Archive

Wagner condemns portraits of felonious officials

April 23, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — It hasn’t taken long for new state Sen. Scott Wagner to make waves in the Pennsylvania Capitol.

It hasn’t even been a month since the York County Republican took his oath of … Read the rest

The sticky statistic of statewide charter school performance in PA

April 22, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Maura Pennington | PA Independent

PHILADELPHIA — Misleading statistics have a tendency to stick. And for education in Pennsylvania, it’s that charter schools underperform compared to district public schools.

Rep. James Roebuck, D-Philadelphia, the Democratic chairman of the … Read the rest

PA cyber charter schools could be funded by state, not districts

April 21, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Maura Pennington | PA Independent

PHILADELPHIA — Instead of relying on payments from each of Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts, one state lawmaker says cyber charter schools should be funded directly by the state.

State Rep. Jim Christiana, R-Beaver, … Read the rest

Week in Review: Tax breaks discussed on Tax Day

April 18, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

This week brought Tax Day proposition to give tax breaks to small businesses, more pension woes for a Pennsylvania city and the story of a family hoping to win the lottery when it comes to their … Read the rest

Conservative challenger to Corbett remains on ballot after legal challenge

April 16, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Bob Guzzardi, the conservative Republican activist who is challenging incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett in next month’s primary election, on Tuesday won the right to remain on the ballot.

Four Republican voters challenged the legitimacy … Read the rest

Legal conflict over teacher seniority in Philly heats up

April 16, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Maura Pennington | PA Independent

PHILADELPHIA — Tension is heightening between the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers over the suspension of seniority rules.

In a state Supreme Court filing last week, the district asked … Read the rest

As volunteer firefighter numbers dwindle, lawmakers suggest tax credit

April 15, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Pennsylvania municipalities with a shortage of volunteer firefighters could eventually have a new recruiting tool.

Tax breaks.

Two state lawmakers have introduced legislation that would allow municipalities to waive local earned income taxes for … Read the rest

Johnstown hands out excessive pensions as it deals with $24M in debt

April 14, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Johnstown is deep in pension debt, but is handing out retirement payments in excess of what is allowed under state law.

A recent audit of the city’s four pension funds found more than $24 Read the rest

Week in Review: Senate tackles cash gifts, McCord defends past work

April 11, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

 

By PA Independent Staff

Legislation banning cash gifts for lawmakers rocketed through the state Senate this week, marking a quick response to potentially embarrassing ethical lapses that have stained the Pennsylvania Legislature’s reputation yet again.

Elsewhere, gubernatorial hopeful and … Read the rest

Auditors examining troubled Philadelphia school district

April 11, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Maura Pennington | PA Independent

PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania state auditors are delving into the School District of Philadelphia’s finances and operations, paying particular attention to the district’s response to suggested corrective actions from previous years.

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale … Read the rest

Violent Philly high school source of worry

April 10, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Maura Pennington | PA Independent

PHILADELPHIA — Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on school safety isn’t paying off at John Bartram High School in southwest Philadelphia.

The school has budgeted $349,000 for safety measures this academic year, but it’s … Read the rest

In Pennsylvania, no right to remain silent in certain poaching cases

April 9, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

You have the right to remain silent — as long as the Pennsylvania Game Commission isn’t questioning you about possible poaching.

It seemingly runs counter to Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination, but the state’s Game Read the rest

PA Senate gives unanimous support to ‘union stalking’ bill, but now the House has concerns

April 8, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

The state Senate voted unanimously Monday to close a loophole in state law that exempts individuals engaged in a labor dispute from being charged with the crime of stalking.

The bill needs another vote … Read the rest

Santorum stumps for conservatism

April 7, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum took the stage at this past weekend’s Pennsylvania Leadership Conference to cheers, whistles and applause, and he didn’t disappoint the friendly crowd with a message that challenged Obama, touched … Read the rest

Week in review: Tax breaks breaking Philadelphia’s budget

April 4, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

An audit showed that Philadelphia will need more than half a century to break even after offering a plethora of tax breaks through the state’s Keystone Opportunity Zone program.

Elsewhere, a state representative has proposed altering … Read the rest

Republican-led county governments making push for ‘paycheck protection’

April 3, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

A conservative effort to end automatic union dues deductions from public workers’ paychecks is gaining some stream in Republican-controlled county governments across Pennsylvania.

Last week, Blair County in western Pennsylvania became the eighth county Read the rest

Legal trouble grows for York school board that shut down free speech

April 3, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Maura Pennington | PA Independent

PHILADELPHIA —The School District of York City last month held a public meeting and restricted comment from students younger than 18. The solicitor for the school board told attendees it would hear no … Read the rest

Latest revenue numbers bad news for budget

April 2, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Pennsylvania’s accountants better hope most people are waiting to file their taxes.

A long line at the post office April 15 would proably be a welcome sight for the state’s bean counters, who found … Read the rest

Conservative campaign to focus on PA General Assembly

April 2, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

More conservative versus conservative fighting is coming to Pennsylvania.

The American Future Fund Political Action, a national group that advocates for free-market and conservative ideals, launched a campaign targeting Pennsylvania’s General Assembly. The group … Read the rest

Higher vehicle and driver fees kick in today

April 1, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Get ready to pay a little more to keep your car on the road in Pennsylvania.

Vehicle registrations, drivers’ license renewals and dozens of other fees imposed by the state Department of Transportation will … Read the rest