Saturday, July 4, 2015

POSTED: Monday, May 4, 2015, 6:04 PM

Pennsylvania got some good news Monday - the state's Independent Fiscal Office reported a bump in revenue over earlier projections after April's monster tax collection month.

Think $594 million above estimate.

Angela Couloumbis @ 6:04 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 5:36 PM
Filed Under: Anglea Couloumbis
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane explains a point to a reporter in March 2014. ( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer )

The leak case against Attorney General Kathleen Kane is costing more than just time and reputations.

It’s also costing money.

The state Attorney General’s office has paid just over $40,000 to private law firms to represent employees who were summoned to testify in the leak investigation, records show.

Angela Couloumbis @ 5:36 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 5:16 PM

Click here for's politics page.

Angela Couloumbis @ 5:16 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 10:12 PM

The seventh time may be the charm for embattled Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who this week hired yet another spokesman after losing a line of top press aides.

Chuck Ardo, former spokesman to Gov. Ed Rendell, said Tuesday that Kane will hire him under a six-month contract. He becomes the seventh person to serve in that position, with the last two press aides resigning with only weeks on the job.

Angela Couloumbis @ 10:12 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 6:35 PM
Elephants from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus parade along Ocean Drive on January 9, 2013 in Miami Beach, Florida. The elephants were part of a sneak peek performance for the kick off of the opening of the circus at the American Airlines Arena on January 10-21, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

Last week Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey circus made national headlines when it announced it would phase out the use of elephants in its shows by 2018.

Now a Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to go even further.

Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery)  said he plans to introduce a bill to ban all animals in traveling circuses, saying that such exhibitions are inhumane for other animals as well.

Amy Worden @ 6:35 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 4:17 PM

City leaders were elated about Gov. Wolf's budget proposal on Tuesday, saying it will help restore the health of the cash-strapped school district and reduce the wage tax burden for workers.

"The budget is incredible in its substance and priorities," said Mayor Michael Nutter, at a news conference following Wolf's budget address in Harrisburg."It's a bold approach for Pennsylvania."

Under Wolf's plan Philadelphia schools would receive an additional $160 million, while the city's wage tax would fall from 3.9 to 3.48 percent in 2017 (for nonresidents it would drop from 3.49 to 3.11 percent.)

Amy Worden @ 4:17 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 3:26 PM

The Wolf administration is restoring more than two dozen public health nursing positions eliminated under the Corbett administration.

The move comes almost four months after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the Corbett administration to reverse course on its plan to eliminate 26 nurse consultant positions - half of the statewide total - and close 26 state health centers, mostly in rural parts of the state.

“We are pleased with the court’s ruling and that these nurses have been allowed back to work to deliver critical health care services," said Wolf spokesman Jeff Sheridan. "And, we are looking forward to working with the legislature and health care professionals to ensure these essential services are available to families across the Commonwealth moving forward.”

Amy Worden @ 3:26 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, February 26, 2015, 3:24 PM

Two weeks ago Gov. Wolf promised his team would do its part to trim the $2.3 billion deficit through government cost savings.

On Thursday he said his administration had identified $109 million in projected savings across government agencies.

Earlier this month Wolf announced the creation of the Governor's Office of Transformation, Innovation, Modernization and Efficiency (GO-TIME) and tasked its leaders with finding $150 million in savings. 

“Since the launch of GO-TIME, agencies and state employees have submitted 157 ideas to make government work more efficiently,” said Wolf. “I’m heartened to know that so many people and leaders across departments share our commitment to creating a government that works.”
Amy Worden @ 3:24 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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