At Allegheny County League of Municipalities Conference, Governor Wolf Warns of Fiscal Cliff Facing Pennsylvania

first_img Budget News,  Fiscal Cliff,  Press Release Seven Springs, PA — Governor Tom Wolf joined the Allegheny League of Municipalities (ALOM) at their Annual Spring Conference today to discuss the issues facing municipalities across Pennsylvania. With Pennsylvania facing a more than $2 billion budget deficit, the state is facing a fiscal cliff for the 2016-17 year. The impact of failing to address this financial crisis will directly affect local municipalities.“If Pennsylvania’s financial house is out of order, then the commonwealth cannot be the full partner that local communities need us to be,” said Governor Wolf. “Today, I want to reassure you that I will continue to fight for a fair, smart, and honest budget in Harrisburg so that our local communities can have fair taxes, good schools, and manageable operating costs. Let’s get Pennsylvania back on track together.”In March, Governor Wolf let the Republican 2015-16 budget become law in order to move on from the budget impasse and address the state’s financial challenges in the 2016-17 budget. However, if the General Assembly does not approve a responsible plan to solve this crisis this year, every Pennsylvanian will suffer real, immediate consequences.At the conference today, Governor Wolf outlined four changes at the state level that will avoid these severe consequences and make local communities more successful:The state needs to level the playing field of the tax system by alleviating the inherently unfair reliance on local property taxes, which places an especially tremendous burden on older and poorer communities.Pennsylvania needs to improve its schools by taking on a larger state share of the education funding burden and distributing state proceeds according to a fair funding formula. Pennsylvania will not prosper if we don’t commit ourselves to fair and adequate funding of our schools.The commonwealth needs to work with local municipalities to address the legacy costs that communities are faced with, including municipal pension costs.Finally, Harrisburg needs to pass a fiscally responsible budget that addresses the state’s deficit. Pennsylvania has been downgraded five times in five years by the Standard and Poor, Moody’s, and Fitch credit agencies, and this financial mess has already hit local communities in the form of cuts to education and human services.“The policy environment in Pennsylvania has grown increasingly hostile to older municipalities over the past half century, particularly in our heavy reliance on local property taxes to fund essential services” said Governor Wolf. “We need to change course when it comes to shaping the environment in which our state’s municipalities operate and serve.”ALOM is a voluntary umbrella organization of boroughs, townships, cities, home rule municipalities, municipal authorities, and Allegheny County officials which coordinates a systematic and cooperative approach to municipal legislation and services. The League works with government associations to encourage intergovernmental cooperation and improve government liaisons. The three-day conference addressed topics such as pensions, education, workforce development, public utilities, infrastructure, healthcare, emergency preparedness, and the opioid epidemic.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: At Allegheny County League of Municipalities Conference, Governor Wolf Warns of Fiscal Cliff Facing Pennsylvania April 08, 2016center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Liverpool suffer new injury blow as Danny Ings is sidelined for six months

first_imgLiverpool have suffered another injury blow after striker Danny Ings was sidelined for six months with a cruciate knee ligament injury, Press Association Sport understands. England Under-21 coach Gareth Southgate expressed his disappointment at the news of Gomez’s injury. Southgate said: “First and foremost, our thoughts and best wishes are with him. “All of us were shocked to learn the severity of Joe’s injury, not least given the symptoms displayed during the pitch assessment and on further examinations after the game. “We took the immediate decision to substitute him following the incident so as not to take any risk. “I have spoken with Joe and, on behalf of all the England Under-21 players and staff, wished him a full and speedy recovery and we look forward to his return.” Earlier, Klopp urged his players to be brave, rediscover the fun in football and forget about making mistakes. The German was both positive and pragmatic in his first pre-match press conference having been appointed as Brendan Rodgers’ successor a week ago. Klopp has been preaching that to his squad as they returned in dribs and drabs from international duty during the week, and while he has not had a great deal of time to effect many changes he expects to see the players at least approach Saturday’s early kick-off at Tottenham with a new mindset. “Some things you can change instantly: mentality, readiness. That is all you can change. It is not fixed that you cannot do more,” he said. “To get really tuned as a team takes time but I am really not interested in the problems we could have on Saturday. “I want to see more bravery, more fun in their eyes. I want to see that they like what they do – I saw that in the week and that is good. “We want to get back trust from outside, get back confidence in our own skills, our own quality. “It is the bravery we need in football, the bravery to make faults. It doesn’t work without faults. Never in history. “As a human being we always think about faults, we don’t think about the good things. That is what we have to learn again. “It is not important how many faults are made in the game, it is very important that no-one can remember the faults after the game. “That is where we can always get better – to accept that something is not the best decision in your life. “Football works because you are prepared for your team-mate making a fault and you can help him. “You don’t have to always try the most risky ball in our lives – you have to learn to run and fight and do everything until the moment, and when the moment is there, take it.” The 23-year-old, who made his England debut in Monday’s 3-0 win in Lithuania in the final Euro 2016 qualifier, sustained the injury in training at Melwood on Wednesday. It is the second major injury setback for new manager Jurgen Klopp after 18-year-old defender Joe Gomez was ruled out for the season after damaging an anterior cruciate ligament in England Under-21s’ 3-0 win against Kazakhstan in Coventry on Tuesday night. Press Association Ings’ hopes of being involved in Roy Hodgson’s squad for next summer’s tournament in France are now in serious jeopardy. He will definitely miss the friendlies with Spain and France next month and is unlikely to be available for the clash with Germany next March. Meanwhile, Klopp has reassured Gomez he is happy to wait for him to return to fitness. He said: “The information about young Joe Gomez is not the best. He came back here and I met him for the first time. “What a wonderful young boy: tall, muscles in the right positions, but he has an injured knee – an ACL. “We have to make a further diagnosis and we will see when he gets operated on but from this point on he can count the days until he comes back. “It was not the best day in his life but he is a young guy and I am pretty good at waiting for players, young players especially. “This is his home and we will do everything to help him come back as soon as possible.” last_img read more

