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Funding

NEWS
March 14, 2014 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) on Wednesday sharply criticized the Christie administration's handling of Hurricane Sandy relief programs, blaming Trenton, not Washington, for long delays in getting aid to homeowners. Menendez did not mention Gov. Christie by name, but in a hearing attended by two Democratic senators and no Republicans, it was clear he was trying to rebut the Republican governor's complaints that federal red tape was the biggest culprit slowing recovery from the 2012 storm.
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Let the fight in City Hall over the precious and few millions in new spending money begin. At least when it comes to new cars and trucks. City Council begins its budget hearings Wednesday to decide how Mayor Nutter's proposed $4.5 billion pot of money will be disbursed in the fiscal year that starts July 1, and some fuss is already being made over what vehicles will be purchased. During last week's budget address, Nutter proposed $12 million in new funding for the Office of Fleet Management.
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced Wednesday that he was undertaking an audit of the state health department's handling of nearly $800 million in research funding provided by the national tobacco settlement. "These funds are intended to fuel health-care research that could help people live longer, healthier, and more rewarding lives," DePasquale said. "We have to make sure these research programs are meeting expectations so that nothing jeopardizes their vital mission or erodes public confidence.
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | BY SEAN COLLINS WALSH, Daily News Staff Writer walshSE@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
AS CITY COUNCIL gaveled into session yesterday, a group of education activists gathered across the hallway to call on the lawmakers to increase funding for the School District of Philadelphia. To make his point, Bright Hope Baptist pastor Kevin Johnson, representing the interfaith group POWER, quoted the prophet Hosea, who said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. " "Today our children are destroyed not just because of a lack of knowledge, but also because of a lack of funding," said Johnson, who earlier this year briefly flirted with running for mayor.
NEWS
March 13, 2014 | By Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writer
GLASSBORO Months after it became the second state-recognized public research university in New Jersey, Rowan University on Tuesday announced a new effort to connect faculty and student research initiatives with the dollars needed to kick-start them. The Rowan University Foundation, a fund-raising branch of the university, has allocated $5 million to the new program, called the Rowan Venture Fund. University officials said that the new fund was unique in the region and that it would help research ideas get started at "their earliest stages," potentially breeding job growth and economic activity.
BUSINESS
March 13, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Pennsylvania legislators legalized casino gambling in 2004, they created numerous pots of money - some big, some small - that are fed by gamblers' losses. Among the smaller funds is the Local Law Enforcement Grant Program, which started with $5 million a year from slot machine revenue but was reduced to $2 million a year in 2010 because there was too little demand for money that could only be used to fight illegal gambling. Even after that reduction, the Local Law Enforcement Grant fund, administered by a unit of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, has built up a surplus of $8.5 million.
NEWS
March 9, 2014 | By Julie Xie, Inquirer Staff Writer
Liz Heideman knew she wanted to be a children's librarian from second grade, when a librarian handed her books to read every time she walked into the library. "I thought she was magical," said the 36-year-old Heideman, a children's librarian at the Free Library's City Institute branch in Center City. She considers working with children in a library her "dream job," even with the budget cuts of the last five years. "To be able to reliably say when we'll be open and offer a great level of service would be fantastic," Heideman said.
NEWS
March 8, 2014 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
February's ice and snow storms cost taxpayers in Chester County about $7 million, much of it for salt, plowing, and overtime for emergency personnel. In Montgomery County, the bill was about $8 million. Millions more were spent in Bucks and Delaware Counties. But despite suffering one of the worst stretches of weather in its history - not to mention a mammoth number of power outages - the Philadelphia region will receive zero dollars in federal aid. That's because the weather failed to wreak enough havoc across the state.
NEWS
March 8, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Calling library closings the "absolute worst decision" in his 20 years in elected office, Mayor Nutter took time in his budget address Thursday to apologize for the cuts he made in 2008. City Council "was right on this issue . . . and I've been determined to correct my mistake ever since," Nutter said after proposing a $2.5 million increase for the Free Library. The new funding would let the library system hire 43 people and keep all neighborhood libraries open six days a week. Since the 2008 budget cuts, most of the branch libraries have been open only five days.
NEWS
March 7, 2014 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
Bruce A. Curless recalls the Ritz Theatre Company's earliest days as "let's put on a show" time. "We were like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland," says the affable impresario, who in 1985 inspired a volunteer group to begin transforming the former X-rated-movie house into a South Jersey cultural institution. After 180 main-stage productions, nearly 30 years of summer theater camps, and countless opportunities for local performers to tread the boards, the Ritz faces an unhappy plot twist.
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