News for 11/29/12

Spanier      11 29 12

 Penn State released the details of former Penn State president Graham Spanier’s compensation for 2011 yesterday.

 The University reported a total taxable income of $3,255,762 for Spanier. The amount includes his annual salary of $700,000, $82,557 of taxable benefits and a non recurring compensation of $2,473,205 that he was contractually entitled to under the terms of his 2010 service agreement.

 This includes a severance payment of $1,225,000, and additional deferred compensation of $1,248,205.which will be held until June 2017.  

Freeh

 Penn State says it has now implemented more than half of the recommendations that former FBI director Louis Freeh gave the university as a result of the internal investigation performed by the Freeh group in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

 On its progress dot psu dot edu website, the university says that 61 of the 119 recommendations are either complete or ongoing.

 One of the recommendations was that the university police department becomes accredited, which Penn State says is on track to happen in the beginning of 2014. 

Sandy Damage

 The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency says the state’s damage from Superstorm Sandy has topped 16 million dollars and continues to rise.

 PEMA spokeswoman Ruth Miller told the AP that the agency’s staff continues to compile damage cost estimates that are still being reported.

 The storm caused billions of dollars in damage to New York and New Jersey.  

Pensions

 Pennsylvania’s public pension crisis is expected to heat up soon. Radio Pa reports that public employee unions are concerned about some of the options laid out in a new report from the Governor’s Budget Office which details the Commonwealth’s 41 billion dollar pension problem and lays out a framework for solutions.

 The options included in the report include: raising the retirement age, and switching from a defined-benefit plan to a 401 (k) - style defined contribution plan. 

Shuster

 A representative from just outside Altoona will become the new chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in January.

 U.S.rep. Bill Shuster was voted to the position by the House Republicans yesterday. Shuster currently chairs the subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.   

Keystone Exams

 High school students statewide will be taking a new standardized test next week.

 Beginning Monday, students in 9th through 11th grade will take the first wave of the Keystone Exams. For juniors the exams will replace the PSSA exams which were taken up until the 2011-12 school year.

 Students will be tested in algebra 1, biology and literature. The exams will help school districts guide students toward meeting state standards.