Archive

Union cash didn’t deter top PA Senate Republican from backing privatization

July 3, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Money talks in politics, but sometimes not loudly enough.

In March, the political action committee for the union representing employees at Pennsylvania’s state-owned wine and spirits stores cut a check for $7,000 to state … Read the rest

Brewing up a veto? Wolf still pondering liquor-privatization bill

July 2, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Gov. Tom Wolf could wipe out Pennsylvania’s monopoly on liquor and wine sales with a signature.

Republican lawmakers Tuesday night sent Wolf a historic bill privatizing the wholesale and retail systems.

It’s the closest lawmakers … Read the rest

Wolf’s veto, opposing mandates leave Pennsylvania without budget

July 1, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania – Republican lawmakers on Tuesday steamrolled through liquor privatization, public pension reform and a state budget without a tax increase.

They were doing what the people elected them to do, they said.… Read the rest

Altered pension bill would save PA $11 billion over long term, analysis finds

June 30, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Changes to a pension reform bill poised to reach Gov. Tom Wolf this week might alleviate some concerns about a legal challenge, but it will cost the state billions of dollars of … Read the rest

City has ‘no idea’ how Philadelphia schools spend its taxes

June 30, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

The Philadelphia City Council gives schools millions in taxpayer dollars, but where does it go?

CASH VAULT: City officials want a better understanding of how the School District of Philadelphia spends taxpayer money.

The council … Read the rest

Pennsylvania budget battle poses taxing questions

June 29, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Republican lawmakers spent the weekend advancing a $30.1 billion budget plan that holds the line on taxes, but it faces a near-certain veto from Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

In terms of political theater, … Read the rest

Red light, green light: PA considers allowing red-light cameras to run past 2017

June 26, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — Red-light cameras that keep a watchful eye on Pennsylvania drivers in select municipalities are scheduled to power down in 2017, but some state lawmakers aren’t ready to put the program in park.… Read the rest

Pennsylvania Senate uncorks tax break in wine-shipping bill

June 25, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — The state Senate on Wednesday approved legislation that would allow consumers to have wine shipped straight to their door from wineries across the world — and they uncorked a tax break to celebrate.… Read the rest

PA House lawmakers remove optional county fee from 911 legislation

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania – Pennsylvanians will still see their phone bills rise under legislation revamping funding for 911 call centers, but they won’t get tagged with an additional county fee after the state House tweaked … Read the rest

Another liquor privatization bill enters the fray in Pennsylvania

June 23, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania – A new liquor privatization bill would allow beer distributors to turn their businesses into one-stop shops where consumers could buy unlimited quantities of beer, wine and liquor.

Their potential competitors wouldn’t … Read the rest

Lawsuit claims PA teachers union stomps First Amendment rights

June 23, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

A veteran Pennsylvania school teacher is taking on the biggest teachers’ union in the state because she feels her First Amendment rights are being trampled by the organization.

MONEY MANAGERS: Linda Misja is taking the

Read the rest

Baring it all: Pennsylvania lawmakers want a registry for strippers

June 23, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

STRIPPER REGISTRY: A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced a bill that would increase regulation over adult-oriented clubs, including establishing a registry of strippers.

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania – Don’t tell his wife, but Big Brother is headed … Read the rest

Success in education lies in hard, relentless work, principal says

June 19, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — The McKeesport Area School District is among 11 in Allegheny County classified as high-poverty, and Propel McKeesport has even more economically disadvantaged kids than the district at large. But economy and demographics won’t determine anything — not … Read the rest

Despite new funds, Philadelphia schools not out of trouble yet

June 19, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

Mere hours after getting a $70 million bailout from the City Council, the School District of Philadelphia may have thrown $25 million of that out the window.

NO GUARANTEES: Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite can’t be

Read the rest

PA GOP leadership ‘within a day or so’ of agreeing on pension reform, liquor privatization

June 19, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Pennsylvania lawmakers have just 12 days to deliver a budget to Gov. Tom Wolf to meet the June 30 deadline, but the state Senate’s top Republican said Thursday afternoon there’s “plenty of time” to … Read the rest

Pennsylvania lawmakers could roll dice on Internet gambling

June 18, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — State lawmakers have to fill a $1.2 billion budget shortfall, but Republicans who control the state Legislature don’t favor Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s tax-heavy, $33.8 billion plan.

Might they have a few … Read the rest

Pennsylvania’s 911 fee increase marches closer to governor’s desk

June 17, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Pennsylvania senators lauded one another Tuesday as they passed a bill updating the 911 emergency communications law, but they sidestepped a key detail.

They’re raising your phone bill to pay for it.

EMERGENCY ACTION: State lawmakers

Read the rest

Wolf backs down on two battles with Senate Republicans — for now

June 16, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — First, Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday morning announced he had allowed Erik Arneson to return to work as executive director of the Office of Open Records while an ongoing legal case plays out.… Read the rest

Pennsylvania family forced to pay $500 for a chance to keep girl’s tree house

June 12, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Video

CLEVER CONSTRUCTION: Respectively, the tree house is subtle, from the front; there are internal stairs, from the first level to the second; there’s a rope ladder to get in; and there are clever sliding plexiglass windows.

By Rachel Martin | … Read the rest

Ousted PA open-records chief calls reinstatement victory for independence

June 11, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Commonwealth Court ruled Wednesday that Gov. Tom Wolf overstepped his authority by firing the executive director of the Office of Open Records, granting a personal victory to Erik Arneson, the … Read the rest