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Thursday, June 4, 2020
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Read the latest state, local and municipal government news from Franklin County Free Press

State briefs: Revenue down, civil unrest

In this list of state briefs, The Center Square reporter Cristin Smith talks about a drop in state tax revenues, the coronavirus and civil unrest.

Election Day important to Fayetteville vet

Since he couldn’t go to the polls Tuesday morning, staff at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital brought a ballot for the primary election to him.

Wolf disaster declaration

“People have every right to speak out and demonstrate, but it’s unacceptable to take advantage of protests to incite violence, harm others and destroy property,” Wolf said.

Borough lobby reopens Monday

The lobby, where borough residents can pay utility bills and ask questions about their accounts, has been closed since March. The side drive-up window has been open for bill paying, even when the lobby was closed.

Wolf to veto resolution

Eight Democrats broke across party lines to support the measure, recognized as a quick-fire way to lift restrictions on economic activity as the pandemic wanes across the state.

No investigation into undisclosed COVID-19 diagnosis

"While I understand their frustration and concern, a criminal investigation is not warranted based on our initial review," Shapiro said.

Primary election questions, answers

Franklin County’s Election Board has answered some important questions to help local voters navigate Tuesday’s primary.

House freezes General Assembly’s pay

Freezing annual cost-of-living adjustments for members of the General Assembly requires legislative action. House Bill 2487, authored by Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon), would do just that. It also freezes increases for senior members of the executive branch and the judiciary.

Borough solar project a win for residents

With a planned completion date of Summer 2021, the new solar system will provide enough energy to power approximately 2,450 homes each year.

Republicans: End disaster emergency

Democratic and Republican legislators disagree about what options the governor would have if such a resolution reached his desk.

Wolf vetoed bill, then issues exec order

Gov. Tom Wolf followed through on his promise to veto House Bill 2412 on Tuesday. Less than an hour later, he issued guidance that will allow real estate transactions to resume.

Mail-in ballots still available

The Franklin County election board has been mailing out absentee and mail-in ballots for several weeks and already have 4,000 back.

Topper reopens two offices

Bedford and Fulton transitioned to the COVID-19 imposed “yellow” zone this week. Franklin County remains in the state’s restricted “red” zone.

AG probes business waivers

AG Eugene DePasquale said he’s heard from confused business owners frustrated by apparent inconsistencies in the state’s waiver decisions.

Wolf threatens rogue counties

Over the weekend, several counties in the central region of the state announced intentions to progress their local economies to the yellow phase of the governor’s plan without his blessing.

State lawmakers demand apology

At a news conference today, Wolf used a military analogy to lash out at lawmakers and Pennsylvania business owners critical of his coronavirus mitigation strategy.

Pennsylvania counties go rogue

Officials from several counties across central Pennsylvania said over the weekend they will likely lift pandemic restrictions against Gov. Tom Wolf’s orders.

County legislators rebel

Franklin County has met the requirement of Wolf’s original ”Stay-at-Home” order, and should get to move to “yellow” status.

Civilian Coronavirus Corps criticized

Wolf told reporters the program will focus on testing and contact tracing. It will also provide jobs in the public health sector this fall, he said. He promised to release more information in the coming weeks.

Older Americans Month celebrated in May

May is Older Americans Month, a time when senior citizens are recognized across the nation for their contributions to their communities.

Lawn, garden center waivers okayed by House

Lawn and garden center waivers were state lawmakers latest effort to reopen more businesses, this time with bipartisan support. But the question...

AG audits business waiver process

Senate Republicans have pushed – repeatedly – for the administration to publicize the list of waiver applicants after complaints about unfair and illogical denials flooded their district offices.

Drivers license expirations extended

Driver licenses, photo ID cards and learner's permits expiring between March 16 and May 31 have been extended through June 30.

Chambersburg utility bills estimated

To protect employees and customers, the borough is estimating this month’s bills instead of reading meters this month. Regular readings resume in May.

I-81 resurfacing resumes in Cumberland County

The contractor also will perform barrier and parapet work daily from approximately 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be no traffic restrictions during this daytime work.

County Property Tax Payment Deadlines Extended

Commissioners extended the payment discount period as well as the face value payment period for those taxes. The action does not affect payment deadlines for municipality taxes.

Business waiver debate rages

Multiple business leaders and lawmakers criticized the governor’s waiver process for its lack of transparency and apparent inconsistency. Similar businesses received different results when they applied, they said.

Bills to reopen pass House

The Center Square Pennsylvania’s House lawmakers moved forward Tuesday on several bills meant to reopen certain businesses, despite...

Help for special class of unemployed

Help is now available for a special class of unemployed, thanks to the federal CARES Act, including most who would not otherwise qualify.

Wolf outlines ‘reopening plan’

The beginning of the phased, regional reopening approach will depend upon as-yet-defined “quantifiable criteria.”

Property tax relief bill sponsored by Mastriano

Revenue from sports betting goes into the state’s General Fund. Mastriano believes those funds should go toward property tax relief instead.

Construction resumes on courthouse project

The Franklin County Court Facility Improvement Project construction went on hold while county officials appealed their case to the governor’s office.

Bill headed to governor’s desk

The Pennsylvania House passed a measure Tuesday evening to allow remote notarization of documents, remote public meetings, and give municipalities flexibility to postpone property tax deadlines.

Jeff Sarver honored by Franklin County

The Sheriff's Office has received numerous emails and phone calls from teachers, administrators, and citizens in the community and in schools expressing how well Sarver represents the Sheriff's office and the County.

Annual bulky item days postponed

Annual bulky item days are almost a spring rite of passage in Greater Chambersburg. Now those events have been postponed until at...

Pennsylvania tax revenues slide amid coronavirus pandemic

Pennsylvania tax revenues came in 6.2% below expectations last month, providing a glimpse into the state’s fiscal future as the coronavirus pandemic further squeezes the economy.

SERVICE Value Award winners recognized

Franklin County’s SERVICE Value Awards are Franklin County government’s highest employee honor. Commissioners recently honored its 2019 winners.

Franklin County’s message to its citizens

Franklin County Emergency services Director Jacob Crider wants county residents to have a list o critical numbers to call if they don’t Hve an emergency but just ant information or help in non-emergency situations.

Pennsylvania Governor Reconsidering Liquor Store Closures

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said Sunday night he’s reconsidering his order to shutter liquor stores as part of the state’s coronavirus mitigation effort.

Franklin County Modifies Operations in Response to COVID-19

Franklin County is closing its buildings to the public beginning Monday, except in rare cases, until the current Coronavirus crisis is over.

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COVID-19 disaster declaration extended

The move will likely further strain the relationship between the Democratic administration and the Republican majorities in the House and Senate dead set on reopening the state’s economy faster than Wolf’s phased plan allows.