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Funding

NEWS
July 11, 2014
IT'S TEMPTING to slam the state Legislature for failing to accomplish one simple task - pass a $2-per-pack cigarette tax in Philadelphia to help fund the schools. But, in our estimation, the Legislature has failed to accomplish not one but five simple tasks, any one of which would have helped the city's schools open on time, with more than bare-bones staffing. And that turns a single glitchy bill into a sweeping and utter failure of leadership. Because of last-minute tinkering with the cigarette-tax bill, the law that was on its way to Gov. Corbett's desk must now go back to the House, where success is iffy.
NEWS
July 9, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Albert D. Risley Jr., 86, of Souderton, a Philadelphia-area businessman and later a fund-raiser for a business lobbying organization, died Friday, July 4, at Grandview Hospital in Sellersville from complications of heart failure. Mr. Risley spent 25 years in the refractory and chrome-plating industries as a salesman working for E.J. Lavino & Co. in Philadelphia; a local salesman for the A.P. Green Co., based in the Midwest; and a plant manager for the Tibon Plating Co. in Norristown.
NEWS
July 8, 2014 | By Clark Mindock, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Frandy Jean moved to the United States two years ago from Haiti, Brother Daoud Bey was one of the first people to help him connect to and integrate into the South Jersey artist community. Now, with his own gallery in Haddon Heights that he opened to give young people the chance to show their art, Jean, 25, hopes to help Bey, 45, who is now in the hospital. "He gave me a lot of opportunities to work with the Camden County Arts," said Jean, who is helping to organize a July 10 fund-raiser.
NEWS
July 8, 2014 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer
Aspiring Broadway choreographer Terrance Calvert was in hospice care but still talking about the thrill of performing. The 21-year-old dancer, who had walked into the Upper Darby Summer Stage community theater as a teenager with "behavioral issues," wanted other kids to find what he had. So Calvert drafted his mother and a buddy to carry out a mission that he wouldn't be able to execute himself - develop a scholarship program for youngsters who...
NEWS
July 4, 2014 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
The possibility of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst's being considered for cuts or closure won't come up until 2017. But New Jersey's elected officials aren't taking any chances. They're already working to keep it here. The fiscal 2015 budget, signed Monday by Gov. Christie, includes $200,000 for the Council on Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs, a body of state officials and citizens who will fight any efforts to close the base and other military installations. The latest move follows the formation in May of a separate group, the New Jersey Military Installation Growth and Development Task Force - chaired by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno - to draft strategies for inoculating military sites from the budget ax. McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst has survived five rounds of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)
NEWS
July 4, 2014 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
For school districts in the Philadelphia region, this is one of those times when more feels like less. Although the $29.1 billion 2014-15 state spending plan approved this week by lawmakers in Harrisburg includes slightly more money for K-12 education than last year, the new dollars are fewer than what Gov. Corbett proposed in February, and not enough for most districts to pay rising bills - especially pensions - without hiking taxes. "We're being engulfed in a negative swing," said Jeff Cuff, the business manager of the William Penn School District in Delaware County, where the boost in state block-grant dollars was both too little and too late to prevent the school board from raising 2015 property taxes by 3 percent, the most allowable under state law. The district's property-tax rate already was among the highest in the region.
NEWS
July 1, 2014 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
On one of the hottest days of the year, David Hodo was deep inside the George Washington Carver Community Center pool in Norristown, and he wasn't cooling off. Quite the opposite. He was standing on the empty pool bottom and scraping loose siding off the concrete walls. County budget cuts, mounting bills, and the harsh winter all have conspired to drain resources from the center. The 54-year-old pool - where children who don't have the $3 full-day admission can earn their way in by pulling weeds or picking up trash - has not been able to reopen, leaving many children on the east side of town without a place to swim.
NEWS
July 1, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The down-to-the-wire battle over the 2014-15 state budget was overshadowed Sunday by a firefight that erupted over funding for the Philadelphia school district. Without enough GOP votes for a pension-overhaul plan, Gov. Corbett and House Republican leaders gave Philadelphia Democrats a Hobson's choice: Vote for the GOP pension plan in return for Republican support for an increase to the cigarette tax in the city. Philadelphia wants legislative approval of the tax to help plug a hole in the school budget.
NEWS
June 30, 2014 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer brennac@phillynews.com, 215-854-5973
A FRIEND and political supporter of state Sen. LeAnna Washington is asking people to contribute at least $100 each to help pay "mounting legal bills" in her criminal case. Dr. J. Louis Felton, pastor at Mount Airy Church of God in Christ, wrote in a letter last week that Washington's "character is unblemished and her reputation untarnished, though she has practically been tried and convicted in the press on unfounded charges. " Washington, charged in March with using state resources to pay for political fundraisers, "vehemently denies the allegations and is fighting the charges," Felton wrote.
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