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NEWS
June 26, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A House panel on Tuesday advanced a $29.1 billion budget, setting the stage for final negotiations with the Senate and Gov. Corbett on the 2014-15 spending plan. The Appropriations Committee voted, 21-14, along party lines to move the proposal to the House floor, but it is likely to undergo significant changes before reaching Corbett's desk. The bill proposes to close a $1.5 billion budget gap by transferring funds from other sources, including the sale of state liquor stores - a plan that hasn't materialized.
SPORTS
June 7, 2014 | By Kate Harman, For The Inquirer
ALLENTOWN - Walking to the plate in the top of the seventh inning, Lansdale Catholic's Ashley Seal wasn't sure what to do. Should she bunt to advance the runners, or swing away and hope to knock in one of her teammates? Crusaders coach Paul Suder knew what he wanted to do. With runners on first and second, none out, and his team down by a run in the PIAA Class AAA softball quarterfinals, he wasn't going to have his team go for the tie, he said. They were going to go for the win, and his sophomore pitcher, Seal, had the green light to swing.
BUSINESS
June 2, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
How to get out of a $50 billion hole? First, stop digging, reasons State Rep. Mike Tobash (R., Pottsville). Tobash has a plan - a moderate plan, by today's standards - to stall the growing gap between the billions Pennsylvania's politically appointed pension trustees have invested, in hopes the money will magically grow very fast, and the tens of billions actually needed to keep future pensions flowing to ex-teachers, prison guards, legislators,...
NEWS
June 1, 2014
Cheap money beggars most Nowhere in economist Mark Zandi's look at the growing wealth gap in the American economy does he mention a major cause of this gap - government policy ("Reasons for hope on easing pay gap," May 25). For five years, the Federal Reserve has set interest rates at near zero, depriving small savers of hundreds of billions of dollars in interest income, wrecking annuities for seniors, and bleeding pension funds. At the same time, major investors - already well-to-do - have made a killing in a cheap money-fueled market.
NEWS
May 22, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Staff Writer
TRENTON - Confronting an end-of-year revenue shortfall that he said had reached $1 billion, Gov. Christie announced plans Tuesday to slash New Jersey's pension-system payments - changing course on a plan that had been intended to shore up the system in the long term. The Republican governor, who has touted his commitment to making pension-system payments as a mark of fiscal responsibility, said that an increasingly strained budget - with new spending needs and revenue now estimated to fall $2.75 billion below administration projections for the current fiscal year and next - necessitated the cuts.
NEWS
May 19, 2014 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
Tom Wolf may have had them at "hello. " The York businessman aired his first campaign TV ad at the end of January - the one showing him behind the wheel of his old Jeep, honking the horn and waving. He's never looked back. Wolf's spots ran virtually unchallenged for seven weeks, building a lead that has put him in a commanding position heading into Tuesday's Democratic primary for Pennsylvania governor, according to the latest polls. Still, strategists expect 25 percent of registered Democrats to show up at best - about one million voters - and some surveys suggest many remain undecided.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 22, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gwen taking Christina's chair   TMZ says it has learned Gwen Stefani has signed on to be a judge on The Voice , subbing for the enceinte Christina Aguilera during Season 7, which starts taping in June. Producers started looking for new blood in February after Aguilera announced she was pregnant. NBC (which had no comment) reportedly wanted her to stay during her pregnancy, but she's having a difficult time already and ultimately bowed out. (She was just fine on Saturday, though, tweeting, "So blissful in taking this time for creating all things blossoming new on the horizon . . . album, baby & beautiful music to come.
NEWS
March 26, 2014 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
CAMDEN School district administrators spent around $56 million more than they brought in over the last two years, contributing to a budget gap - whose extent has not been fully determined - facing the district in the 2014-2015 school year. Interim Business Administrator John C. Oberg announced the findings at Monday's advisory school board meeting, which was led by Assistant Superintendent Peggy Nicolosi. She sat in for superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard whose wife gave birth to a baby boy on Friday.
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
CHESTER UPLAND The Chester Upland School District is laying off nine administrative staff members as part of an effort to reduce a $20 million spending gap, officials said Wednesday. "Given the deficit we face and mandates to rightsize the administrative staff, we have no choice but to reduce the staff size," said state-appointed receiver Joe Watkins, who has been charged with implementing a recovery plan for the ailing Delaware County district. The cuts, which the district had first said would affect 10 employees, will save $1.4 million in next year's $125 million budget.
NEWS
March 13, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A higher-than-usual number of accidents due to lingering conditions after a heavy winter storm overwhelmed Pennsylvania Turnpike responders during the massive Valentine's Day pileup in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, turnpike officials told a Senate panel Tuesday. Mark Compton, the Turnpike Commission's chief executive officer, told the Transportation Committee that there were "gaps" in the agency's response. But he said the high volume of accidents across the turnpike during the morning rush hour on Feb. 14 because of scattered, fast-forming icy patches tested the agency's ability to reach the 100-plus vehicle pileup between the Bensalem and Willow Grove exits.
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