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NEWS
June 11, 2015
YOU KNOW how Hollywood stuntmen get set on fire or jump from tall buildings? You know they're not really burning up, right? Or splattering onto pavement. Well, it's pretty much the same deal with the annual state budget process. Stuff that looks to be flaming out or plummeting to a messy death is most often political acting in Harrisburg's theater of the absurd. Take the GOP Senate vote rejecting Gov. Wolf's choice to head the state police. It's rare for the Senate to block any governor's cabinet pick.
NEWS
June 10, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman and Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - Gov. Christie's hometown ally turned political antagonizer isn't done talking. David Wildstein, the former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official who pleaded guilty last month to federal criminal charges in the George Washington Bridge lane-closure case, now alleges in a separate legal matter that the governor disclosed information about a grand jury proceeding Christie oversaw when he was U.S. attorney. Experts said that if Wildstein's account was true, Christie would have violated federal grand jury secrecy laws, although one law professor said the governor could argue that his comments fell outside the scope of the rule.
NEWS
June 8, 2015 | By Chris Brennan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jim Burn, chairman of the state Democratic Party, may be on his way out and Gov. Wolf apparently already has his successor in mind - Montgomery County Democratic Chairman Marcel Groen. Burn, an attorney from Allegheny County, said in an interview Saturday that he told party regional caucus leaders in a meeting in Allentown on Friday that he was considering resigning the post he has held since 2010. That news comes five months before the Nov. 3 general election, which includes Democrats running statewide for seats on the state's Supreme Court, Superior Court, and Commonwealth Court.
NEWS
June 5, 2015 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Staff Writer
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - South Carolina has a history of rough-and-tumble political campaigns. But that may not translate to Republicans in this early presidential primary state's embracing a sometimes-brash governor from New Jersey. Making his first visit here since January, Gov. Christie got positive reviews this week from Republicans who liked his directness. Some in the state, which handed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich a primary win in 2012, considered his off-the-cuff side an asset.
NEWS
March 30, 2015 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
In Iowa this month, Gov. Christie bragged that he had "spent the last five years dismantling" what he called environmental protection "overreach. " The Republican governor's comment, made at an agricultural summit featuring other potential 2016 GOP candidates, reflected a policy of "balancing the need to pare back the onerous regulations and layers of red tape on businesses in New Jersey with a commitment to protect the environment," a Christie spokesman...
NEWS
March 13, 2015 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - In a lively 90-minute session, a panel of judges on Wednesday considered the fate of the leader of Pennsylvania's Open Records Office. But looming larger in this closely watched, likely precedent-setting case is the issue of executive authority over independent agencies. A seven-member panel of Commonwealth Court heard arguments before a standing-room-only crowd about whether Gov. Wolf acted within his power when, shortly after taking office in January, he removed Erik Arneson as executive director of the Open Records Office.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gov. Wolf's proposal Tuesday for a historic increase in state education spending was received like a Christmas bonus in March by school officials in the region, and they said they were especially pleased about what it might mean for property owners - lower taxes. Some said the governor's proposal to boost state education aid for every district, and by more than $500 million, could spare them painful decisions to increase local taxes to pay for rising worker pensions and other fixed costs.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Gov. Wolf on Tuesday unveiled a nearly $30 billion spending plan that would raise the state income and sales taxes to pay for sweeping property-tax cuts in every school district. The release of Wolf's first budget marked a possible turning point for the state, as his proposal would fundamentally revamp how - and how much - residents pay in taxes. "I campaigned on the idea that we need a new approach to governing Pennsylvania - one that challenges the status quo and takes on old problems in fundamentally new ways," Wolf told a joint legislative session.
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