DAILY GRINDER: Corbett Signs Budget—15 Minutes Before Deadline
So, on Saturday, Governor Tom Corbett signed that pesky $27.65 billion budget after it was passed at a quarter-to-midnight on Saturday, satisfying exactly no one. Or rather, almost exactly no one.
Take Royal Dutch Shell. The tax breaks for that company to build an ethane cracker plant in the commonwealth have been called Corbett’s “crown jewel” of the budget, in hopes that the refinery brings thousands of new jobs to the state and other companies like it.
But you know who’s really pissed about the bill, generally? The PLCB. No, not that PLCB, they’re doing fine. This time, it’s the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. They’re particularly pissed about the cuts to child care programs (17.5 percent), cuts in General Assistance and overall human services funding. “Those who struggle every day to put food on the table and clothes on their families’ backs. The Republican majority in the House and Senate and the Republican governor are waging a war against those who have no one else to fight for them – except for us,” said State Rep. Ronald G. Waters.
The Pennsylvania red light camera expansion was approved by the Senate, one of several pieces of legislation the Assembly worked on late last week and early this weekend.
The House OK’d a drilling moratorium for the Southeastern Pennsylvania basin, in which the United States Geological Survey estimates there’s 876 billion cubic feet of gas.
Corbett—and this is huge—signed the bill to allow expert testimony in rape cases.
The Mayor Frank Rizzo mural in the Italian Market was vandalized this weekend. Someone apparently threw black paint on his face and wrote “Fascista” below the picture. Frank Rizzo Jr. was quoted saying, “We’ll fix it back up.”
A man was shot dead at 4th and Pine early Sunday morning in one of several violent acts this weekend.
Maybe you heard about that hilarious Supreme Court decision, in which the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare, if you want to be a dick about it—was upheld and called Constitutional by Chief Justice John Roberts and four others. The Daily News went to talk with some people about Republican attacks on the law as a step toward socialism. And many of them are like (GOP nightmare alert), Eh, if that’s socialism, then socialism’s OK.
John Boehner needs to find an actual point of disagreement with health care reform before he goes onto Sunday talk shows deriding it from now on. PhillyNow hopes no one was up yesterday morning, playing a drinking game every time he mentioned the GOP’s “common sense plan” to replace points of the bill, or all the things he apparently thought were good about it.
Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, for his part, has motioned his dedication for repealing the bill, too.
Dr. William Hite, the incoming schools chief, is in the process of trying to change the terms of his Prince George’s County, Maryland superintendent job so he can come to Philly sooner, or so he says. Right now, he’s supposed to give 120 days notice in order to collect his pay.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and the U.S. Conference of Mayors are psyched about the federal transportation bill’s renewal. With each passing federal event, the media hears this from our mayor, which is a pretty big deal. Here’s his most recent comment on that issue: “The nation’s mayors commend Congress for finally acting, and after more than 1,000 days of operating under short-term extensions, we will end the cycle of uncertainty that has threatened jobs and new investment in our cities and their metro economies. With this cloud lifted, mayors and other local leaders can now use the resources this agreement provides to improve the performance of our transportation systems. Its new financing options will help ensure more jobs are created and our economy grows.”
And the wolf-dog is still out there.