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BLOG: Governor Wolf Will Keep Making Government More Efficient

first_img Budget News,  Efficiency,  Government That Works,  The Blog Governor Wolf remains committed to improving efficiencies, streamlining government operations, and reducing costs. He continues to change the way business is conducted to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely, redundancies are eliminated, and customer interactions at all levels are improved.Just last week, Governor Wolf gave an update on these improvements, announcing produced savings for both the current and future state budgets. The Wolf Administration is on track to save $150 million in the current fiscal year. To date, GO-TIME has identified nearly 250 initiatives by state agencies to modernize government operations by increasing efficiency, improving technology, and identifying opportunities for agencies to collaborate and share resources. These initiatives will provide benefits including savings, reduced processing times, increased convenience, better customer service, and maximizing existing resources.Last year, Governor Wolf’s administration also implemented many reforms that generated substantial taxpayer savings and increased service effectiveness, including: eliminating the SNAP asset test, reducing the food stamp error rate, helping more TANF families find employment, reducing insurance rates by more than $80 million, and the largest reduction in prison population in 40 years.The 2016-17 Budget will again focus on creating a government that works effectively through innovation and increased efficiencies to ensure that taxpayer dollars are wisely spent.This budget includes the merger of the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole (PDF) and the relocation of the eHealth Partnership Authority to within the Department of Human Services.The 2016-2017 Budget increases the use of Pay for Success performance contracts, which provide an innovative strategy to finance proven programs through public-private partnerships on a straightforward proposition. The Wolf Administration will work with private sector partners to address the employment needs of individuals with criminal convictions to make them less likely to return to the corrections system and more likely to build a foundation for a stable, productive life.Taxpayers will only pay for services that get results and save money in the long run. Payments are tied to the achievement of specific, pre-established performance goals that are set forth in the contract, and only occur after rigorous evaluation.Governor Wolf’s 2016-2017 Budget includes key government consolidations along with targeted investments that build upon the bipartisan budget agreement. It faces up to reality and does the difficult things we need to do to bring it into balance. This budget is the path we must choose to ensure that Pennsylvania has a bright future. BLOG: Governor Wolf Will Keep Making Government More Efficient February 11, 2016 You can find updates and behind-the-scenes content on the 2016-2017 budget announcement on our Facebook and Twitter all this week.Read more posts about Governor Wolf’s 2016-17 budget.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter By: J.J. Abbott, Deputy Press Secretarylast_img read more

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Struggling Orange prepares for tough conference stretch

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm Contact Austin: arpollac@syr.edu Leonid Yelin knows the Big East conference inside and out. Yelin, who coached 15 seasons at Louisville, is prepared for the challenges ahead for Syracuse.“Everybody knows it’s about life or death,” Yelin said. “It’s very different. Every game you play is against a rival.”After conference opponent Marquette swept SU on Sept. 22, the Orange played its final nonconference game on Wednesday against Niagara. Syracuse (8-10, 0-3 Big East) then hit the road for two Big East games, losing to DePaul and Notre Dame. The Orange is 13th out of 14 teams in the Big East.Yelin’s team has dipped two games below .500 after the two weekend losses and remains winless in conference play. The team’s final 12 games are against conference opponents, and Yelin said that stretch will be a tough task for his team.The freshmen are not only new to the collegiate atmosphere, but to conference play, especially against Big East powerhouses. SU assistant coach Stephanie Cantway played four years at Louisville under Yelin and described Big East conference play as competitive.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think it’s hard when you know that every game is a pressure situation,” Cantway said. “You have to play every game to make sure you make it to the conference tournament, to make sure we have a chance to go to the NCAA tournament, which is our overall goal for the whole season.”Cantway said the team has to step up in conference games, which feature tougher opponents and a more competitive environment, to make the NCAA tournament after going 8-7 in nonconference play.Senior middle blocker Samantha Hinz is one of the most experienced Big East competitors on the team.“Big East is really challenging not only because of the caliber of the teams, but it’s how much each game means,” Hinz said. “In preseason, if you win the right games, you can get pushed into a better seed.“In Big East, every game matters,” she said. “I think that’s the pressure we feel sometimes.”Sophomore libero Melina Violas thinks conference play is like another season.Violas said the nonconference games didn’t go as well as the Orange had hoped, so it has to rely on success in conference games to put itself in position for postseason play.Violas says conference play for the remainder of the season is a fresh start because Syracuse can win the Big East tournament and then make it to the NCAA tournament.Despite the team’s low position in the conference standings, Cantway doesn’t think teams get excited to play the Orange, especially because they know what they will have to face.“We definitely haven’t given up,” Cantway said. “We’re still a team that I don’t think people want to come play. I know people don’t want to play us in the Carrier Dome; they don’t want to do things that are different because they’re nervous. I think we are still on people’s radars.” Commentslast_img read more

