Docs: Grand Jury Recommended Charges Against Kane

Documents released today by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court confirm that a grand jury has recommended charges be brought against Attorney General Kathleen Kane for the leak of information from an earlier grand jury.

The documents were unsealed as part of a broader court battle involving Kane, who is challenging the authority of the special prosecutor who led the grand jury, as well as the judge who appointed the prosecutor.

“Kane’s defense team argued a Montgomery County judge had no authority to appoint a special prosecutor to run a grand jury under state law and the state constitution’s separation of powers clause prohibits the court from investigating a member of the executive branch, Kane,” The Morning Call reports. “The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied the motion to quash the grand jury and unsealed the records as requested by Kane’s defense lawyers.”
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Study: Pa. Gets D+ for Pre-School Education

Earlier this week, Philly Mag told the story of cutthroat competition among Philly parents to get young children into top-notch preschools. A new report from a national foundation suggests one reason why that’s the case — Pennsylvania lags behind the national average in nearly every measure of access to pre-K education. And the gap between the haves and the have-nots is, unsurprisingly getting wider.

The Quality Counts 2015 report from Education Weekly measured the states on a variety of criteria. Pennsylvania lagged behind most U.S. states in most of them:

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Three Predictions for Tom Wolf’s First Year

Tom Wolf

Tom Wolf takes office as governor of Pennsylvania today, and here’s the worry: That today — with the swearing-in, the pomp, the circumstance, and the Yuengling-free celebrations — might be the last good day of his term.

That’s probably an overwrought concern, but not by much. We’ve already discussed the reasons our new governor isn’t going to get much of a honeymoon — he’s staring down a gigantic deficit, and to fix it he needs the help of an ever-more-conservative Pennsylvania Legislature that might not be all that inclined to help him get anything done. It’s like trying to patch your ship in shark-infested waters, with the assistance of the sharks.

So how’s it all going to shake out? Three predictions for Tom Wolf’s first year in office:

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Former Philly Educator Named Wolf’s Secretary of Education

Pedro Rivera, a one-time Philadelphia educator who moved on to superintendent of the Lancaster school district, has been named the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education by Governor-elect Tom Wolf.

“Pennsylvania schools are struggling. My top priority is making sure our schools have the resources to teach our children the skills they need to succeed,” said Wolf said in a statement. “Pedro Rivera is nationally recognized for his efforts to improve urban education, and he will work with me to build a strong public education system and get Pennsylvania back on track.”
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Is Yuengling Banned From Wolf’s Inauguration?

Tom Wolf

He hasn’t been inaugurated yet, but incoming Gov. Tom Wolf already has a scandal on his hands.

State Rep. Mike Vereb on Thursday appeared on Dom Giordano’s radio show and said that Yuengling beer is not being served at Wolf’s inaugurral events this weekend — probably as political payback for the company’s support for “right-to-work” laws opposed by labor unions.

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Philly’s Unfunded Pension Liabilities: $5.3 Billion

shutterstock_money-pile-940x540

A stark reminder of the seriousness of the “pension crisis” you hear about so often: A new report says that Philadelphia is $5.3 billion behind on payments to the pension system that is supposed to pay for the retirements of its municipal employees.

The city is far from alone: An audit released Wednesday by State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says that 562 Pennsylvania cities are collectively $7.7 billion under water — up from $6.7 billion two years previously.
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Tuesday’s City Reads

Dave Reed

Dave Reed

Local Read: “New Pa. House leader isn’t the same ol’, same ol'”

There’s been talk in some political circles that maybe, just maybe, the election of Republican Dave Reed as the new state House majority leader is (relatively) good news for Philadelphia. Read more »

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