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BY JOE SHAHEELI No one knows what the final outcome of the Pennsylvania budget saga will be. The House of Representatives has not agreed to the Senate’s latest funding proposal – or indeed on any proposal of its own. But something tends to beat nothing. In the end, we predict the House will find a […]

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POLS ON THE STREET: Gerrymander Fix May Help GOP

BY JOE SHAHEELI If gerrymandering reform comes to Pennsylvania, it may come at the hands of the same Republicans who now appear to have gained from it. That’s because what goes around comes around – and they can even tell the date: 2021. Legislation promoted by the anti-gerrymandering lobbying group Fair Districts PA – SB […]

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Blue-Collar Dems Meet with AFL-CIO Chief

Members of the Congressional Blue Collar Caucus met last week with Richard L. Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, to discuss the needs of blue-collar workers and how House Democrats can make it clear they will continue to serve as their champion in Washington. Trumka began the discussion with remarks on the modern challenges of labor […]

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Who’s to Fill Seth’s Shoes?

BY RYAN BRIGGS District Attorney Seth Williams has taken a stunning mid-trial plea deal on a single corruption count and now faces up to five years in prison. Last Thursday morning’s plea, which was made in tandem with Williams’ immediate resignation as the city’s top la- enforcement official, ends a years-long saga that covered wild […]

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POLS ON THE STREET: Pa. Budget Done (the Easy Part, at Least)

BY JOE SHAHEELI Just in time for the 4th of July break, the Pennsylvania Senate passed a $31.99-billion spending budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18. It reflected a willingness on the part of both the Republican-controlled General Assembly and Gov. Tom Wolf’s Democratic administration to avoid painful cuts to core constituencies’ favored programs. State Sen. Vincent […]

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OPINION: Subsidized Water Bills Hurt the Middle Class

BY MIKE MEEHAN Unlike any other program in the country, according to city officials, Philadelphia has implemented an income-based water program. The program unveiled by the mayor’s office last week will result in a 10% increase in water rates over two years and is estimated to cost $18 million. According to Philly.com, the program will […]

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Council Chamber Erupts in Senate Soda-Tax Hearing Protest

BY TONY WEST A Pennsylvania Senate hearing on the negative business impact of Philadelphia’s landmark Sweetened Drinks Tax in City Council Chambers was stymied before it could begin at 11 a.m. this morning. Hundreds of protestors crammed the spectators’ gallery and burst into sustained chants of “This is our house!”, backed up by raucous blasts […]

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POLS ON THE STREET: More Gaming a Loser, City Pols Say

BY JOE SHAHEELI As Pennsylvania’s government slides closer to the traditional (although often breached) annual budget deadline of July 1, a crucial piece of sausage-making is starting to smell even before it emerges from the grinder. That’s the preliminary report on a measure put forth by the Republican General Assembly caucuses to paper over part […]

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POLS ON THE STREET: Pension Deal Is Sweet for Wolf

BY JOE SHAHEELI Coming to grips with an important piece of Pennsylvania’s looming pension-funding overhang was a bipartisan coup that should make most incumbents look competent and responsible. By our take, though, it is obvious Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is the prime winner. That’s because most Republicans in the General Assembly hold safe seats. Barring […]

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POLS ON THE STREET: ‘Hot Summer’ Could Fire Nov. Race in Philadelphia

BY JOE SHAHEELI Just when it seemed – as the Democratic municipal primary election unfolded – that “tough on crime” was no longer a winning campaign slogan, there are increasing signs that street violence may re-emerge as a major political concern. When Councilman David Oh (at Large) was stabbed in an attempted carjacking in front […]

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