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May 2012

2012-13 Pennsylvania State Budget – Representative Mike Hanna

Mike Hanna

Budget debates will really kick into high gear next week when the General Assembly reconvenes and takes up the Senate budget bill.  Fortunately we were able to talk to Representative Mike Hanna and get a feel for his and the House Democrat’s priorities headed into that debate.

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Investing in Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure - Senator Vincent Hughes

Vince Hughes

What’s the number one way to get Pennsylvanians back to work? Senator Vincent Hughes says infrastructure.

Citing bipartisan support for a comprehensive funding solution for transportation, Hughes said that, “the General Assembly is ready to go, we’ve been ready for months now.”  He argues that no community can survive without an adequate transportation system. A comprehensive solution would include funding, repairs and construction for roads, bridges, highways, railways and bus lines. Without these investments, Hughes questions how Pennsylvanians will get to their jobs.

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The First Three Minutes with Representative Mike Hanna

Mike Hanna

We are pleased to present you with another installment of “Triad on the Threes;” three minutes of our interview with a legislator, public official, or influencer of state politics.  Today we have Representative Michael Hanna, the Democratic Whip, representing the 76th legislative district, serving Clinton and Centre counties.

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Senator Vincent Hughes Discusses Financially Distressed School Districts

Vince Hughes

In the budget passed by the Senate, there was an extra $50 million added to aid financially distressed school districts and Senator Vincent Hughes shared his reasoning with us.

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Senator Hughes on the budget

Vince Hughes

The holiday weekend is over and it’s time to focus our attention from picnics to the Pennsylvania budget. Before we left on Friday, we gave you a preview of our interview with Senator Vincent Hughes and now we’re back with the full discussion.

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Friday Happy Hour: Memorial Day Edition

Arlington National Cemetery

It has been a week of rising remonstration among those who worry that proposed state budget cuts would go too far, dumping the problems of the needy onto the doorsteps of others. Moreover, rather than saving tax money, some worry that the proposed budget might actually increase the overall cost to taxpayers, or at the very least shift the burden to local governments. 

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The First Three Minutes with Senator Vincent Hughes

Vince Hughes

We had the pleasure of having Senator Vincent Hughes over at Triad this week to chat about a variety of issues facing Pennsylvania.

Senator Hughes, of Philadelphia and Montgomery counties, serves as the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee; this position gives him an important voice in developing Pennsylvania’s annual budget and setting spending priorities.

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Impact of Act 22 of 2011 - Representative Gene DiGirolamo

Gene DiGirolamo

In addition to the cuts to county human services programs, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo has another Department of Public Welfare issue on his committees radar – Act 22 of 2011.

Passed along with the budget last year, Act 22 gives the secretary of DPW the power to make regulatory changes in the department without the oversight of the General Assembly or the Independent Regulatory Review Commission. “When we passed it, the idea was that we wanted to cut down on waste, fraud and abuse in welfare programs,” DiGirolamo explained.

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Impact of Proposed Cuts to County Human Services Programs

DPW Seal

As the weather heats up, so does budget debate in Pennsylvania. In our second segment from our interview with Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, he discussed the Governor’s proposed cuts to county human services programs.

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Penn Vet: Not just for cats and dogs

Penn Vet

When you mention veterinary medicine, many folks tend to think immediately of the doctor who takes care of Fido or Fluffy. But to the medical professionals who work in the field, a vet is someone with a wealth of knowledge about the health of many species, including our own.

The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine has a history of equipping graduates for careers in biomedical research, human medicine and public health. We sat down with Dean Joan Hendricks recently to learn more about Penn Vet and the entire field of veterinary medicine.

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Gary Tennis Confirmed as Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs

Gary Tennis

Yesterday, by a vote of 44 – 3, the Pennsylvania State Senate confirmed Governor Corbett’s nomination of Gary Tennis to be the first Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.  Earlier in the day the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee unanimously reported his nomination out of committee.

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House Labor and Industry: Keystone Works I Program Act

Keystone Works I Program Act

On the agenda today for the House Labor and Industry Committee was proposed amendments to HB 1539 or the Keystone Works I Program Act. This program provides new on-the-job training for Pennsylvanians in their first 26 weeks of unemployment to be placed in a business that will train them with a strong possibility of hiring them at the completion of their training. The unpaid training is to span 12 weeks while the worker still collects unemployment benefits. A similar program exists in Georgia, a model which came up frequently in today’s meeting.

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The First Three Minutes with Triad Strategies – Representative Gene DiGirolamo

Gene DiGirolamo
Representative Gene DiGirolamo stopped by Triad’s office a little over a week ago (sorry for the delay but we’ve been a little busy), and sat down with Roy to talk about all the activity taking place in the House Human Services Committee.

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Friday Happy Hour: Roundabout Edition

Roundabout
In yet another sign of the impending apocalypse, Mark Zuckerberg and a few other Facebook insiders are selling a substantial piece of the world’s largest social network this week for around $16 billion.  The initial public offering could set the value of the company at nearly $150 billion.  All for creating a convenient way for your high school chums to track you down and annoy you with a deluge of Farmville and Mafia Wars posts. 

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Bipartisan effort persuades state to drop privatization of Corrections nurses

New Image

After months of opposition from bipartisan coalitions in the House and Senate as well as SEIU Healthcare PA, AFSCME and the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association, the Corbett administration is shifting course on a plan to privatize the nurses in Department of Corrections’ facilities.

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Business Tax Cuts vs. Spending Cuts

How_to_make_a_chopping_block_for_the_kitchen_which_you_will_need_everyday_-1

The Department of Revenue had barely gotten the words “improving revenue collections” out to the masses when talk at the State Capitol immediately turned to what kind of budget cut restorations lawmakers could make in the coming two months.  The budget proposed by Governor Tom Corbett was based upon an assumed fiscal year shortfall of $700 million. 

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