Anthony Williams

An annual commonwealth tradition may take a backseat to state budget negotiations.

Every December, the state’s top politicians head to New York City to see and be seen at a long weekend of fundraisers, parties and one swanky gala collectively referred to as Pennsylvania Society. But some are already talking about skipping the trip if the state doesn’t have a budget by the date of the main event on December 12.

When a teacher is convicted of a crime the legal costs can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in many cases the school district is stuck with that bill.

“School districts can no longer afford to spend money on unnecessary expenditures, and this is certainly one of those,” said Pennsylvania State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams (D-Philadelphia).

A look at how public officials treated free tickets to an event in Philadelphia shows a wide variety of interpretations of the state ethics law.

In 2012, the Barnes Foundation celebrated its art collection’s new home with a gala in the new building. Between 2006 and 2011 the museum received more than $47 million in public funding.

Teacher Background Bill Passes Committee

May 7, 2013

Legislation requiring stricter background checks for school employees has passed the  Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee.

Under Senate Bill 46 applicants for teaching positions and other jobs that have direct contact with students must provide schools with information about past sexual misconduct investigations, discipline as a result of those investigations, and whether their teaching license has been suspended or revoked.

The prospective school must then contact the applicant's past employer to verify if they're being truthful.