Jobs grow with wages

Opponents of minimum wage increases always contend that the policy inevitably leads to massive job losses, even though there is no record of that. Critics seized on a Congressional Budget Office report early this year, which predicted that increasing the

TEDx process itself reveals NEPA issues

Northeast Pennsylvania’s biggest long-term problem probably is its ongoing “brain drain” — the continuing flight from the region of bright young natives who go elsewhere to find their fortunes, use their skills and build other communities. So the impendin

Solutions don’t reach table

State legislators always leave a host of matters on the table after they pass a budget and then hustle out of town for the summer recess. That’s especially true in an election year like this one. This year is a little bit different, though, in that some o

DRBC gas pains

Pennsylvania is blessed with abundant water resources, and it belongs to five separate commissions that do important work across a variety of watersheds. The state budget this year singles out only one of those commissions, the Delaware River Basin Commis

Not really so special

HARRISBURG — Talk of a special legislative session, that expedient used by governors to focus public attention on an issue, is again in the air. This time it’s a potential option that Gov. Tom Corbett could use to try to compel a reluctant Legislature to

AH good case to change law

Students, parents and taxpayers in the Abington Heights School District can set their clocks, or at least their calendars, by teachers strikes. Because of that, the district has become a good case study for why the state should outlaw teachers strikes in

Keep board’s fingers off teacher list

Bob Sheridan, a Scranton School Board member who recently was elected chairman of the city Democratic Committee, has said that there is no conflict with his school board seat — which by state law is supposed to be apolitical. Mr. Sheridan quickly obliged

Let doctors do their jobs

For the second time, Commonwealth Court took a stab this week at deciphering several provisions of Act 13, the convoluted state law governing Marcellus Shale development. The results mean that the Legislature also needs to give it another go. To the good,

State fails to protect leaseholders

Given the determination of the state government’s top Republicans to shield the natural gas industry from fair taxation and aggressive regulation, you’d think they also would aggressively try to protect the interests of state residents who benefit directl

End corporatetax inversions

Members of Congress, like most Americans, don’t like the idea of corporations evading their tax obligations. That’s why Congress passed a bill a few years ago precluding U.S. corporations from incorporating in a foreign tax haven to avoid paying U.S. taxe

Legislature, still too big, leaves town

Moving at a glacial pace worthy of its bloated size, the 253-member state Legislature successfully has used its own inertia to fight off what had seemed a promising effort to reduce its size. Such symmetrical ineffectiveness is brilliant, in its way, even

Level field for city mall, all retailers

Whether the Mall at Steamtown can become a viable retail center depends on a host of issues, and not all of them are local. The unidentified entity that holds the mall’s mortgage acquired it Tuesday for back taxes and costs, after no other bidder offered

Shot to end cruel relic

Imagine what would happen if some self-anointed “sportsmen” decided to use live cats and dogs for target practice. Never mind. The state Senate Judiciary Committee recently approved a bill, 10-4, that would outlaw that practice along with consumption of d

Driving commuters out of town

Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright and city council will face a fundamental question about the city’s future if the Legislature allows them to piggyback a new tax on commuters: Just how radioactive do they want to make the city to investment for the long term

State should study boom’s health impact

Dr. Eli Avila, Pennsylvania’s former health secretary, once tried to throw his weight around with a Harrisburg restaurant which he allegedly accused of serving old eggs. But when it came to the Legislature, Dr. Avila found that he was powerless against th

Accreditation milestone for TCMC

Accreditation is credibility in the world of higher education — all the more so for the rare case of a new institution competing with established schools for students, faculty, money and the relative value of its degrees. So the Commonwealth Medical Colle

State budget hurts cities

Every government budget also is a political document, so it’s no surprise that the budget signed by Gov. Tom Corbett partially addresses what the public has identified to pollsters as his biggest failure: education funding. The budget includes $316 millio

Opportunity for council

Scranton City Councilman Jack Loscombe did his best victim’s impersonation after announcing last week that he would resign. The former city firefighter lamented that a perfectly valid city law — designed to bar double-dipping by precluding anyone from rec

State should mandate reassessment

Lyndon B. Johnson was president of the United States the last time that Lackawanna County conducted a reassessment of property values. William Schmidt was mayor of Scranton. Humans had not yet landed on the moon. As the reassessment reached its midpoint,

Reauthorize Ex-Im Bank

Supposedly pro-business Republicans who want to kill the Export-Import Bank of the United States claim that the bank doesn’t do anything that private-sector markets can’t do by themselves. That is dubious to begin with, since the bank exists to help forei

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