Morning Headlines: Wolf Doubles Down on Ed Funding
Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:
Gov. Tom Wolf is still trying to get last year’s education-funding request approved by the Legislature. Now he’s doubling down.
The governor is still trying to get approval for $377 million in ed funding that he requested in 2015 — but now he’s added $200 million on top of that in his 2016-17 budget proposal.”We have a choice in Pennsylvania and we must choose a path that funds our schools, eliminates our deficit, and puts Pennsylvania back on track,” he said Tuesday. But Republicans, who control both branches of the Legislature, sounded skeptical, PennLive reports. “At some point, this administration needs to understand money comes from people’s pockets and not out of the blue,” said Steven Miskin, a spokesman for House Republicans. The ed funding news was the first of what is expected to be three pre-budget announcements before Wolf addresses the Legislature next Tuesday.
Bruce Castor says he shielded Bill Cosby from prosecution in order to make Andrea Constand “a millionaire.”
Constand is the former Temple University employee who accused Cosby of sexually assaulting her. During testimony Tuesday in Montgomery County, former prosecutor Bruce Castor said he believed his 2005 decision not to prosecute Cosby in criminal court was binding — that no future prosecutor would file criminal charges in the matter either. Castor said that while he believed the case had problems that would make winning a criminal case difficult, he hoped his action would help Constand win at civil trial, by opening the way to compel Cosby to testify. (In a deposition given in the case, Cosby said he had obtained quaaludes to give women he wanted to have sex with.) “Cosby would’ve had to have been nuts to say those things if there was any chance he could’ve been prosecuted,” Castor said. “I was hopeful that I had made Ms. Constand a millionaire,” he added. A judge will decide if the new criminal charges against Cosby should proceed or be dismissed. [AP | New York Times]
Richard Allen, a co-founder of Mother Bethel AME Church, is being honored with a postage stamp.
The stamp was unveiled Tuesday in Philadelphia to honor a man known as a forefather of civil rights, NewsWorks reports. Allen and Absalom Jones founded the church at the beginning of the 19th century, after Allen had served at a church that forced black and white parishioners to worship separately.”Make no mistake, the civil rights movement started that day when Richard Allen and Absalom Jones walked out of that church,” a descendant of Allen’s said Tuesday. The stamp is the 39th in the U.S. Postal Service’s black heritage series.
City Hall’s mail distribution system is a mess. Here’s why it’s a problem for you.
City Controller Alan Butkovitz said that a big chunk of city government’s outgoing mail — including court notices, fines, tax, bills, water bills and parking violations — is sitting around in unprocessed piles, Al Día reports. In other words: Lots of people could be in trouble with City Hall for never paying bills they never found about in time. “We believe that tens of thousands of Philadelphians could have been impacted by the mismanagement in the Mail Center,” Butkovitz said. In one case, 4,000 water bill notices were still sitting in the city’s mail distribution center one day before recipients were required to pay — or face legal action. The facility is where all city correspondence is gathered before being delivered to the U.S. Postal service.
The Roots Picnic 2016 lineup has been announced. It’s a doozy.
Philly Mag’s Patrick Rapa gives the lowdown on what to check out. “Atlanta headliner Future gets top(-left billing), but he’s already playing here between now and then (Feb. 28 at the Fillmore), so I’m thinking the Usher/Roots set will be the highlight of the evening. At past Roots Picnics, legacy acts like Run DMC and Public Enemy have played with the house band; unless I’m forgetting somebody, Usher is the most current artist to land that spot. I’m probably most excited to see gospel/soul guitarist/singer Leon Bridges (born Todd Bridges, poor guy) play the mainstage. And it’ll be nice to see DMX bark live and in person; we usually have to wait for ‘X Gon’ Give It To Ya’ to turn up in another action movie commercial. Where silky smooth R&B/hip-hoppish singer Jidenna may wilt in his blazer under the summer sun, R&B/electropoppy group Lolawolf (featuring Fury Road badass Zoë Kravitz) could shine.” The event is June 4 at Festival Pier.
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