On July 1, two Administrative Law Judges issued a cease-and-desist order to Lyft and Uber – ridesharing companies currently operating in Pittsburgh – until they comply with Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission regulations. The investigatory arm of the PUC asked for this action recently, and the judges granted that request, citing public safety as one of the primary reasons for the cease-and-desist order.
While the country cheered the U.S Men’s Soccer Team’s 1-0 loss to Germany yesterday which resulted in a free pass to the round of 16 (soccer, you inscrutable game, you), we were once again reminded that national pride does not really ever seep into the Beltway. The Speaker of the House is planning to sue the President of the United States, folks. Go Team U.S.A.!
Pennsylvania’s students are fortunate to have access to a variety of higher education options in the state, including technical training institutions, 2-year colleges, and 4-year public and private colleges and universities. Each year over 110,000 students choose to attend the 14 state-owned universities because they provide an affordable, high quality, comprehensive education.
Pennsylvania’s public universities remain the most affordable 4-year college option because the state has provided support to the universities. When the State System of Higher Education was created thirty years ago, state financial support accounted for nearly 70 percent of its budget, but today that figure has fallen to just 25 percent.
Important update: Several hours after our original blog was posted yesterday, the PUC announced it will seek a cease and desist order against both Lyft and Uber, while allowing Yellow Cab's "Yellow X" service unfettered access to Pittsburgh consumers, thus further solidifying its unfair monopoly. Read about it here.
The City of Pittsburgh basks in its well-deserved reputation for being a tech-friendly and forward-thinking city. After the collapse of the steel industry, the city rose from the ashes to become a perennial occupant of every “Best of” list conceivable, it seems. The one nagging problem Pittsburgh has always had, however, is the complete lack of safe, reliable taxi service.
Usually, when people come to a lobbying firm, things are not at an optimum level for them. That’s where Triad Strategies comes in, to help craft the killer message that will help get an issue back on track for our client.
That tremor you may have felt while sitting in your living room on Tuesday night was not an earthquake, folks. Remain calm. It was just some dude nobody knew and who raised and spent very little money knocking U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) out of his seat in Congress. If you don’t believe this development will have wide-ranging political ramification, perhaps politics might not be the right profession for you. Maybe take up fishing or something.
This week saw the tiniest hint of budget action, but the flavors of the week in the General Assembly were Crime & Punishment and Bridge Naming. Now both chambers remain in recess until 1pm on Monday. In the meantime, here are the highlights and headlines of this past session week.
How they voted:
HB 2328: This is the biggie, the budget vehicle; and on Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee voted to move punt it out of their domain. The chances that this bill is the final form of the FY 2014-2015 budget are slimmer than none, but it is movement in the direction of an on-time budget.
HB 1498: Passing the House in a 184-11 vote, this bill further provides for sentences for offenses committed with firearms and for sentences for second and subsequent offenses.
HB 1733: Increases mandatory minimum sentences for homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence. It passed the House 193-6.
SB 1384: The Senate unanimously voted to fund bridge construction projects in 2014-2015, come hell or high water (by revenue collection or the incurring of debt).
The big headlines:
Why can’t the General Assembly work on a pension fix? Because they don’t have any money left to study new proposals, reports Jan Murphy on PennLive.com
A new poll suggests that Pennsylvanians aren’t thrilled with the prospect of an extraction tax.
A study from Public Administration Review finds that Pennsylvanians pay higher taxes than other states because of an unusually high corruption rate.
The Triadvocate is a publication of Triad Strategies, LLC, a bipartisan lobbying, public affairs, strategic communications, grassroots advocacy, issue management consulting firm located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh
Recently, our friends at the University of Pennsylvania’s Veterinary Medicine School came to Harrisburg to talk to lawmakers about the impact Penn Vet makes in virtually every county in Pennsylvania.
Triad’s Friday Happy Hour team is pleased to inform you that we now work on Thursdays, too! We are proud to introduce our wrap-up of legislative session activities which will run each Thursday morning when the House and Senate are in town. Here is the inaugural edition, have at it. This has been a public service announcement from Triad Strategies, LLC.
Did you see CEO of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance John Pippy's op-ed on PennLive.com yesterday? If not, check it out here.
The state capitol today served as the backdrop for the official kickoff to Pennsylvania NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day, as some of the most recognizable colors and logos in the Sprint Cup series paid a visit to Harrisburg.
From the same folks who bring you the Friday Happy Hour, now comes a round-up of the legislative session week. Look forward to it every Thursday morning. The General Assembly returned this week from Legislator Spring Break to begin the heavy lifting that is crafting the budget. Of course, they didn’t really do much related to the budget; but they did move some legislation of varying substance. Here are the highlights and headlines of this session week.
Thanks to Maya Angelou, we all know why the caged bird sings. Godspeed, Maya, and thank you for reminding all of us: you may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
Welcome to the Memorial Day holiday version of your weekly wrap! Happy 40th birthday to the Rubik’s Cube, the dastardly toy that has made millions of Americans feel intellectually inadequate for four decades. Probably more importantly, it is also the 40th anniversary of the release of the timeless Steely Dan album, “Pretzel Logic”, perhaps the most aptly named soundtrack for Pennsylvania politics ever.
