The Republican-controlled state senate, yesterday, voted 34-13 to approve HB 400 a.k.a. the Construction Workplace Misclassification a.k.a. the Subcontractor Extinction Act. The bill returns to the House to resolve some language issues.
Of the 19 Democrats in the body, the only one not voting for it was Barry Stout of the 46th District who did not vote. Fifteen out of 30 Republicans voted for the bill including the ones representing Delaware County — Ted Erickson of the 26th District and Domenic Pileggi of the 9th District. Not voting was Chuck McIlhinney of the 10th District.
The 45th District seat is vacant.
The bill requires independent contractors doing construction work to be treated as employees by those who hire them with regard to requirements for workman’s compensation and unemployment insurance contributions.
Republican David Argall of the 29th District voted for the bill in committee but against it on the floor.
The bill was strongly supported by the trade unions and opposed by by the Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association, National Federation of Independent Business, Pennsylvania Builders Association and Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry.
The bill was introduced in the House by Delaware County’s Bryan Lentz (D-161 ) who is the Democrat’s candidate to replace Joe Sestak as congressman from the 7th District. His Republican opponent is former U.S. attorney and Delaware County District Attorney Pat Meehan.
Philly Volunteer Fire Companies, Where Are They? — Philadelphia, Monday, began closing fire companies to save money. The closings are daily, temporary and done in a rotation. They stem from the $47 million in spending cuts Mayor Nutter demanded last month to balance the city’s budget.
Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which represents Philadelphia’s fire fighters, is upset as are residents faced with the obvious loss of an accustomed service.
But stones don’t have blood so new taxes weren’t an option and so there they are.
Which leads to the question, why doesn’t Philadelphia have any volunteer fire companies? Neighboring Delaware County, for instance, has 81 public-service fire companies of which 77 are primarily volunteer with the Chester City companies being the only ones that use mostly personnel paid via taxes.
Philadelphia, which has three times the populations, has just 56 fire companies which, btw, is seven less than two years ago. It should be noted that Delaware County has its share of tank farms, probably a larger industrial base and plenty of narrow streets with row homes.
So why doesn’t Philly have any volunteer fire companies? It’s because Local 22 would be joined by its fellow politically connected unions in going gonzo if the topic should be broached as even a joke.
This is a shame because the benefits would be far more than saving the large amount of money that would result. The suburban volunteer fire companies are breeding ground for community leaders who are quite often independent of the party machines. Further, they give young men a chance to channel their natural aggression into something rather constructive.
But don’t expect the subject to be broached in Philly.
Even as a joke.
Philly Volunteer Fire Companies, Where Are They?
Not a peep in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer follow-up to the ending of the SEPTA strike about whether there will be a forensic audit of the pension fund about which Transport Workers Union Local 234 chief Willie Brown made such a big deal about over the weekend, and which the Inky duly reported.
Was he just blowing smoke? If so why didn’t SEPTA call him on it since the union was offering to pay for the audit?
Or did Willie know he had a nice card to play and SEPTA did what it took to to keep him from playing it?
Which leads us to ask why would it be such a nice card to play?
More things to make you go hmmmm.
And why didn’t the Inky reporters ask the obvious follow up?
Looks Like No SEPTA Audit