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BUSINESS
December 1, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chinese investors have begun signing up to spend $500,000 each to help pay for a long-awaited connection between the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-95. In exchange, the investors hope to get permanent residency in the United States for themselves and their families. Agents for the novel financing plan have been pitching the proposal in China since September, touting the project's financial stability and showcasing photos of Gov. Corbett and Turnpike Commission officials breaking ground for the construction in Bucks County.
BUSINESS
December 1, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
There are a couple of reasons the pension funds that pay retired teachers, police, elected officials, and other public servants have become more expensive for taxpayers - eating up $1 of every $6 in Philadelphia's city budget, for example. It's easy to blame the exotic, sometimes politically connected, investments in unprofitable projects and secretive far-off funds that the pensions' trustees - many of them political appointments - have too often approved. But it's probably more costly that politicians years ago fattened pension benefits but didn't set aside enough money to pay for them along the way. And they still don't.
BUSINESS
November 30, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The $134 million corporate meeting center rising at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City is supposed to represent the city's less casino-centric future. But a lawsuit filed this week also gave it a role in the high-stakes battle between Caesars Entertainment Corp. creditors, owed about $25 billion, and the Las Vegas firm's private-equity backers over who will get paid from Caesars' insufficient resources. The lawsuit, filed in Delaware Chancery Court on Tuesday by a bank representing senior lenders owed $1.25 billion, called efforts to deal with Caesars' debt load "a case of unimaginably brazen corporate looting and abuse.
NEWS
November 28, 2014 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
The purple buses are in for a bright Black Friday. After nearly collapsing for lack of funds two years ago, the tourist-friendly Philly Phlash bus will mark its 20th anniversary with extended hours to serve Center City's growing lineup of holiday attractions. The subsidized shuttle, founded in 1994 by then-Mayor Ed Rendell, is back in high gear after a change in operators and intensive lobbying in Harrisburg yielded guaranteed funding for the service, which connects museums and other attractions in a continuous loop.
NEWS
November 21, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
An official trust fund has been set up to benefit the 6-year-old brother of Scott McMillan, the 3-year-old Chester County boy police say was beaten to death two weeks ago by his mother and her boyfriend. DNB First, a bank based in Chester County, will handle the details of the trust account for the brother, who also suffered abuse in the household. Donations can be sent to Chester County Angel Trust, DNB First Wealth Management, 410 Exton Square Parkway, Exton, Pa. 19341. The Crime Victims' Center of Chester County and the county's District Attorney's Office made the announcement Thursday.
NEWS
November 20, 2014 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
Members of the Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding Commission got an earful Tuesday at City Hall. State legislators charged with developing a new formula to distribute state funds for public schools heard from parents, school principals, education advocates, experts, and city and school district officials. While the details of their testimony varied, all said the state needed to provide more funding for schools and to develop a fair method for disbursing the money that provides additional resources for students who are poor, learning English, or require special-education services.
NEWS
November 20, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
CITY OFFICIALS, school district leaders and education experts yesterday testified before a group of state lawmakers about dire conditions in city public schools and an urgent need for Pennsylvania to implement a fair formula for education funding. One by one, the speakers at City Hall, including Mayor Nutter, described the stark contrast between the city's schools and those in neighboring suburban districts, because of wild disparities in per-pupil funding. They insisted that poorer districts should receive more to bridge the gap resulting from less local funding.
NEWS
November 14, 2014 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
The rich are getting richer and the poor are wasting away. Hundreds of representatives of city arts organizations at a meeting Wednesday night heard that unsettling, if not surprising, message about Philadelphia's cultural sector. According to data gathered by University of Pennsylvania researchers, the city experienced an "explosion of inequality" in the cultural world from 1997 to 2011. Despite talk of growth and the economic power of the arts, the cultural profile is at best scarred and pitted, particularly beyond Center City.
NEWS
November 8, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
If New Jersey continues to rely on borrowing to finance transportation projects at its current level, the state would owe an additional $15 billion by 2050, the Legislature's top budget analyst told lawmakers Thursday. That's on top of the $28 billion the state will accumulate over that period to retire $15 billion in existing debt, said David Rosen, budget and finance officer for the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services. Rosen testified before the Assembly transportation committee, which held a hearing Thursday at Camden County College in Camden on New Jersey's Transportation Trust Fund.
NEWS
November 2, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Gov. Christie's transportation commissioner on Friday continued to drum up support for replenishing New Jersey's near-empty fund for transit projects, suggesting to South Jersey business leaders that key players in Trenton are committed to finding new revenue. "The discussion already underway in New Jersey is very different than what we have seen nationally or in years past," Commissioner Jamie Fox told a gathering of the Southern New Jersey Development Council at Rowan University. The issue is perhaps the top priority in Trenton because New Jersey's Transportation Trust Fund will run out of money for capital projects at the start of the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The state must develop a plan soon to qualify for federal matching funds.
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