Remember a few weeks back when we commented about a huge glacier that snapped off and was floating around the ocean near Antarctica? Well, it’s not really all that funny anymore, as we learned this week that the resulting glacial melt is at the point of no return, which could cause a serious rise in sea level by the end of the century. Picture Washington, D.C. Now picture it under water.
If you’re an animal lover like all of us here at Triad Strategies, you probably know a thing or two when it comes to caring for your pets. But did you know that Pennsylvania is home to one of the top veterinary schools and research facilities in the country?
This week, well-respected liberal and darling of the progressive movement Rick Santorum came out in support of a higher federal minimum wage. Moments after his declaration, a half million jobs were lost and the earth plunged into the sun. If Rick can be there, what is the holdup? Do you know what $7.25 buys you these days? It doesn’t even buy you $6.25.
One year ago this week, State Rep. Jeff Pyle (a kidney cancer survivor) assembled his colleagues at the Firehouse Restaurant in downtown Harrisburg to “take a bite out of cancer.” The Reps. versus Food event, ultimately won by Lancaster County’s own Rep. Bryan Cutler, was a gastronomic Battle Royale, pitting stomach against two pounds of prime rib, a one pound baked potato (picture a football, covered in butter and sour cream), and one, lonely spear of asparagus.
A Guest Blog by Matt Weaber, CEO of Weaber Lumber, one of Lebanon County’s largest industrial employers and a leading producer of unfinished hardwood flooring and all-wood moldings in the nation.
Like families working on household finances, my business plans its budgets based on the anticipated needs of the company and the associated costs. Maintaining an accurate budget allows us to do long-term strategic planning for the company and we have been doing this for over 70 years.
We start off this week’s revelry with a story about a glacier six times the size of Manhattan that has broken off from Antarctica and is floating around the ocean. This has zero to do with politics or government, but we just thought you’d enjoy seeing what has been described as a “giant sheet cake” floating around the sea. No? Not a fan of sheet cake? OK, off we go!
As April moves forward and we continue to get depressing news from the Department of Revenue about tax collections (the state is now $175 million behind projections for the year), there is some renewed discussion at the very highest levels of the General Assembly about an extraction tax being levied on natural gas drillers in Pennsylvania.
Before we dive into the shallow end of the political pool, we would like to offer our heartfelt sympathy and prayers to the victims of the mass stabbing at Franklin Regional High School in western Pennsylvania. We would also like to thank the many heroes on site who undoubtedly helped save lives. Good sometimes does conquer evil.
At any given moment, there could be literally thousands of messages trying to pierce your consciousness, all competing for your attention. Your TV is on while you scroll through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Maybe you occasionally mute the TV and check out what’s on Pandora while you listen to your voice mails, check your e-mails and read the text your child just sent you.
A guest post by Tony May, Senior Vice President and Partner at Triad Strategies. We have also included a short video of Tony discussing issue management and the General Motors crisis, and you can see Tony each Sunday on CBS 21's "Face the State".
The folks who run General Motors should take a page from the growing hobby of home brewing. One thing every home-made beer aficionado learns early on is the important of zero tolerance for bacteria. Even a small glop of stray germs can spoil a 10-gallon batch of ale in just a couple of days Just like bacteria, the problems caused by seemingly small production glitches in an ignition switch design can fester and multiply into gargantuan problems.
It’s called “confirmation bias,” and Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Republican/teabagger extraordinaire, is positioned to become its unintended poster boy this week after he asked his Facebook “friends” what they thought of ObamaCare, aka the Affordable Care Act.
He never stops moving. He juggles clients, issues and tasks like few others. He worked in the halls of state government, ran for office, and seamlessly transitioned to Triad Strategies, where he splits his time between the hustle and bustle of Philadelphia City Council and the State Capitol, iPad in hand and a ready smile on his face.
Today marks the 35th anniversary of a small, insignificant and long-since-forgotten snafu at a nuclear power plant known as “Three Mile Island”, just outside of Harrisburg. This week, local papers have been littered with the requisite “Do you remember where you were?” stories. Oddly enough, nowhere in any comment section have we read, “Under my bed, shaking like a leaf and wetting my pants.” Which is probably what we would have done had we been in the midstate 35 years ago today.
President Obama and European leaders are pursuing tougher economic sanctions against Russia as a result of Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea. An economic squeeze will no doubt make life tougher in Moscow, as citizens face the stark reality of returning to the days of having one roll of toilet paper for the entire month, and being forced to eat wet cardboard.
The following is from our good friends at United Way of Pennsylvania. To learn more, or to see how you can get invloved, please check out their home page.
Funding reductions over the last five years have weighed heavily on Pennsylvanians in need and the organizations that serve them, according to a new statewide survey from United Way of Pennsylvania (UWP) and its partners.
Hailing from Luzerne County, Alexandra D’Angola may be young, but do not let the youthful visage fool you. She is already a veteran of many legislative battles, and her personal mantra may surprise you:
“Respect everyone, but fear no one.”