Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday roundup

Hey look! It's still Monday! (sigh)
  • Pennsylvania Republicans are a bit disgruntled over Dennis O'Brien's brokering a House Speakership with the Democrats, among other grumbles (not least his support for Rendell's budget). I'm sure US Senate Democrats, dealing with pseudo-Democrat Lieberman, feel your pain. Politics is a pesky beast.

  • A new idea for raising revenue from the PA turnpike is bubbling up: it involves higher tolls and the conversion of I-80 to a toll road, but doesn't result in the turnpikes being run by any private firm. State Senator Fumo is credited with the plan.
    Fumo said his proposal would provide $400 million a year for highways, $350 million for transit, and $50 million in reserve. He said the legislation would establish annual increases to keep up with inflation.
    Unlikely to be popular with riders, but perhaps it will manage to cobble together the votes that other proposals lack, especially since no new taxes are included. (Whether it passes the test of long-term dedicated transit funding is a different question.)

  • I'm happy to hear that Independence Mall security is loosening its grip a bit starting tomorrow, including departure of X-ray scanners. Next will be the replacement of the unsightly bicycle barriers with sturdier but less visually intrusive pillars.

  • A Daily News piece points out that stop-and-frisk is already in use by Philadelphia police, despite the controversy that accompanied Nutter's suggesting greater emphasis on such an approach.

  • AAJane gives us a rough transcript of a PCN call-in show with State Reps. Shapiro and Steil.

  • A DN letter alerts us to a Wall Street Journal article indicating that many (most?) states have actually lost money on casinos. I can't access the latter -- can anybody with a subscription take a look and let us know what it claims?

  • Two Inquirer editorials of interest: one urges the passage of a new pre-K education program, and a second decries the low pay of home-care workers, especially in an era when more and more such services will be needed.

  • Finally, an Inquirer photographer has started a blog featuring meanders through various parts of Southeast PA. (or something)


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