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June 2014

Friday Happy Hour: Budget Interrupted Edition

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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.!  

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PA Must Invest in Higher Education

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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.

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PUC Seeks to Formally Shut Down Lyft, Uber

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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. 

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Friday Happy Hour: Whoville Edition

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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. 

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And that’s a wrap: Session Week of June 9

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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


Friday Happy Hour: Race to the Finish Edition

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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.  

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And that’s a wrap: Session Week of June 2

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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.

 

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