.

Number of Views:2931

About the most racist thing I've seen on TV

I tend to think white liberal guilt causes more use of the word “racist” than bigotry ever could. White self-labeled progressives are more likely to call Fox News peddlers of the extreme than anyone, I think.

But even I was stunned by the senseless blanketing of black America by the news channel.

Yeah, in discussing Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama’s wife Michelle, a producer referred to her as his “baby’s mama.” Of course using a phrase associated with low income, split families – a situation stereotyped as afflicting only blacks – to describe an educated, solidly upper middle class, married couple with degrees from Columbia, Harvard and Princeton universities is beyond insensitive and ignorant.

Hat tip to Whatever for a post on it and my sister for forwarding it.

Number of Views:3475

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Illegal immigration rally

Rally coverage from yesterday for today’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

HARRISBURG — As the Pennsylvania General Assembly plunges into its annual budget negotiations, state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe is focusing on what is becoming his signature concern: immigration reform.

“The illegal alien issue in Pennsylvania is costing taxpayers millions of dollars,” the Butler County Republican said. “So I think the budget season is the perfect time to announce this legislation.”

Metcalfe held a rally in the Capitol on Wednesday to introduce two bills that would levy legal and economic sanctions against local governments that violate federal immigration law by supporting people who come into Pennsylvania illegally, whom Metcalfe has called “illegal alien invaders.”

Read the rest on Pittsburgh Live here. Image from previous rally in Philadelphia, courtesy Diggers Realm.

Number of Views:2824