State troopers try body camera pilot program and more AP PA headlines

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania State Police says troopers are now wearing body cameras in a pilot program that’s to last through the end of 2018.  Acting Commissioner Robert Evanchick said Tuesday that patrol troopers in Troop B in Uniontown, Troop J in Avondale and Troop T in Somerset are trained and wearing the cameras on duty.

Evanchick says the program will help the department ensure it is prepared for wider use of the cameras.  The Pennsylvania State Police received a $52,000 federal grant to buy about 30 of the cameras. The department is using them under an interim policy that it is making public.  A 2017 Pennsylvania state law exempts police audio and video recordings from the state’s Right-to-Know Law, leaving the release of those records largely to the discretion of police.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Details of a state budget plan are emerging as rank-and-file Pennsylvania lawmakers are beginning to hear details about a package negotiated behind closed doors by top Republican lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.  A spending package of around $32.5 billion could get a House Appropriations Committee vote Tuesday and see passage by both Republican-controlled chambers by week’s end.

Lawmakers are expected to approve more money for public schools, as well as for public school safety spurred by February’s high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Republicans, however, are rejecting Wolf’s overtures for a severance tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.  Pennsylvania state government entered the final weeks of its fiscal year with stable tax collections, a year after budget makers filled a $2.2 billion deficit, largely by borrowing.



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