VIDEO: Reed discusses latest on budget

VIDEO: Reed discusses latest on budget

House Majority Leader Dave Reed visited the Capitol Newsroom late Tuesday afternoon to discuss the latest plans with moving forward on Gov. Wolf's budget proposal. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll
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Auditor General: School districts feel like the Department of Education does not help them

Auditor General: School districts feel like the Department of Education does not help them

In releasing a much anticipated performance audit of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the state Board of Education Tuesday, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said a culture within the department has existed over the last several years that leaves local school districts feeling as though they have been forgotten.

DePasquale pointed out his audit revealed—among other things—that PDE has left 561 academically challenged schools (with around 310,000 students) without adequate support.

“It is absolutely stunning…that basically, the Department of Education is overlooking some Title 1 schools and every poor performing school that is not Title 1,” he said. “It does worry me that it appears the department is doing the bare minimum to get by.”

Along with the failure to provide adequate support, the audit found three other major failures, including the lack of an updated master plan from the State Board, poor hiring practices with regard to annuitants, and a failure to monitor special advisors and assistants.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Industrial hemp bill clears committee

A bill that would revive the industrial hemp industry in Pennsylvania cleared a House committee Tuesday.

House Bill 967, sponsored by Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon), would legalize and regulate the growth of industrial hemp—a cannabis plant with less than 0.3 percent of THC—in accordance with federal government requirements contained in the 2014 Farm Bill, which allows the activity to occur in pilot programs run by state departments of agriculture and institutions of higher education.

The bill unanimously passed the House Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee Tuesday morning.

According to a news release from Rep. Diamond, industrial hemp is used to make things like automobile dashboards, home insulation, building materials, soil fertilizer and even some food items.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Gov. Wolf makes his case, but Republicans aren’t impressed

Gov. Wolf makes his case, but Republicans aren’t impressed

The rationale behind Gov. Tom Wolf’s insistence on broad-based tax increases and relentless pursuit of other revenue-generating options was laid bare Monday in a briefing with the news media at the Governor’s Residence.

A version of his revenue plan is anticipated to be voted on in the House Wednesday.

“The biggest, overwhelming appeal here is to say on this vote on Wednesday we can’t afford Republicans and Democrats, we need Pennsylvanians,” he said of the appeal he’s making to lawmakers in an attempt to urge support for his revenue plan. “We need people who are looking out for the interests of Pennsylvania and looking beyond the narrow partisanship that looks at year-to-year budgets.”

Gov. Wolf said recent budget history is rampant with dishonest budgeting that continued into the current fiscal year with a budget bill he said would have left at least a $2.289 billion structural deficit for the 2016-2017 fiscal year before any mandated spending increases.

Monday, October 5, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
VIDEO: Acosta recognizes National Hispanic Heritage Month

VIDEO: Acosta recognizes National Hispanic Heritage Month

Rep. Leslie Acosta (D-Philadelphia) celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month today with a news conference, art exhibit and House resolution presentation. 

Monday, October 5, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll
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