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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Heads Up: Morning headlines for March 7

Posted by on Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Yet more coverage on police overtime and special details. The Trib finds that 30 officers earned six-digit sums working after-hours security details over the past three years. Story includes officers explaining they need the extra cash to make ends meet.

In other policing news, City Council hosted a discussion on what we should be looking for in our next police chief. Though it seems seems to be a widely held sentiment that now-lame-duke Mayor Luke Ravenstahl shouldn't even try, and leave the task to the next mayor. A key point of contention: Should the city try to avoid hiring from within? And how much input should the police union have?

Our friends at PublicSource bring us another installment in their occasional series "Ordinances City Council Thought Would Be Good Ideas, but Somehow Never Got Around to Actually Happening." This time, the measure in question involves diesel-emission rules that were supposed to apply to construction equipment working on city-financed projects. Regulations to carry out the requirements have yet to be finalized, and -- surprise! -- it appears to be bogged down in discussions between the mayor's office and City Councilor Bill Peduto.

A plurality of Pennsylvanians support a plan to expand Medicaid under a provision of Obamacare -- according to a Republican pollster. Gov. Tom Corbett has so far resisted the expansion, raising concerns about its long-term fiscal impact, though he hasn't ruled it out entirely. (Meanwhile, Arizona's Jan Brewer (!!!) is all but pleading with Republicans to expand the program in her state. The GOP's political stance on this is all kinds of messed up.)

PA Senator Pat Toomey is one of a dozen GOP Senators who got to eat with the president, and apparently a good time was had by all. Will it lead to any substantive progress on matters budgetary? Too soon to say, though it does seem a bit ominous that there appear to be conflicting accounts about who actually paid for the meal.

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