Archive

Pennsylvania AG’s use of outside law firms draws scrutiny

September 2, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

ON RETAINER: Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane speaks during a news conference Aug. 12 at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa.

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

When Attorney General Kathleen Kane sued a chain of for-profit nursing home facilities … Read the rest

Philadelphia City Council wants more school oversight

September 1, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — As the new school year is set to begin, politicians and school administrators are picking right up where they left off.

Earlier this summer, the Philadelphia City Council raised concerns about how the

Read the rest

PA school choice advocates get big win in court

August 28, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

School choice advocates won a victory in court this week when a Delaware County judge rejected Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to de-fund charter schools in the cash-strapped Chester Upland School District.

As a means to … Read the rest

Pennsylvania taxpayers spent $357K to fly governors on state plane since 2010

August 27, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

FREQUENT FLIERS: Pennsylvania taxpayers have spent upward of $357,000 since 2010 to fly the past three governors around the state on the airplane pictured here.

Gov. Tom Wolf likes to get out and about, but he doesn’t always drive the … Read the rest

As budget stalemate drags on, GOP’s veto override plan falls short

August 26, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

As the state budget impasse rolled into its eighth week, Republican lawmakers swooped back to Harrisburg for a one-day session Tuesday with a plan to override select portions of Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of … Read the rest

Pennsylvania school choice advocates leery of Gov. Tom Wolf’s plans

August 24, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s plans to plug the bleeding budget of one school district has school choice advocates bracing for a war on charter schools.

Earlier this year, Wolf proposed a state spending plan that Read the rest

Philadelphia teachers union and the district can’t stay out of court

August 20, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers wants the School District of Philadelphia to spend more on students and less on lawyers, but the union keeps taking the district to court.

The sides are arguing three separate labor lawsuits, all of which Read the rest

Philly mayoral candidate Jim Kenney took sides in violent union battle

August 14, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

PHILADELPHIA — Two years ago, Philadelphia councilman Jim Kenney boldly participated in the soft side of a violent union-backed effort to close a construction site that employed non-union workers.

Today, those same unions are returning the favor, backing Kenney’s November … Read the rest

Latest family hire spins PA borough ‘out of control’

August 12, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Throop Borough Council has apparently learned little about nepotism in the months since a pattern of hiring family members was revealed, and one councilman appears to have distorted details of a meeting during which … Read the rest

The Erie government agency that spends your gambling losses

August 10, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

Big losses at the Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie County may be bad luck for gamblers, but it’s always meant big bucks to the state and local governments.

More than 55 percent of

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Reading City Council rocked by federal bribery indictment

August 7, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — How much does a Reading politician cost?

The going rate is $1,800, according to the federal indictment of Reading City Council President Francisco Acosta, who pleaded guilty this week to accepting the payoff … Read the rest

Pressure mounts for Kane to resign following criminal charges

August 7, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Hell no, Kathleen Kane won’t go.

Pennsylvania’s embattled attorney general remained defiant Thursday, even after Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman filed criminal charges against Kane and accused her of embarking upon a … Read the rest

Battle over Obama’s Clean Power Plan heading to Pennsylvania Capitol

August 4, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Environmental groups celebrated Monday as President Barack Obama released his final plan forcing power plants to curb greenhouse gases, but the road to implementation will likely be littered with litigation … Read the rest

Conservatives question state GOP’s return on campaign investments

August 3, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

PARTY SUPPORT, BUT NOT PARTY LINE: House candidate Paul Mullen supports a severance tax and has concerns about moving workers to a 401(k)-style retirement plan, but he’s getting big support from the state GOP.

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent… Read the rest

Near radio silence as Erie County prepares to spend $26M on an upgrade

July 31, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

ERIE — The Erie County Council will soon decide whether to put the county on the hook for a $26.5 million radio system overhaul that critics say is unnecessary.

MOUNTAIN OF MONEY: In the next

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Complaint about unions’ political letter referred to PA attorney general

July 29, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board has punted a complaint about a political letter sent by state and national teachers unions last fall, saying it’s up to Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office to decide what … Read the rest

Some PA school districts missing out on $1 billion in state aid

July 24, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

Pennsylvania’s imperfect education funding system has shorted some school districts more than $1 billion, one lawmaker says.

The state, says Rep. David Parker, R-Monroe, has underfunded 180 districts because of a controversial “hold harmless” funding … Read the rest

Wrath of CON: PA lawmaker would let hospitals help pick their competitors

July 22, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Video

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

ERIE, Pa. — A Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to give hospitals the power to box out new competition.

State Rep. Florindo Fabrizio, D-Erie, is asking fellow lawmakers to co-sponsor his proposal to resuscitate Pennsylvania’s long-dead … Read the rest

Criminal justice reform advocates lobby for PA to expand expungement laws

July 22, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Changing Pennsylvania’s expungement laws could give ex-offenders a better opportunity at a second chance.

That’s the belief of the U.S. Justice Action Network, a new national nonprofit that sees Pennsylvania as … Read the rest

Expanded DNA collection bill pits public safety against privacy

July 20, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

State Sen. Dominic Pileggi thinks allowing investigators to collect DNA after an arrest could remove violent criminals from Pennsylvania’s streets.

The Delaware County Republican is lobbying to expand the state’s DNA-collection law, arguing police … Read the rest