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4/19 Morning Buzz

A group of Democrats in southeast PA say they’ve caught Rep. Pat Meehan in a flip-flop. During an October debate, Meehan said flat out that he would vote against any plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program. The problem? Many have characterized the House GOP budget as just that. You can watch the debate video and read Meehan’s spirited defense.

It’s sort of like a snow day for Capitol staffers today. A water main break sent most staff home yesterday, and its just been announced that many buildings are closed today as well. Congratulations on your day off!

Some groups are criticizing Rep. Matt Baker’s abortion clinic measure (HB 574), saying it will lead to clinic closures. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have launched an advocacy effort to guide legislators away from Baker’s bill and toward alternatives in the PA Senate. Baker and supporters counter that the bill is a direct response to the grand jury reoprt in the case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell.

And there’s a plethora of Philly election news this week. It’s been revealed Tom Knox and John street have switched affiliation to independent, leaving the door open to a general election mayoral challenge. The Daily News has a preview of the District 1 race, where they say its Jeff Hornstein vs. Mark Squilla. And there was a Tea Party tax day rally at City Hall which, surprise, drew no candidates for council.

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the buzz.

PoliticsPA Reports

Dem Watchdogs Call Flip-Flop on Meehan (With Video)
A group of local Democratic activists are hammering Rep. Pat Meehan over his vote for the House GOP’s budget. In this video of an October debate, Meehan said flat out he’d vote against any plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program.

Dan Onorato To Headline May Fundraiser For Rich Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald’s camp is circulating an invitation for a May 2 fundraiser to be headlined by outgoing County Executive Onorato, as well as Congressman Mike Doyle, Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa and House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody.

ACLU-PA, Planned Parenthood: HB 574 Will Close Clinics
Civil liberties and abortion rights advocates are criticizing a bill introduced by State Rep. Matt Baker that increases rules for abortion clinics. Proponents argue that HB 574 is necessary to close gaps in abortion regulation, brought to light in the case of Kermit Gosnell.

Headlines
Capitol Ideas: Capitol closed for 2nd day due to water main break
WHYY Newsworks: Sen. Casey, Citing PHA, Pushing Legislation To Make Sexual Harrassment Suits Transparent
Patriot-News: On Tax Day Groups Advocate Closing Tax Loopholes, Taxing Natural Gas Extraction
Tribune-Review: Orie Wants Larger Jury For Retrial
Post-Gazette: State Workers Get Day Off Due To Water Main Break
Patriot-News: Gov. Corbett Sells Budget to Friendly Audiences
Tribune-Review: Gov. Corbett Vows To Keep Gas Drillers From Poisoning the Well
State House Sound Bites: Gov. Corbett Argues Against Severence Tax
Times-Tribune: LCB Cuts Services At Underperforming Stores
Times-Tribune: Table Games Revenue Highest To Date
Inquirer: Harrisburg Making Advances On Big Issues
Capitol Ideas: SSHE Chancellor: “We Give You The Best Value Out There”
Fox Philadelphia: Philly Bans Felony Question On Job Applications
PhillyClout: Mayor Nutter’s Endorsement Announcement That Turned Ugly
WHYY Newsworks: Kenney’s Rainy Day Fund Lands On Ballot
WHYY Newsworks: Tea Party Rallies At City Hall, but No Candidates For City Council
Daily News: Why Is Philly So Dirty?
Daily News: Council Races: First Things First (District 1)
WHYY Newsworks: But Will NATO Support His Campaign
WHYY Newsworks: Tom Knox, John Street change to Independents, raise eyebrows
Heard in the Hall: Mayor Appoints Director of RISE
CBS Pittsburgh: Councilman Unveils Proposal To End Sex Trade In Pittsburgh
Tribune-Review: EPA To Test Water In Parks Township Near Former NUMEC Nuclear Site
Times-News: Mason Dixon Mystery Solved By Pa. College Students
Citizens’ Voice: Prosecutors oppose Ciavarella’s bid to overturn conviction
Standard Speaker: Democratic budget plan includes severance TAX

Opinions

John Baer, Daily News: So far, the pace is not frantic in Harrisburg
Stu Bykofsky, Daily News: Some Advice for the President From A Reluctant Supporter
Baer Growls: Shall We Tax?
Standard Speaker: School mandates worth considering
Patriot-News Editorial: Who’s looking at campaign finance reports?
Times-Tribune Editorial: Preservation survives of dice Poconos, Gettysburg skipped for last resort casino

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