Vol. III No. 13 (383)
Keeping You Posted With The Politics Of Philadelphia
January 24, 2012
Philadelphia Daily Record
NAVY SEAL MICHAEL STRANGE, a N.E. Phila. native who died in combat in Afghanistan, was honored by Penna. House of Representatives. Story page 4.
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Calendar Jan. 27- State Rep. Rosita Youngblood holds Fish or Chicken Fry at Lou & Choo’s, 2101 W. Hunting Pk. Ave., 5-9 p.m. Tickets $10. Feb. 4- Green Night Out features Prof. Eileen Appelbaum to discuss “Paid Sick Leave & Paid Sick Days” at Singapore Restaurant, 1006 Race St., 7 p.m. Space is limited, so RSVP Green Party at (215) 243-7103. Feb. 8- Judge Angelo Foglietta is sworn in at City Hall Rm. 653, 4:00 p.m. Recpetion follows at Law Library. Feb. 9- Steve Aldrich of IBEW Local 269 invites all to reception in honor of State Rep. Tina Davis at Bailey’s Bar & Grille, 6922 Bristol Emilie Rd., Levittown, Pa. Host $1,000, Patron $500, Friend. $250, Supporter, $50. RSVP Seth Skversky (215) 550-1186. Feb. 10- Fundraiser for cancer survivor Vicki Cummings at SmokeEaters Pub, 7681 Frankford Ave., 7-10 a.m. Donation $35. If you cannot make event, donation to “Friends of Vicki Cummings” c/o The Lucas Family, 3128 Cottman Ave, Phila., PA 19149. For info Friendsofvickicummings@ya hoo.com. Feb. 10- Arthur Green presents 14th Ward Pre-Valentine’s Day Cabaret at Barber’s Ha., Broad & Oxford Sts., 9 p.m.-
Donation $10. For info Arthur Green (267) 986-7948. Feb. 10-12- Penna. Progressive Summit at Convention Ctr, Broad & Arch Sts. Variety of registration fees, $50$150. For infor paprogressivesummit.org. Feb. 13- Fundraiser for State Rep candidate Al Simpson at Breen’s Pub, Huntingdon Pk., 6-9 p.m. Tickets $35, sold at door. Feb. 23- State Rep. James Roebuck celebrates Birthday Party at Warmdaddy’s, 1400 S. Columbus Blvd., 5:30-8 p.m. Jazz, food. Friend: $125. Sponsor $250. Benefactor: $500. RSVP (215) 382-1268. Feb. 25- Mothers in Charge holds Flapjack Fundraiser at Applebee’s, 9141 Roosevelt Blvd., 8-10 a.m. Donation $10, $5 for kids under 11. For info (215) 228-1718. Mar. 12- Cocktail Event for State Rep. Tina Davis at Zia’s at Red Door, 110 N. 2nd St., Harrisburg, Pa. Tickets $50, $100, $500 and $1,000. For info Seth Skversky (215) 550-1186. Mar.17- State Rep. Mark Cohen , NAACP and AARP host Health Fair at Zion Baptist Ch., 3600 N. Broad St., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Screenings, workshops, pharmacist’s advice and more. For info Lenise Miller (267) 5829489.
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A SENATOR SPEAKS: Extending The Payroll Tax Cut by US Sen. Bob Casey Yesterday, I took part in the Payroll Tax Cut Conference Committee’s first meeting, as we begin our work to reach agreement on an employee payroll tax cut for all of 2012. Just before the holidays, the payroll tax cut, which had been set to expire at the end of December, was extended for two months through February. This extension prevented a tax increase on 6.7 million workers in Pennsylvania and provided some good news for families going into Christmas. The payroll tax cut reduces employees’ share of the Social Security payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2% of earnings. For the average Pennsylvania worker, this tax cut will boost take-home pay by nearly $1,000 in 2012. The additional money in workers’ wallets and pocketbooks will help
families buy gas, make car payments, pay for housing and put food on the table. The increased consumer spending will help sustain the economic recovery. According to an independent analysis, there would be 19,700 fewer jobs in Pennsylvania in 2012 without the payroll-tax cut. With almost half a million Pennsylvanians out of work, we cannot afford this hit to our economy. The Conference Committee is comprised of 20 members of Congress – four Senate Democrats, three Senate Republicans, five House Democrats and eight House Republicans. As the Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and author of the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, I was appointed to be a Senate conferee. The task before us is to reach an agreement before the end of February to make certain that this
money stays in the pockets of middle-class Americans. I initially proposed that these cuts be paid for by a modest surtax on annual income exceeding a million dollars because I believe that is a fair and reasonable way to make sure we extend these middle class cuts without adding to our debt. I believe it also makes great economic sense. However, I am open to other ideas. The key is that we get this done. The Conference Committee will also take up the issue of how to continue unemployment insurance for those workers who have been out of work for more than six months. Some say that Washington only focuses when it’s up against a deadline. Well, we have until the end of February to figure this out. I’m confident we will.
