Happy Friday! Here’s our roundup of this week’s recommended reading:
Capitol recap: lawmakers are proposing a fix for the worst-funded city pension plans. Think of it as the state’s Act 47 recovery law for distressed communities – but for municipal pensions.
Here’s a cheat sheet of pension facts and terms.
And here’s a map of municipalities with distressed pension plans.
Is it fair to spike your pension? (Fair or not, it costs: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the city paid more than $17.8 million in firefighter ‘premium pay’ in 2013.)
Our reporting on pensions is certainly not over. Think we’ve missed something? We’d love to hear from you.
Remember the new law that allows groups like the NRA to sue municipalities over local gun ordinances? Well, some say the new law is unconstitutional. The Commonwealth Court will decide.
A proposed bill would eliminate state gun background check system. The Sentinel
Cost of living
Here’s one byproduct of development: Allentown is doubling parking rates around its new arena. Lehigh Valley Live
Casinos’ record revenue in Pa. means lower property taxes. Lehigh Valley Live
Want to live in luxury? You should move to… York? York Daily Record
Bad news for renters. Associated Press via The Patriot-News
Braddock’s doing some spring cleaning: volunteers will be fanning out this weekend to board up blighted properties. WESA
Here’s a deep dive into where Philly’s mayoral candidates stand on key education issues. Newsworks
Pa. kids are, on average, improving in math and reading… but some say statewide numbers don’t tell the whole story because the state school finance system is so inequitable. Altoona Mirror (firewall)
The York Dispatch launched a series on the turbulent York City School District. This installment takes readers into a kindergarten classroom.
Will Heinz’s new move cut the mustard? Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Investment program shows significant progress in eradicating Philly food deserts. (Next City)
Manheim Township is the first municipalitiy in Pa. to own and run a restaurant. You’re probably wondering… why? (Lancaster Online)
Pittsburgh’s IT reinvention means changing the technology culture. Route Fifty
Scranton’s hopping on the bandwagon…er, bicycle. The city’s free bike share program is launching this month.
“I like to say that we think of rust somewhere between cholesterol and hemorrhoids.” We interviewed the author of “Rust: The Longest War.”
The idea of turning Philly into an “energy hub” is something that keeps coming up in Philly’s mayoral race. But what does that even mean? Newsworks
“The US spends more than four times as much on homeowner subsidies as it does on affordable housing for those most in need.” City Lab
A thought experiement from Citified: How long before Philly’s Center City is as dense as Manhattan?
In response to an anti-bacon billboard, the Lehigh Valley iron pigs introduced a new item to their menu: deep fried, cheddar and bacon coated broccoli bites. The Express-Times
Penn Live did an impressive feature on the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Allegheny Mountain tunnels. (Up for an adventure this weekend? Here’s how to find those tunnels.)
Have a great weekend.