Trooper Lucas B. Dowell, a member of the state police’s tactical team, was assisting the Piedmont Regional Drug and Gang Task Force with executing a search warrant at a home near the town of Farmville, Virginia. An armed man inside the residence opened fire on the team shortly before 10 p.m. local time Monday, according to a press release from the Virginia State Police.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) —
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf will pitch the first budget proposal of his second term to lawmakers Tuesday, and the Democrat can be expected to seek more money for education in a plan expected to exceed $33 billion.
The current year’s budget plan was approved at $32.7 billion for the fiscal year ending June 30, but there’s a big caveat. It moved another $900 million in Medicaid costs off-budget onto other revenue sources, a maneuver that critics said masked the true spending increase and the true cost of state government.
Wolf’s administration may need to find new sources of money to cover part of that, while also finding the cash to cover persistent cost increases for health care, prisons and pensions.
For now, the state has a slight cushion, reporting collections at $290 million, or 1.6 percent, ahead of expectations through January.
Wolf has said that he would not propose a broad-based tax increase to balance the budget. However, Wolf last week said he will ask lawmakers to approve a severance tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production to finance a multibillion-dollar capital plan for a wide range of projects, from controlling floodwaters to fighting blight.
House Republican leaders have vowed to block such a tax.
Public school advocates are asking Wolf for a $400 million increase on the roughly $6.1 billion the state sends to school districts for general instruction and operations costs. The past two years he’s sought $100 million apiece.
Wolf’s administration has said he plans to build on his efforts to expand subsidized pre-kindergarten classes, expand industrial skills training and strengthen science, math and computer courses in high school.
In 2015, Wolf proposed a multibillion-dollar plan to help close funding disparities between wealthy and poor districts and bring the state’s share of public school costs up to roughly 50 percent. It gained little traction in the Legislature, and it is worth watching to see if he retools that idea.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities are struggling to maintain their fleet, and public schools are seeking more safety dollars following last year’s February’s shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.
ICE arrested 21 Savage, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, hours before the Super Bowl in what they called a “targeted operation” after he allegedly overstayed a visa issued in 2005. It was previously believed the rapper was born and raised in Atlanta, but ICE claims he is actually a U.K. citizen. The rapper’s lawyer said they are actively working to sort out the situation and called him “a role model to the young people in this country, especially in Atlanta.”
New York (CNN Business)Charlotte Russe has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to close 94 stores, the company announced Monday.The young women’s clothing chain becomes the latest mall-based retailer to file for bankruptcy protection, and joins a list that includes Gymboree, Claire’s, and Mattress Firm.In a court filing Monday, Charlotte Russe, which operates 500 stores in malls around the country, said it “suffered from a dramatic decrease in sales and in-store traffic” and struggled with “the burden of maintaining a large brick-and-mortar presence.”The company hopes to emerge from bankruptcy with a new owner and a lighter balance sheet. It secured $50 million from lenders to continue running about 400 Charlotte Russe and Peek Children’s stores, as well as its website, during the bankruptcy.Poor sales and too much debt hurt the retailer.
Washington (CNN)The US and South Korea have reached a preliminary agreement on the cost of keeping nearly 30,000 troops in South Korea, two State Department officials said, alleviating fears among President Donald Trump’s advisers that he could move to withdraw US troops during his upcoming summit with North Korea’s leader.Under the revised Special Measures Agreement, South Korea would boost its financial contribution to nearly $1 billion, according to a State Department official and South Korean media. That’s an increase on the about $800 million South Korea had been paying per year during the previous five-year commitment.