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NEWS
May 1, 2015
THIS WEEK, the Supreme Court voted to uphold a Florida rule prohibiting judicial candidates from personally seeking campaign contributions. The court affirmed that those running for judge in Florida can't directly solicit money - but can write thank-you notes to donors. The ruling was especially welcome given the Court's recent history of decisions that support money's increasing influence in elections starting with, but not limited to, Citizens United. That decision opened the floodgates of independent political expenditures - including "dark money" - from corporations, unions and other organizations.
NEWS
April 24, 2015
AMONG THE MANY things lost on the Harrisburg General Assembly - a strong work ethic, for example - count irony among the biggest. Case in point: As a lawsuit makes its way through the courts that claims the state fails to uphold its constitutional obligation to educate children adequately because of an "irrational funding policy," one lawmaker, Sen. Lloyd Smucker, R.-Lancaster, wants to give the state's failing schools a few years to turn around;...
NEWS
April 23, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
COMMONWEALTH Court yesterday dismissed a lawsuit accusing the state of failing to adequately and equitably fund Pennsylvania public schools. The complaint was filed by six school districts, seven parents, the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools and the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference, who said they plan to appeal to the state Supreme Court. "This is a question of paramount importance to all Pennsylvanians, and we always knew this would ultimately be decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court," Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia executive director Jennifer Clarke, a member of the legal team representing the plaintiffs, said in a statement.
NEWS
April 23, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Democrat Joe Sestak raised about $312,000 in the first three months of 2015 for his Senate campaign, barely one-tenth of the amount raised by the Republican incumbent he hopes to unseat, Sen. Pat Toomey. Campaign finance records show Sestak had $1.7 million on hand through March, a month during which he spent most of his time on a largely solitary 422-mile hike across Pennsylvania. A campaign spokeswoman said the figures were "where we want to be. " But the totals suggest Toomey running away, at least in the money race: The Republican raised more than $2 million in the first quarter and had $7.2 million by the end of March.
NEWS
April 23, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - Gov. Christie is pushing back against the Legislature's Democratic leadership in a dispute over funding of the pension system, arguing that their support of unions seeking bigger pension contributions amounts to an endorsement of raising taxes. In response to a decision by Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D., Hudson) to file an amicus brief in support of the unions' lawsuit, Christie's office on Tuesday accused the Democrats of using "fairy tale rhetoric" in calling for bigger payments.
NEWS
April 23, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham and Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writers
A lawsuit contending that Pennsylvania's system of school funding is broken will move to the state's top court, attorneys vowed Tuesday after a lower court dismissed the case brought by school districts, parents, and advocates. Lawyers said they would appeal to the state Supreme Court after the Commonwealth Court ruled that education funding was a legislative issue and not a legal matter. "This is a question of paramount importance to all Pennsylvanians, and we always knew this would ultimately be decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court," said Jennifer Clarke, executive director of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, part of the team that represents petitioners in this case.
NEWS
April 20, 2015 | Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
They want to fund the city's schools, yet every mayoral candidate bashes Mayor Nutter's solution - a property-tax increase. Nutter, in turn, calls their ideas "bogus," from suing the state over school aid (Lynne Abraham), to asking private funders to chip in (Anthony Hardy Williams), to capitalizing on the liquor tax by keeping bars open later (Nelson Diaz, Doug Oliver). And he's cool to the City Council president's call for selling off commercial tax liens. Maybe they should keep brainstorming.
NEWS
April 18, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. - After spending two days telling New Hampshire voters about a need to reform federal entitlement programs and bashing President Obama's foreign policy, Gov. Christie resumed the town-hall circuit at home Thursday by returning to his bread-and-butter state issues: public worker benefits and education. The governor, a prospective candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, wants public workers to contribute more toward their health benefits to align New Jersey's plans with those in the private sector.
NEWS
April 16, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
SASHEIKA DUFFUS is pleading to rehire counselors and teachers. Mayegan Brown is advocating for more administrators. Now the two 11th-graders have a chance to be heard - or read or seen - thanks to a campaign launched yesterday by Mayor Nutter called "Students Speak!" that allows students to submit a written or video essay on the need for full and fair funding in the city's public schools. "Education is about these young people," Nutter said in announcing the initiative at A. Philip Randolph Career Academy in Nicetown during a joint news conference with Superintendent William Hite and Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan.
BUSINESS
April 13, 2015 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
"I suppose you're the enemy," John C. Bogle, founder of Malvern-based Vanguard Group and that rare creature, an investment celebrity, told the crowd of bargain-hunting stock-pickers in an ornate ballroom in New York's Plaza Hotel. Bogle was onstage for a "Great Debate" vs. his host, Jim Grant, Federal Reserve-bashing, gold-loving publisher of Grant's Interest Rate Observer , a contrarian investors' bible. The two squared off over Bogle's once-radical, now-mainstream proposition that even professional securities pickers can't beat market indexes like Standard & Poor's list of the 500 major U.S. stocks.
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