To say that this week’s news was dominated by the U.S. court system is like saying the Phillies have a slight problem scoring runs. In decisions that rocked the political and social landscape of our country, the U.S. Supreme Court executed a pretty impressive exacta on Thursday and Friday. First came the 6-3 court ruling that upheld the insurance exchange subsidy portion of Obamacare, and likely guaranteed the Affordable Care Act will be the law of the land for the foreseeable future.
Guest blog by Tony May
From ancient times through the Middle Ages, Christian and Muslim scholars sought what was called the Philosopher’s Stone, a substance capable of turning base metals into gold. The quest was a good full employment plan for chemists and alchemists but it never produced a workable shortcut to easy riches. On a smaller scale, a bipartisan commission made up of representatives of the legislative and executive branches of Pennsylvania state government has been working for virtually a full year at revising the way that the Commonwealth funds basic education. The goal: a margin formula that would drive more state funding to schools where poverty, a high percentage of students speaking English as a second language, population density and other factors make learning more difficult.
Let’s start with some good news. This week’s dose of sunshine comes courtesy of GOP legislative leaders, who say there is agreement between lawmakers and Governor Wolf that the state budget deficit is only $1.2 billion, not $2.2 billion as originally thought. Don’t look for anyone dancing in the street quite yet, however – the deficit is expected to keep growing without additional revenue. Also, the parties are a long way from agreement on how to address the deficit, let alone how much to spend next fiscal year and on what. But at least we have a starting point.
Former Governor Ed Rendell gave us a sneak peek at what to expect at the 2016 Democratic National Convention which will be held in Philadelphia. Outside of boring speeches, labor unrest and drama-less roll calls, there will be 55 life-sized, fiberglass donkeys scattered about the Conventional Center, one representing each state and territory. If you have ever been to Triad World Headquarters, you may remember that we feature a life-sized cow in our lobby, because everyone knows that cows are bipartisan animals.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, three years removed from his last presidential bid (in which he received zero delegates), is running again, making him the 478th GOP candidate to jump into the water. Memo to Rick: we also got zero delegates last time, and we didn’t even run.
Photo: Pocono Raceway Pres. and CEO Brandon Igdalsky welcomes PA State Rep. Pat Harkins
In what has become an annual tradition, the NASCAR haulers (the giant tractor trailers that carry the cars and race teams from event to event) rolled through Harrisburg this morning, making a central PA pit stop before heading off to Pocono Raceway for the Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 this Sunday.