Gov. Corbett presented his budget for the next fiscal year to a joint session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly with great pomp and fanfare. The budget, which totals $28.4 billion, is enumerated in excruciating detail in a budget book equal in thickness to War and Peace.
In reality, though, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans.
We may not recognize all the grand programs and great ideas set forth by Corbett once the legislature gets through reworking his budget plan. And it will rework it.
Although both the state House and Senate are controlled by Republicans -- who nominally follow their Republican governor -- they have shown an independent streak during Corbett's first two years in office, rearranging numbers and priorities at will.
Why? Partly because they can. The legislature is a co-equal branch of government and often reshapes a governor's priorities to suit themselves.
Partly because, frankly, the disagree with the governor's goals. Corbett, for instance, tried to whack hard at state aid to state colleges and universities. The legislature refused.
Corbett wanted vouchers for non-public schools. He didn't get them.
I'm not going to say Republicans are in rebellion against their governor, but it sometimes looks like that.
Let's take the budget case by case and match it against the governor's latest proposals.
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After three years on the web, Metropolis has ceased operations. The reason is simple: We ran out of money. This always was a shoestring operation and the string finally broke. We depended on support solely from local foundations and others interested in public affairs journalism. Our audience was small -- our latest count was 22,000 unique visitors a month -- but we attracted a solid corps of readers who cared about issues in Philadelphia and its neighborhoods. We tried our best to bring them our best analysis and in-depth journalism. With VoxPop, we also brought them a multitude of voices with personal essays about life, love and the human comedy. We thank all of our contributors and our loyal audience.
The site will remain open for several months so people can have access to our archives.
By Kat Richter »
By the time I reach the coffee shop in Mt. Airy on Friday afternoon, I am exhausted. I've spent the past week administering band aids, untying shoelaces, retying shoelaces, chaperoning bathroom breaks and trying to convince one of my students--an unusually well-dressed five year old-- that dancing will help him feel better about the fact that his mother has left again.
Technically, I'm a teaching artist at a preschool for low-income families in Germantown. But "creative movement" doesn't even begin to describe what goes on in my classroom. It's part Tchaikovsky indoctrination, part Michael Jackson impersonation, part therapy, part recess and part contact improv, the name I decided to give to my students' numerous collisions).
By Marnie Quinlan»
There is a placard in my local library which bears a quote by Jorge Luis Borges. It reads "I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library". When I first strolled past these words on my way to Adult Non-Fiction, I had just moved to Philadelphia from the east coast of Australia and couldn't have felt more like a fish out of water. I'd made a decision to end my career as a lawyer and leave my family, my friends and the hometown in which I'd grown up to relocate to a country where I knew no one; to a new job, a new city and to surrender my life as I knew it to my first and only true love - my writing.
Nothing was familiar. I didn't know the area, I was learning (and I use the tem loosely) how to drive on the right side of the road, my accent was a dead giveaway that I didn't belong, I hadn't made any friends, I hadn't written a thing since landing at JFK, I was
By Lucien Crowder»
There are two kinds of bicyclists in South Philadelphia. If you think I am over-generalizing, go to the corner of Ninth St. and Washington Ave. and try to find a third variety. You'll be standing there a long while.
Let's call the first kind -- my kind --the South Philly Cyclists. Let's call the second kind the Passyunk Pedalers. These names aren't terribly descriptive, but what's the point to life if there's no alliteration?
We South Philly Cyclists are new to the neighborhood. We are interlopers. We are the educated types, or the creative ones, or occasionally even both. We are young, or despite appearances we pretend to be. We are female as often as male, but uniformly white. By
By Rachel Semigran»
I am single. I spent five years in college with nothing more than a few awkward drinks and "hook-ups" that got me nowhere. I'm sure there are plenty of reasons (excuses) for my chronic single-ness. It could have been my lack of enthusiasm for the Drexel crowd. Light-wash denim shorts and tube socks combined with greasy pony tailed hair just didn't do it for me.
Or it could be that God has spited me and placed a giant neon sign above my head that says "Run away! She'll chop your balls off!" only visible to those I find myself even mildly attracted to.
There is, however, one answer that holds up. One of my best guy friends once told me at a party, "Guys don't date you because you're too funny." At the time it seemed ludicrous, but it buzzed around in my head, like a pesky fly caught between two windowpanes. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was true.