Last week in a narrow vote, the Pennsylvania Senate Banking and Insurance Committee approved Senate Bill 975, opening the door to thousands of predatory payday lenders to come to Pennsylvania and charge fees on short-term loans that equal an annual interest rate of over 300% on a typical two-week payday loan.
|By: brasch Sunday May 26, 2013 5:20 pm|
David M. Jacobson wanted a transcript of a public hearing conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), May 2.
All Jacobson had to do was drive the 25 miles from his home in Lewisburg to the Williamsport regional office between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
|By: brasch Monday May 20, 2013 11:30 am|
Julia Trigg Crawford of Direct, Texas, is the manager of a 650-acre farm that her grandfather first bought in 1948. The farm produces mostly corn, wheat, and soy. On its north border is the Red River; to the west is the Bois d’Arc Creek.
TransCanada is an Alberta-based corporation that is building the controversial Keystone Pipeline that will carry bitumen—thicker, more corrosive and toxic, than crude oil—through 36-inch diameter pipes from the Alberta tar sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast, mostly to be exported. The $2.3 billion southern segment, about 485 miles from Cushing, Okla., to the Gulf Coast is nearly complete. With the exception of a 300-mile extension between Cushing and Steele City, Neb., the rest of the $7 billion 1,959 mile pipeline is being held up until President Obama either succumbs to corporate and business pressures or blocks the construction because of environmental and health concerns.
|By: Angola 3 News Wednesday April 24, 2013 2:00 pm|
–An interview with Theresa Shoatz and Matt Meyer
This month, a 30-day action campaign was launched demanding the release of Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz from solitary confinement, where he has been held for over 23 consecutive years, and 28 of the last 30 years, in Pennsylvania prisons. On April 8, when the campaign began, Maroon’s legal team sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PA DOC), demanding his release from solitary confinement and promising litigation against the PA DOC if he is not transferred to general population by May 8.
The action campaign describes Maroon as “a former leader of the Black Panthers and the Black freedom movement, born in Philadelphia in 1943 and originally imprisoned in January 1972 for actions relating to his political involvement. With an extraordinary thirty-plus years spent in solitary confinement…Maroon’s case is one of the most shocking examples of U.S. torture of political prisoners, and one of the most egregious examples of human rights violations regarding prison conditions anywhere in the world. His ‘Maroon’ nickname is, in part, due to his continued resistance—which twice led him to escape confinement; it is also based on his continued clear analysis, including recent writings on ecology and matriarchy.”
|By: ThirdandState Tuesday April 2, 2013 7:07 pm|
Former Governor Ed Rendell got into some hot water last week with an op-ed in the New York Daily News touting the economic benefits of hydrofracking. ProPublica quickly outed the Governor for his ties to the drilling industry, and Rendell owned up to the fact that he is a consultant to Element Partners, which has investments in the gas industry. The Daily News has added a note to its web site disclosing the financial arrangement.
|By: ThirdandState Wednesday March 20, 2013 7:15 pm|
After making deep cuts to schools, early childhood education, and health and human services, Pennsylvania lawmakers are now considering new tax breaks that will largely benefit a small number of higher-income earners.
|By: ThirdandState Wednesday March 13, 2013 12:30 pm|
Advocates delivered half a pie to every Pennsylvania legislator Tuesday. Why half a pie?
To remind them that a decade of large tax cuts for businesses has left schools, health care services, and local communities with a smaller share of the state budget pie.
|By: ThirdandState Tuesday February 19, 2013 6:32 pm|
Three national organizations offered a scathing criticism of policies endorsed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, in a conference call with reporters last week. Their findings strike a stake in the heart of ALEC claims that its view of the world — lower taxes, fewer workplace protections, and diminished public investments — is good for the public.
|By: Steve Horn Saturday February 16, 2013 1:59 pm|
Tom Wilber’s book reads like a novel but is reported in the true spirit of an explanatory, investigative journalist. While detail-obsessed and leaving few stones unturned on the policy side of the shale oil and gas debate, Wilber – in somewhat masterful fashion – takes readers inside the lives of the Marcellus Shale’s stakeholders: citizens, citizen-journalists, oil and gas corporate executives, and activists. There is never a dull moment in the book, as Wilber seamlessly weaves fact-laden reportage into novel-like story-telling. I read the book in three sittings, as it is tough to put down once one opens it up.
|By: ThirdandState Thursday February 14, 2013 4:52 pm|
The Australian minimum wage this year is $15.96 per hour. I know this mostly because my daughter lives in Melbourne these days (not forever, I hope). When she arrived there 18 months ago, she got a job at a minimum-wage restaurant. She earned enough to cover her rent and other expenses.