News & Brews March 29, 2021

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FBI ‘probing’ PA’s largest pension fund

The Inquirer reports that the FBI is looking into the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) after the recent disclosure of an error that could have wrongly helped 100,000 teachers and other employees avoid an increase in payments into their pensions and instead left taxpayers on the hook.

WSJ Op-Ed: PA lawmakers ‘aim to keep Wolf at bay’

The Commonwealth Foundation’s Jennifer Stefano has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (paywall) on the proposed constitutional amendments that will be on the May 18 ballot aiming to rein in Gov. Wolf’s unchecked executive powers.

Profile: Stacy Garrity, State Treasurer

Bloomsburg University ran a profile piece on new PA State Treasurer (and Bloomsburg alum) Stacy Garrity, following her path “from respected business leader and Army veteran to state treasurer.Read it here!

Facts on PA charter schools (that you won’t read in most media)

Traditional public schools and the unions they support often demonize charter schools as supposedly “draining” money from the districts. Fact check: False. Excellent Schools PA compiled 4 (actual) facts, complete with charts, on PA charter schools. Spoiler alert: One fact shows that the growth of charters has not reduced funding for school districts.

Analysis: PA ranks 48th in least taxed states

In the wake of Gov. Wolf’s proposed 46% tax hike, WalletHub gives us the cheery news (or not) that Pennsylvania is one of the most taxed states in the country, ranking 48th (with 1 being the least taxed). The Center Square reports, “According to the study, 13.97 percent of a median household’s earnings in Pennsylvania goes toward state and local taxes, compared to lowest taxed Alaska, at 5.84 percent, and Illinois, at 15.01 percent, on the polar opposite of the spectrum.” Who wants to move to Alaska? Anyone?

Wolf nominates Veronica Degraffenreid to head Dep’t of State

On Friday, Gov. Wolf officially nominated Veronica Degraffenreid to become the next Secretary of State. Degraffenreid was a senior North Carolina election official before joining our Department of State a year ago. Most recently, she served as acting secretary following former Secretary Kathy Boockvar’s resignation after DOS derailed a proposed constitutional amendment to aid victims of child sex abuse by failing in its responsibility to advertise the amendment.

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