November 16, 2013 |
President Obama headlined a big-bucks fund-raiser Thursday night at the Northwest Philadelphia home of Comcast Corp. executive David L. Cohen. Obama spoke for about 10 minutes to the gathering of about 120 people at the event for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and emphasized the importance of a Democratic Congress when it comes to achieving policy goals. "We have been blessed by a Democratic Senate," the president said. "That list of accomplishments is really a partnership.
November 15, 2013 |
HARRISBURG After weeks of closed-door negotiations, Pennsylvania's legislative leaders agree on this much: If there is no vote by the middle of next week on a measure to provide billions of dollars in additional transportation funding, the bill is as good as dead. "You can go back to planning the funeral," Speaker Sam Smith (R., Jefferson) said this week when asked what would happen if the House did not consider the issue before it breaks Wednesday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware)
November 9, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane on Thursday asked a Philadelphia court to overturn a ruling that stripped the state of nearly $170 million in tobacco settlement payments. In a motion filed in Common Pleas Court, Kane argued that an arbitration panel's ruling last month that penalized the state for failing to "diligently enforce" laws requiring the collection of taxes and other payments from tobacco companies was unfair. "The arbitration panel's decision penalizes Pennsylvania for factors the panel clearly allowed for other states," Kane said in a statement.
November 7, 2013
IT'S GOOD to see Rep. John Taylor engaged in the school-funding discussion in his Oct. 25 letter. We need the entire Philadelphia delegation working on this issue in Harrisburg. It is important, though, to clarify some of Rep. Taylor's points. Rep. Taylor is correct in saying that a school-funding formula was enacted under Gov. Ed Rendell. However, that formula was not used to calculate the state funding cuts in 2011 and it was ultimately amended out of law in 2012. So, Gov. Corbett has not been using a funding formula.
November 5, 2013 |
In a matter of seconds Sunday, the Ben Franklin Bridge went from desolate to swarming with traffic - foot traffic - as more than 5,000 runners and walkers participated in the 12th annual Run the Bridge. "It's cold, but exciting," said Lisa Dipaolo, lined up with her husband, Anthony, at base of the bridge in Camden. Five minutes later, they took off, aiming to finish the 10K course in under an hour. Runners were treated to a beautiful view along the course: across the bridge and back, through Camden streets, to the finish line on Campbell's Field.
November 2, 2013 |
A child-advocacy organization said Thursday that Montgomery County's public schools have the greatest per-classroom spending disparity among the four suburban Pennsylvania counties. It also called on Harrisburg legislators to help close that gap by increasing state funding for education. On the steps of the county courthouse in Norristown, the Philadelphia-based Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) released "The Bottom Line Is Children: Public Education in Montgomery County," a report examining various aspects of education for the 104,876 students in the county's 21 public school districts.
October 28, 2013 |
ATLANTIC CITY - One year after the hurricane wrapped in a cold front devastated the Jersey coast, much of the money donated in Sandy's name and then funneled to local Long Term Recovery Groups remains unspent. "As far as helping people directly with those funds, we haven't done a lot of that yet," said Bob Hodnett, who chairs the Monmouth County Long Term Recovery Group, which received $3.6 million from three fund-raising giants: the Robin Hood Foundation, the Red Cross, and Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief, chaired by first lady Mary Pat Christie.
October 25, 2013
HAVING been in the Pennsylvania Legislature for the past three decades, I have sufficient institutional and historic knowledge to question a recent Daily News editorial based on the false and misleading claim of a school-funding consultant that "the School District of Philadelphia would receive $360 million more a year" if a 2008 Rendell administration school-funding plan had been "kept in place. " For the record - no such plan was ever enacted during the Rendell years, nor was any such plan ever "put in place.
October 25, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - Stop playing politics and pass a transportation funding bill. That was Gov. Corbett's message to the legislature Wednesday, as another week went by and lawmakers left without a deal to provide billions of dollars in new funding for roads, bridges, and mass transit in Pennsylvania. Speaking after a bill signing in the Capitol, the Republican governor appealed to the GOP-controlled legislature to continue negotiations on a transportation funding bill, and deliver a final product to him before the end of year.
October 24, 2013
THE RESIGNATION this week of Pedro Ramos as head of the School Reform Commission and Gov. Corbett's replacement pick, whenever it comes, is bound to roil the whole issue of state funding for public schools. It's an issue that separates most Democrats from most Republicans, is certain to play big in next year's gubernatorial election and creates something like a fog of war. It's confusing and forces facts into separate ideological corners. The answer to whether Corbett drastically cut money for education or is funding schools at record levels (or both)