Archive

‘Slap in the face:’ Mother questions committee assignment for medical cannabis bill

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — May 12 was an exhilarating day for Lolly Bentch, who has been lobbying state lawmakers to approve the use of medical cannabis for nearly two years.

The state Senate passed a bill … Read the rest

Union-backed candidates win big in Philadelphia primary election

May 20, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

Union favorite Jim Kenney won the Democratic nomination and will continue his run to become the next mayor of Philadelphia, almost a foregone conclusion.

He’ll face Republican Melissa Murray Bailey in the general election, though … Read the rest

Discount double check: College professor slams union’s dues rebate

May 20, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Facilities calls it a rebate. The Fairness Center, a public-interest law firm, calls it a union “scam” that violates state labor law.

They’re both talking … Read the rest

Mayoral candidates want to end state control of Philly schools

May 15, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

No group — maybe outside of the Dallas Cowboys — is more unpopular in Philadelphia than the School Reform Commission.

SRC YOU LATER: Most Philadelphia mayoral hopefuls pictured here want to end state control of

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Medical cannabis moves closer to reality in Pennsylvania

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Doctors across Pennsylvania are a step closer to receiving the ability to recommend medical cannabis to patients with cancer, epilepsy and several other approved medical conditions.

The state Senate on Tuesday approved … Read the rest

Innovative lending vs. taxpayer-backed loans: A look at two Pittsburgh restaurants

May 11, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

CONTRASTING FOOD AND LENDING MODELS: While both tasty, the food is as different as the lending models that helped make them happen. The more slowly evolving Mexican restaurant was facilitated by microfinance, while the Jimmy John’s franchise has been helped

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Property tax relief to take center stage in PA state House

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

This is a big week for homeowners in Pennsylvania who want something done about their tax bills.

The state House is expected to take up legislation from state Rep. Stan Saylor, R-York, which, … Read the rest

Short on subs, Philly schools look to non-union contractors

May 8, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

The local teachers union is not getting the job done, so the School District of Philadelphia wants to use a private vendor to manage its substitute teachers.

SUB SHOP: With more than half of all

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Legislation giving PA taxpayers insight into cost of union contracts on the move

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Two pieces of legislation that cleared the state Senate on Wednesday would give taxpayers a better look at public-sector union contract negotiations, but Democrats and union leaders have decried the effort as … Read the rest

Nurses: Regulations hamper health-care efficiency in Pennsylvania

May 6, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — In Pennsylvania, you have to pay for a doctor, even if you only need a nurse.

Patients could get better quality care and shorter waiting times if nurses were allowed to do what … Read the rest

Pennsylvania lawmakers vote to slim their ranks, but history says it’s all talk

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Despite the obvious ramifications, state lawmakers love to talk about cutting the size of the General Assembly, an action that requires a public referendum to change Pennsylvania’s constitution.

The populist proposal has … Read the rest

Pennsylvania plugs part of budget hole with other people’s property

May 5, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Changes to Pennsylvania’s unclaimed property laws is producing a surge in revenue.

The state could take in $370 million more this fiscal year, the Independent Fiscal Office said Monday.

Changes in the laws now … Read the rest

Prison walls lock in offenders, but don’t keep free speech out, federal judge rules

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

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, center, signs the Re-victimization Relief Act as Maureen Faulkner, widow of police officer Daniel Faulkner, and Pa. State Rep. Mike Vereb look on Oct. 21 in Philadelphia. Corbett signed into law the measure he says is

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As PA cuts tourism funding, officials look to local hotel tax to fill gap

April 28, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – State Rep. Karen Boback has heard all about Michigan’s tourist attractions, thanks to the multi-million-dollar “Pure Michigan” ad campaign that brings views of the state’s freshwater coastlines, scenic highways and picturesque … Read the rest

Injunction ‘takes the teeth out of’ union’s attempt to organize PA home-care workers

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

An attempt to organize home-care workers across Pennsylvania hit a speed bump Thursday when a Commonwealth Court judge issued an order that would bar a union — if chosen to represent the workers — from coming to … Read the rest

County’s fiscal watchdog sues county and police department to get access

April 23, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Police in Allegheny County say there’s no need for an auditor to keep tabs on how they’re spending the public’s money.

County controller Chelsa Wagner is going to court to make sure she … Read the rest

Philly ghost teachers made more than $1.7M last year

April 23, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

At least 18 public school teachers who never stepped foot in a classroom last year made more than $1.7 million from the School District of Philadelphia.

Those teachers worked full-time for the Philadelphia Federation of … Read the rest

State House votes again to close union intimidation loophole

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — State law says harassment, stalking and threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction are all crimes, unless the people perpetrating the offenses are involved in a labor dispute.

It’s an odd … Read the rest

Could minimum wage increase save taxpayers billions on welfare?

April 21, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Video

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Taxpayers are on the hook for billions each year in welfare to working families. That’s one message organizers of the “Fight for 15” campaign are trying to drive home.

“I shouldn’t have to … Read the rest

Book-starved Philly schools forced to fend for themselves

April 17, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

The School District of Philadelphia does not have enough books for students.

And it doesn’t seem to care.

BOOK CHECK: While Philly schools need supplies and books, the district does nothing to track where donated

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