Wednesday, February 8 2012

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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2012

MAJOR CUTS FOR PENN STATE

GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT CALLED FOR SERIOUS BELT TIGHTENING IN THE 2012-2013 FISCAL BUDGET RELEASED YESTERDAY. HE RAISED FUNDING FOR KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 12TH GRADE EDUCATION, BUT FUNDING IS STILL RIGHT AROUND THE LEVEL IT WAS WHEN EDUCATION WAS DRASTICALLY CUT LAST YEAR, WHICH WILL MEAN MORE STRUGGLES FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS. CORBETT’S PLAN SLASHES FUNDING TO PENN STATE, TEMPLE, AND PITT BY 30-PERCENT, WHILE LINCOLN UNIVERSITY WOULD RECEIVE THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY AS DURING THIS YEAR. THE 14 SCHOOLS IN THE STATE SYSTEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION WOULD HAVE TO DEAL WITH A 20-PERCENT REDUCTION. THE BUDGET CALLS FOR NO CHANGE IN SPENDING… AND NO INCREASE IN STATE INCOME OR SALES TAXES. STATE WORKERS AVOIDED LAYOFFS AND STATE POLICE ARE NO LONGER FACING SIGNIFICANT CUTS.

NATURAL GAS IMPACT FEES

THE STATE SENATE VOTED 31-19 YESTERDAY IN FAVOR OF NATURAL GAS IMPACT FEES WHICH COULD RAISE 180-MILLION DOLLARS IN THE FIRST YEAR. THE MEASURE…WHICH ALSO EXPANDS REGULATIONS FOR THE BOOMING INDUSTRY... COULD RETURN TO THE HOUSE FLOOR TODAY. IT WOULD ALLOW LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO DECIDE WHETHER TO IMPOSE THE FEES ON WELLS IN THEIR TERRITORY.

TAXING ON-LINE PURCHASES

STARTING IN SEPTEMBER, THE STATE WILL START ENFORCING THE LAW THAT CALLS FOR PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENTS TO PAY SALES TAX ON THINGS YOU BUY OUT OF STATE OR ON-LINE. PENNSYLVANIA PLANS TO FORCE ON-LINE COMPANIES THAT HAVE A PHYSICAL PRESENCE IN THE STATE TO CHARGE SALES TAX. CONSIDERING AMAZON ALONE, STATE OFFICIALS ESTIMATE THEY LOST OUT ON 345-MILLION IN UNPAID SALES TAX LAST YEAR.

SANDUSKY WATCHING CHILDREN?

PROSECUTORS SAY JERRY SANDUSKY HORRIBLY VIOLATED THE TRUST OF THE PARENTS OF THE CHILDREN HE ALLEGEDLY ABUSED AND THEY’RE ASKING THE JUDGE TO DENY HIS REQUEST FOR A BAIL MODIFICATION SO HE CAN SEE HIS GRANDCHILDREN.
THEY ALSO ASKED THAT SANDUSKY BE KEPT INDOORS UNDER HIS HOUSE ARREST. A COURT DOCUMENT FILED YESTERDAY SAYS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS RECEIVED MULTIPLE COMPLAINTS ABOUT SANDUSKY BEING ON HIS BACKPORCH WATCHING CHILDREN IN A SCHOOL YARD. IN HIS WRITTEN RESPONSE, SANDUSKY’S ATTORNEY JOE AMENDOLA CALLED THE CONCERNS “UNFOUNDED.”

SANDUSKY’S ATTORNEY IS STILL LOOKING FOR INFORMATION FROM PROSECUTORS. JOE AMENDOLA SAYS HE RECEIVED SOME DOCUMENTS, BUT PAGES HAD BEEN REDACTED. NOW HE’S ASKING FOR NON-REDACTED RECORDS FROM THE RELATED STATE POLICE INVESTIGATIVE WORK. SOME OF THE OTHER INFORMATION AMENDOLA IS REQUESTING INCLUDES COPIES OF MEDICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL RECORDS…NAMES, ADDRESSES AND PHONE NUMBERS OF ALL PARTIES SUBPOENAED DURING THE GRAND JURY INVESTIGATION…THE IDENTITIES OF ANY ACCUSER WHO STEPPED FORWARD BUT THEIR CLAIM WAS DEEMED FALSE…AND TRANSCRIPTS OF ALL GRAND JURY TESTIMONY FROM 2008 TO 2011.

CENTRE COUNTY COURT OFFICIALS SAY ABOUT 100 SEATS FOR THE PUBLIC WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR JERRY SANDUSKY’S HEARING FRIDAY MORNING. THE PUBLIC WILL BE ADMITTED AT 9:30AM ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED BASIS. BELLEFONTE POLICE CHIEF SHAWN WEAVER HAS SAID THAT NO STREETS WILL BE CLOSED AND TRAFFIC WON’T BE DISRUPTED. IT’S NOT YET KNOWN IF SANDUSKY WILL ATTEND THE HEARING.

WHO’S PAYING FOR PATERNO’S SERVICES?

STATE COLLEGE.COM REPORTS THAT EXPENSES FOR THE VIEWINGS AND MEMORIAL SERVICES FOR JOE PATERNO TOTALLED APPROXIMATELY 29-THOUSAND DOLLARS. ABOUT 23 THOUSAND WILL BE PAID BY PENN STATE’S ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT. ANOTHER 6 THOUSAND IN LAW ENFORCEMENT FEES WILL BE PAID BY THE SCHOOL. 

SKIPPING ST. PATTY’S DAY?

THE PENN STATE GREEK COMMUNITY HAS ALREADY BANNED SOCIAL FUNCTIONS RELATED TO STATE PATTY'S DAY ON FEBRUARY 25TH, NOW SENIOR TYLER CHANGARIS HAS CREATED A PLEDGE ASKING OTHERS TO BOW OUT OF THE STUDENT-CREATED DRINKING HOLIDAY. STUDENTS CAN GO ON-LINE AND SIGN THE PLEDGE THAT SAYS: “I PROMISE ON BEHALF OF MY UNIVERSITY, COMMUNITY, AND FELLOW CLASSMATES, THAT I WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN STATE PATTY’S DAY. WITH THIS PLEDGE, I WANT TO HELP RESTORE PENN STATE’S HONOR AND RESPECT OLD STATE. I WILL DO MY BEST TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION RATHER THAN THE PROBLEM.” LAST YEAR, 234 PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED DURING STATE PATTY’S DAY, 160 MORE THAN IN 2010.