Archive

New technologies help clean up coal piles from PA communities

October 24, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Coal-waste dumps are a serious, well-known problem for communities intimate with King Coal, yet the money to address these problems is often lacking. The free market has created an innovative solution, however, and one … Read the rest

Lawmakers grant NRA standing to sue over local gun laws

October 23, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Municipal leaders across Pennsylvania are fretting over legislation that would give the National Rifle Association the power to sue over local gun regulations that reach beyond state law, but the NRA believes it’s their … Read the rest

ACLU vows lawsuit against law targeting offenders’ speech

October 21, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – State lawmakers fast-tracked legislation last week that would give victims the power to seek a civil injunction to silence their offenders if they believe their speech is re-victimizing them.

Now, even … Read the rest

Prescription drug monitoring program on road to becoming law

October 17, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — The desire for public health protections trumped privacy concerns Thursday, as the state Senate sent legislation that would establish a broad prescription monitoring program to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk.

Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the … Read the rest

Drug-monitoring program a prescription for privacy loss, ACLU argues

October 14, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Law enforcement is about to get a good look inside Pennsylvanians’ medicine cabinets.

State lawmakers are on the verge of establishing an expanded prescription monitoring program that would allow law enforcement to obtain sensitive … Read the rest

Union reformer calls proposed open-records change ‘taxpayer-funded stupidity’

October 10, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Under Pennsylvania’s open-records law, residents have the right to know how their government operates.

Now, a proposed overhaul to the law would give government employees the right to notification — at least when somebody requests … Read the rest

Philadelphia teachers will soon pay for their own health care

October 7, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

Stacia Friedman | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — Should teachers pay for their own health care coverage? Ready or not, they’re about to in Pennsylvania’s biggest city.

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission is restructuring teacher health benefits, redirecting $44 million from the … Read the rest

As Abu-Jamal’s speech opens old wounds, lawmakers vow to increase victims’ rights

October 7, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Speaking from the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy, convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal on Sunday delivered the commencement address to about two dozen students at Goddard College, a progressive liberal arts school … Read the rest

Corbett’s DEP chief resigns amid Pornogate allegations

October 2, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Chris Abruzzo, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, resigned Thursday, a week after the attorney general named him one of eight prominent officials who sent or received pornographic emails … Read the rest

Wagner calls for shake-up of state Senate leadership

September 30, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Conservative businessman Scott Wagner already beat the Republican establishment once when he won a write-in campaign for state Senate this past spring.

Now, the brash freshman senator is taking on Republican leadership again.

Wagner, … Read the rest

Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh: a tale of two credit ratings

September 29, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Pennsylvania’s credit rating has taken another hit, in contrast to August’s welcome news that Pittsburgh’s credit rating was upgraded. Surprisingly, a local economics professor said the picture between the two isn’t as different as … Read the rest

Hello, goodbye: State House returns, starts farewells with plenty of work left

September 29, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye.

No, it’s not the Sound of Music. It’s the sound of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives during the fall session.

Departing state representatives have already begun to bid … Read the rest

Smoke and mirrors? Philly cigarette tax only partially solves school budget woes

September 27, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Stacia Friedman | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — When Philly smokers light up, they’ll be doing something the Marlboro Man never had in mind: supporting city schools.

The new $2-a-pack tax — signed into law Wednesday in Harrisburg — is estimated … Read the rest

Corbett says sexually explicit emails ‘unacceptable’

September 26, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Some employees in the Pennsylvania AG’s office weren’t acting PG, as documented in emails showing raunchy behavior.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane shook up the Capitol on Thursday when her office allowed reporters from … Read the rest

Property tax reform hits another roadblock in Pennsylvania

September 24, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Proponents of eliminating school property taxes cheered a win last week, but it might have been a hollow victory.

State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Chester, recently told a Delaware … Read the rest

‘Simple’ bill would limit spending growth in Pennsylvania

September 23, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Corbett and fellow Republicans in the state Legislature have done their best to slow spending over the past four years, but poll after poll indicates the thrifty governor probably … Read the rest

‘Bonusgate’ attorney disbarred, seven years after legislative scandal hit

September 22, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Seven years after the Capitol “Bonusgate” scandal erupted that landed several legislators and staffers in jail — perhaps launching then-Attorney General Tom Corbett into the governor’s office — the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has finally disbarred … Read the rest

Charity case: Teachers sue after union objects to donations

September 19, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — After facilitating classes about the U.S. Constitution, longtime teacher Jane Ladley wanted to donate to a college scholarship fund that encouraged youth to learn about the country’s founding principles.

The Pennsylvania State … Read the rest

Former superintendent disputes critical audit findings

September 17, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Former school superintendent Maria Pappas has run afoul of the Pennsylvania auditor general’s office, which notes in a September report slightly more than $20,000 in “questionable use of taxpayers’ funds,” either by Pappas … Read the rest

Grassroots effort pushes along PA property tax reform

September 17, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Tammy Keener of Berks County clapped, cheered and even cried Tuesday morning as state senators on the Finance Committee debated legislation to eliminate school property taxes.

When the panel narrowly approved … Read the rest