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Vol. II No. 194 (354)

Keeping You Posted With The Politics Of Philadelphia

December 6, 2011

Philadelphia Daily Record

DUI = $1,000?

DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE of alcohol or drugs will come at a much-stiffer cost even for first-time offenders, if legislation recently passed by Penna. Senate goes into effect. Story page 3.


THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

The Philadelphia Public Record Calendar

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State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas hosts Weatherization and Energy Forum at Temple’s Dentistry Student Faculty Ctr., 3340 N. Broad St. (Broad & Ontario), 6-8 p.m. For info Natalie Davis (215) 560-3261. Dec. 14- Jeff and Sandy Brown invite you to Re-Grant Opening of their

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ShopRite of Cheltenham and Einstein FastCare Clinic, 2385 Cheltenham Ave., 11 a.m. sharp. Specialty offerings. Dec. 15- Christmas Celebration in 6300 block Germantown Avenue, 6-7 p.m. Corporate and community donations are welcome! For more info to (Cont. Page 4)


THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

DUIs May Become Costly The Pennsylvania Senate has approved legislation sponsored by State Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery) that would increase penalties for those driving under the influence with a minor in the vehicle with them when the violation occurs. Under SB 539, the maximum fine for a first DUI offense would in-

Casey Offers Compromise To Ward Off Huge Tax Hike On Jan. 1 Yesterday, US Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, offered a compromise to stop a huge tax hike from hitting middle-income families on Jan. 1. The proposal is set to be voted on in the Senate later this week. Unless Congress acts by the end of the month, a payroll-tax break worth $1,000 to average middleincome households will expire. Economists of all political stripes have called the continuation of this tax cut critical for America’s economic growth, but last week, Senate Republicans blocked two different attempts to extend the tax break. Twenty-six of 47 Senate Republicans even opposed their

crease to $1,000 and 100 hours of community service. A second offense would carry a maximum fine of $2,500 and imprisonment of up to six months. Drivers convicted of subsequent offenses could be jailed for up to two years.

“Hopefully, this will serve as a deterrent, especially for adults who drink and drive with children in the vehicle. This legislation will help keep our roadways safe for our children, other drivers, passengers and pedestrians.”

“Penalties must be increased when drunk drivers put minor passengers in danger,” the Senator said.

The bill passed the Senate 49 to 0 yesterday afternoon.

own party’s version of the tax-cut extension.

was too large, the compromise legislation will no longer provide any tax break for employers. This will cut the size of the package by roughly one-third, from $265 billion to $185 billion. The Casey compromise still cuts in half (from 6.2% to 3.1%) the Social Security payroll tax paid by employees and the self-employed on their wages and salaries for 2012. Approximately 160 million workers will benefit from this tax cut, with the average family seeing nearly $1,500 in additional take-home pay.

Casey’s compromise attempts to bring Republicans aboard on the tax-cut extension by trimming the cost of the package by roughly one-third and using bipartisan ideas to pay for it. “As the clock continues to tick down, it is imperative we come together now on a middle-income tax cut,” said Casey. “The legislation is fully paid for and includes measures that have received bipartisan support in the past. It is time to act to help working families in Pennsylvania and across the country get back on their feet and jump start the economy. We can no longer afford to jeopardize working families in order to protect the wealthiest few.” Details of Casey’s compromise are below: Reduces The Size Of Package By Roughly 1/3. To address Republican concerns the overall package

Adopts Bipartisan Deficit-Reducing Proposals from The Super Committee Negotiations. This proposal will increase the fees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge mortgage lenders to guarantee repayment of new mortgage loans. The amount of the increase shall be determined by the Director of the Enterprises, but such amount shall not be less than an average increase of 12.5 basis points for each origination year or book year above the average fee

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THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD (Cont. From Page 2) make a donation A. Neal (215) 438-1768 or A. Alexander (215) 844-9345. Dec. 17- Black Professionals Christmas Party at African American Museum, 7th & Arch Sts., 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $50 includes live music, entertainment. For info Earl Harvey (267) 2443860. Dec. 17- Volunteers needed to help wrap gifts for Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell’s annual Christmas Holiday Party for Homeless. Join her in Room 401 at 9 a.m. Please call to

sign up at 215=6863418. Dec. 20- Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell hosts City’s homless at her annual Christmas Party at Pennsylvania Convewntion Center, form 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 29- Friends of Council Majority Leader-Elect Curtis Jones host “Black Out Party” at 4130 Main St., next to Manayunk Brewery. Dress in black. VIP Cocktail 6-8 p.m. $1,000 host; $500 sponsor, $250 VIP. General admission, 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $50 guest. Fort info Dorian Stan-

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imposed in 2011 for such guarantees. These reforms will raise $38.1 billion. Significantly Curtails the Surtax on the Wealthiest Few. Last week, the Senate saw a breakthrough when Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.) voted for a version of the millionaires’ surcharge. The Casey compromise further modifies the millionaires’ surtax to appeal to even more Republicans. First, it pares down the surtax on modified adjusted gross income in excess of $1 million from 3.25% to 1.9%. The surtax is also made temporary-it would expire after 10 years-instead of permanent. The surtax – which will impact only 0.2% of taxpayers with an average annual income of nearly $3 million – is effective for taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2012.


THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD Adopts GOP Proposal To Cut Off Millionaires From Receiving Unemployment Benefits and Food Stamps. The compromise bill includes a cost-saving reform proposed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last week that would make millionaires ineligible for unemployment compensation and food stamps.

side.

Still Protects Social Security. The legislation would not affect the Social Security Trust Fund by one penny, because it requires the Social Security Trust Fund be made whole through transfers from the General Fund.

“These incidents represent a direct threat to the safety, health and welfare of young children, and each instance can easily result in tragedy. “The Pennsylvania legislature authorized casino gambling in the state, and I believe it is an obligation of this legislature to send a strong message that our children come first.”

O’Brien Bills Advance To Keep Kids Out Of Casino Lots The State House has unanimously passed legislation authored by State Rep. Mike O’Brien (D-Kensington) designed to reduce the incidences of children being left in cars while their parents or guardians gamble at Pennsylvania casinos. O’Brien said he authored the legislation (HBs 120 and 121) in response to the growing number of incidences of children being left unattended in casino parking lots. He pointed to at least 10 documented instances of such behavior since February 2010 at the Parx Casino in Bensalem alone. Earlier this fall, the grandparents of three children ages 12, 7 and 2, left their grandchildren in a vehicle at the SugarHouse casino in Philadelphia while they went in-

“Compulsive gamblers who leave common sense behind so they can nurse their addiction, and even those who might think their children are old enough or responsible enough to handle being left alone, need to be sent a clear and direct message that this behavior will not be tolerated,” O’Brien said.

A child of a compulsive gambler, O’Brien said he knows firsthand what children can go through when a parent puts the need to gamble ahead of the welfare of his children. “My father was a compulsive gambler,” O’Brien said. “I know the terror and anxiety a child can feel when left alone while his dad or mom gambles. My legislation is about protecting those children.” O’Brien’s first bill (HB 120) would prohibit any driver of a vehicle from leaving a child younger than 14 unattended in the vehicle on property owned, leased or controlled by a licensed gaming facility. People who violate the law would be ejected from the facility and charged with a 3rd-degree misdemeanor for the first offense and 2nd-degree misdemeanor for subsequent convictions. Law enforcement also would be required to notify the appropriate children and

youth agency within 48 hours of the incident. Also under the bill, gaming facilities that fail to report violations of unattended children would be subjected to fines of no less than $75,000 or more than $150,000 for a first offense, and no less than $150,000 or more than $300,000 for subsequent offenses. “Casinos want to be good and responsible neighbors,” O’Brien said. “But we also must recognize looking the other way might be easier for them, financially or otherwise. It is imperative to establish a strong disincentive for such actions.” The companion bill (HB 121) would set up a mechanism to warn individuals of the consequences of leaving their children unattended in a vehicle. Licensed gaming facilities would be required to conspicuously post warning signs regarding the penalties for leaving a child unattended in their parking area. Facilities would be fined $1,000 a day for the days signs are not posted. Both bills now move to the Senate for consideration.

Children & Youth Committee Hosts Hearing On Abuse State Rep. Louise Williams Bishop (D-W. Phila.) participated in an informational hearing of the Children & Youth Committee that encouraged action from the legislature to remove the statute of limitations and introduce progressive legislation to protect children from sexual abuse. As Democratic chairwoman of the

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THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD committee, Bishop has been a strong advocate for victims of sexual abuse. “It is very hard to understand the feelings of an abuse victim if you’ve never been abused,” Bishop said. “We have a milestone opportunity at this moment; it is time we learn from what has been revealed to get out of the dark ages and do something about these horrifying crimes against children. “We need to stop protecting the abusers and start protecting the abused,” Bishop said. “Child sexual abuse is broad based, covering people from different ages, race, economic and cultural backgrounds.” The committee heard emotional testimony from victims of abuse as well as experts to discuss the effects of abuse on victims. Testifiers included John Salveson and Tammy Lerner from the Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse; Chris Gavagan, director of

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Coached in to Silence; Chris Kirchner of Philadelphia Children’s Alliance; former Philadelphia Eagle Al Chesley; David Lisak, PhD, associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston; and others involved in the fight against sexual abuse. Bishop authored legislation that would remove the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse. The legislation is in the House Judiciary Committee awaiting consideration.

Thurgood Marshall School Wins Major LEED Cert Thurgood Marshall ES, at 5120-50 N. 6th Street, was the first elementary school in the state to receive a coveted green-building certification. Acting Superintendent Dr. Leroy David Nunery II, a US Green

PHILADELPHIADAILYRECORD.COM •

Building Council representative, elected City and State legislators, students and teachers from Thurgood Marshall turned out for the LEED- EB Plaque Ceremony in the auditorium at 10:00 a.m. this morning. The School District of Philadelphia is committed to building green schools that reduce consumption of water, energy, and natural resources, while providing a superior learning environment for students and staff. The first example of sustainable excellence for an existing building in the School District’s portfolio is Thurgood Marshall. This LEED-EB level certification is the highest level of recognition under the LEED-EB Green Building Rating System. This is the first public school in Pennsylvania to receive the LEED certification for an existing building (k-12).


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