Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Other items of note

  • Pittsburg's public transit agency just staved off a strike by agreeing on a new 3-year contract deal. The terms are remarkably similar to those in the recent SEPTA/TWU contract (3% annual raises, contributions to healthcare at 1% of wages), which probably reflects the same combination of practical realities and Rendell wheeling and dealing as happened here -- the mention of "$25 million in savings" made me think that they must have replicated the Blue Cross discount bonus that was uncovered during the strike in Philly (see prev. here), but I couldn't track down that level of detail.

  • More discussion of TABOR can be found in the current issue of the Philadelphia Weekly -- I had previously missed it in the deluge of holiday shopping tips, but Gwen Shaffer tends to write articles that really get to the core of her subject, so this is a piece not to miss. [I was alerted to it via this rant by Dan at YPP.] Unfortunately, it focuses a bit more on who's advocating and fighting against the bills than on practical examples of the trouble they can cause -- however, one point to note is that, in years when the state's economy does well, the spending caps prohibit investment in long-term projects, requiring that the extra cash flow be returned to taxpayers instead. An odd kind of leash.
    [For those not already saturated, another opinion piece here.]


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