USC clinic provides free legal help for immigrants

first_imgAt three years old, Ana Mercado immigrated with her family to the United States from Mexico.Now a sophomore majoring in contemporary Latino and Latin American studies and sociology, Mercado has been unable to return to her home country because of her undocumented, or DREAMer, status.As the first in her family to attend a university, she is hoping to pave the way for her four younger siblings. This year’s executive orders affecting deportations and ICE raids, however, left Mercado feeling anxious. “We’re not only battling with the day-to-day college life, but we’re also dealing with other stressors like how our status affects us,” Mercado said. “It’s extremely stressful. You have deadlines to meet for school, but then you’re also trying to figure out the application process. It’s crazy.” One organization on campus has helped ease some of those tensions and make Mercado feel as though she isn’t alone. The Legal Advice Project, a new initiative by the USC Gould School of Law Immigration Clinic, is a provost-funded project which provides free legal consultations and referrals to members of the student body, faculty and staff who are seeking naturalization, want to know their rights or are either at risk of deportation or have family members at risk.The Legal Advice Project has given Mercado free assistance  in renewing her visa. She explained how drastically the project has helped her through her first time undergoing the documentation process. “The process was super fast, the staff is just so helpful,” Mercado said. “Throughout the whole process, they were there, they were helping me out. There was just a lot of uncertainty, so I didn’t know who to go to and who actually to trust, but knowing that they were walking with me through that process was extremely helpful.” Jean Reisz, an Audrey Irmas Clinical Teaching Fellow and member of the Legal Advice Project team, said that this guidance and presentation of credible information is a principal goal of the organization. “In these kind of scary and very anxious times, it’s really important that people feel supported and that they can get information that’s reliable … because there’s also a lot of bad information out there that increases the anxiety,” Reisz said. Since the project began days after the 2016 presidential election, the team of four has worked with over 50 faculty members, staff and students like Mercado.Through informational sessions, media, leaflets, collaboration with cultural and religious centers and tables at events, the Immigration Clinic hopes to further engage with the student body.Niels Frenzen, director of the USC Gould Immigration Clinic and head of the Legal Advice Project, hopes that through this engagement, the project will make students feel further supported on campus. “Our international students, our immigrant students, documented and undocumented, are all very much being threatened right now with hate, with increased immigration enforcement policies, and it’s very important for USC to use its position in the country and the world to respond to that,” Frenzen said. “Part of that is in taking care of our own in some way and that is something that this particular project is going to be able to do at least in terms of legal issues.”last_img read more

NBA Legend, Kobe Bryant, Wins Oscar Award

first_imgHe said: “As basketball players, we’re really supposed to shut up and dribble. But I’m glad we do a little bit more than that.“Thank you, Academy, for this amazing honour.”His words referenced comments made by Laura Ingraham, a Fox News presenter who criticised Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant and Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James for openly stating their opposition to US President Donald Trump.She had said they “should keep the political commentary to themselves, or as somebody once said, shut up and dribble”.Dear Basketball, written by Bryant and directed by Glen Keane, is based on a letter Bryant had published on The Players’ Tribune website, announcing his plans to retire from basketball.Bryant remains the Lakers’ all-time point scorer – he only ever played for one team – and is third on the NBA’s all-time list with 33,643 points.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram NBA legend Kobe Bryant won the Oscar for best short animated film in Sunday’s award ceremony in Los Angeles.The six-time NBA championship winner was recognised for Dear Basketball, a five-minute film based on a love letter to the sport he had written in 2015.When Bryant ended his career in 2016, the LA Lakers retired the two jerseys he wore during his 20-year spell.In accepting his award, the 39-year-old spoke in defence of athletes’ influence on cultural and political life.last_img read more