Archive

Week in Review: Tax breaks discussed on Tax Day

April 18, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

This week brought Tax Day proposition to give tax breaks to small businesses, more pension woes for a Pennsylvania city and the story of a family hoping to win the lottery when it comes to their … Read the rest

Conservative challenger to Corbett remains on ballot after legal challenge

April 16, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Bob Guzzardi, the conservative Republican activist who is challenging incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett in next month’s primary election, on Tuesday won the right to remain on the ballot.

Four Republican voters challenged the legitimacy … Read the rest

Johnstown hands out excessive pensions as it deals with $24M in debt

April 14, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Johnstown is deep in pension debt, but is handing out retirement payments in excess of what is allowed under state law.

A recent audit of the city’s four pension funds found more than $24 Read the rest

McCord’s outsourcing record leaves him walking a thin line

April 8, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Rob McCord, Pennsylvania’s state treasurer and a Democratic candidate for governor, is defending his former role as the leader of a business group that helped companies outsource jobs during the 1990s and early 2000s.… Read the rest

PA Senate gives unanimous support to ‘union stalking’ bill, but now the House has concerns

April 8, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

The state Senate voted unanimously Monday to close a loophole in state law that exempts individuals engaged in a labor dispute from being charged with the crime of stalking.

The bill needs another vote … Read the rest

Corbett, Democratic opponents try to top one another with calls for gift ban

April 4, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

The next governor of Pennsylvania might have to look the gift horse in the mouth.

After a string of apparent ethics violations across two branches of state government, Gov. Tom Corbett and the various … Read the rest

Republican-led county governments making push for ‘paycheck protection’

April 3, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

A conservative effort to end automatic union dues deductions from public workers’ paychecks is gaining some stream in Republican-controlled county governments across Pennsylvania.

Last week, Blair County in western Pennsylvania became the eighth county Read the rest

Higher vehicle and driver fees kick in today

April 1, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Get ready to pay a little more to keep your car on the road in Pennsylvania.

Vehicle registrations, drivers’ license renewals and dozens of other fees imposed by the state Department of Transportation will … Read the rest

Philadelphia economic development program audit finds poor results, bad record keeping

March 28, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Dotted across Philadelphia are nearly 3,000 acres where businesses get a free pass on paying state and local taxes.

But the investment in special tax breaks is not paying off for the city.

These … Read the rest

PA House unlikely to appoint independent counsel to investigate Kane, sting operation

March 24, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

The state House may probe potential ethics violations by some of its own members, but it’s unlikely an independent investigator will be appointed to examine the case.

The crazy week in Harrisburg began with … Read the rest

Philly school district broke, but the pay is good

March 18, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Maura Pennington | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — Salaries for employees in the Philadelphia school district are staggering.

The district has 10 superintendents who make a combined $1.64 million annually. Superintendent William Hite tops the list at $270,000, and his deputy … Read the rest

PA House approves ‘stalking’ bill; Senate plans to examine it soon

March 13, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

With no debate and a nearly party-line vote, the state House passed a bill that eliminates a loophole in the law state defining the crime of stalking.

As we detailed earlier this week, … Read the rest

Heavy Hitters: Indicted Ironworkers’ union throws lots of cash at candidates

March 13, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

The Democratic candidate in a race that could determine control of the Pennsylvania Senate says he will keep a $7,500 donation from the embattled Ironworkers Local 401 union.

John Kane, a resident of Ridley … Read the rest

Study of pension reform costing Pennsylvania taxpayers more than $1 million

March 10, 2014 | By | Posted in Governor

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

As Pennsylvania lawmakers continue to debate pension reform, the meter is running.

Last month, the Corbett administration renewed a contract with Milliman Inc., an actuarial accounting firm based in Seattle, and now … Read the rest

Philly union indictments rekindles debate over exemptions for stalking

March 6, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

The indictments of 10 union members in Philadelphia is prompting lawmakers in Harrisburg to take another look at a state law that can prevent prosecution of some crimes if they’re committed by individuals engaged … Read the rest

PA universities expect state, students to pick up tab on rising tuition

March 4, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Maura Pennington | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — State universities contend they will have no choice but to raise tuition unless they get more from taxpayers, but that doesn’t mean students will get more for their money.

Funding for Pennsylvania’s four … Read the rest

Taxpayers demand action in case of missing Wilkes-Barre gas

March 4, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Some Wilkes-Barre taxpayers say they are tired of waiting for local prosecutors to determine whether a crime occurred when thousands of gallons of gasoline was pumped from the city’s public works yard without proper … Read the rest

Outsider Tom Wolf has inside track to Dem nomination in PA

March 4, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Tom Wolf, a politically untested Pennsylvania businessman, is the new front-runner to win the Democratic gubernatorial primary May 20, if a new poll is to be believed.

For that matter, the York County … Read the rest

Pension crisis: PA auditor general warns of tax increases, bankruptcy

February 27, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Taxpayers’ public pension nightmares are worse than they seem, and local governments face the prospect of tax increases or even bankruptcies caused by mounting levels of pension debt.

While Pennsylvania lawmakers try to find Read the rest

Philadelphia schools will end another year in red

February 26, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Maura Pennington | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — The School District of Philadelphia seeks $320 million to invest in its ambitious Action Plan 2.0, but continues to operate with such persistent fiscal mismanagement that it will be ending the year … Read the rest