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State legislature, governor’s office spent millions on private law firms during school funding suit

The Pennsylvania State House chamber.
Matt Rourke

On today’s episode of The Confluence:

The state legislature spent $12.6 million on private lawyers to fight a challenge to the state’s education funding. Spotlight PA investigative reporter Angela Couloumbis shares the details about which firms were hired and other details about what was paid. (0:00 - 6:40)

Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) has secured a $150 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration to help fund the bus rapid transit project that will connect Downtown to Uptown and Oakland. Katharine Kelleman, CEO of PRT, joins us to explain the process of acquiring a federal grant, and what impact the BRT will have for riders. (6:50 - 15:08)

More than 175,000 square miles of old growth and mature forests exist on U.S. government lands, including in parks near Allegheny County. One definition of old growth considers these to be trees ranging from 125 to 400 years old. Brian Kane, outreach coordinator and mid-Atlantic regional manager for the Old Growth Forest Network, explains what such forests can tell us about an ecosystem and how they affect climate change. (15:12 - 22:30)

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Friday at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here for wherever you get your podcasts. 

Addison is a Junior at Point Park University, majoring in Broadcast Reporting. She is the News Director for Point Park's campus station, U-View Television and reports on the show Daybreak. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her cat, Soup.
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