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Funding

NEWS
June 10, 2014 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
Temple University is investigating an ethics complaint that two of its professors did not properly disclose funding from the private prison industry for their research on the cost of incarceration. Simon Hakim and Erwin Blackstone, economists on Temple's faculty since the mid-1970s, argued that they had been doing similar research for decades and always disclosed their funding when their work was completed. They said sometimes their research favors the funder and sometimes it does not. In this case, it did. The professors concluded that private prisons save money while performing as well as or better than government-operated prisons and generate much-needed competition.
NEWS
June 9, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
When it comes to health insurance, Anthony Capone considers himself "on top of this stuff. " So in 2013 when the Mount Laurel businessman turned 65, he pored over Medicare Advantage plans, even visiting a Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield store to talk details. He eventually bought a Horizon no-premium Medicare Advantage plan. He liked the policy so much he persuaded his then-89-year-old mother to ditch her plan and go with Horizon. So in the fall, Capone was primed to renew during open enrollment until he saw that his no-premium insurance had removed the "no. " The 2014 version of the plan came with a monthly premium of $153.70.
NEWS
June 7, 2014 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Tom Wolf visited Philadelphia City Council Thursday, landing squarely in the midst of a school budget crisis that many members have blamed on the state's Republican leadership. The Democratic gubernatorial nominee was escorted past pupils from three city elementary schools displaying a quilt advocating for arts funding. Wolf then headed into a closed-door meeting in Council President Darrell L. Clarke's office. Afterward, Wolf spoke in the caucus room to Council, staff, lobbyists and reporters, saying he was "a fan of this great city.
NEWS
June 5, 2014 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
For the second straight year, Pennsylvania State University will provide two regional child advocacy groups with money the school would have otherwise collected from football bowl revenue. University officials said the school would distribute close to $230,000 to the Stewards of Children education and prevention program and the Children's Advocacy Center, two Centre County organizations that are dedicated to protecting children. As part of the sanctions imposed by the NCAA and Big Ten Conference following child sex-abuse crimes committed by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, the Nittany Lions were prohibited last season from playing in postseason games.
NEWS
June 5, 2014 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The Federal Election Commission has dismissed a watchdog group's complaint against former U.S. Rep. Robert E. Andrews, saying that even though the South Jersey congressman appeared to use $30,000 of campaign funds for a luxurious family trip to Scotland, he paid the money back and should not be prosecuted. The commission examined a 2011 trip in which Andrews, a Democrat, tapped his campaign funds to help bring his wife and two daughters to a wedding in Edinburgh, where they stayed in the five-star Balmoral hotel.
NEWS
June 5, 2014 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two young girls arrived at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia 11 years apart with the same kind of cancer. One, 4-year-old Edie Gilger, lived to see her tumors shrink because of an innovative new drug therapy. Edie is in complete remission. For that, she can thank the other girl, Alexandra Scott. Ten years ago this month, Alex, weakened from cancer, sold lemonade for the last time at her Wynnewood elementary school. Lemonade stands were her way to raise money for doctors "to help other kids, like they helped me. " By the time Alex died that August, the Lower Merion Township girl had raised nearly $1 million and set in motion what would become an international effort.
BUSINESS
June 3, 2014 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
Pennsylvania's Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS), the 18th-largest state-sponsored, defined-benefit public pension fund in the nation, runs money for more than 400,000 teachers and retirees. And PSERS likes hedge funds. But are hedge funds worth it? PSERS oversees assets of $50.4 billion. Roughly 10 percent, or $5 billion, of that is invested in hedge funds, which generally charge 2 percent of assets and 20 percent of performance annually. An index mutual fund typically charges much less, say, 0.50 percent a year.
NEWS
June 2, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
  HARRISBURG - Elected officials have plenty of words to describe the coming state budget debate, none of them good. Some call it bleak. Others call it agonizing - or just plain bad. "Expect a lot of street theater," said one, noting that this is an election year. On Monday, Gov. Corbett and the legislature head into the thick of budget season. Looming are a July 1 deadline and the fiscal reality that state revenue collections are not matching projected expenditures.
NEWS
May 30, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
The New Jersey Treasury Department's chief auditor is reviewing whether it violated the state's pay-to-play restrictions when it invested $15 million with a venture-capital firm tied to a Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate who had donated to the New Jersey Republican State Committee months earlier. The review was disclosed as New Jersey's State Investment Council met Wednesday to consider new "alternative investments" for the state's $76.76 billion pension fund. Charles Baker, an executive-in-residence at General Catalyst Partners, who is vying for the GOP nomination in Massachusetts' governor's race, contributed $10,000 to the New Jersey GOP in May 2011.
NEWS
May 23, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
WITH THE Philadelphia School District inching closer to massive layoffs for the second straight year, officials returned to City Hall yesterday to plead their case for additional funding. At the request of City Council, district officials were in Council chambers to answer questions regarding the $216 million the district says is needed to keep schools at current "inadequate" levels. The district is asking the city for an extra $195 million, including $120 million from the extension of the sales-tax hike and an additional $75 million, possibly from a cigarette tax. Superintendent William Hite said the clock is ticking because, under state law, the district would have to send out layoff notices to employees by June 30. Even if the employees were called back, he said, the district would incur costs it cannot recoup.
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