Archive

With school budgets tight, prevailing wage again goes under microscope

August 28, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — When the Central York School District wanted to repair the roof on a middle school about two years ago, the school board found itself playing a game of financial chicken.

The roof … Read the rest

As clock ticks, lawmakers devise plan to revive property tax elimination bill

August 19, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

One year and five months — that’s how long bipartisan legislation that would eliminate school property taxes in Pennsylvania has been stuck in the Pennsylvania Senate’s Finance Committee.

“It seems like we’ve been pushing it … Read the rest

Lawmaker wants higher cigarette tax to fund property tax relief

August 12, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

All the talk about hiking the cigarette tax in Philadelphia to help fund city schools has some state lawmakers wondering, what about the rest of the state?

State Rep. John Lawrence, R-Chester, wants … Read the rest

Corbett adviser: It’s ‘myth’ PA can block drilling in Loyalsock State Forest

August 5, 2014 | By | Posted in Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

A group of environmentalists and lawmakers gathered Monday to deliver a plea to Gov. Tom Corbett: Do everything in the state’s power to keep natural gas drillers from industrializing about 25,000 acres of … Read the rest

PA’s No. 2: $1 billion education cut a ‘damned lie’

July 29, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley must have broken out his thesaurus Monday morning, considering he found several ways to denounce a recent political ad that accuses Republican Gov. Tom Corbett of slashing … Read the rest

Budget blues: Moody’s downgrades Pennsylvania’s bond rating

July 22, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

That didn’t take long.

Just weeks after Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a patchwork budget and skipped town without addressing pension reform, Moody’s has downgraded Pennsylvania’s general obligation bond rating. It dropped the state fom Aa2 … Read the rest

Even with GOP majority, Pennsylvania can’t push ahead conservative agenda

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

As Gov. Tom Corbett crisscrosses Pennsylvania to gin up support for public pension reform while lawmakers break for the summer, there’s ample opportunity to explore what has held up legislation that could save the … Read the rest

Corbett signs budget, but Republican rift deepens

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Corbett signed a $29 billion state budget on Thursday — 10 days late — but his showdown with the General Assembly over pension reform is far from over.

Corbett used … Read the rest

All eyes on Corbett as budget stalemate drags on

July 9, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Another day has passed, and Pennsylvania is still without a budget.

So far, services haven’t been affected, but the impasse has made for intriguing political theater as Republican Gov. Tom Corbett jousts with the Republican-controlled Legislature … Read the rest

Fixes possible for Pennsylvania’s small games of chance debacle

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Barry Zeigler, owner of the Midway Tavern in Adams County, since the 1980s has lobbied for bars to offer small games of chance.

So when Pennsylvania finally gave the OK last year, it … Read the rest

Corbett leaves budget unsigned after lawmakers clash on spending plan

July 1, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Corbett’s holding out.

Corbett delayed signing the $29.1 billion state budget that Republican lawmakers sent to his desk late Monday night, making good on statements that he was willing … Read the rest

State Senate takes symbolic step on pensions, further reforms left waiting

July 1, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

The state Senate on Monday approved a bill to create a new pension system for state officials, but it’s a symbolic step that will do virtually nothing to address Pennsylvania’s $50 billion unfunded pension … Read the rest

As budget deadline nears, Corbett still waiting on pension reform

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Sweeping pension reform? Nope.

Getting the state out of the liquor business? Uh-uh.

Neither of Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s legislative priorities were addressed Sunday, as next year’s spending plan got closer to his … Read the rest

Pennsylvania considers performance-based layoffs for teachers

June 27, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Mary C. Tillotson | Watchdog.org

Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow school administrators to base layoff decisions in part on teachers’ performance, as measured by the state’s new evaluation system.

“My goal is to protect our … Read the rest

Lawmaker offers paycheck protection ‘compromise’

June 27, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A leading proponent of paycheck protection legislation in Pennsylvania says he’s found a “fair compromise” to alleviate union concern about the proposal that would force labor organizations to collect their own political … Read the rest

PA Senate discussing move to 401(k)-style pension plans

June 26, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Republican lawmakers in the state House spent the past week trying to cobble together enough votes to overhaul the state pension system.

With that effort seemingly stalled — for now — the Senate is … Read the rest

Liquor privatization doubts linger as House moves budget

June 26, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The state House approved a $29.1 billion budget Wednesday, which banks on $380 million from selling off the state’s liquor stores. The budget now heads to the state Senate.

“This is not … Read the rest

After idling, ‘paycheck protection’ kick-started in House

June 24, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — There have been rallies, TV commercials and plenty of public speeches about so-called “paycheck protection” over the past several months, but all the while, legislation that would stop state and local governments … Read the rest

Pension bill could get a vote next week, but it sidesteps funding issues

June 19, 2014 | By | Posted in Governor, Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

House Republicans, urged on by Gov. Tom Corbett, hope to move forward next week with a plan to overhaul the state pension systems.

But what isn’t contained in their proposal could prove to be … Read the rest

Despite budget struggles, General Assembly sitting on big cash

June 19, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania might be facing a two-year deficit of $1.4 billion, but not everybody is hurting.

Aside from their $84,000 base salaries, session-day per diems and public pensions, Pennsylvania lawmakers had a reserve … Read the rest