More debates on the fall legislative agenda
LGBT: State Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) is co-sponsoring a bill that would ban “gay conversion therapy” for LGBT youth in the state of Pennsylvania. Higher ed: For future Pennsylvania college students, both State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) and State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia) have introduced different versions of a bill that would allow students to go to college for no up-front costs, then pay the state back with a percentage of their income when they inevitably (see: hopefully) become employed after graduation. Weed: Marijuana legislation at the state level doesn’t really have a chance of becoming law with Tom Corbett in the governor’s mansion, but the fine people at Philly NORML and the Panic Hour comedy troupe have been putting together a series of monthly protests at Independence Mall they’re calling “Smoke Down Prohibition.” The next one will be this weekend (Sept. 21), and if you can’t make it, fear not: There will be one in October, and November, and the month after that, we’re sure. Guns: There was another mass shooting in the U.S. this week. This time, on Monday, 13 people were killed in Washington, D.C.’s Navy Yard. Well, a group of Pennsylvania legislators—led by Philly representatives and senators—have been trying for more than half a dozen years to pass legislation which would, among other things, restrict certain firearms often involved in mass shootings from Pennsylvania’s hands. They’ve so far been unsuccessful. Health: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act allows for states to be flexible on expanding their Medicaid program to those poor and working class individuals who earn 133 percent of the poverty wage. Gov. Corbett has finally come around to agreeing to a Medicaid plan—but it’s just about the worst crap we’ve ever heard. The state legislature will likely hold hearings on it this fall, and the federal government will weigh in, too. / R.L.