Gov. Tom Wolf's first budget featured a massive investment in education. His last one, unveiled Tuesday morning, does likewise. "We can afford to invest a whole lot more in the Fair Funding Formula without raising one penny in state taxes," the governor said. Wolf is allotting $1.35 billion in basic education funding, bringing the Fair Funding Formula spending up to more than $2 billion. Overall, the governor's $43.7 billion budget includes nearly $2 billion in spending on students from pre-k through college. The budget also increases spending for job training, clean energy, infrastructure, health care and nearly $2 billion in new funding for education.
State Senate President Jake Corman says Republicans today cannot allow the next governor to inherit a situation like what awaited Tom Corbett on his first day in office nearly twelve years ago. "What was done to the Corbett administration was it was left with a huge hole when they first got here in 2010. That's what the next governor would inherit if we would agree to the proposal he's putting forth here. The budget is based on wildly high expectations of revenue and wildly low expectations of expenditures," Corman says. He says Gov. Tom Wolf's budget is something that reminds him of the old TV show 'Fantasy Island' and that Republicans will put a budget in place that meets the fiscal realities facing the state.
The state's acting health secretary says new COVID-19 infections have been averaging fewer than 6000 per day in Pennsylvania, down from days of well over 25,000 just a few weeks ago. Acting Secretary of Health Keara Klinepeter says the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 has fallen by 26-percent since the end of January. As of early Tuesday, Pennsylvania hospitals were caring for just over 3300 people with COVID-19, including nearly 560 in intensive care. Hospitals were caring for about 7500 paients with COVID-19 a few weeks ago.
Passaic County, New Jersey officials say the mega site designated to administering COVID-19 vaccines is not seeing a lot of traffic. The site located at the former Macy's department store in Wayne has only been open for about two weeks. Health Director Charlene Williams-Gungil said just over 500 doses have been administered at the clinic so far, adding most people who go there are receiving their boosters.
Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk says he's cracking down on residents not shoveling their sidewalks because people, especially the disabled, can't get around when the ground's not cleared. City officials so far this year have issued more than 800 violations against property owners who failed to shovel their sidewalks within 10-hours of a snowstorm's end. Last year, a little over 300 tickets were issued throughout the entire year. Property owners who don't clear their walkways face a $25 fine if the building is a rowhome with a small walkway area and a $100 fine if the property has a long surrounding sidewalk.
Allentown police are asking for the public's help in providing more information about a shooting Tuesday afternoon. Officers responded a little before 2 p.m. to North Second and Court streets and found a man a couple of blocks from there with a gunshot wound. The man was taken to an area hospital, where he's expected to recover. Police say they'd like anyone who knows something about the shooting to contact them.
Allentown Police say they've made an arrest in connection with a shots fired incident from early December. On December 6th, police were called to the 700 block of W. Green St. for a report of shots fired. 20-year-old Dmetrius Sanders of Allentown was eventually named a suspect and Monday, Allentown Police officers spotted Sanders in the area of N. 7th and Tilghman streets and arrested him. Officers say Sanders was in possession of various amounts of drugs, cash and a loaded 9mm handgun.
Republicans are trying to gain traction in the Lehigh Valley's biggest city. The Republican National Committee opened its new Hispanic Community Center in Allentown Tuesday. The RNC says the center in the 1100 block of Union Boulevard is part of a multi-million dollar investment in engaging Hispanic voters here in the Lehigh Valley.
AAA East Central says Pennsylvania's average price of a gallon of gas has jumped eight cents in the seven days ending Tuesday, sitting at $3.62 a gallon, up from $3.54 from one week earlier. One year ago, that same gallon of gas cost drivers $2.76. In the Lehigh Valley, the average price of gas jumped seven cents from $3.55 to $3.62, which is 89 cents a gallon higher than in 2021.
The Lehigh Valley Mall will be celebrating the opening of a new Warby Parker store this Saturday. The eyewear retailer promotes itself as offering high-quality glasses, contacts and eye exams at an affordable price. The location will be at the mall's outdoor lifestyle center in a space that was previously occupied by a Coach store. The Warby Parker store will be the company's sixth location in Pennsylvania.
The National Transportation Safety Board is out with its final report on a deadly 2020 crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The incident in western Pennsylvania involved multiple vehicles including a motorcoach, a FedEx tractor trailer and two UPS tractor trailers. As part of their findings, NTSB investigators say the driver of the motorcoach failed to reduce their speed on the wet roadway which contributed to his loss of control and initiated the crash sequence. Five people were killed and 49 others were injured in the accident.
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission is warning customers about a potential scam. Officials say people are receiving notices that their Social Security number and driver's license number have been "compromised." They recently took to Twitter to say they believe it is a scam and are investigating the matter. They're asking customers who have received a similar notice to send them a copy via Twitter.
Some local leaders across New Jersey are calling on state lawmakers to review bail reform laws. Mayors in Newark, Paterson, and Trenton say crimes has increased in the past two years. Bail reform was passed under former Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration with the intention of releasing minor offenders from jail if they didn't have the money to pay for bail. The three mayors met at Paterson City Hall on Tuesday, saying bail reform has turned into a loophole for violent offenders.
Former Lehigh University star CJ McCollum has been traded by the Portland Trail Blazers. McCollum and two other players were sent from Portland to New Orleans in exchange for four players and three draft picks.