House ends pension debate by sending bill back to committee

By   /  July 2, 2014  /  Pennsylvania, Pensions, WatchBlog  /  No Comments

DIGIROLAMO ON THE HOUSE FLOOR WITH THE MOTION TO RE-COMMIT: State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo killed the state House's effort to overhaul Pennsylvania's public pensions - though he merely delivered the fatal blow to a proposal that seemed unlikely to survive.

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent
Fifteen Republicans broke ranks and voted with a unanimous block of House Democrats to shut down debate on a pension bill Tuesday afternoon and send it back to committee.
It was an inglorious end to a two-week push from some House Republicans and Gov. Tom Corbett, who wanted to see changes [...]

Read More →

Senate backs higher cigarette tax to pay for Philly schools

By   /  July 1, 2014  /  Budget and Spending, Issues, News, Pennsylvania, State Budgets, State Government, Taxes, WatchBlog  /  No Comments

CIGARETTE TAX: The Philadelphia School District says it needs revenue from a new tax on cigarettes, or schools won't open in September. It's unclear whether they will get what they seek.

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent
Smokers in Philadelphia soon could be paying extra taxes to support the city’s schools.
The state Senate on Monday approved an amendment that would allow the City Council to impose a $2 per-pack tax on cigarettes to generate an estimated $83 million for the cash-strapped School District of Philadelphia. School district [...]

Read More →

Turnpike tolls to rise again next year — and they’ll keep rising

By   /  June 18, 2014  /  Issues, News, Pennsylvania, State Budgets, State Government, transportation, WatchBlog  /  No Comments

TURNPIKE: The Turnpike Commission says it actually saved money with interest rate swaps.

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The cost of using the Pennsylvania Turnpike will increase next year.

Read More →

Editorial: New Mexico needs new ideas for job growth

By   /  May 27, 2014  /  New Mexico, New Mexico Watchdog, WatchBlog  /  1 Comment

By Fred Nathan │ Special to New Mexico Watchdog
Prompted by a large decline in federal spending, New Mexicans are now engaged in a healthy and useful dialogue about how best to diversify our economy.
Think New Mexico would like to offer two ideas we believe could propel private-sector job growth in our state – and that [...]

Read More →

On Memorial Day, some history and staggering numbers to ponder

By   /  May 25, 2014  /  New Mexico, New Mexico Watchdog, WatchBlog  /  2 Comments

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
Originally called Decoration Day, the Memorial Day holiday officially recognizes all who died as members of the U.S. armed forces.
It’s not to be confused with Veterans Day, which celebrates all who have served or are serving, living or dead.
Memorial Day had its beginnings at the end of the Civil [...]

Read More →

Law enforcement, media in east Tennessee must demand facts in Heitman case

By   /  May 25, 2014  /  Abuse of power, Knoxville, Tennessee, Tennessee Watchdog, WatchBlog  /  Comments Off

By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog
NASHVILLE — Law enforcement officers aren’t obligated to speak to journalists — but unlike politicians, law enforcement generally goes out of its way to accommodate the media, even when and if both sides have a complicated relationship.
Law enforcement authorities have a better sense that perception often matters more than truth, and [...]

Read More →