Pa. Doesn’t Shine in State Rankings for Economic Performance

Photo Credit: AP Photo | Jacqueline Larma

Photo Credit: AP Photo | Jacqueline Larma

Pennsylvania was ranked 39th in a study released on Monday of states’ overall economic performance conducted by

The rankings are based on six variables — the state’s unemployment rate, improvement in the unemployment rate over the past year, the state’s 2015 GDP per capita, percent change between the state’s 2014 and 2015 GDP, percent change in state resident’s personal income per capita, and percent growth in year-to-date increases in jobs for 2016. These figures come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis in each state and “offer a mix of static and dynamic measures of the states’ overall economic performance,” according to Governing. The survey was last conducted in 2013.

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Wolf Nominates Bruce Beemer to Replace Kathleen Kane As Attorney General


Gov. Tom Wolf has nominated Bruce Beemer, the current inspector general of Pennsylvania, to replace Kathleen Kane as attorney general. Kane, convicted earlier this week of perjury and obstruction of justice, resigned yesterday from the position.

“Bruce Beemer has a depth of experience, he has the respect of the employees of the Office of the Attorney General, and I have no doubt that he will make this transition seamless and smooth,” Wolf said in a release. “I have spoken with Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate, and we have agreed that Bruce is the right fit for Attorney General at this time, and I am confident that he will be confirmed expeditiously.” Read more »

What They’re Saying About Kathleen Kane’s Conviction

Kathleen Kane

Politicians around Pennsylvania called on Attorney General Kathleen Kane to resign after a jury convicted her Monday night of perjury, obstruction, and other charges related to an act of political retaliation against a former state prosecutor.

The case has consumed the political press since the spring of 2014, when the Philadelphia Inquirer ran one of its biggest headlines, typographically speaking, in recent memory: KANE SHUT DOWN STING THAT SNARED CITY POLS. The paper reported that day that Kane, who’d taken office the previous year, had quietly spiked an investigation into six Philly Democrats who’d been caught accepting bribes in a sting operation. She maintained early on that the sting was tainted by racial bias — all the targets were African-American — and that prosecutions weren’t winnable.  Read more »

Tom Wolf Bored the Hell Out of People at the DNC


It can’t be easy to speak at a big political convention, right?

I ask because Governor Tom Wolf was tasked with spending a couple of minutes behind the mic at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, knowing full well that the energized crowd of 20,000 people inside the Wells Fargo Center was silently counting down the minutes and hours until they got to see Hillary Clinton make history as the first female presidential nominee in American history. Read more »

You Can Now Run a Busted Red Light in Pennsylvania

Yellow New York traffic light on red, with black and white background - colour pop

On Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill that will allow drivers to blow red lights if they seem to be malfunctioning and won’t change to green, the Associated Press reports.

Early advocacy for the law began with motorcyclists, whose vehicles sometimes aren’t heavy enough to trip sensors that tell lights to change, according to the report. The bill authorizing the change was sponsored by State Rep. Stephen Bloom of Cumberland County. Read more »

Kenney, Other Philly Pols Added to Lineup of DNC Speakers

Jim Kenney Tom Wolf

L: Jim Kenney (Photo by Jeff Fusco) R: Tom Wolf (Photo by Matt Rourke)

The Democratic National Convention just got a bit more Philly.

Today, the DNC announced five more speakers for the event: Mayor Jim Kenney, Gov. Tom Wolf, Sen. Bob Casey, and Congressmen Bob Brady and Brendan Boyle.

“As Donald Trump continues his divisive convention in Cleveland with dangerous ideas that would pose a threat to our economy and national security,” the DNC said in a release, “Democrats are preparing to lay out the clear stakes in this election in Philadelphia — a choice between building walls and tearing people down or an optimistic unifying vision where everyone has a role to play in building our future.” Read more »

Growing Industrial Hemp is Now Legal in Pennsylvania


Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation on Wednesday that legalized the growth and production of industrial hemp – for some.

Hemp can now be grown for research purposes, meaning the law mostly applies to the Agriculture Department and colleges and universities. Through a pilot program, those who are registered can grow and market the product. The law’s newly created Hemp Research Board will oversee operations and monitor regulations and guidelines.

The legislation‘s sponsor, Representative Russ Diamond, said Pennsylvania was once a leading producer of industrial hemp. Hemp can be used for many purposes, including medicine, clothing, food and building materials.

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