Archive

Lawmaker looks to eliminate legislative license plates

June 9, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

In case Pennsylvania lawmakers need to get creative with their vanity license plates, NO1 SEN and BESTREP are still available, at least for now.

Members of the state’s General Assembly and congressional delegation … Read the rest

‘Paycheck protection’ the $100 question for legislature

June 6, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania spends less than $100 a year to deduct dues for public-sector union employees, according to the state Treasury. That’s pocket change when considering the state’s $28.4 billion budget.

That aside, Republican … Read the rest

Full-court press for ‘paycheck protection’ coming to Capitol

June 4, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — State Sen. Scott Wagner complained Monday that “paycheck protection” legislation isn’t getting the attention it deserves.

That could change this week, as advocates of the legislation take to the Senate floor, … Read the rest

With revenue lagging, lawmakers eye higher cigarette tax

June 3, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Some state lawmakers have eyed a severance tax on natural gas extraction as the revenue hero that could swoop in at the last-minute to save Pennsylvania’s struggling budget.

But could it have … Read the rest

May bringing more bad budget news

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The bad budget news just won’t stop in Pennsylvania.

State Sen. Jake Corman and state Rep. William Adolph, the Republican chairmen of the state House and Senate appropriations committees, said … Read the rest

Reform-minded activists deliver cash ‘bribes’ in state Capitol

May 28, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — For about a decade, activists for government reform have tried unsuccessfully to persuade Pennsylvania lawmakers and two governors to ban gifts.

On Tuesday, they started speaking in cash, though none of the … Read the rest

It’s Tom vs. Tom in the race for governor

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

It’s Tom vs. Tom for the highest office in Pennsylvania.

York County businessman Tom Wolf will face Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in November after trouncing three Democratic opponents in Tuesday’s primary election. Polls closed at … Read the rest

Union leaders under fire for unregistered lobbying

May 15, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Wendell Young IV spent plenty of time last year trying to convince lawmakers that privatizing Pennsylvania’s liquor stores wasn’t the correct move, yet the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 … Read the rest

State lawmakers want independent corruption-fighting agency

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Two state senators this week revived a call to create an independent agency to root out corruption in Pennsylvania after another round of embarrassing ethical lapses stained the state’s reputation this year.

State Sens. Read the rest

Lights, cameras, tax breaks! State House OKs more subsidies for Hollywood

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Pennsylvania lawmakers will soon be racing to fill a budget deficit that could top $1 billion in the next fiscal year, but there’s still a glimmer of hope the financial news won’t be all … Read the rest

Charter schools may see drop in funding with new special education formula

May 12, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Maura Pennington | PA Independent

PHILADELPHIA — A proposed new formula for special education funding in Pennsylvania will better tailor resources to fit diverse levels of student need, lawmakers say.

But some schools might end up losing money in … Read the rest

Prescription drug monitoring bill clears state Senate

May 8, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Legislation that would expand Pennsylvania’s drug-monitoring program cleared the state Senate this week, passing despite some concerns it would jeopardize patients’ privacy rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania has stood firm in … Read the rest

Charges filed against Philadelphia principal and teachers in cheating scandal

May 8, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Maura Pennington | PA Independent

PHILADELPHIA — A principal and four elementary school teachers in the School District of Philadelphia were charged Thursday for their alleged involvement in a standardized test cheating scandal.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who … Read the rest

Report: Online gaming could bring state millions in taxes

May 8, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A report released Wednesday indicated Pennsylvania could bring in millions of dollars in new taxes if it legalized online gambling, but there’s no guarantee thus far that lawmakers will try to use … Read the rest

PA lawmakers get stern warnings from three major credit rating agencies

May 5, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Indepenent

Once is a fluke, twice can be a coincidence.

But three times is a trend.

During the past two weeks, all three major credit rating agencies have issued stern warnings to Pennsylvania policymakers in … Read the rest

Pennsylvania sinking deeper into budget hole

May 2, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Matthew Knittel, director of Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office, ended a Thursday afternoon briefing with an apology.

“Sorry for the bad news,” he said, not long after revealing the IFO’s latest estimates the … Read the rest

Property tax reform would have ‘winners and losers’

May 1, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The debate over property tax reform trudged on Wednesday, as the state Senate continued to vet legislation that would replace the unpopular school funding mechanism with money from the personal income … Read the rest

Argall: State Senate ready to slay ‘property tax beast’

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa.—Pennsylvania may be on the verge of eliminating most property taxes, which now fund schools.

“We believe that we are closer than ever before to slaying the school district property tax beast,” state Read the rest

Benefits are driving high personnel costs in Philadelphia schools

April 24, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Maura Pennington | PA Independent

PHILADELPHIA — Last spring, six elementary school librarians were laid off in the School District of Philadelphia. Those who remain are being richly rewarded.

Elementary school teachers and librarians will pull in an average … Read the rest

Severance tax proposals called ‘short-sighted tax schemes’

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Pennsylvania lawmakers from both parties have lobbied hard this spring for a severance tax on natural gas drilling, their voices growing louder as the state’s revenue numbers continue to flag.

On Tuesday, industry and … Read the rest