Pennsylvania Senator

Pennsylvania Democrats See Anti-Trump Zeal In Election Wins

Nov 9, 2017
Lee Jin-man / AP

With Democrats stoking an anti-Trump furor, Pennsylvania's election brought good news for the party ahead of a big election in 2018 that will feature contests for governor and U.S. Senate.

Democrats scored big victories in county and municipal races across Philadelphia's suburbs, advancing a decadeslong shift in those one-time Republican bastions where President Donald Trump lost heavily last year. Just to the north, Democrats took control in Northampton County, won by Trump last year.

Keith Srakocic / AP

One candidate is leaving the Republican field seeking the nomination to challenge Pennsylvania's two-term Democrat Sen. Bob Casey, and one candidate is getting in.

Fourth-time candidate Joe Vodvarka said Thursday that he's running as a Republican, after losing three straight primaries as a Democrat.

Vodvarka is a semiretired owner of a Pittsburgh-area spring manufacturing shop. Also running are Republican U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, state Rep. Jim Christiana and Libertarian Dale Kerns.

Ex-Energy Exec Enters Pennsylvania's US Senate Race

Jun 7, 2017
Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

A former energy executive and a first-time candidate for public office joined the GOP field Wednesday vying to challenge Pennsylvania's Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey in 2018.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The financial oversight authority created by the state legislature now has a full five-member board. For several months, the board was down to two members.

The city is currently suing the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority for withholding gambling tax revenue when, the city said, the board had open seats and no legal right to withhold the money. For months, the board was down to two members until Gov. Tom Wolf, Sen. Jay Costa and Rep. Frank Dermody appointed members in the last month.

Governor Tom Wolf / flickr

The deadline for the Pennsylvania state budget is fast approaching. Governor Wolf’s administration is assuring tax payers and state workers failure to meet the deadline will not affect them. Will the governor and state lawmakers be able to agree on a budget on time? State Senator Jay Costa provides his insight on the future of budget discussions. 

Costa believes some of his colleagues are responsible for the delay:

"I am anticipating a late budget and it is largely because the party on the other side has refused to allow the governor to dissipate and to respect and honor the concessions that he's made in this process. They've been significant and they've moved the ball forward but unfortunately you've got some leaders who are simply hell bent on trying to force the governor to veto his budget." - State Senator Jay Costa

Also in the program, Promised Beginnings is an offshoot of Safer Tougher Pittsburgh, aiming to educate parents of young children on public safety.

Allegheny County could face losing one of its unique features, depending on the outcome of a hearing Tuesday about the Allegheny County crime lab.

Allegheny is the only county in Pennsylvania to fund and run its own crime lab. However, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said the lab cannot continue with its current funding system.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Waiting for buses at stops can often mean standing in or near a bus shelter – typically it’s not a fancy or a very comfortable experience.

Enter the new Super Stop in the Ikea parking lot in Robinson.

The Airport Corridor Transportation Association (ACTA) held a grand opening for the stop Tuesday. It does have the bus shelters and benches, but outside of the shelters, there’s an area with tables and chairs, making it seem more like somebody’s patio than a bus stop. Though, as officials pointed out, the Super Stop is not meant just for bus commuters.