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Articles written by Anthony Hennen

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  • Report: Pennsylvania 19th Highest Tax Burden Nationwide

    ANTHONY HENNEN, The Center Square|Feb 22, 2024

    Pennsylvania’s total tax burden has gotten worse relative to other states, keeping residents more tax-burdened than the average American. A report from the Independent Fiscal Office found that Pennsylvania’s total taxes per capita ranked 19th overall at $6,710. While Pennsylvania fares better than New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware, it lags behind Ohio and West Virginia in total state and local taxes per capita. The mix is a slight decline from last year when Pennsylvania ranked 21st overall. The majority of taxes hit residents...

  • Rural hospitals 'On the Brink of Disaster'

    ANTHONY HENNEN, The Center Square|Feb 22, 2024

    Making rural health care better in Pennsylvania may require some significant changes in state law. Some experts point toward funding problems while others note legal barriers to improvements. “Rural health care in Pennsylvania faces some very unique challenges specific to its population and location,” Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, said during a Feb. 14 meeting of the Senate Majority Policy Committee. From vast distances to an aging population and a lack of providers, problems in the rural parts of the commonwealth will not disappear with...

  • Medical Marijuana Patients And Gun Ownership Rights

    ANTHONY HENNEN, The Center Square|Feb 15, 2024

    Amid debate over legalizing adult-use marijuana, lawmakers say Pennsylvania’s medical program needs some improvements – and call on the governor to lead the way. The medical program grinds against federal law: every cardholder faces the loss of their Second Amendment rights. That tradeoff was made clear in January when Warren County District Attorney Rob Greene announced that he obtained a medical marijuana card — and the law required the county sheriff to confiscate his license to carry a firearm. Phantom impairment, too, complicates...

  • Pennsylvania funds $40M to replace diesel trucks with EVs

    ANTHONY HENNEN, The Center Square|Jan 25, 2024

    The diesel-to-electric vehicle conversion continues as Pennsylvania coughs up the funds for localities and trucking companies to make an upgrade. The Department of Environmental Protection announced on Wednesday $40 million in grants to 16 applicants to replace aging diesel vehicles with EVs. The grants come from the $119 million Pennsylvania was awarded from a 2016-2017 settlement with Volkswagen after the company skirted emission rules. “Clean air is crucial in ensuring a healthy environment,” DEP Interim Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley...

  • OPINION: Farmworker Housing Crisis Looms

    Anthony Hennen, The Center Square|Jan 18, 2024

    The state Senate and House Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees gathered for a hearing at the PA Farm Show on January 10, 2024, to discuss the five-year impact of the 2019 Pennsylvania Farm Bill. The annual Pennsylvania Farm Show brings a circular focus to agriculture in Harrisburg and officials call attention to issues that get overlooked. During a joint House and Senate committee hearing, Pa. Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding warned that a housing shortage affects farmers, too. “One issue of particular interest right now is farmwork...

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