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POSTED: Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 5:22 PM

Will they or won't they vote it again?

That was the question being asked around the Capitol today about the fate of the $2.3 billion transportation bill that was defeated last night.

A top House Republican aide - Dave Thomas - Tweeted Tuesday afternoon that the "Micozzie amendment" would be voted today and the "Hanna amendment" would not.

Amy Worden @ 5:22 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, November 18, 2013, 3:44 PM

Gov. Corbett lined up a bipartisan group of supporters in the Capitol Rotunda today to make a last ditch effort to urge the House to take up the $2.3 billion  transportation bill before the end of the year.

Corbett, making a rare appearance at a Capitol press conference with his Democratic predecessor, Ed Rendell, said "the time is now" to pass a comprehensive transportation funding bill that will provide cash for bridge, road and transit improvements.

"No action on the compromise plan that all sides have hammered out in the last few weeks is not acceptable," he said.

Amy Worden @ 3:44 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, November 14, 2013, 2:01 PM

An audit has found that the Department of Public Welfare's decision to consolidate payroll services for home health care workers led to hardship for unpaid workers and cost taxpayers millions in extra care and disabled and their families sought new, more expensive providers.

The audit, released Thursday, showed that a decision by then-DPW Secretary Gary Alexander to cancel 36 state-based contracts for payroll services to those who provide care for the disabled and award a single contract to Boston based Public Partnerships Ltd.,left thousands of health care workers unpaid for as long as four months and compromised care for vulnerable people.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said thousands of disabled Pennsylvanians and the low-wage workers who care for them suffered "because DPW failed to provide adequate oversight and demand accountability of contracted payroll providers."

Amy Worden @ 2:01 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, November 14, 2013, 12:03 PM

Tuesday was a good day for Gov. Corbett, as some of the biggest names in Pennsylvania's Republican circles came out to endorse him for a second term, including former (and popular) Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge. It was a big, politically star-studded to-do that made for both positive headlines and great photo-ops for Corbett, who continues to be dogged by lackluster public support.

Which is why the timing couldn't have been more perfect for The Morning Call of Allentown's story (in case you missed it) about how the Corbett administration recently hired The Ridge Policy Group, run by two of Ridge's close associates, to lobby for the state in Washington D.C.

The firm is taking over the contract once held by Leslie Gromis-Baker, a Corbett political confidante who recently became his chief of staff. Gromis-Baker gave up the lucrative work when she took the $154,000-a-year top government job in August. According to state records, her firm had been paid $480,000 to represent the state since Corbett took office in 2011.

Angela Couloumbis @ 12:03 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, November 14, 2013, 5:50 PM

State Sen. LeAnna Washington (D., Philadelphia) posted this eyebrow-raising tweet earlier today about a shredding event she's sponsoring this weekend:

5h  Have sensitive documents that you want to destroy safely? Come out to Crestmont Park from 9 a.m. - Noon on 11/16! FREE!

Angela Couloumbis @ 5:50 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 1:11 AM

Delaware County Rep. Margo Davidson's sometimes controversial voting record has led to a challenger in the 2014 primary.

Billy J. Smith, a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney, has started raising money to take on the two-term lawmaker from Upper Darby.

Amy Worden @ 1:11 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 1:08 PM

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz is in the state Capitol today, meeting with House Democrats to urge them to do what they can to finally get a major transportation funding bill passed in the House.

But lost on absolutely no one is that Schwartz is also among eight Democrats jockeying for her party's nomination to take on Gov. Corbett in next year's gubernatorial election -- and whether or not a transportation funding bill actually passes this year could be important to Corbett's reelection campaign.

Angela Couloumbis @ 1:08 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, November 11, 2013, 1:39 PM

Sounding like a candidate but remaining mum on his plans, ex-Auditor General Jack Wagner said Monday he’ll announce by year's end his decision regarding the 2014 governor's race.

Wagner, the two-term auditor general and former state Senator from Allegheny County gave an impromptu news conference in the Capitol Monday to sound the alarm on the state's crumbling infrastructure.

Amy Worden @ 1:39 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 and Amy Worden in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based right in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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