News & Brews March 5, 2024

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AFSCME 13 placed under administratorship

The Altoona Mirror reports that one of Pennsylvania’s major government unions—the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 13—”has been placed under administratorship by AFSCME International, due to financial difficulties.” Per a joint news release from AFSCME International and AFSCME 13, “Serious financial problems currently impact Council 13’s ability to live up to its obligations to the national union.” Local unions are, of course, required to send significant amounts of dues money to their national parent union. AFSCME then spends millions of dollars in dues money on political activity, primarily in support of Democrats.

Johnny Doc’s nephew sentenced to probation

In the fourth sentencing related to former labor leader John “Johnny Doc’” Dougherty’s embezzlement of more than $600,000 from IBEW 98 in Philly, Brian Fiocca—Johnny Doc’s nephew—was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to repay the union more than $10,000. The judge in the case said, “At the time of these offenses, [Fiocca] was young and was working for his uncle. The situation is more like him being caught up in a spider web spun by the spider.”

State police still unsure of impact of data loss

At a budget hearing yesterday with the House Appropriations Committee, the Pennsylvania State Police commissioner could not “fully guarantee that data lost as a result of the Jan. 3 deletion of information on state government servers will not result in the withdrawal of charges in criminal cases for lack of evidence,” PennLive reports. As of yesterday, 87% of the data had been restored, but Col. Christopher Paris, the commissioner, said, “We’re not in a position where we can fully assess the impact….” The data loss stemmed from human error.

Op-Ed: Achievement gap stems from outside the classroom 

Former Delaware County Council Chair Wally Nunn goes where far too few souls have gone in writing that families and family structure are directly related to educational outcomes. “Money spent on our schools can’t overcome one of the most essential factors of school success,” Nunn writes. “Family is the most critical input in the potential of success in life and outcomes in school. It is impossible to adequately evaluate a school district’s performance without evaluating the community they serve.”

Watch today’s budget hearings

The House Appropriations Committee will hear from the Department of Education this morning 10:00 a.m. (watch here) and continue with the Department of Ed this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. (watch here). The Senate Appropriations Committee will hear from the Department of Human Services at 9:30 a.m. (watch here) and continue with same agency at 1:00 p.m. (watch here).

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