Archive

Justices behaving badly: PA Supreme Court has embarrassing history

October 22, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Checking in on the state of the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court isn’t for the weak of constitution these days.

That’s thanks to the stunning development from earlier this week, when the state Supreme Court … Read the rest

Drop, cover and hold on: Pennsylvanians participate in worldwide earthquake drill as quake concerns rise

October 17, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

 

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Thousands of Pennsylvanians were expected to DROP! COVER! and HOLD ON! Thursday morning as part of a global earthquake drill.

Some 375,000 Pennsylvanians will take part in the drill, along with 20 million Read the rest

Week in Review: Lawmakers tackle Rx database, set aside medical marijuana

October 17, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

State lawmakers passed a flurry of bills this week, in what were the final scheduled session days before the November election — that is, before the state House decided it’s going to work on Monday, too.

Among … Read the rest

Week in review: Governor’s race keeps frack tax debate in public view

October 10, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

The race for Pennsylvania governor trudged on this week, again drawing attention to the lingering question of whether the state should impose a severance tax on the natural gas industry.

At the state Capitol, lawmakers rallied … Read the rest

Supreme Court lays to rest death-industry appeal without discussion

October 9, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to decide a case about state-level regulations for Pennsylvania funeral homes.

Funeral home director Ernie Heffner and 29 others successfully challenged many parts of Pennsylvania’s 1952 Funeral Read the rest

Week in review: Two resign as fallout over X-rated emails drags on

October 3, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

As we look back at the week that was, the fallout over the so-called Pornogate scandal dominated the Capitol, with two state officials resigning amid allegations they were among a group who sent or received sexually … Read the rest

Know of email abuse? These reformers want you to send old-fashioned letters

October 2, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The state Capitol’s resident reformers want to do their part to help unravel Pornogate, the X-rated email scandal that has ensnared two members of Gov. Tom Corbett’s cabinet.

Eric Epstein, coordinator … Read the rest

Philly cigarette tax ‘will not come close’ to solving district’s financial problems

October 1, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

A new $2-per-pack tax on cigarettes in Philadelphia will help keep the city’s school district afloat — and will help keep 1,000 employees on the job — this year, but does little to solve the … Read the rest

Week in Review: PA credit rating drops, medical marijuana bill advances

September 26, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Before raunchy emails traded within the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office captured the attention of politicos across the state, there were far less risqué stories making the rounds.

The state got slapped with another debt rating downgrade, … Read the rest

Fitch slaps PA with another debt downgrade as pensions, bad budgeting continue to wreck state’s finances

September 24, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

If three times is a trend, we’ll have to find another word to describe the fact Pennsylvania’s credit rating has been downgraded for a fourth time in just a little over two years.

One … Read the rest

Mayoral candidate vows to take back Philadelphia schools

September 23, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

Stacia Friedman | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia attorney Ken Trujillo has big plans. He wants to become Philadelphia’s next mayor and disband the School Reform Commission. On Wednesday, Trujillo declared his candidacy and pledged to get rid of the SRC in … Read the rest

New poll finds Corbett still trailing Wolf heading into first debate

September 22, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — As the hours tick down to Pennsylvania’s first gubernatorial debate, a new poll suggests perhaps Gov. Tom Corbett’s worst campaign enemy might be himself.

A new Muhlenberg College/Morning Call poll of 429 … Read the rest

Week in review: Auditor takes on superintendent, Erie charter

September 19, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

After a long summer vacation that continued even after children returned to school and families held their Labor Day cookouts, state lawmakers finally returned to Harrisburg.

While pension reform and liquor privatization still haven’t happened, the … Read the rest

Charter school in uncharted territory, says audit

September 19, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — The School District of the City of Erie may decide as early as next month whether it will renew the charter for the Erie RISE Leadership Academy Charter School. The audit — and the district’s … Read the rest

Penn State clamps down on free-speech event because of table

September 19, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Jolie Stuart-Davis and other members of Penn State’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom spent Wednesday, Constitution Day, protesting university rules that name 12 locations as “areas suitable for expressive activity” — or free-speech … Read the rest

Week in Review: Privatization push returning with lawmakers

September 12, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

This week brought worry over the federal government’s plan to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered and a look at how much cleaning up a coal pile fire in Western Pennsylvania will cost taxpayers.

And … Read the rest

Leaders have little enthusiasm for lame-duck session

September 11, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — State lawmakers will return to the Capitol next week, but there’s not much time to address issues such as unfunded pension liabilities, the controversial issue of paycheck protection or sweeping overhauls to … Read the rest

‘Torture porn’ actor in Wolf’s ad fitting of nasty race for governor

September 10, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Tom Wolf, the York County businessman that polls suggest will be the next Pennsylvania governor, recently aired a campaign ad that featured an actor who played “Mr. Cannibal” in “Breeding Farm” — a disturbing … Read the rest

Week in review: Liquor laws scrutinized, charter school issue heads to high court

September 5, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

This week, we explained how Pennsylvania’s antiquated liquor laws can make a bootlegger out of everyday citizens and took a look at how just how much it would cost taxpayers to dig the state out of … Read the rest

Study: PA’s debt would cost taxpayers $14,500 each to pay off today

September 1, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Pennsylvania is famous for its potholes, but it has an even bigger sinkhole problem that could cost taxpayers way more than minor car repairs caused by pock-marked roads.

Truth in Accounting, an economic think … Read the rest