Speaker’s Bill To Shrink State House Heads To Floor A bill to reduce the size of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to 153 members, from the current 203 members, heads to the House floor, Speaker of the House Sam Smith (R-Jefferson) said after the bill passed out of committee. The bill, HB 153, authored by Speaker Smith, passed the House
State Government Committee by a vote of 18-6. “There is nothing magical about the number 203; in fact, it came about by accident; yet reports and studies have indicated that groups more than 150 tend to be less efficient,” Smith said. “Reaching a consensus with 203 people on
major and controversial issues has proven more difficult in recent times.” With 203 members, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is the second largest in the country. “In order to right-size Pennsylvania’s government, the legislature
THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD needs to put its own house in order,” Smith said. “Today’s committee vote positions the bill for consideration by the full House in the next several weeks.”
To change the size of the legislature requires an amendment to the State Constitution, which means the same bill must be debated and
passed in two consecutive sessions, and subsequently approved by referendum vote of the people of Pennsylvania.
Time To Drop Emissions Testing? One Senator Says Yes State Sen. John N. Wozniak (D-Blair) has formally asked the federal government to reconsider vehicle-emissions inspection requirements in Pennsylvania. In a resolution introduced in the State Senate, Wozniak said the emission inspections are ineffective and costly.
Pennsylvania first required vehicle-emissions testing a handful of counties in 1997. Over time, the mandate spread to cars registered in 25 counties.
“Today’s cars are cleaner and annual emission testing isn’t as effective,” Wozniak said. “Virtually all cars pass the test and it’s time to reevaluate whether it’s just a waste of money for consumers. I think the test needs to be tested.”
Only a tiny percentage of cars fail the test, and thousands of drivers of low-emitting vehicles are paying for an annual test that is unnecessary, Wozniak said. “When it was implemented, it worked. It motivated people get rid
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of their old cars and upgrade to modern technology,” Wozniak said. “We need to evaluate whether people who made the right choice are being punished by an unnecessary test. You could be driving a Prius in Cambria Co. and you have to pay for the test. But if you drive an old pickup in Indiana Co., you’re exempt.” Wozniak’s resolution asks the US Congress to reevaluate the enhanced emissions-inspection program. Emission testing is required in the following counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Cambria, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Washington, Westmoreland and York. Boyle, House Honor Fallen Hero Michael Strange The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution authored by State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Phila.), honoring fallen Navy SEAL and Philadelphia native Michael Strange. Strange, a 2004 graduate of North Catholic HS, was a member of the Naval Special Warfare Develop-
THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD ment Group, also known as SEAL Team Six, when he perished in a helicopter crash in August 2011. In a speech on the House floor, Boyle said, “On behalf of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, I extend condolences to the family of Michael Strange. He was a dedicated and valiant soldier who remains one of the City of Philadelphia’s hometown heroes.”
Boyle added, “His sacrifice for our country needs to be remembered. This House resolution gives honor to his bravery, his service to country, and his ultimate sacrifice.” Petty Officer Michael Strange, a Purple Heart recipient, was serving his third tour of duty in Iraq at the time of his death.
He is survived by his fiancée, Breanna Hostetler; his mother, Elizabeth Strange, who is a Philadelphia police officer; his father, Charles Strange, Jr.; his brother Charles; his sisters Katelyn and Carly; his niece Juliana Rose; his grandmother Bernice Strange; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends.
Friends 4 Tennis In Yeadon Presents Awards
YEADON MAYOR Dolores Jones-Butler presided over a huge gathering of Friends 4 Tennis in Yeadon at Yeadon Borough Hall at the Council meeting on Jan. 19, accepting a symbolic giant check, representing a three-year pledge for $12,750, from Phila. Area Tennis District. Every student who participated in last summer’s tennis program in Yeadon received a certificate from the President’s Active Lifestyle Award. From left, Ron Francis, board member of Friends 4 Tennis in Yeadon; Owen L. Wooten, board member of Friends 4 Tennis; Jones-Butler; Ronald Stokes, chairman, Friends 4 Tennis; Jack Ladden, president, PATD; Kitty Perrin, USTA/Middle States Section Tennis Service Representative; Bernie Chavis, Black Tennis Foundation of Phila., Inc., President; and Blair Wilson, board member of Friends 4 Tennis. Yeadon Tennis Program is recognized by LET’S MOVE!, the comprehensive initiative, launched by First Lady Michele Obama, dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. Photo: Craig Lewis • PHILADELPHIADAILYRECORD.COM
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HAPPY GROUP of junior tennis players from Yeadon proudly display their certificates from President Obama’s Active Lifestyle Award initiative. Photo: Craig Lewis