October 2, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - Frustrated with the protracted budget stalemate, Republican legislative leaders said Wednesday that they would allow a vote next week on Gov. Wolf's proposal to raise the sales and personal income taxes - if only to show the administration that there is no support for it. The majority leaders in the House and Senate told reporters that they are fed up with hearing the Democratic governor say he believes he has support among rank-and-file members...
October 1, 2015
LET'S CHECK IN on Harrisburg, also known as Lil' Washington on the Susquehanna. You've noticed similarities, yes? Democrat runs the executive branch, Republicans run the legislative branch and the tree not only produces no fruit but also appears to be dead. Welcome to governing in modern times. I'm not sure House Speaker John Boehner's stepping aside helps fix Washington, but some suggest House Speaker Mike Turzai's stepping aside might help fix Harrisburg. OK, actually, that's just wishful thinking by Democrats who see Turzai as least likely among GOP leaders to compromise with Gov. Wolf in order to get a budget in place before, let's say, Christmas.
October 1, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - Gov. Wolf on Tuesday vetoed the interim spending plan sent to him by Republicans who control the legislature, all but ensuring the state will enter a fourth month without a budget. The veto was expected, but it means the two sides have no backup plan during the impasse to fund schools, counties, and social-services providers that rely on state aid. It came less than a day after a negotiating session that Republican leaders said had ended with signs of progress. Instead, both sides were back to public bickering Tuesday, with no talks scheduled.
September 30, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - As they prepare to enter the fourth month without a state budget, Republican leaders and Gov. Wolf signaled progress Monday in their effort to reach a deal on a spending plan. Emerging from closed-door talks with Wolf, House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R., Indiana) said the sides were "working through some numbers" in an attempt to find common ground. He would not give details. Nor would Wolf, who said only that "we are still talking. " "I don't want to sound like the eternal optimist, but we're working," he said.
September 26, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - The Republican-controlled legislature on Thursday agreed to send Gov. Wolf a temporary budget to offset the impact of their nearly three-month-long impasse on a spending plan. Voting 117-83, the House gave final approval along partisan lines to the stopgap budget, which would let money begin flowing again to schools, counties, and providers of social services that get state aid. The Senate passed the measure last week. It now heads to Wolf, where it is likely to die. The Democratic governor has pledged to veto it, calling it a "very cynical, hypocritical" attempt to solve the problems the sides are having in reaching a deal.
September 18, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - An angry Gov. Wolf said Wednesday he would veto the temporary budget Republicans are proposing, calling it "a very cynical, hypocritical attempt" to solve the problems the two sides are having in reaching a deal. Wolf, who met with leaders of the GOP-controlled legislature earlier in the day, said he offered Republicans two proposals for issues important to them - reforming the public liquor and pension systems - and "got nothing" in return. The Democratic governor also said it was "ridiculous" for Republicans to say they want a stopgap, or interim, budget because they are worried about state funding drying up for social service nonprofit organizations.
September 18, 2015 |
More than 100 faith leaders have launched a campaign, timed to Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia next week, urging Gov. Wolf to ban natural gas development. The clergy, joined by a coalition of anti-drilling groups called Pennsylvanians Against Fracking, say their call to Wolf was inspired by the pope's recent encyclical urging Catholics to take action against climate change. "Gov. Wolf, you have the opportunity and the obligation to act," the clergy said in a letter. "Shale gas development is not only putting us in an increasingly precarious position, it is also keeping us from making the necessary and urgent transition to clean, renewable energy.
September 12, 2015 |
Gov. Wolf calls his moratorium on Pennsylvania executions appropriate while he awaits a task force report about what he says is "a flawed system that has been proven to be . . . ineffective, unjust, and expensive. " District Attorney Seth Williams, county prosecutors, and legislative leaders counter that Wolf's position "usurps judicial review of criminal judgments, and is in direct violation of his duty to faithfully execute Pennsylvania law. " Resolving the debate is now up to the state Supreme Court, which on Thursday heard oral arguments on the constitutional challenge to Wolf's seven-month-old ban on the state's ultimate penalty, which was last used in 1999.
September 12, 2015 |
Despite his best efforts at anonymity, Chinese author Lü Jiamin became a worldwide sensation in 2004 with Wolf Totem , an autobiographical novel he released under the pseudonym Jiang Rong. A deeply political story about a young Beijing intellectual sent to live with nomadic herders in the wide expanse of Mongolia's grasslands, Wolf Totem tackles everything from ecology and the environment to the corruption at the heart of the communist system. Epic in scope, yet at the same time intensely intimate in its handling of its protagonist's inner life, it's a unique wildlife tale that sets a tribe of humans against a majestic pack of wolves.
September 4, 2015
Wolf's war on choice Gov. Wolf's intervention in Chester Upland School District is not, as The Inquirer suggests, a "legal alternative to a gridlocked legislative process" ("School needs are pressing," Aug. 23). To the contrary, Wolf attempted to usurp legislative authority and balance the district's budget on the backs of special-education charter school students. Charter payments are a matter of state law - not something to be arbitrarily slashed at a governor's whim. Wolf's contempt for schools of choice is stunning.