Archive

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

Philadelphia teachers will soon pay for their own health care

October 7, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

Stacia Friedman | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — Should teachers pay for their own health care coverage? Ready or not, they’re about to in Pennsylvania’s biggest city.

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission is restructuring teacher health benefits, redirecting $44 million from the … Read the rest

Philly cigarette tax ‘will not come close’ to solving district’s financial problems

October 1, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

A new $2-per-pack tax on cigarettes in Philadelphia will help keep the city’s school district afloat — and will help keep 1,000 employees on the job — this year, but does little to solve the … Read the rest

PA Senate approves Medical marijuana; future in House uncertain

September 29, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Pennsylvania is one step closer to legalizing medical marijuana, but time is running short for the legislation this year.

The state Senate approved a medical marijuana bill in a 43-7 vote on Wednesday, … Read the rest

Smoke and mirrors? Philly cigarette tax only partially solves school budget woes

September 27, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

PUFF AND PAY UP: Smokers fund school deficit.

By Stacia Friedman | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — When Philly smokers light up, they’ll be doing something the Marlboro Man never had in mind: supporting city schools.

The new $2-a-pack tax — signed … Read the rest

Fitch slaps PA with another debt downgrade as pensions, bad budgeting continue to wreck state’s finances

September 24, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

If three times is a trend, we’ll have to find another word to describe the fact Pennsylvania’s credit rating has been downgraded for a fourth time in just a little over two years.

One … Read the rest

Parents sue state over Philadelphia schools

September 10, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

A group of parents whose children attend Philadelphia public schools are asking state courts to step in after the secretary of education ignored complaints about the district.

A lawsuit filed in Commonwealth Court on Read the rest

PA Supreme Court to hear charter school lawsuit Tuesday

September 5, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a case challenging the Philadelphia School District’s decision to place limits on charter school enrollment.

The School Reform Commission, a state-appointed body that runs … Read the rest