Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read today

Published by Mike Pound on .

Stevie Ray Vaughan rehearses for a 1986 appearance on Saturday Night Live. (Associated Press photo)Stevie Ray Vaughan rehearses for a 1986 appearance on Saturday Night Live. (Associated Press photo)

Want some breakfast? Plan to spend a little more on parking when you go.

1) Mayor Bill Peduto was able to hold off a wide expansion of parking enforcement hours when Pittsburgh City Council approved his $516.6 million budget on Monday. The initial plan was to add evening enforcement hours Downtown and in the South Side, a change that Mr. Peduto had opposed, both as a councilman and as mayor; the plan as adopted Monday forgoes evening enforcement Downtown and provides for dynamic parking – rates based on demand trends – in the South Side. The new plan does raise rates for on-street parking throughout the city.

2) The hot rumor of the Pennsylvania Society weekend was that recently ousted state Senate majority leader Dominic Pileggi was going to run for the state Supreme Court turned out to be only that – a rumor.

3) The relationship between state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and the state Department of Education appears to be improving. Mr. DePasquale hammered the ed department earlier this month because he said the agency was dragging its feet in providing information related to his ongoing audit. But Mr. DePasquale told WITF in Harrisburg the department has since sped up its responses.

4) John Micek pointed us towards an interesting Politico story about the renewed debate in the Republican party over who is conservative-ish (in the current debate, that would be any GOPer who voted to adopt last weekend's spending plan) and who is truly conservative (that would be U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and his supporters).

5) It's not something that we can vote on but we'd imagine that politics abound in the annual selection of inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland – and even if that's not true, that's the justification we're using to congratulate a couple of our favorites, the late Lou Reed – punk's godfather -- and the late Stevie Ray Vaughan —the best guitarist we've ever seen-- on being named to the hall. Others in the Class of 2015? The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Green Day, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Bill Withers.


Pileggi won't run for state Supreme Court

Published by Mike Pound on .


State Sen. Dominic Pileggi won't run for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, even after apparently fielding many requests to do so.

Mr. Pileggi, a Repubican who was just ousted from his position as Senate majority leader, said on Facebook late this afternoon that he planned to remain in the Senate. His candidacy for the state's higest court was a hot rumor during last weekend's Pennsylvania Society activities.

Mr. Pileggi's full FB update:

Over the past few weeks, many people have asked me to consider running for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. While I'm honored by the support and encouragement, I will not be a candidate for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 2015.

I look forward to continuing my service in the Senate to address the significant issues facing our Commonwealth, and will continue to fight for government transparency, meaningful pension reform, and a fair basic education funding formula.


Wolf on the "gospel of fairness"

Published by Karen Langley on .

NEW YORK -- Gov.-elect Tom Wolf had finished his speech at a session of The Forum for a Better Pennsylvania, a group committed to increasing civic and economic participation by African-Americans, when a man asked him to expand on his remarks about fairness.

What were the incoming governor's thoughts about mass incarceration, about policing in Philadelphia?

Wolf said those are topics that concern him, and that he believes concrete steps can be taken to reduce trends in imprisonment: changing sentencing guidelines and decriminalizing marijuana, for example.

Too many people make stupid mistakes when they are young, he said, and "end up paying prices much greater than they should pay."

"There are just too many people in prison," Wolf said. "If we spent the same amount of money, invested the same amount of money in schools, we'd do a much better job..."

He was interrupted by applause, and a woman proclaimed "Amen."

But the governor-elect suggested Pennsylvania should be made more equitable in a broader sense.

"We need to create a fair society so that we don't have Ferguson," Wolf said.


Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read today

Published by Mike Pound on .

State Sen. Jake CormanState Sen. Jake Corman

The key to recovering after a long weekend -- like, say, the one you spent hopping between receptions at Pennsylvania Society? You need a good breakfast.

1) There are already hints about how Gov.-elect Tom Wolf's push for a severance tax might play out, our Karen Langley said. Republican Sen. Jake Corman, the new Senate majority leader, said a compromise would have to include work on pension reform.

2) Gov. Tom Corbett is looking forward to taking some time off once Mr. Wolf takes office.

3) In spite of an occasionally shaky first term – and a grand jury investigation over leaks from her office – state Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced she would run for a second term.

4) That grand jury probe into Ms. Kane's office? Retiring Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille said it could be more serious than the attorney general has let on.

5) Just a few weeks after Mr. Corman ousted him from his leadership position, Sen. Dominic Pileggi apparently will join a huge field of folks running for a seat on the state Supreme Court, Politics PA reports. Note: We've left a message at Mr. Pileggi's office to see if we can confirm this; we'll let you know what we hear.


Corbett's next act

Published by Karen Langley on .

How do you follow four years as Pennsylvania's governor? 

It's a question Tom Corbett is still considering.

"We're just taking some time," he told reporters at an event in New York, where much of the state's political class gathered for the annual Pennsylvania Society weekend.

"There's a period of decompression," he said. "You figure the last ten years I've been going at about a thousand miles an hour most of the time. So now I get to take some time off."

That time off may include a trip to Florida to watch spring training, a vacation in the Caribbean, time at the Corbetts' condo in South Carolina.

But people are starting to call, he said, asking him to talk with them before making any commitments. He has a bit of an elevator pitch: "I have a great deal of experience now after 10 years in public service that I think makes it somewhat unique."