Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Aug. 18. Members of the General Assembly are scheduled to return to session Sept. 15.
Compulsory School Age
State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, introduced legislation that would lower the compulsory school age from 8 years old to 5 years old.
The minimum compulsory school age refers to the minimum age required by each state in which a student must be enrolled in, and attending, public school or some equivalent education program defined by the law. Currently, Pennsylvania’s minimum compulsory attendance age is higher than every other state in the nation except Washington, which also sets the compulsory age at 8.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry announced that the state’s unemployment rate rose in July to 5.7 percent, up 0.1 percent from June.
The gain was the first in the state unemployment rate since June 2012. The rate was half a percentage point below the U.S. rate of 6.2 percent, which was also up 0.1 percent in July. The state rate was down 1.8 percentage points from its July 2013 rate of 7.5 percent.
Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force—the number of people working or looking for work—was down 32,000 in July to 6.37 million due to a decline in resident employment, which went down 35,000. Despite July’s decline, employment has been trending upward. Pennsylvania’s employment has gone up 40,000 in the past year, and is up 21,000 so far in 2014. Unemployment, up 4,000, increased for the first time since August 2012.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced that gaming revenue from table games play at Pennsylvania casinos was $61.1 million in July 2014. The number represents a 1.93 percent increase in revenue over last July.
$8.8 million in tax revenue was generated from table games this July. There was a slight decrease in the combined overall gaming revenue at the 12 casinos this July compared to last year. The total revenue from slot machines and table games was $262.5 million this July, compared with $264.9 million in July 2013, a difference of 0.88 percent.