No, PA's Newest Coal Mine Was Not Trump's Idea

Jun 9, 2017

City leaders say they want to streamline tax abatement programs for developers willing to take risks in historically underserved neighborhoods.

Mark Belko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and 90.5 WESA's Margaret J. Krauss explain how larger tax breaks could attract new industry and help companies rehabilitate old construction, whether business leaders are likely to take advantage and how Allegheny County and Pittsburgh Public School district are responding.

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When President Donald Trump announced the U.S. was pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, he said he was doing it to protect American workers.

He then gave a shout out to the coal industry when he celebrated the Acosta Deep mine opening this week. To some, that suggested taking credit for the years-long project. The Allegheny Front's Reid Frazier says for others, it cemented the hope they felt when a Washington outsider took office.

The Greensburg Tribune-Review's Debra Erdley was there for the mine's opening day. Trump sent his regards.

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And it's budget season for Pennsylvania school districts.

Uncertainties always plague administrators struggling to plan in May for the school year ahead. Local budgets are due weeks before state officials decide how much each district will receive.

It's a predictable fight, but education reporters Jamie Martines of the Greensburg Tribune-Review and Katherine Schaeffer with the Beaver County Times say this year some debates are coming to a head over a proposed and largely unexplained $50 million cut to transportation and up to $75 million in contention over pre-K spending.

That's on top of mandated costs — expenses related to pensions, employee benefits, special education and charter schools — that for some districts have eclipsed what they receive from the state.

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The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week, reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist and host Kevin Gavin to take an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region.

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