Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3390, December 28th, 20106

(in countdown form)
10. BRYCE JORDAN DIES…. Jordan was an American university administrator and musicologist. He was the fourteenth president of the Pennsylvania State University, serving from 1983 until 1990. Prior to that, he served as interim president of the University of Texas at Austin from 1970 to 1971 and as first president of the University of Texas at Dallas from 1971 to 1982.
During Jordan's tenure at Penn State, the university became the 11th member of the Big Ten Conference in 1990. Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center is named after him. He died on April 12 2016.
9. PROPERTY TAX REFORM FAILS BUT REMAINS HOP TOPIC.….In late 2015 the State Senate is narrowly rejecting a measure to eliminate school property taxes statewide by replacing the money with increases in state tax rates on sales and income.
Many more items and services currently exempt from the state sales tax also would have been taxed, including daycare, movie tickets and trash pickup.
The preliminary vote tied 24-24, and was broken by Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack, who voted against it.
The bill would have imposed a multibillion-dollar state takeover of public school funding from school boards and a monumental change in state taxation.
However in 2016 that fight was kept alive by Taxpayer advocates like Charles Urban. Republican Senator David Argall failed on a tie-breaker vote in the last session, but he's hopeful the new class of legislators will see the measure over the finish line in the coming year.
Argall says he believes Pennsylvanians want to see property taxes completely eliminated, not just reduced or reformed.
"They know that the property tax system is old, it's archaic, it's rotten at the core. The only way to fix it is to eliminate it, and that is our number one goal for next year," Argall said. During the 2016 election year Legislators were lobbied hard to make a change. This story will continue in 2017.
8. WOLF BUDGET ON TIME…Governor Tom Wolf had a budget finished on time in 2016. Pennsylvania state lawmakers passed a $31.6 billion spending plan Thursday with bipartisan support, although Governor Tom Wolf says he isn't convinced it is 'truly' balanced.
The state House approved the main appropriations bill for the 2016-17 budget with a 132-68 vote. The Senate later approved it and Wolf signed it. However, the budget does not add any funds to Pennsylvania's major universities (Pitt, Penn State, Temple) or state schools.
It also adds $15 million to combat Pennsylvania's opioid addiction crisis. Wolf asked for $34 million.
7. SENATE PRIMARY BATTLE...With help from the kind of big-money political groups they have forcefully decried, the leading Democrats in the Pennsylvania race for the U.S. Senate have launched an air war, opening a new phase in their battle for the nomination.
Katie McGinty unveiled her first broadcast ads this week, followed quickly by a pledge from EMILY's List, which backs Democratic women candidates, to spend $1 million on TV for her next month in Philadelphia.
An independent super PAC backing rival Joe Sestak responded with a $250,000 ad buy. Its spot, which began airing Thursday, came just days after Sestak sent fund-raising emails criticizing the influence of such groups.
McGinty had the help of Ed Rendell’s Philadelphia Democrats and handily beat Sestak and Braddock Mayor Jon Fetterman in the spring primary.

6. WOLF ANNOUNCES HE HAS CANCER Gov. Tom Wolf was diagnosed earlier the year with a treatable form of prostate cancer. Wolf said, "My doctors made the diagnosis after a regular checkup revealed abnormalities. In consultation with my doctors, I have a planned treatment schedule that will begin in the coming weeks. Those treatments will last the next several months, but they will present no impairment to my ability to perform my duties as governor.”
The Governor maintained an active schedule this year.
5. PENN STATE POSTS WINNING SEASON. The 2016 Penn State Nittany Lions football team represents Pennsylvania State University in the 2016 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team is led by third year head-coach James Franklin and plays its home games in Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. They are a member of the Big Ten East Division of the Big Ten Conference. They started 2–2, and after losing to the Michigan Wolverines they won nine straight conference games and defeated the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Championship Game. They are representing the Big Ten in the 2017 Rose Bowl.
4. DEMOCRATS MEET IN PHILADELPHIA....The 2016 Democratic National Convention was a nominating convention, held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from July 25 through to July 28, 2016. The convention gathered delegates of the Democratic Party, the majority of which elected through a preceding series of primaries and caucuses, to nominate a candidate for president and vice president in the 2016 United States presidential election. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was chosen as the party's nominee for president by a 59.67% majority of delegates present at the convention roll call, defeating primary rival Senator Bernie Sanders, who received 39.16% of votes from delegates, and becoming the first female candidate to be formally nominated by a major national party as a presidential candidate in the United States. Her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia, was chosen by delegates as the party's nominee for vice president by acclamation
3. STATE WIDE GENERAL ELECTION RESULTS... It’s been a tough night for Democrats across the country, but in Harrisburg, they’re flying high — the party’s candidates swept the state row offices up for election Tuesday.
Auditor General
State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is being returned to the job to serve four more years as Pennsylvania’s fiscal watchdog.
The Democratic incumbent bested three challengers Tuesday to head an office with more than 400 employees and a budget of more than $50 million.
The agency keeps tabs on state spending and recommends changes to how government agencies operate.
Auditor general has been a political launching pad in recent years. The last three people elected to hold the position all later ran for higher office.
Attorney General
Pennsylvania’s next attorney general will be county Commissioner Josh Shapiro, who’ll take over an office wracked by turmoil over the arrest and conviction of a predecessor.
Voters on Tuesday chose the Democrat from the Philadelphia suburb of Montgomery County over Republican state Sen. John Rafferty.
He’ll be the agency’s fourth leader since August, when Democrat Kathleen Kane stepped down after being convicted of leaking secret grand jury material and lying about it.
Kane has been sentenced to 10 to 23 months in prison.
The attorney general is Pennsylvania’s top-ranking law enforcement official. The agency has more than 800 employees.
State Treasurer
Democrat Joe Torsella will be taking over an office marred by scandal after winning the race for Pennsylvania treasurer.
Torsella, of Montgomery County, beat Republican businessman Otto Voit of Berks County in Tuesday’s election.
The 53-year-old Torsella was most recently a presidential appointee to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.
The treasurer oversees the 360-employee agency that processes $90 billion in payments every year and is custodian of over $100 billion of public money. The office also has been drawn into the state’s budget fights and struggles with deficits in recent years.
Two of the last three elected treasurers are embroiled in scandal. One, Rob McCord, pleaded guilty last year to federal attempted extortion charges. Barbara Hafer is facing federal charges in a case that revolves around treasury investment contracts. (Pittsburgh Post Gazette).
2. KATHLEEN KANE CONVICTED AND SENTENCED ......A judge sentenced former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane  to 10 to 23 months in prison for committing multiple felonies stemming from a politically motivated act of retribution.
Kane, who resigned after her conviction of perjury and obstruction in August, also will be on probation for eight years following her release, according to Kim Bathgate, spokeswoman for the Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
Kane, a Democrat who was elected in 2012, faced a possible 12-24 years in prison, according to Kate Delano, a spokeswoman for the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.
Before the sentencing, Kane testified on her own behalf, asking the judge to have mercy for the sake of her two teenage children.

1. TRUMP CARRIES PENNSYLVANIA... Donald Trump has won the White House and Pennsylvania was a crucial part of his electoral path.
The Keystone State was generally considered to be leaning Democratic and had gone blue for six straight elections.
According to the RealClearPolitics average, Trump never led Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania.
Nonetheless, Trump captured 2,890,633 votes (48.84%) while Clinton received 2,817,409 votes (47.60%).


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