Child Marriage Is Legal In 48 States. These Women Are Asking Why.

Over the past two years, at least 20 state legislatures have considered whether to ban marriage under 18. Only two have actually done it.

Brigitte Combs was legally married at a courthouse in San Marcos, Texas, in 1984. She was barely 15, and her seven-months-pregnant stomach showed in her blue-and-white sundress. She didn’t quite understand what she was doing there. She thought she was already married. A year earlier, at 14, Combs and her then–37-year-old husband had taken part in a spiritual ceremony as devotees of Hare Krishna. Now the teenager stood before a judge while her mother, who had arranged the marriage, provided the parental signature required to legalize the union.

With that, Combs became a stepmother to a boy four years younger than she was. She couldn’t even drive. Yet Combs didn’t resist the marriage initially. She saw it as a twisted way to escape her parents’ rigid home. Before they were married, she said, her “betrothed” introduced her to strawberry milkshakes and took her to her first movie, John Travolta’s Staying Alive. She thought if she got married and moved out, maybe she could finally enroll in school — something her parents forbade.


Bill to protect NJ-PA tax pact advances

The legislation would require majorities in both the New Jersey Assembly and Senate to approve ending the pact rather than allowing the state’s governor to unilaterally withdraw. Ending the deal could impact some 46,000 Bucks County residents who work in the Garden State.

New Jersey legislation that would make it harder to end the more than 40-year-old tax reciprocity pact that prevents Pennsylvania residents who work in New Jersey from paying income taxes to the Garden State, and vice versa, has been approved in the New Jersey Assembly.

It has now been sent to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to consider signing into law.


$32.7B budget package speeds through Pennsylvania House

HARRISBURG — A $32.7 billion spending package for Pennsylvania’s approaching fiscal year began speeding through the state Legislature on Wednesday with little public debate, a stark change from the first three budgets hashed out by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the House and Senate’s huge Republican majorities.

The centerpiece of the no-new-taxes plan unveiled just a day earlier won overwhelming House approval, 188-10. It was negotiated behind closed doors by Republican majority leaders with Wolf, and was slated for a Senate vote on Friday.

The new fiscal year begins July 1.


State recognizes community theaters with own week

State Rep. Perry Warren, D-31, celebrated the local performing arts scene Wednesday by recognizing the importance of community theater organizations and their positive impact. He invited local community theater representatives to the state capitol and introduced House Resolution 916, which formally recognized the week of June 3 as community theater week in Pennsylvania.

While Bucks County residents aren’t shy about bleeding green and white for the Philadelphia Eagles, their enthusiasm for community theater can often get lost in the rally chants.

But just like sports make for strong community ties, so do the theaters in towns that bring the arts to Bucks County, officials said.


PECO rate hike hearing set in Newtown

PECO is asking the state’s Public Utility Commission to approve a rate increase that could mean a 3.2-percent increase for residential customers.

The state Public Utility Commission will hold one of five hearings for a proposed PECO rate increase next week at Bucks County Community College in Newtown Township.

If approved, residential ratepayers in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and parts of York counties could see a 3.2-percent monthly rate increase, or about $40 dollars a year more on the average monthly usage rate of 700 killowatt-hours.



Highways, clean energy and job growth top issues in District 31 town hall

State Rep. Perry Warren was joined by state and local officials to address infrastructure and job creation days before the General Assembly begins the state budget process.

As legislators prepare for the upcoming state budget process, state Rep. Perry Warren told constituents Thursday during a tele-town hall to expect a push on road improvements, job creation and high-speed internet expansion.

More than 2,000 people called in to the meeting during which Warren answered questions from residents about ongoing construction on I-95, potholes and jobs that come with those projects.



Perry Warren sworn in as state representative; announces opening of District 31 office in Yardley

State Rep. Perry Warren was sworn into office as the new representative for the 31st Legislative District during a ceremony at the Pennsylvania Capitol on Jan. 3. He follows in the footsteps of Democrat Steve Santarsiero who gave up his seat to run for U.S. Congress.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives swearing-in corresponds with the first Tuesday in January, every two years. This year is Pennsylvania’s 201st legislative session.

“I am excited for the opportunity to serve my community and district as its state representative,” Warren said. “I look forward to representing my constituents in Harrisburg while continuing to learn more about the people who call our region home.”



Newtown Borough Council joins Mayor in thanking State Representative-elect Perry Warren for his service

Newtown Borough Mayor Corky Swartz joined the Newtown Borough Council on Tuesday in thanking State Representative-elect Perry Warren for his service on Council and to the borough and to wish him well as he heads to Harrisburg.

Mayor Swartz presented the outgoing councilor with a plaque affixed with a Mercer Tile acknowledging Warren’s service on Council.

“On behalf of the borough council and the citizens of the community I wish you well out in Harrisburg,” said Swartz. “And thank you for serving the borough.”



IN HARRISBURG: 31st District State Rep. Perry Warren appointed to five House committees

State Rep. Perry Warren, D-31, has been appointed to serve on five standing committees in the House of Representatives: Environmental Resources and Energy, Human Services, Insurance, Local Government and Transportation.

“First, I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Transportation Committee,” Warren said. “Pennsylvania has some of the oldest infrastructure in the country, and we must continue working toward improving our roads and bridges, while creating good-paying construction jobs to help boost our local economies.”



Joined by family and friends on the banks of the Delaware Canal, Newtown Borough Councilman Perry Warren announces candidacy for 31st District House seat

Joined by family, friends and supporters along the Delaware Canal Towpath off of East Afton Avenue in Yardley Borough, Perry Warren, a Newtown Borough Councilman, attorney and father of five, announced his candidacy on Monday for the 31st District seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The 31st District includes Lower Makefield Township, Wards 1, 2 and 3 in Morrisville Borough, Newtown Borough, Newtown Township and Yardley Borough.

First elected to Newtown Borough Council in 2009 and re-elected in 2013, Warren, a Democrat, was instrumental in adopting the borough’s non-discrimination ordinance, which proscribes discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 


Newtown Borough Council's Perry Warren To Run For State Rep.

Democrat Perry Warren, a member of Newtown Borough Council, has announced his candidacy for the 31st District seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Warren is an attorney and father of five. He is seeking the seat being vacated by Steve Santarsiero, who is running for Congress in 2016. Warren was first elected to Newtown Borough Council in 2009 and re-elected in 2013.

Representative Steve Santarsiero joined Warren during his announcement event in Yardley Monday.