Tweeted: The week of February 13, 2017

Author: Mike Howells/Thursday, February 16, 2017/Categories: Features

Auditor General Gene DePasquale today announced his office will conduct an audit of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, following a spate of service disruptions to businesses and residences in the city. According to the auditor general the review will assess "if the PWSA’s governance structure and decision-making process are adequate to provide effective oversight of its operations and fiduciary responsibilities." The audit is expected to be completed later this year.



Sen. Vince Hughes (D-Philadelphia), along with Representatives Maria Donatucci (D-Philadelphia) and Stephen Kinsey (D-Philadelphia) Thursday ceremonially accepted a check for $357,000 on behalf of the Philadelphia School District from the state's ride-share industry. The sum constitutes a two-thirds portion of a 1.4 percent assessment on ride-share companies’ revenues, which was part of a law signed by Gov. Wolf in the autumn legalizing ride-sharing in the commonwealth. Sen. Hughes said he expects $2 million a year in recurring revenue from the industry, which includes companies Lyft and Uber.


With a literal vested interest in the solvency of the state's General Fund, Treasurer Joe Torsella unveiled a new widget on the home page of the state Treasury which shows the current balance of the commonwealth coffers. FWIW it currently stands at -$1,921,911,677 not counting the line of credit extended by the Treasury, and $278,088,323 including the treasury loans.

In case you needed more incentive to avoid any rats whose medical history you aren't familiar with, the Department of Health announced it has found evidence of Seoul virus in a pet rat imported from Tennessee into Pennsylvania. The rat, and others in the same home-based breeding facility have been euthanized, but the department is urging people who keep rats and think they are suffering from symptoms of the virus, which are flu-like in nature, to contact them ASAP. The illness, though generally mild, can sometimes lead to a serious renal disease called Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome.