Sec. Richards leaving PennDOT to take GM role at SEPTA

Sec. Richards leaving PennDOT to take GM role at SEPTA

SEPTA announced Thursday that its board unanimously approved Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards as its new general manager. She’ll succeed the outgoing Jeffrey Knueppel, who retires at the end of the year.
 
Richards was appointed for a second term as PennDOT secretary earlier this year. She took the role in 2015 as part of the new Wolf administration. Richards is a Montgomery County resident and earned a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She previously served on SEPTA’s board earlier in the decade while a county commissioner.
Friday, November 22, 2019/Author: Marco Cerino
Categories: News and Views
Despite push from Republican lawmakers, Wolf vetoes Down syndrome abortion ban

Despite push from Republican lawmakers, Wolf vetoes Down syndrome abortion ban

Despite approval from a Republican-controlled legislature, Pennsylvania’s top executive has vetoed a bill that would have banned abortions based on a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis.


The Senate approved House Bill 321 mostly along party lines Wednesday as Republican lawmakers looked to add a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis to the list of reasons women may not receive an abortion in Pennsylvania. 

Thursday, November 21, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
City Council introduces phasing out of real estate tax abatement

City Council introduces phasing out of real estate tax abatement

Staffers and visitors waited in the caucus room Thursday morning longer than usual for the weekly lead-up for Philadelphia’s City Council to begin. Considering the weeks and months many waited for tax abatement reform, an extra hour wasn’t so egregious. 

City Council introduced a plan to phase out the tax abatement on new residential properties starting next fiscal year. The tax break has been labeled a culprit in the city’s rising gentrification and property tax increases, which may have influenced the votes in November’s election.
Thursday, November 21, 2019/Author: Marco Cerino
Categories: Philadelphia
Auditor General DePasquale admonishes Pittsburgh Public Schools for its travel spending

Auditor General DePasquale admonishes Pittsburgh Public Schools for its travel spending

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released an audit reprimanding Pittsburgh Public Schools for “failing” to properly control its travel costs Wednesday. In a report which condemned a lack of financial oversight and outlined the district’s travel budget increasing over the course of three years, DePasquale declared the district’s spending in this area didn’t hold any clear benefit for its students. 

According to DePasquale the school board has neglected fiscal oversight to the point of it being “non-existent.” Currently the district’s travel budget for 2019 is $453,231, which is double Philadelphia's $217,906 budget despite that city having far more students. 
Thursday, November 21, 2019/Author: Atiya Irvin-Mitchell
House reception to minimum wage proposal frosty, as governor pulls overtime regulations from IRRC

House reception to minimum wage proposal frosty, as governor pulls overtime regulations from IRRC

Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration withdrew controversial overtime regulations from a meeting of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission Thursday, banking on the House moving a plan to raise the minimum wage--pausing the overtime changes in the process.

But the proposal, which passed the Senate on a 42-7 vote Wednesday night, has been met with a frosty reception in the House, both from conservatives skeptical of any increase and Democrats who are frustrated that the governor backed off his push for a $15 minimum wage.
Thursday, November 21, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
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