Archive

Wolf wants to hand Philadelphia schools back to city

December 19, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

When governor-elect Tom Wolf takes office next month, Philadelphia schools might get released from state control.

In 2001, the School District of Philadelphia was taken over by the five-member School Reform Commission — three appointed … Read the rest

Philadelphia drops civil asset forfeiture case against family

December 19, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

The city of Philadelphia has dropped its attempt to seize two homes using civil asset forfeiture laws.

HOME SWEET HOME: Chris Sourovelis and his family will be allowed to return to their home after

Read the rest

Two Philly Dems charged in once-abandoned bribery sting

December 17, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

Two more Philadelphia lawmakers were charged Tuesday in connection to a sting operation that caught them accepting bribes in return for votes.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced charges against state representatives Vanessa Lowery Brown … Read the rest

Report finds teachers woefully unprepared for classroom challenges

December 12, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

Teachers are not ready to teach.

That was the bold message delivered by the National Council on Teacher Quality this week in a scathing national report on educators.

Pennsylvania got particularly poor marks on retaining … Read the rest

Why 2015 could be the year for medical marijuana legalization in Pennsylvania

December 10, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Medical marijuana legislation will get a second chance in 2015.

The bipartisan pair of state senators who pushed for legalization during 2014 announced this week they will re-introduce the same text of a bill … Read the rest

Pennsylvania pension costs to climb by $466 million next year

December 5, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Lawmakers and governor-elect Tom Wolf will head into next year’s budget process with lots of new obligations to fulfill and little excess revenue with which to do it.

State-level contributions to Pennsylvania’s two pension … Read the rest

SEPTA lawsuit: Does the First Amendment allow comparisons to Hitler?

December 2, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

A controversial ad comparing Islamic fundamentalists to Adolf Hitler could soon be appearing on buses and trains in the Philadelphia area.

The group paying for the ads says it has a right, under the First … Read the rest

New bosses look a lot like the old bosses after leadership shuffle in Harrisburg

November 26, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Gov. Tom Corbett and state Sen. Dominic Pileggi were given the boot earlier this month, reshuffling political power heading into 2015.

Corbett was ousted by the voters, who chose governor-elect Tom Wolf as … Read the rest

PA Senate leader: Complicated bills unlikely to reach Corbett before term ends

November 25, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Republicans have controlled the governor’s office, state House and state Senate the last four years, but couldn’t push liquor privatization past the finish line or muscle through public pension reform before the November election … Read the rest

Governor-elect’s proposal for sick days upsets some businesses

November 24, 2014 | By | Posted in Governor

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf won’t take office for another two months, but one part of his Fresh Start policy plan already has business types feeling queasy.

Wolf wants to implement a new sick leave policy … Read the rest

Auditor General: Pension funds spend millions on investment fees, but PA taxpayers in the dark

November 21, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Taxpayers are largely in the dark when it comes to Pennsylvania’s pension funds’ riskiest investments.

With nearly $8 billion invested in hedge funds, the state’s two public pension funds are chasing the promise of … Read the rest

In three state Senate races, unions give heavily to GOP incumbents in campaign’s final days

November 4, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Three incumbent Republican state senators facing re-election battles in the Philadelphia suburbs have received a late infusion of cash from labor unions.

In the two weeks leading up to Tuesday’s election, labor unions directed … Read the rest

PA teacher unions use dues for blatant Democratic political advertising

November 3, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

Teachers and students gather at a Philadelphia Federation of Teachers rally decrying education cuts.

By Yaël Ossowski | Watchdog.org

In the remaining weeks of the heated gubernatorial battle for the Keystone State, Pennsylvania’s teachers’ unions have been incredibly vocal and … Read the rest

After indictments, Ironworkers’ union staying mostly on electoral sidelines

October 30, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Formerly a heavy-hitter in Pennsylvania politics, at least in Philadelphia and its suburbs, Ironworkers’ Local 401 has spent far less during the 2014 election cycle than any others in recent history.

Ten members … Read the rest

Examining Gov. Tom Corbett’s record of no-tax pledges and big tax breaks

October 29, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

This is the fourth part of our series examining the issue of taxes in the 2014 gubernatorial election. In part 1 we looked at Tom Wolf’s income tax plan. In part 2 we looked at the merits of a Read the rest

The Tom Wolf income tax plan: Legislative and legal hurdles

October 24, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

Part three in a series exploring the issue of taxes in the 2014 Pennsylvania gubernatorial race. Read part one here. Read part two here.

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Pennsylvania voters will go to the polls Nov. … Read the rest

The Tom Wolf income tax plan: Making the rich pay their ‘fair share’

October 23, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

Part two in a series exploring the issue of taxes in the 2014 Pennsylvania gubernatorial race. Read part one here.

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf says he wants to make taxes in Pennsylvania … Read the rest

The Tom Wolf income tax plan: What we know, and what we don’t

October 22, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Four years ago, Pennsylvanians went to the polls and elected Tom Corbett their 46th governor.

At the center of Corbett’s campaign platform was a simple promise about taxes — a pledge not to raise … Read the rest

Medical marijuana bill unlikely to pass this year; faces House scrutiny, Corbett opposition

October 14, 2014 | By | Posted in Governor, Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

A Senate-passed bill to legalize medical marijuana as a possible treatment for a variety of ailments probably won’t reach Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk this year.

Republican leaders in the state House plan to scrutinize … Read the rest

Bipartisan support for making Philly teachers pay for health coverage, despite protests

October 13, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

Stacia Friedman | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — On a sunny October day, Jake Howie, a sophomore at the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, arrived at school at 8 a.m. He didn’t go inside the neo-classical school building on … Read the rest