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Funding

NEWS
May 10, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny and Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writers
With 10 days until the primary, real estate agent Allan Domb and education activist Helen Gym have the most cash on hand in the race for at-large City Council seats, campaign-finance reports filed Friday show. In the most competitive Council district, the Second, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson has raised more money than his opponent in the Democratic primary, Ori Feibush, and has more going into the final stretch before May 19. Candidates for Council and mayor on Friday issued campaign finance reports showing how much they raised from Jan. 1 through Monday.
NEWS
May 8, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - The Christie administration on Wednesday told the New Jersey Supreme Court that granting public workers a contractual right to pension funding would violate the state constitution and place a "fiscal stranglehold on the state in perpetuity. " Hearing oral arguments in Gov. Christie's appeal of a ruling that he violated his own pension law, the justices wrestled with questions over the separation of powers and budget priorities. The case revolves around how to interpret a 2011 law that Christie and others said was designed to shore up New Jersey's chronically underfunded pension system by requiring both the state and public workers to contribute more money.
BUSINESS
May 8, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Delaware River Port Authority plans to seek $22.4 million from the Obama administration to reopen the long-closed "ghost station" below Franklin Square in Old City. DRPA officials said Wednesday they will apply for a grant from the Department of Transportation to cover a $28 million price tag, of which the federal government would pay 80 percent. A study for the DRPA in March estimated it would cost $26.5 million to reopen the 79-year-old station, including the cost of such improvements as escalators and an entrance on the south side of Race Street.
NEWS
May 7, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
MAYOR NUTTER kicked off a series of school visits yesterday at Roxborough High to tout his plan for more school funding. Nutter's proposed 9.3 percent property-tax hike would raise $105 million in new recurring money for the cash-strapped district. The funding, in conjunction with additional dollars proposed by Gov. Wolf, would close the district's $85 million shortfall and allow schools to restore support staff and expand innovative programs, the mayor said. "What we're talking about is now investments, eliminating a longstanding deficit and then investing in schools like Roxborough High and many, many others," Nutter said during a sit-down with administrators and parents.
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.
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