Near radio silence as Erie County prepares to spend $26M on an upgrade

By   /  July 31, 2015  /  Budget and Spending, Finances, News, PA Independent, Pennsylvania  /  No Comments

Shutterstock image

Erie County is poised to decide whether to put the county on the hook for a $26.5 million radio system overhaul that critics say is unnecessary. One councilman who opposes the project says the city police chief also said it was unnecessary – but he wouldn’t comment on the record.

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New Jersey looking for feds to bailout state pensions

By   /  July 30, 2015  /  Budget and Spending, National, New Jersey, Pensions, State Government  /  No Comments

Governor's Office/Tim Larsen

The federal government should rescue troubled state pension plans with billions of dollars in long-term loans, proposed New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney. The trillion-dollar question is whether it would save public pensions or sink states deeper in debt.

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Home-care workers find getting out harder than getting in union

By   /  July 20, 2015  /  Budget and Spending, Legislature, Minnesota, News, State Government  /  No Comments

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Renee Katz has one question for the Service Employees International Union: What about “no” don’t you understand?

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No more free rides? Oregon pay-as-you-go plan could one day fund highways

By   /  July 16, 2015  /  Budget and Spending, Finances, Issues, News, Oregon, State Budgets, State Government, Taxes  /  No Comments

Image via Wiki Commons

As part of this year’s budget, the Oregon Legislature created a pilot program for a new per-mile driving tax that could one day replace gasoline taxes as the primary form of revenue for the state’s highway fund. The new program is entirely voluntary in the first year – sign up, and you’ll get reimbursed for any gasoline taxes you pay at the pump, but you’ll owe the state 1.5 cents for every mile you drive.

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Colorado lobbying income likely to set a record this year

By   /  July 15, 2015  /  Budget and Spending, Colorado, Lobbying, News, State Government  /  No Comments

Photo By Arthur Kane

Colorado lobbyists are on track for another record year, already raking in as much as $19 million since January, lobbying records show.

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Watchdog Podcast: Sanctuary cities, Donald Trump and another taxpayer-funded solar energy failure

By   /  July 10, 2015  /  Audio, Budget and Spending, Commentary, Education Blog, Energy and Environment, Federal Government, Issues, Media, National, News, Podcast, Politics, Politics & Elections, State Budgets, State Government, Watchdog Radio  /  No Comments

WatchdogPodcast91

On this week’s Watchdog Podcast, a tragic event in San Francisco has started a national conversation about so-called “sanctuary cities” where federal immigration laws are effectively voided.

And Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (yes, those words still seem odd to put together) has stepped into the spotlight by voicing some strong opinions on how to address the immigration problem. Perhaps because of that, he’s now leading in some national polls of the Republican primary (and those words are even more odd).

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