N.J. Gov. Chris Christie — who heads the Republican Governors Association — has come under fire from a New York Republican challenging Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo there. Rob Astorino said Christie should step down from the RGA since Christie isn’t supporting Astorino’s candidacy.
The State Ethics Commission is examining four Philly-based lawmakers who reportedly took money in a sting operation later abandoned by Attorney General Kathleen Kane, one of three investigations to emerge from the matter.
That little legal loophole that’s letting beer gardens proliferate around Philadelphia this summer? Well, some state legislators want to close it, soon — meaning Philly’s summer of beer might be truncated in the not-too-distant future. Read more »
Today I am item vetoing $65 million in general assembly spending & an additional $7.2 million in legislative-designated spending #pabudget
— Governor Tom Corbett (@GovernorCorbett) July 10, 2014
Gov. Tom Corbett on Thursday announced he was exercising a line-item veto on the Pennsylvania budget. He’s decided to battle with the legislature, saying it “refused to deal with the biggest fiscal challenge facing PA: our unsustainable public pension systems.”
“I am forcing mutual sacrifice with the general assembly though the gov’s ability to line item veto and hold spending in budgetary reserve,” Corbett added. Corbett cut $72.2 million in spending overall.
State Rep. J.P. Miranda, accused of creating a “ghost employee” in his state office to divert money to his sister, was the subject of an arrest warrant on Tuesday after missing a court date in the matter.
This is why you don’t count your chickens until they’re hatched: Yes, both the Pennsylvania House and the Pennsylvania Senate have given approval to bills allowing Philly to raise its cigarette tax by $2 per pack to fund local schools — but they haven’t approved the same version of the bill so far. And that’s turning out to be a big problem.
The House version ran into a Senate buzzsaw on Tuesday — with the upper chamber
balking at adding provisions in the bill that would allow some Pennsylvania cities to raise their hotel taxes. Senators began amending the House bill (it now includes a five-year sunset provision on the cigarette tax) but it’s uncertain the House will return from its break to pass the revised version — which, if not would leave Philly in limbo — or whether, in fact, it would approve those revisions: Certainly, it seems House Republicans will resist approving the additional hotel taxes. Which means getting the two chambers to back the same bill may be difficult.
Dave Davies nailed it, as he so often does, when he described last week’s surprise deal enabling Philadelphia to tax cigarettes and send the proceeds to the schools as simultaneously “awful” and a “stunning, come-from-behind legislative win.”
The $2-a-pack cigarette tax looked dead right up until Wednesday night, when a surprise amendment offered by State Rep. John Taylor-the lone Republican in Philadelphia’s 34-strong delegation to Harrisburg-won enough support for the initiative to enable it to pass the tax-averse House. 119-90
Considering the alternative, there’s little doubt that this was a win for the city (and a reminder that a 100-percent Democratic delegation is clearly not in the city’s best interest). Parents, students and educators owe Taylor, the rest of the delegation, Mayor Nutter and Council President Clarke (all of whom lobbied hard for this) their gratitude.
But let’s look at what was won.
Philadelphia is one of six cities bidding to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and the DNC has announced when it will do site visits. Democratic officials will visit the city on August 13-14.
That’s soon! Though we only need to clean up the parts of the city politicians will see, that’s still a lot of work: Do you think we can just sweep all of the Arctic Splash containers and cheesesteak wrappers strewn about Philadelphia under a rug and no one will notice?