Archive

Violent schools? A Philadelphia charter has answers

September 15, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Stacia Friedman | Special to Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia School District recently crowed that for the first time none of its schools made the state’s notorious “persistently dangerous” list.

But that announcement came after the revelation that the district … Read the rest

With bat on brink, some worry about protecting state’s economy, too

September 9, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The northern long-eared bat is in trouble.

Its numbers have decreased an estimated 99 percent in the Northeast since symptoms of the deadly white-nose syndrome were first documented in 2006 in New … Read the rest

Minor’s music out of key with PA liquor laws

September 5, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

If Logan Bedard wanted to, he could walk into Pete’s Olde Town Bar and Grille in New Cumberland, order the fried chicken and have dinner with his parents.

But according to the law, Logan, … Read the rest

Transparency issues at play in race for governor

August 18, 2014 | By | Posted in Election 2012, Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

The rhetoric that’s careening around the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race sounds as if it could be part of a movie trailer for a summer blockbuster.

In a world where Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s education secretary is … Read the rest

Pennsylvania GOP can’t lose Fleck’s state House seat – but he can

August 11, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Republicans can’t lose in Pennsylvania’s 81st Legislative District.

A GOP victory for the seat that covers Huntingdon and parts of Blair and Mifflin counties is so assured the House Republican Campaign Committee is happy … Read the rest

Funding Philadelphia schools, one vice at a time

August 8, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Yaël Ossowski and Andrew Staub | Watchdog.org

Crushed by the burden of dwindling tax revenues and budget cuts, Philadelphia schools had their hopes set on a quick and easy cigarette tax to alleviate their financial problems.

But that bubble … Read the rest

When it comes to class sizes, Philadelphia School District’s numbers don’t add up

July 29, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Eric Boehm and Mary Tillotson | Watchdog.org

Philadelphia school and city officials say the district will be forced to lay off teachers and possibly grow class sizes as large as 40 when students return in September, unless the state … Read the rest

Arcade helps give PA borough extra life, but hefty tax could mean game over

July 24, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

The small borough of Hanover has long been championed as the Snack Food Capital of the World, but there’s no such grand proclamation about the small York County town’s nightlife.

These days, though, a … Read the rest

Pennsylvania’s budget process: cramped, crowded and hot

July 14, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

If the famous saying is true – that, like sausage, it is best not to see how laws are made – the Pennsylvania Legislature has done its part to shield taxpayers during this year’s … Read the rest

State lawmakers table teacher seniority bill, special ed funding

July 8, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Mary C. Tillotson | Watchdog.org

Pennsylvania lawmakers considered reforming special education funding and ending the system of seniority-based layoffs, but ultimately failed to act before the legislative session recessed last week.

Lawmakers could bring the issues back up when Read the rest

Corbett and PA coal industry wary of new EPA rules on CO2

June 3, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — After President Obama on Monday unveiled new EPA regulations that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett released his own statement about reductions.

He wasn’t … Read the rest

Conservative flank of GOP falls short at polls

May 22, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

When Scott Wagner pulled off a stunning write-in campaign to claim a Pennsylvania Senate seat in March, hardline conservatives hoped the special election portended more success for anti-establishment candidates.

Tuesday’s primary election didn’t quite … Read the rest

Corporate tax questions dog Wolf in final days before PA primary

May 19, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

A day before the Democratic gubernatorial primary election, there’s no reason Tom Wolf would want to trade places with any of his fellow candidates.

But being the frontrunner comes with certain drawbacks.

Wolf holds … Read the rest

Dems open wallets in Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial primary

May 16, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

York County businessman Tom Wolf continues to lead three fellow Democratic challengers for the right to face Republican Gov. Tom Corbett his fall, but he had to open his wallet to get there.

Campaign … Read the rest

Cops can now search your car without a warrant

May 14, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

If the police stop you in Pennsylvania, they don’t need a warrant to search your car.

And soon, you could be in trouble even if they find nothing.

The state Supreme Court ruled last … Read the rest

Could Kentucky-style gift ban come to Pennsylvania?

April 29, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — After a corruption scandal ensnared more than a dozen Kentucky lawmakers 21 years ago, the state limited how much lobbyists could spend annually on individual lawmakers and required that those expenditures be … Read the rest

Plan would give radar guns to local police

April 24, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Pennsylvania motorists have long been able to set their cruise control a little bit faster if they know they’re driving on a road where local police enforce the speed limit.

That’s because Pennsylvania law … Read the rest

Advocacy group: PA colleges discriminate against women’s athletics

April 21, 2014 | By | Posted in Features

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Nine Pennsylvania universities have failed to provide female students with equal athletic opportunities required under Title IX, the Women’s Law Project alleged in a complaint filed Thursday with the Office for Civil Rights of … Read the rest

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