Archive

Week in Review: Nope, no budget yet, but online voter registration arrives

August 28, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

NO DEAL: So far, the building blocks of a state budget haven’t fallen into place.

By PA Independent Staff

Another week down, another week without a state budget.

Republican lawmakers and Gov. Tom Wolf — big surprise here — still … Read the rest

Week in Review: Kane target of more investigations

August 21, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Kathleen Kane and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court did the hokey-pokey over the release of pornographic emails that Kane claims are an important part of her criminal defense.

Kane was also hit with a request for an … Read the rest

How lawyers plan to bust Philadelphia’s ‘ghost teachers’

August 21, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

Lawyers are hoping a recent Arizona court decision supports their bid to bust Philadelphia ghost teachers.

GHOST BUSTERS: An Arizona court decision sets a legal precedent for busting the practice of Philadelphia teachers leaving the classroom to work for their

Read the rest

Ethics complaint targets Kane; alleges she used public office for her criminal defense

August 18, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

NOT GOING ANYWHERE: Attorney General Kathleen Kane said she won’t resign despite facing criminal charges.

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Already the target of a criminal investigation by one Pennsylvania prosecutor, Attorney General Kathleen Kane could soon be investigated … Read the rest

Week in Review: More Throop family hires, Kenney chose side in a labor battle

August 14, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

The council for a small borough in northeastern Pennsylvania just won’t stop hiring family members.

The Pennsylvania Independent earlier this year uncovered a long-standing pattern in which the Throop Borough Council put its members’ relatives on … Read the rest

Erie’s rising pension costs prompt calls to change ‘antiquated’ pension system

August 11, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

After years of fighting a losing battle against rising pension costs, Erie’s mayor has concluded the “antiquated” public sector pension model has to change.

He’s part of a small but growing coterie of Democrats … Read the rest

Week In Review: Corruption seeping into ‘every corner’ of Pennsylvania

August 7, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale best summed up the state of affairs in Pennsylvania this week.

“Every corner of this state seems to be currently affected with some type of alleged or confirmed public corruption,” he said. … Read the rest

AWOL Pennsylvania political consultant has been investigated before

August 7, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — Democratic consultant Michael Fleck, who is connected to a developing FBI investigation, is no stranger to political scandal. He was investigated last year, though never charged, for his role in the movement of  … Read the rest

Pennsylvania girl allowed to keep tree house a few more months

August 4, 2015 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — It took 18 minutes for a township official to explain to a standing-room-only crowd how a zoning appeal works — and to say officials wouldn’t decide anything that night.

COLORFUL SUPPORT: Elise Truchan’s

Read the rest

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