June 9, 2014
A $1.2 billion state revenue shortfall has added even more drama to the pandemonium that typically accompanies June budget talks in Harrisburg. This time, though, there are encouraging signs that politicians may make some long-overdue tough choices. It's probably no coincidence that most of them are up for election. They may not want to face voters after imposing even more unreasonable reductions of school funding and state services. Republican legislators are thawing to the idea of a severance tax on natural-gas drilling.
June 7, 2014 |
The City of Philadelphia's pension system hired some new money managers at its regular board of trustees meeting Tuesday, awarding mandates to a number of investment firms, some known locally and others nationally. Pending completion of their contracts, the Board of Pensions and Retirement awarded new mandates to the following active managers in fixed-income, and domestic- and international-equity sectors: In domestic equity (small, mid-, and large capitalization), Brandywine, Lyrical, Hahn, Herndon, GW, and Apex received commitments of money from the city.
May 31, 2014 |
StoneMor Partners L.P. has made its initial payment of $53 million to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as part of a 60-year lease of 13 archdiocesan cemeteries, the Levittown company announced. The remaining annual lease payments are front-loaded, with $1 million in years six through 20, $1.2 million in years 21 to 25, and $1.5 million in years 26 to 35. No payments would be required in the final 25 years. The archdiocese previously has said it will use $30 million of the initial payment to offset an $80 million shortfall in its trust and loan fund, which holds deposits from parishes and makes loans to them.
May 30, 2014 |
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.
May 21, 2014
SINCE HE arrived in June 2012, school Superintendent William Hite has had to live through a nightmare not of his own making. He came to Philadelphia to help the schools. Instead, he has been forced to oversee a slash-and-burn operation, shedding thousands of jobs and services in a poor district that genuinely needs all the help it can get. It seems no one wants to listen to Hite's earnest - and increasingly frantic - calls for help, certainly not among the political class, which controls the purse strings.
May 19, 2014
As hard as it is to believe, City Council is about to throw away a $120 million funding stream for Philadelphia's destitute public schools, which are understaffed, underachieving, and unsafe. That money was authorized a year ago by the legislature when it extended an emergency increase of the city's sales tax to 8 percent. Not only would the extension generate $120 million for struggling schools, but the legislation also set aside an escalating portion of the revenue for city pensions.
May 16, 2014 |
CITY COUNCIL President Darrell Clarke is pushing a new version of the hotly debated city sales-tax legislation that could provide more money to Philadelphia's struggling schools and pension system, sources with knowledge of the negotiations said. Clarke's proposal, which is still evolving, would send the district almost all of the tax's expected revenue next year. Then, over three to five years, the pension fund's share of the money would gradually increase until there is a 50/50 split.
May 16, 2014 |
IT TOOK 10 MONTHS for Council President Darrell Clarke to introduce an extension of a city sales-tax hike that could send money to the School District of Philadelphia and the pension system. It took about four hours for it to be picked apart by skeptics, including Mayor Nutter, Superintendent William Hite and School Reform Commission chairman Bill Green, who called it "a distraction. " "It's not going to happen," Green said of the proposal's chances of being authorized by Harrisburg lawmakers.
May 8, 2014
Special providence A four-time felon who shoots a person and buries her alive can't endure a "botched" execution ("No more executions," May 1). The expression you want is "providentially extended. " Jerry Axelrod, Huntingdon Valley In Wolf's pack I agree with the editorial "McCord best of a fine field" (May 4) in that it is a quality group of gubernatorial candidates. But we part ways on the endorsement of Rob McCord partly because of his House of Cards -style attack on Tom Wolf.