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Toronto Maple Leafs make high-stakes bet swapping Mike Babcock for Sheldon Keefe

first_imgWhen Brendan Shanahan took the podium on Thursday morning alongside general manager Kyle Dubas, the Toronto Maple Leafs president went out of his way to underline the fact that he and Dubas are completely unified when it comes to how they view a team should be built.“I want to make it really clear that we’re aligned and that this is how I see a team should be built as well,” Shanahan said. Really, what else was he to say at this point?The way in which the Maple Leafs have been assembled — prioritizing speed and skill above all else — is as much Shanahan’s vision as it is Dubas. Shanahan has ultimately placed his bet for the future of Toronto on a coach assuming the job with no NHL experience and a general manager, who assumed the job with no NHL experience over a Stanley Cup-winning future Hall of Fame coach in Mike Babcock (who recently became only the eighth coach to reach the 700 win plateau) and Stanley Cup-winning, Hockey Hall of Fame member, Lou Lamoriello as GM.MORE: Babcock statement | Who is Sheldon Keefe? This is not to say it won’t work, but it’s an aggressive bet.What we are watching now, and have been watching since Dubas took over as general manager from Lamoriello in May of 2018 is one grand science experiment playing out in real-time. The Maple Leafs are built on the theory, albeit an untested one, that they are designed to compete in a style that the game is trending to.Will it work more effectively now that Keefe, a coach who has had a long relationship with Dubas dating back to their days running the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League and the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, is at the helm in place of Babcock? We don’t know yet, but we will soon start to find out.Kyle Dubas meets with media in Arizona to address the firing of head coach Mike Babcock https://t.co/DlcaPrz4xc— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) November 21, 2019So far, the returns have not been pretty.Shanahan also addressed the constant clamouring for an injection of toughness and grit to the roster.“I think sometimes people want to simplistically put us in one box as ‘speed and skill’ and ‘toughness and grit’ in an entirely different box. We want to also be tough and gritty,” Shanahan said. “Our interpretation of toughness and grittiness might be different than someone who played in the ’70s and ’80s or coached then.”The confusing part is that nobody is asking for a roster built like the Broad Street Bullies of the 1970s. He more clearly defined how he and Dubas view “toughness and grit.”“How we define that to our players is winning battles and being mentally tough, making a mistake and not become weak or small because of it,” Shanahan said. “We’re aligned on how we want to build this team.”MORE: Twitter reacts to Babcock firing | What’s next for Babcock?But that is the very type of “toughness and grit” the team, as currently constructed, has shown an inability or unwillingness to execute. Can Keefe glean this out of the current roster better than Babcock could or is the personnel just not capable, or willing, to play that way? Again, we’ll soon find out.Keefe has 59 games to turn around an underperforming roster and get them into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Missing the postseason would be an unmitigated disaster for a team that entered the season with Cup aspirations. There will be no feeling-out process for the new coach; it’s all heavy pressure for Keefe. Babcock took a lot of heat and a lot of criticism. With him gone, further underperformance will lead to heat on Dubas and Shanahan himself, though the president does not see it that way.Tavares on Keefe’s message, or part of it: “He talked a lot about just playing free and feeling good about ourselves and our game. For tonight, understand a couple of areas we want to make changes in, and at the same time, just go out there and play and compete.” #Leafs— Terry Koshan (@koshtorontosun) November 21, 2019“I don’t see this decision by Kyle and the team as a situation where traditionalists might say, ‘well you’ve spent your bullet.’ That’s not how I view it and I can tell you that’s not how our ownership views it,” Shanahan said. “We’re in this together; we’re making moves and evolving as we see we have to do. You don’t set out with an idea, our plan and not evolve or make shifts throughout that plan.”Talk to us a year from now if this season goes down the tubes and next season has a similarly poor start. It would be shocking if the Maple Leafs ownership group, at that point, is extending the same level of leniency as Shanahan is suggesting they do today.Dubas committed to John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Mitchell Marner and William Nylander, tying up essentially half the salary cap in four forwards. It has left the Maple Leafs with their hands tied in a number of areas: addressing issues on defense, finding an adequate backup goaltender and filling out the bottom of their roster — all areas where proficiency is vital if a team is going to contend for a Stanley Cup.Was Babcock’s firing the right decision? Time will tell. Was he free from blame? No.But should he shoulder all the blame? Far from it.With Keefe in place, the Maple Leafs will now ultimately be judged on the bet Dubas and Shanahan have placed. The clock is now ticking.last_img read more

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