Archive

Property tax reform still vexing in Pennsylvania

April 10, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The issue of property tax reform — a point of conversation that has spanned decades — is percolating again.

Senate Bill 76, a proposal to eliminate school property taxes and … Read the rest

Corbett, Democratic opponents try to top one another with calls for gift ban

April 4, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

The next governor of Pennsylvania might have to look the gift horse in the mouth.

After a string of apparent ethics violations across two branches of state government, Gov. Tom Corbett and the various … Read the rest

Heavy Hitters: Indicted Ironworkers’ union throws lots of cash at candidates

March 13, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

The Democratic candidate in a race that could determine control of the Pennsylvania Senate says he will keep a $7,500 donation from the embattled Ironworkers Local 401 union.

John Kane, a resident of Ridley … Read the rest

Taxpayers demand action in case of missing Wilkes-Barre gas

March 4, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Some Wilkes-Barre taxpayers say they are tired of waiting for local prosecutors to determine whether a crime occurred when thousands of gallons of gasoline was pumped from the city’s public works yard without proper … Read the rest

Corbett holds line on taxes in election-friendly PA budget

February 4, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — After enduring the lean years of the great recession, Gov. Tom Corbett on Tuesday urged state lawmakers to “build a stronger Pennsylvania” through a budget proposal that goes another year without … Read the rest

Examining why unemployment fell below 7 percent in PA for the first time in five years (and what it means for the election)

January 30, 2014 | By | Posted in Features, Investigations

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

For the first time in five years, Pennsylvania’s unemployment sits below 7 percent.

It’s a significant shift, if even only a symbolic one. But it’s not all great news.

The state Department of Read the rest

For Gov. Tom Corbett, a bad start to the weekend

January 17, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett didn’t have a very good Friday.

The problems for him hit early, with the Commonwealth Court striking down Pennsylvania’s controversial voter ID law. Around the same time, Corbett was forced … Read the rest

Philadelphia artist battling eminent domain decision

January 9, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

In powerful simplicity, the mural painted on the exterior of James Dupree’s art studio tells the story of the battle between the renowned artist and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority.

Seemingly creeping out … Read the rest

Made in PA: Lawmaker pushes bill touting local products

December 26, 2013 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

The Christmas shopping season is over, but next year state Rep. Neal Goodman wants people to buy Pennsylvanian.

Goodman has introduced popular legislation that would create a “Made in PA” program to encourage Pennsylvanian’s … Read the rest

With lax gift laws, Pennsylvania’s elected officials enjoy Christmas year-round

December 25, 2013 | By | Posted in Features

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Pennsylvanians are gathering this week to exchange presents with family and friends, but for some residents of the state, Christmas lasts all through the year.

From Turkish rugs to all-expense-paid trips to the Super Read the rest

In Philadelphia, charter schools outperform their public school neighbors on new state assessments

December 23, 2013 | By | Posted in Features

By Maura Pennington | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — Two high schools in South Philadelphia are separated by a mile, but the distance between them seems much wider.

South Philadelphia High School scored 36.5 on a 100-point scale on the new statewide … Read the rest

Commentary: Pennsylvania Senate bill is poison pill for online learning

December 16, 2013 | By | Posted in Commentary, Features

By Erik Telford | Franklin Center

Cyber schools are a valuable facet in the push to improve our education system, creating more options for parents and strengthening brick-and-mortar public schools by providing additional resources for students with unique learning needs.… Read the rest

Air Force reservist contends military service cost him a job

December 13, 2013 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

As questions about his military obligations piled up, J.J. Murphy sensed that his interview to become the manager of an affluent Pennsylvania township was headed in the wrong direction.

That was the summer of … Read the rest

Critics blast Pennsylvania city’s ‘one-strike’ law as blow to due process

December 6, 2013 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | Pennsylvania Independent

Adam Peters has lost out on $625 each of the past three months.

Wilkes-Barre made the landlord the first target of its controversial “one-strike ordinance,” which allows the Northeastern Pennsylvania municipality to shutter a … Read the rest

Whole hog: Porcine protester back to work at PA Capitol after lawmakers’ pay increase, transportation vote

December 3, 2013 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — Giant inflatable pigs that protest government fraud, waste and abuse have little time to rest.

Pignelope,” a 25-feet-long inflatable hog, is back, protesting legislative cost-of-living increases, higher gas taxes and so-called “walking-around … Read the rest

With minimum wage increasing in New Jersey, some say Pennsylvania should follow suit

November 27, 2013 | By | Posted in Features

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Higher costs are likely and higher unemployment is a possibility after New Jersey raises its minimum wage by $1 at the beginning of 2014.

Economists who look at the coming wage hike, approved by … Read the rest

PA voters could oust two Supreme Court justices in Tuesday’s election

November 4, 2013 | By | Posted in Features

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Even though Pennsylvania voters get a chance to vote against sitting Supreme Court justices once each decade, the races are rarely close and justices are usually retained by wide margins.

But this year, Chief Read the rest

A good year: PA wineries may soon compete with state store monopoly

October 11, 2013 | By | Posted in Features

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — Joe Greff owns Blue Mountain Vineyards, a 50-acre, 35,000-gallon producing winery along the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail.

Greff began selling his products in the state store system about 15 years ago, he … Read the rest

Proposal would quash PA regulation preventing Sunday pheasant hunting

October 8, 2013 | By | Posted in Features

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — Six days each week for the past nine years, Dan Metzler has opened his 138-acre property in Franklin Township to regulated hunting.

Twice a day, on busy days, hunters and their dogs make … Read the rest

Study: ‘Recession still haunts’ PA business owners

September 30, 2013 | By | Posted in Features

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — With a government shutdown and the cost of Obamacare threatening, uncertainty trumps optimism for Pennsylvania business owners.

More business people see the economy improving than at any time since 2007, according to an annual … Read the rest