Friday, November 27, 2015

Archive: May, 2011

POSTED: Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 10:00 AM

One news story that caught my eye over the long Memorial Day weekend was a front-page piece in yesterday's Harrisburg Patriot-News that suggests Pennsylvania unions are biting back.

The story details a radio ad that just aired in central Pennsylvania, not exactly a liberal-friendly region, targeting local state Republican Rep. Scott Perry's bill to reform the state's unemployment compensation system.

Perry's bill would reduce benefit checks and tighten eligibilty for unemployed workers. The ad, by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, aired on radio stations in Perry's district and said he's looking to hurt workers.

POSTED: Friday, May 27, 2011, 9:36 AM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: You'll be happy to know your tax dollars are hard at work preparing us all for a holiday weekend.

BE: Oh boy, I can see this coming.

POSTED: Thursday, May 26, 2011, 9:52 AM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: You been watching the Obama trip?

BE: I've been working, putting out a newspaper full of bad news about schools, tornados, crime in the streets, tension over lack of state funding for Philly.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 9:31 AM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: The state budget passed last night by the House Republicans is pretty much seen by Democrats as a fiscal version of The Rapture.

BE: But The Rapture didn't happen.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 10:00 AM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: The Harrisburg Patriot-News has uncovered another silly state law administered by the antiquated state Liquor Control Board.

BE: The law that says the only wine on sale is wine selected by "the chairman?"

POSTED: Monday, May 23, 2011, 12:00 PM

Among the flood of education data that helps determine how the state disburses more than $5 billion annually in basic education funding is a category called "poverty concentration."

It measures the percentage of poor pupils in each of the state's 500 school districts, and assigns funding called a "poverty supplement" on that basis.

Most folks no doubt figure Philly is the state's poorest district and the Philly `burbs have the state's richest districts.

POSTED: Friday, May 20, 2011, 11:15 AM

The state Department of Public Welfare might be cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the poor, needy and disabled but, hey, at least the agency's top brass will look good doing it.

According to internal office memos provided to the Daily News, welfare boss Gary Alexander won't tolerate anything but professional dress from his department's managers.

This includes, shockingly, a ban on halter tops and "beach wear" during warm weather. One wonders what these public servants HAVE been wearing to work.

POSTED: Thursday, May 19, 2011, 10:48 AM

The state Supreme Court usually has nothing good to say and often finds itself on the defensive for judicial perks and travel or, as earlier this week, seeking a 25 percent increase in its budget while the rest of government slashes costs AND while its personnel costs are rising.

But yesterday the court issued annual stats on medical malpractice filings, and the news is good.

Chief Justice Ron Castille said 1,491 filings statewide in 2010 is a decline of 45.4 percent since the "base years," a.k.a. the time of trial lawyers gone wild, back in 2000-2002 before the court and the legislature stepped in to stop the madness.

About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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