Friday, May 24, 2013
Drivers can expect roving patrols, safety checkpoints and special attention to seat belt compliance over Memorial Day Weekend.
PennDOT will partner with more than 600 law enforcement agencies and the Pennsylvania State Police to participate in a national “Click It or Ticket” seat-belt enforcement effort through June 9. The effort will focus largely on nighttime enforcement, using traffic safety checkpoints and roving patrols. Police will also use Traffic Enforcement Zones, which combine roving patrol and checkpoint tactics on roadways with high numbers of unbuckled crashes. According to PennDOT data, 503 people died last year in unbelted crashes, a decrease from 509 such fatalities in 2011. The total number of crashes in which people were not wearing seat belts also decreased to 15,528, compared with 16,298 in 2011. The majority of enforcement will occur at night…
Thursday, May 23, 2013
The liquor privatization debate has brought out a new special interest—the property owners who rent space to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent HARRISBURG — Inside Pennsylvania’s liquor privatization debate, everyone wants a taste. A new special interest is asking for a seat at the table after the state legislature’s actions threaten the finances of its members. The Liquor Store Real Estate Owners Association is the latest opponent to liquor privatization. The group is comprised of property owners who have lease agreements with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Among their ranks is David Neal, a Philadelphia real estate owner who owns the property for the state-owned wine and spirits shop on South Street. His lease, like all others in the state store system, has a termination clause, one without any penalties if the agreement ends. This …
As much as $515 million in costs and savings of Medicaid expansion were mis-estimated by the IFO, according to the Corbett Administration.
By Eric Boehm | PA Independent HARRISBURG — The administration of Gov. Tom Corbett says a report on Medicaid expansion by the state’s Independent Fiscal Office improperly claims as much as $515 million as savings, revenue or underestimated costs to the state. The IFO report, published in April and updated last week to reflect new information, showed expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania would produce $180 million in savings for the next during the next budget year – mostly due to shifting state-level costs to the federally funded Medicaid program. The expansion of Medicaid is a part of the federal health-care reform law, but states must voluntarily opt-in to the program, something Corbett has so far been unwilling to do. In a letter sent to …
Wednesday's Senate hearings on the IRS 'Tea Party' scandal included Pennsylvania's Sen. Pat Toomey and Sen. Bob Casey, who both released statements after the event.
Pennsylvania's Sen. Bob Casey (D) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R) both participated in Wednesday's hearings about IRS scrutinty of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. Both men released statements regarding the event. Witnesses before the Senate Finance Committee were: Casey, chairman of the Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth, said: “Pennsylvanians and Americans across the country deserve to know that the IRS and all government agencies do their jobs without prejudice or political agenda. I intend to hold accountable those responsible for any breach of the taxpayer’s trust. Today, as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, I directly questioned top IRS officials about what took place, who was …
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The Hatboro Borough Council appointed a project manager to oversee the fitout of a Victorian Village condo to house District Judge Paul Leo's court.
Construction is expected to begin "soon" on a new home for Hatboro District Judge Paul Leo's court. The Hatboro Borough Council this week appointed Joseph Zadlo to oversee project management services for the district court relocation. For his services, which could range from site visits, plan reviews and more, Borough Manager Fred Zollers said Zadlo would be paid an hourly rate "dependent on the work he is doing." The total for Zadlo's portion of the project is not to exceeds $25,000, Zollers said. Zollers said he did not yet have a firm start date, but said he expects it to get underway "soon" and finish by Sept. 1. Southampton-based Maxis Construction will be paid $292,200 to fit-out a new home for District Judge Paul Leo. Once the …
About a dozen tea party representatives called for an investigation into the scrutiny the Internal Revenue Service has paid to conservative groups in recent years.
Unofficial election results from the Montgomery County Board of Elections show Democrat Bill Godshall defeating sitting Mayor Norm Hawkes.
Political newcomer and Hatboro businessman Bill Godshall wasn't surprised at defeating sitting mayor and fellow Democrat Norm Hawkes in Tuesday's primary election. "The past couple of days really did it for me. I did an awful lot of knocking on doors," Godshall said Tuesday night, after learning he defeated Hawkes, among Democrats at least, by a 184-143 vote, according to unofficial Montgomery County election results. "I was judging from that response ... 'I think I’m going to win this thing.' " In an email to Patch Wednesday morning, Hawkes said he got "the most votes overall" from Democrats and Republicans. According to Godshall, both candidates staged a write-in campaign at the polls on Tuesday. "It looks like the office of mayor will …
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille is running for retention this fall, after serving two terms on the court.
Tuesday, May 21
By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent HARRISBURG — Judges in Pennsylvania typically have no problems securing their offices in retention races. In 45 years, only Supreme Court Justice Russell Nigro lost his seat in 2005, after an infamous pay raise lawmakers gave themselves in the middle of the night inflamed state voters. Eric Epstein with the government reform group Rock the Capital thinks the ease with which judges are retained should give voters pause as Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille campaigns for 10 more years this fall. “Why should people automatically vote yes?” he asked. “And what does it takes before somebody calls into question the ability of someone to serve on the bench?” A new Rock the Capital voter guide urges …
Monday, May 20, 2013
The Office of Administration says server outages may be a thing of the past once its new contract for web services with NIC is up and running.
Monday, May 20
By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent HARRISBURG — A state lawmaker continues to raise red flags about a website redesign and management contract. Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver, said this week he’s concerned the administration of Gov. Tom Corbett knew it would pay millions to NIC USA, a government website design and management firm, even though the contract was entered as a “self-funded” agreement. NIC provides “eGovernment” services in 28 other states, all of which operate on a self-funded model, relying on fees added to transactions business and individuals may make online. Pennsylvania is the only state to authorize a sole-source contract. Matzie said three work orders totaling about $2.6 million are proof the administration knew this …
Mayor Norm Hawkes is being challenged by newcomer Bill Godshall.
Two Democrats. One spot on the general election ballot. Tuesday's primary will determine which Democrat contender for Hatboro Mayor is the favored candidate in the November election. Political newcomer and business owner Bill Godshall is challenging sitting Hatboro Mayor Norm Hawkes When asked if he would pursue the race further if the majority of Democrats do not overwhelmingly vote for him on Tuesday, Hawkes said he had not "thought about it." "During my past seven years as mayor, I have worked with the borough staff, the police department, elected officials, and most importantly, the residents of the borough to improve the quality of life and safety in our town," Hawkes said of why voters should choose him. "Public safety is the …