Archive

Week in Review: Kane under more scrutiny as DA charges two lawmakers

December 19, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Attorney General Kathleen Kane still can’t break free of the scrutiny.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams this week cast doubt on Kane’s assertion a sting operation that ensnared Democratic politicians was flawed beyond … Read the rest

Forgery investigation focuses on former chief; raises more issues

December 17, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — A state audit goes further in explaining paperwork problems of a former small-town Pennsylvania police chief who faced 64 felony charges.

Ronald Lutton was the police chief of Ohioville Borough, which abuts Ohio.

JUST NO:

Read the rest

Paycheck protection to Mary’s Law: Lawmakers get personal

December 16, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Republicans in the Pennsylvania General Assembly have given paycheck protection legislation a face as they try again to pass the controversial measure.

The lawmakers call it “Mary’s Law” after Mary Trometter, a college professor whose husband received a Read the rest

One PA ecosystem enters the court fray over fracking waste

December 15, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — In a sparsely populated township in western Pennsylvania, one ecosystem is attempting to enter a court battle in its own name.

NOVEL MOVE: The Little Mahoning Watershed is attempting to intervene in a

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Liquor privatization debate poised to resurface in PA House

December 12, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

When the calendar flipped from November to December, Pennsylvania lawmakers who made a Sisyphus-like effort to push a liquor privatization plan out of the state House saw their legislative boulder tumble back to the … Read the rest

Audit: PA handed out $93 million to businesses that missed job projections

December 11, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub |PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A state audit released Wednesday shows Pennsylvania taxpayers haven’t got a lot of bang for their economic development buck.

Over a three-year period, Pennsylvania directed $93.5 million in economic development money to businesses … Read the rest

Town angry with northwest PA nepotism policy violation

December 9, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Residents of Millcreek Township, nestled against Erie in northwest Pennsylvania, are unhappy about the township hiring a supervisor’s niece.

While a majority of the supervisors agree the hiring violates the township’s nepotism policy, … Read the rest

Pennsylvania pension costs to climb by $466 million next year

December 5, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Lawmakers and governor-elect Tom Wolf will head into next year’s budget process with lots of new obligations to fulfill and little excess revenue with which to do it.

State-level contributions to Pennsylvania’s two pension … Read the rest

PA workforce agency seeks repayment relief following scathing audit

December 4, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — A job training agency in northwest Pennsylvania is asking the state for a repayment plan after a finding that nearly $250,000 was misspent. A 51-page audit gave the side-eye to everything from lunch meetings … Read the rest

US Steel keeping its headquarters in Pittsburgh — for a price

December 1, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh icon U.S. Steel announced Monday it will build its new headquarters in Pittsburgh, at the site of the former Civic Arena, now a sprawling parking lot.

The deal didn’t spring from mere loyalty. … Read the rest

Audit coming as Pittsburgh’s pension liabilities surge

November 24, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — The Steel City will soon undergo extra scrutiny as the state auditor general examines Pittsburgh’s public pension plans. This comes after a summer report shows a slide in earlier progress made by the city.

An … Read the rest

Shell cracker plant shuffles forward, negotiating a regulatory roadmap

November 18, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — News earlier this month that Shell Chemicals would buy an industrial site in Beaver County is a major step in the company’s plans to bring thousands of jobs to western Pennsylvania.

The purchase is … Read the rest

Gift ban legislation to get second chance as Wolf pushes own ethics reform

November 18, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf has already asked his transition team to sign a code of conduct prohibiting members from accepting gifts, and he plans to implement a similar ban for the executive branch when he takes office … Read the rest

PA county controller claims county executive bilked taxpayers

November 14, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner has accused County Executive Rich Fitzgerald of misusing taxpayer assets.

While defending himself, Fitzgerald seems to have come up with an elegant solution to future record-keeping problems.

In a … Read the rest

PA’s patchwork budget contributes to projected $1.85B shortfall

November 14, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Treasurer Rob McCord says Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration again dipped into a line of credit to boost a flagging general fund.

“We see a deteriorating financial scenario that casts serious doubt on … Read the rest

State Senate GOP ousts Pileggi as majority leader, taps Corman

November 13, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — State Sen. Scott Wagner’s prognostication from last week has come true: The Pennsylvania state Senate has a new majority leader.

State Sen. Jake Corman, the Republican chairman of the Appropriations … Read the rest

State Senate heading for leadership showdown

November 11, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The long-awaited state Senate showdown has arrived.

Pennsylvania legislators will return to Harrisburg on Wednesday for leadership elections, with a challenge to Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Chester, as the … Read the rest

Brand-new PA House member faces AG investigation

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

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Jason Ortitay cruised to an easy victory last Tuesday, winning his new place in Pennsylvania’s 46th House District by a margin of 12 percent. But that may not be the end of the story … Read the rest

Money from afar fueling state Senate race crucial for party control

November 3, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Even in a relatively rural district in southwestern Pennsylvania, it’s distant money that is fueling the campaign in Senate District 32.

CONTESTANTS: Deberah Kula and Pat Stefano are collecting major contributions to their Pennsylvania

Read the rest

In race for 26th state Senate District, tying GOP candidate to Corbett not so easy for Dems

October 31, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Across the country, Republicans have tried to tie Democratic candidates to President Obama, hoping to tap into a conservative electorate frustrated with his policies.

In Pennsylvania, Democrats have their own toxic chief executive to use … Read the rest