Morning Must Reads: Perfectly Legal Forms of Wage Theft and Build Baby Build!

When you tip your server at a restaurant, you probably assume that all of that money goes to the server. If you use a credit card to pay, you would be wrong. 

It is very common for restaurant owners to use a portion of those tips to pay credit card processing fees.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports this morning that Philadelphia City Council has passed a law that stops restaurant owners from stealing from servers in this way. 

The cost of doing business in Philadelphia crept a little higher for restaurant owners yesterday, when City Council passed a law barring restaurateurs from using a portion of credit-card tips to pay for transaction fees.

Credit-card companies charge businesses a convenience fee ranging from 2 and 4 percent on all credit-card transactions.

The companies also charge the fee when patrons use a credit card to leave a tip for their server.

A portion of that money is typically used to pay the transaction fee, and Councilman Jim Kenney said a few bucks here and there could add up over the course of a year and make a difference for a server who is struggling to make ends meet.

Construction costs continue to fall as private-sector demand for new construction remains weak. This is why now is the best time for the public sector to build new schools and repair bridges. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports this morning that the winning bids on Mt. Lebanon High School renovation came in 3% below expectations.

The Mt. Lebanon school board Monday night accepted a total of $109.6 million in bids -- $3.7 million below estimates -- to complete the project in 3 1/2 years.

A bill increasing state borrowing by $1.6 billion to finance new construction is headed to Governor Corbett's office for his signature. The table below presents estimates of the number of jobs created by a billion dollars of spending by type of infrastructure investment.   

A bill authorizing state officials to borrow more than $1.6 billion for construction and economic development projects is headed to the governor's desk, with lawmakers pledging to overhaul the system for doling out those dollars.

That measure, the Capital Budget Act, is approved annually to fund public highway and bridge repairs, flood-control projects and other similar construction. It also includes funds for private projects selected by the governor and Legislature through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.


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