Archive

PA Week in Review: Beer battles continue dispute veto of liquor bill

July 31, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent staff

Facing increased competition from bountiful grocery stores and sleek convenience stores, Pennsylvania’s beer distributors could be whistling past the graveyard as they oppose liquor privatization, which would let them expand their offerings to include wine and … Read the rest

Week in Review: Proposal would let hospitals help pick competition

July 24, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Should hospitals have the ability to block new competition?

Watchdog reporter Rachel Martin explored that question this week after a state representative floated plans to revive a program that asks proposed medical facilities to prove there’s … Read the rest

Week in Review: PA’s ongoing budget stalemate complicates school funding issues

July 17, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Summer is usually a quiet time in Harrisburg, but the budget impasse has kept the spotlight on Republican state lawmakers and Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf.

Their ongoing feud has threatened to gobble up a policy … Read the rest

Week in Review: Pennsylvania teacher’s free-speech case moving ahead

July 10, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Teachers fighting for free speech scored a victory this week, but others didn’t fare so well.

Motorists driving the Pennsylvania Turnpike again are facing higher tolls, and they’ll continue to rise for what seems like forever.  … Read the rest

Cost of using PA Turnpike will increase in 2016, triple by 2040

July 8, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Another round of toll increases are coming down the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Followed by another. And another. And then about 25 more.

The Turnpike Commission announced Tuesday that tolls will increase next year by 6 … Read the rest

The big bang theory? PA senators want to legalize fireworks for state residents

July 4, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Saying “you can’t legislate against stupidity,” three Pennsylvania senators say they’ll introduce a bill to allow state residents to buy fireworks again.

PRETTY – AND PRETTY EXPENSIVE – PACKAGE: But there’s not much

Read the rest

Week in Review: Budget and liquor privatization vetoed, but pension reform alive

July 3, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

This week was all about the state budget, or Pennsylvania’s lack thereof.

In a move that hasn’t been performed in four decades, Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed the entire $30.1 billion GOP spending plan because it didn’t … Read the rest

Scranton handed out $3 million in ‘double pensions,’ adding to fiscal woes

June 26, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Even as it careened toward bankruptcy, the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, approved $3 million in bonus pension payments for a handful of city employees.

Those extra payments effectively doubled the retirement pay of 35 … Read the rest

Week in Review: Lawmakers tackle wine shipping, 911 fees and tenure rules

June 26, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — As the June 30 budget deadline inches closer, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Republicans who control the General Assembly have yet to agree on a spending plan, as they remain at odds over a … Read the rest

PA Week in Review: Budget talks dominate Harrisburg, Philadelphia schools

June 19, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Pennsylvania state lawmakers can move painstakingly slow when it comes to big public policy issues, but June always heats up as elected officials use the end-of-the-month budget deadline as leverage.

This year is no different, as … Read the rest

Drink it up: 10 gifts PLCB booze bosses took from vendors

June 16, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — The first rule about taking gifts from vendors doing business with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is that you don’t talk about taking gifts from vendors doing business with the Pennsylvania … Read the rest

Philly school funding battle comes to a head this week

June 15, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

This is a very big week for the fiscally distressed School District of Philadelphia.

MONEY MAN: Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite has been lobbying state and local lawmakers for more funding for months. He’ll get a

Read the rest

Week in Review: Philadelphia School District’s fuzzy math clouds budget deficit

June 12, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

The School District of Philadelphia wants the City Council to help it patch an $80 million budget deficit, and the superintendent has been making his case using a report that contends fixed costs are forcing the … Read the rest

Outside mailers show political side of Pennsylvania budget time

June 11, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – As much as the June budget scramble is about the nitty-gritty of governing, it’s a time ripe for politicking (just check out this calendar of fundraising events as proof).

At least … Read the rest

PA House speaker lauds impact fee, decries Wolf’s severance tax plan

June 10, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – House Speaker Mike Turzai and state Rep. Jim Christiana announced Tuesday the state had raised $222 million last year from an impact fee the natural gas industry has been paying since … Read the rest

Work on your penmanship, City Council tells Philly students

June 9, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

Before Philadelphia City Council members agree to sign a check for cash-strapped city schools, they first want to make sure students can read what it says.

When the School District of Philadelphia made its annual … Read the rest

Week in Review: Pension, liquor reforms shape Pennsylvania budget debate

June 5, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

There are still a few weeks left before the June 30 budget deadline, but Republican state lawmakers are teeing up pension reform as one of their top priorities.

Liquor privatization will likely be part of the … Read the rest

Pennsylvania drillers, who already pay an impact fee, fighting new tax

June 2, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Former Gov. Tom Corbett and state lawmakers could have saved some time simply by calling an impact fee on the natural gas industry a tax.

That way, they might not be … Read the rest

Week in Review: Erie shows economic development doesn’t always need government help

May 29, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Economic development doesn’t always need the government to happen.

At least that’s what Watchdog reporter Rachel Martin found while visiting the northwest corner of Pennsylvania for a series about entrepreneurship in Erie that ran this week. … Read the rest

Six Philadelphia charter schools have been approved this year

May 27, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

There are still more than 20,000 names on waiting lists to get into Philadelphia charter schools.

ANOTHER CHARTER ADDED: The School District of Philadelphia has approved six new charter schools this year.

But the School … Read the rest