Archive

Steelers may be ‘free rider’ in Pittsburgh transit spat

February 27, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh’s beloved football team has decided to punt on renewing an agreement giving fans free rides to its front door.

In an ongoing dispute between the Steelers and Allegheny County’s transit agency, the team has … Read the rest

Report: Wolf considering sales tax increase

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Just days before Gov. Tom Wolf gives his budget address, Pennsylvanians are riding a seesaw of tax policy announcements and rumors.

A report from KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh citing unnamed sources says Wolf Read the rest

Pennsylvania ponders extras for film industry in shadow of $2.3 billion deficit

February 25, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Some Pennsylvania legislators want to increase handouts to the film industry, even though the state and its new governor face a huge deficit.

The state spends millions each year subsidizing films. Supporters say it brings jobs, but the trade-off … Read the rest

FL gov. visits PA to tout Sunshine State but says little about tax incentives

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

PHILADELPHIA – Florida Gov. Rick Scott has brazenly proclaimed his plans to lure businesses from Pennsylvania, his pitch hitting on low taxes and business-friendly policies.

The Republican governor, in Philadelphia on Monday, wasn’t so direct regarding taxpayer-funded perks to … Read the rest

Philly gets 5 more charter schools during wild SRC meeting

February 20, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

Five charter schools were approved, four people were arrested and both sides of Philadelphia’s thorny education debate left a marathon meeting Wednesday feeling a sense of loss.

“From the perspective of who lost, it was … Read the rest

Lobbyists see little love from Pennsylvania’s Ethics Commission

February 19, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Ten organizations will see their pockets a little lighter after fines announced by the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission this month for violating the state’s lobbying disclosure law.

PAST DUE: This month, the

Read the rest

Tax policies make PA a ‘target’ for business poachers like Florida’s governor

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

SPRING GARDEN TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Florida Gov. Rick Scott will visit Pennsylvania next week in an attempt to lure job creators south, and policymakers here have given him a heckuva weapon to use against the … Read the rest

McCord pleads guilty to trying to shake down contributors

February 18, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Rob McCord arrived outside the ninth-floor courtroom early Tuesday morning,  clutching a book as he waited to appear before a federal judge to officially plead guilty to charges stemming from his attempts … Read the rest

PA business community waits to learn more about Wolf’s income tax plan

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Gov. Tom Wolf has already proposed a severance tax on the natural gas industry, but so far his administration has been silent on another tax policy he talked up during the campaign: changing the … Read the rest

Body-cams may increase transparency, but raise questions too

February 13, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

HEARING THE ISSUES: The Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee met this week in Pittsburgh on issues of police best practices. Body cameras were one featured issue.

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Police in Pittsburgh are ready to use body cameras … Read the rest

Pittsburgh mayor gives away money, gets headaches

February 12, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Handing out money is not necessarily a simple thing, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto discovered after his appearance on the CBS show “Undercover Boss.”

MAYOR, UNDERCOVER: Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto underwent a bit of

Read the rest

‘We screwed it up’: PA retiree takes aim at pension reform

February 12, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Barry Shutt spent his Tuesday morning sitting on canvas chair in the East Wing Rotunda at the state Capitol, a prime place to catch lawmakers’ attention as they head to the … Read the rest

Pennsylvania officials mull when to charge more for public records

February 11, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Several years ago, when Elam Herr was planning an addition to his home, he submitted to the township plans that included installing a hot tub.

Soon, a pool and hot tub business … Read the rest

Fiscal transparency gets a boost in Pennsylvania

February 9, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — One high-level official in Pennsylvania is determined to cut costs, even in unorthodox ways.

When he’s in Pittsburgh on business, for instance, Auditor General Eugene Pasquale sleeps on his mom’s couch, to save … Read the rest

McCord’s guilty plea puts his public pension at risk

February 6, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — First, Rob McCord lost his bid to be Pennsylvania’s newest governor when he finished third in the Democratic primary and watched as nominee Tom Wolf unseated Republican incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett.… Read the rest

Teachers’ contract raises transparency issues

February 5, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

When Pennsylvania’s Bethlehem Area School Board approved a new three-year deal with the local teachers union last week, it did so without taxpayers knowing the details of the contract until after they were bound to … Read the rest

Déjà vu: Lawmakers return with another severance tax proposal

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — They’re back.

The same bipartisan group of state representatives that gathered a little more than a year ago to propose a 4.9 percent severance tax on the natural gas industry returned Wednesday … Read the rest

Constitutional amendment would allow older judges in PA

February 4, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The countdown to the end of Ronald Castille’s career running the state’s highest court started the minute he turned 70 last March and couldn’t be stopped even though voters had retained him Read the rest

PA tax law wallops man who bought truck before moving

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – When it came time last year to move his family back to Pennsylvania from North Carolina to care for aging relatives, Jeffrey Sutton bought a larger truck to haul their belongings.

Sutton … Read the rest

Audit: Pennsylvania fire chiefs stole $20,000, other spending unexplained

January 30, 2015 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — A state audit released Tuesday confirmed that a former volunteer fire chief and his assistant chief stole more than $20,000 from the fire association for which they worked, and also laid out another $13,000 … Read the rest