Monday, May 20, 2013
The primary election is Tuesday. Check the list below to see who is running for open positions on the county level.
Though it may lack the glamour of a national campaign, this election year is no less important, especially if you believe in the old adage, "All politics is local." The following are the candidates running for office at the county level and seeking the nomination from the Tuesday's primary (incumbents are bolded). The list has been provided by the Bucks County Board of Elections office. Pennsylvania has a closed primary, meaning that only party members can vote for candidates in their party. Democrats vote for democrats, and republicans vote for republicans. Independents cannot vote in the primary election. The general election takes place Nov. 5. The last day to register for the general is Oct.r 7. State Office Vic Stabile (R) Joseph C. …
The Office of Administration says server outages may be a thing of the past once its new contract for web services with NIC is up and running.
By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent HARRISBURG — A state lawmaker continues to raise red flags about a website redesign and management contract. Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver, said this week he’s concerned the administration of Gov. Tom Corbett knew it would pay millions to NIC USA, a government website design and management firm, even though the contract was entered as a “self-funded” agreement. NIC provides “eGovernment” services in 28 other states, all of which operate on a self-funded model, relying on fees added to transactions business and individuals may make online. Pennsylvania is the only state to authorize a sole-source contract. Matzie said three work orders totaling about $2.6 million are proof the administration knew this …
Sunday, May 19, 2013
The Pittsburgh-based nonprofit, Pennsylvanians for Accountability, targeted four GOP lawmakers in November and is now airing TV ads attacking Corbett’s education policies.
By Eric Boehm | PA Independent HARRISBURG — A new political nonprofit claims to be holding Gov. Tom Corbett accountable on behalf of Pennsylvanians. But the group comes up short on the accountability scale, itself. The Pittsburgh-based nonprofit is called Pennsylvanians for Accountability, and in recent weeks it has been airing television ads attacking Corbett’s policies for supposedly short-changing education in order to fund corporate tax breaks. An article published Wednesday by Public Source, an investigative reporting organization based in Pittsburgh, calls attention to the group. The ads blast Corbett for playing a “shell game” that cuts money from education and forcing districts to lay-off teachers while “bankrolling big tax cuts …
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Privatization debates in the Pennsylvania General Assembly could mean changes to where Pennsylvanians can buy six packs.
Saturday, May 18
By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent HARRISBURG — A simple six-pack of beer is becoming a focal point of the most substantive legislative debate on Pennsylvania alcohol laws since Prohibition. A Tuesday afternoon Senate Law and Justice Committee on liquor privatization, headed by Chairman Chuck McIlhinney, R-Bucks, featured numerous testifiers discussing the already-private industry of beer sales. Chief among the concerns from the beer distributor industry and taverns is package reform, or allowing establishments who sell beer to sell different amounts. Under current law, beer distributors cannot sell less than a case, and bars or grocery stores with the ability to sell bottles cannot sell more than a 12-pack. The Senate, under McIlhinney’s…
Friday, May 17, 2013
Medicaid expansion continues to hang over Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and budget-making lawmakers.
Friday, May 17
By Eric Boehm | PA Independent HARRISBURG – Democratic leaders in the General Assembly say Gov. Tom Corbett has delayed long enough on a decision about expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania. And if the governor won’t make a decision, they are ready to force his hand. “If Gov. Corbett is unwilling to do the right thing, my colleagues in the Senate must send a clear message that this is unacceptable. It’s time for a vote on Medicaid expansion,” said state Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, on Tuesday. Hughes has filed a resolution to force the state Senate to vote on Medicaid expansion. If a majority of senators support the resolution, a proposal to force the state to accept the expansion would be busted out of committee and brought …
Thursday, May 16, 2013
The Centennial School Board this week appointed an architect to prepare a feasibility study to determine the best use for the district's administration building.
In conjunction with appraisals being conducted for several Centennial School District properties, the school board this week authorized a $3,500 feasibility study of its administration building. The goal, according to board member Kati Driban, is to determine the best use for the district's 78,830-square-foot building, a former elementary school situated on 16 acres on Centennial Road in Warminster Township. Because of its previous life as a school, Driban said administrators have much more space than they need. "You have spaces that were designed to be a classroom and you have a single person in there," Driban said of administrative offices. "You have essentially most of a classroom taken up with a single administrator." What do you …
The police collective bargaining unit and the township agreed to enter binding arbitration after a year of negotiations failed to produce an agreement.
Thursday, May 16
After a year of negotiations and more than four months of working under an expired contract, Upper Southampton Township officials and the police collective bargaining unit have agreed to adhere to the results of binding arbitration. Township Manager Joseph Golden said an arbitration hearing was held earlier this month to detail the contractual requests of the township and members of the township police in the collective bargaining unit, according to a story on PhillyBurbs.com. It will be several months before results of the binding arbitration are announced, the story said. State law prohibits police from striking.
Pennsylvania’s Sen. Pat Toomey called for a congressional investigation into the IRS target scandal in a Monday statement.
Thursday, May 16
By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent HARRISBURG — Both of Pennsylvanians U.S. senators said they want to see the IRS investigated for its targeted treatment of conservative political groups. Their sentiments were released on Monday, several days after the IRS publicly stated it had targeted treatment of groups that had “tea party” or “patriot” in their names in applications for tax-exempt status. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said the issue should concern members of any political party, and that he’d like to see the matter as part of a congressional investigation. “The IRS’s actions are akin to an enemies list and further contribute to the deep cynicism that many Americans have about the government,” Toomey’s statement said. In a similar …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
State Reps will discuss possible changes Thursday.
Wednesday, May 15
The House Children and Youth Committee, led by Rep. Kathy Watson (R-144th) of Bucks County, will hold a public hearing 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday in Harrisburg to examine possible changes to the definition of child abuse. The hearing is part of efforts by the House of Representatives to further protect children from the horrors of physical and sexual abuse. Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler is scheduled to testify before the committee. In an effort to make the hearing available to as many people as possible, the hearing will be streamed live, at www.KathyWatson144.com or at www.RepPetri.com.
An audit of the state liquor control board show the agency overstated its assets by more than $1 million over the last year.
Wednesday, May 15
By Eric Boehm | PA Independent HARRISBURG – An audit of the state liquor control board reveals that the state agency responsible for selling and regulating the consumption of wine and liquor overstated its assets by more than $1 million during the past fiscal year. The audit, quietly released in March and uncovered by Keri Andren of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for a story published over the weekend, was conducted by the state auditor general and looked at the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2012. It shows that the PLCB does not regularly take a physical inventory, leading to the inaccurate information on financial statements. Andren explains: The audit found that in a random sample of 10 items from the LCB’s list of assets, six items …