Archive

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

Industry phasing out microplastics, but PA lawmakers want a ban anyhow

July 17, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Trade groups and manufacturers are already voluntarily phasing out the production and use of microbeads, tiny plastic bits that add grit to products like facial cleaners and colorful decoration to toothpastes.

But that … Read the rest

Speed cameras could watch over highway work zones in Pennsylvania

July 15, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — State lawmakers feel a need, a need to see you speed.

They’re exploring a five-year pilot program that would place speed cameras in active interstate work zones, saying it will improve … Read the rest

PA legislator reloads bill allowing NRA to sue over local gun laws

July 14, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Legislative gymnastics doomed a 2014 law that allowed interest groups such as the National Rifle Association to sue local municipalities over their firearms ordinances, but a central Pennsylvania lawmaker is reloading … Read the rest

Pennsylvania budget impasse drowns out property tax relief conversation

July 13, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Finding a way to give Pennsylvania homeowners relief from their school property taxes is hard enough on its own, but doing it during a budget impasse that’s lurched two weeks into July is even … Read the rest

Auditor: Pennsylvania court plucked excess postage fees from defendants

July 10, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Erie County courts have overcharged some people in civil and criminal cases for the past two decades, a recent audit found.

IT’S LEGAL IF A COURT DOES IT, RIGHT? Not necessarily. A May

Read the rest

Philadelphia school district battles shadowy perception

July 9, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

It’s not always sunny in Philadelphia.

SILENCE IS GOLDEN: The School District of Philadelphia has a long history of First Amendment rights violations and shady Sunshine Act behavior.

Especially when it comes to the School … Read the rest

Jobs programs are putting kids to work — but the public’s price tag is unclear

July 8, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Video

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — As summer begins, thousands of young people in western Pennsylvania have started temporary jobs through unique public-private partnerships. Officials managing the Allegheny County project might consider assigning a few of those kids the … Read the rest

Plan to modernize Pennsylvania liquor stores could include higher prices

July 8, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

When Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed legislation last week that would have broken the state’s monopoly over wine and liquor sales and allowed the private sector to take over, he reasoned it was “abundantly clear … Read the rest

PA Family Institute: ‘Glib’ takes on stripper-registry bill obscure darker story

July 6, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Plenty of people have made cracks recently about legislation that would create a registry of strippers in Pennsylvania, but a group supporting increased regulation of adult nightclubs contends flippant comments only obscure a darker … Read the rest

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 … 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 … 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