Wednesday, July 8, 2015

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
POSTED: Monday, February 23, 2015, 4:39 PM

The battle over leadership of the Office of Open Records heads back to court next month with the ousted director seeking reinstatement as Gov. Wolf petitions to install his own director.

Erik Arneson, appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett before he left office, was fired by Wolf two days after the inauguration last month, says the issue facing Commonwealth Court is bigger than his job.

At issue is whether the director is an at-will employee of the sitting governor, or an independent arbiter whose six-year term overlaps changes in administration.

Amy Worden @ 4:39 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, February 20, 2015, 6:18 PM

      To get her case out,  Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has launched a new website -

      The site, which went up Friday, was designed by her spokesman, onetime Clinton lawyer Lanny J. Davis, and is meant to rally public support for Kane as she faces a crucial moment in her career. The state Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in March in Philadelphia on Kane’s move to shut down a grand jury investigation that resulted in a recommendation she face criminal charges for allegedly leaking secret information. Her detractors say she put the information out surreptitiously to embarrass a critic. Kane said she released information legally as part of her stance in favor of “transparency.”

Angela Couloumbis @ 6:18 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, February 19, 2015, 7:51 PM
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane. (Alejandro A. Alvarez / Staff Photographer)

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has hired two new attorneys to represent her in the leak investigation fight, bringing the number of lawyers on her team to six.

Kane has hired two attorneys from the Pittsburgh law firm of Del Sole Cavanaugh Stroyd, which boasts of specializing in “appellate advocacy,” among other areas of law.

For those who may not have heard, Kane is asking the state Supreme Court to throw out criminal charges that a statewide grand jury recommended against her late last year. Kane is contending that the special prosecutor in the case did not have the authority to investigate her office for an alleged leak of confidential information. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for March 11 in Philadelphia.

Angela Couloumbis @ 7:51 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 12:53 PM

With new governors and party changes comes new staff but until now top aides were all but guaranteed an eight-year run with their administration.

The historic ouster of Republican Gov. Corbett in November left many staff members  wondering where they'd go after January 20.

Amy Worden @ 12:53 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2015, 7:42 AM
Punxsutawney Phil climbs on the top hat of his handler after Phil did not see his shadow and predicting an early spring during the 127th Groundhog Day Celebration at Gobbler's Knob on February 2, 2013 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Alex Wong (Getty Images)

A New Hampshire police department's announcement that it had issued an arrest warrant for Pennsylvania's most famous rodent has touched off a social media battle between the states' governors.

Word several days ago that the Merrimack (NH) police department had issued a warrant for Punxsutawney Phil for well, crimes against the climate didn't sit so well with Gov. Wolf.

Wolf on Thursday issued a warning to the Merrimack PD that indicated the Commonwealth would stand by Phil no matter the weather.

Amy Worden @ 7:42 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 5:43 PM
File: Former Gov. Tom Corbett. ( MICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff Photographer )

After losing election in November former Gov. Tom Corbett probably thought he'd seen the last of the ugly talk so common on the campaign trail.

But no.

Corbett's about to get a dose of Amish ire on national cable TV.

Amy Worden @ 5:43 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 9:43 AM
Gov. Tom Wolf arrives for his first day of work at the Capitol building on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in Harrisburg. (AP Photo/, Sean Simmers)

On Tuesday he told parents with sick children he supported legalization of medical marijuana.

On Wednesday morning Gov. Wolf met with a small group of lawmakers and gay rights advocates to urge them to pass a bill barring discrimination in workplace and housing.

"Fairness is smart, inclusion is good for business," said Wolf, speaking to the Equality Coalition in the Capitol at the start of "Discrimination Exists" week, a national effort to call attention to the absence of anti-discrimination laws across much of the U.S.

Amy Worden @ 9:43 AM  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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