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6/16 Morning Buzz

Out of work Pennsylvanians can breathe a sigh of relief – lawmakers in the PA House and Senate have reached a deal to pay for the programs just in time to avoid a lapse in benefits. And instead of squeezing $600 million in savings from the program, House Rs have settled for $100 million.

Frank LaGrotta is going to jail. The former State Rep. was sentenced to 3-12 months in the county jail following convictions on 10 counts related to forged prescriptions.

Check out our profile of Matthew Mazonkey, Chief of Staff for Rep. Mark Critz and the lucky staffer chosen for the fourth installment of our COS Spotlight.

And just a reminder – we have gotten a ton of nominations for our “Best Political Blogs” feature. Make sure to support your favorite before our informal poll closes on Tuesday night.

PoliticsPA Reports

Chiefs of Staff Spotlight: Matthew Mazonkey
This week we present Matthew Mazonkey, Chief of Staff for Rep. Mark Critz.

Altmire Rated 2nd Most Conservative Democrat In Washington
According to the Washington Post, Rep. Jason Altmire has voted with Democrats only 52 percent of the time so far this session.

Pa. GOP Aims to Help Corbett Recapture The Magic
Critics say the Corbett administration has a messaging problem. The PAGOP is stepping up to help.

Kathleen Kane Launches AG Campaign Web Video
Kathleen Granahan Kane, the northeast PA prosecutor who is seeking the Democratic nod for Attorney General, has released a new web video introducing herself to voters. The 3 minute video focuses on her time as Assistant Lackawanna County District Attorney, as well as her personal background being raised in Scranton.

National
Roll Call: Santorum Staffs Up With Loyalists
CNN: Where is Santorum’s Home Field Advantage?
Five Thirty Eight: The Governors’ Advantage in Presidential Races Is Bigger Than You Thought (Bigger Than Former Senators, for example)
Early Returns: Casey Slaps Obama Trade Policy
Early Returns: Tim Murphy’s Nuclear Eurotrip
Pennsylvania Ave.: A Look At Lawmakers’ Finances

Statewide
Capitol Ideas: House, Senate Get A Deal On Unemployment Reform.
Capitol Ideas: Disabled Protesters Clash With Capitol Police.
Capitol Ideas: Senate Vote On Bath Salts Expected Today.
Pennsylvania Independent: Congressional redistricting process under way in Harrisburg
State House Sound Bites: Bath salts ban will become law
State House Sound Bites: Compromise reached on unemployment comp reform
State House Sound Bites: A House vouchers bill
Tribune-Review: State Senate Approves Bill Banning ‘Bath Salts’
Tribune-Review: Costa: Restoring State Money for Medical Schools a Priority
The Beaver County Times: Vogel bill on synthetic drugs goes to governor
Johnstown Tribune Democrat: Breaking News: PA House aide says jobless benefits made deal
AP via Patriot News: Pennsylvania unemployment plan prevents loss of benefits, requires recipients to look for work

Philly
Inquirer: Nutter to Council: ‘Do Something’ on schools
Inquirer: Pa. Justices keep teacher layoff case in lower court
Daily News: Paul Vallas gives his thoughts on school budget crunch
Daily News: Nutter praises green work, pledges to do more
WHYY Newsworks: Lawmaker (PA Rep. Chris Ross, R-Chester) aims to heat up solar market in Pa

Philly Suburbs
Bucks News: State Rep. Steve Santarsiero introduces bipartisan bill aimed at school funding, teachers strikes
The Mercury: Pa. Liquor board extends moratorium on price hikes
Philly Burbs: Reduced Casino revenues cut property tax rebates
Philly Burbs: Federal Election Commission dismisses GOP complaint from Adler-Runyan race
Burlington County Times: Democrat joins Riverton’s council race
Burlington County Times: Freeholder Candidate disqualified from ballot

Pittsburgh
CBS: B-PEP Demands Police Reform At City Council Meeting
CBS: City Council Delays Action on Civic Arena Vote
CBS: LaGrotta Back In Court For Sentencing
Post-Gazette: Black Leaders Push Police Accountability Bill
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh Councilman Offers Small Grants for Projects
Tribune-Review: Supreme Court Won’t Hear NRA Appeal on Pittsburgh Law
Tribune-Review: Pittsburgh Councilwoman Among Contingent to Meet With Obama
Tribune-Review:l Marcellus Shale Taskforce Plans Public Forum in North Union
Valley News Dispatch: Revised Allegheny Township Drilling Ordinance Delayed
AP via Carlisle Sentinel: Pa Supreme Court rejects suit over gun law

Southwest
The Beaver County Times: FirstEnergy makes pitch to skeptical crowd in Greene Twp.
The Beaver County Times: LaGrotta jailed after sentencing
The Beaver County Times: Republican prothonotary challenger withdraws
Observer Reporter: Teachers OK wage freeze for next year
Tribune Review: Marcellus Shale Taskforce plans public forum in North Union
Altoona Mirror: Critz district likely to dissolve
Altoona Mirror: Tyrone Area School Board: Final budget passes; fees, cuts discussed
Altoona Mirror: Duncansville council members: We’re not picking on church
WJAC: New School Budget Results In Job Cuts

Lehigh Valley
Morning Call: In Pennsylvania Casey stays strong, Obama improves
Morning Call: Stoffa pulls Cabinet Nomination
Morning Call: Lawmakers vote to ban bath salts, fake pot
Reading Eagle: Reading Mayor tapped to lead Pa. League of Cities and Municipalities
WFMZ: Local Mayor heading to Haiti to help rebuilding efforts

South Central
AP via Carlisle Sentinel:Demonstrators turned back at governor’s office
AP via Carlisle Sentinel: Bill banning bath salts goes to Corbett’s desk
Patriot News: Dauphin County would pay $62 million over 20 years in Harrisburg Act 47 debt-recovery plan
Patriot News: Your comments: Taxing Marcellus Shale drillers could help the state
Patriot News: Few attend hearing on Pennsylvania’s congressional redistricting
York Daily Record: Stetler gets permission to attend English nuptials
Sun Gazette: Wellsboro board delays budget vote

North by Northwest
Erie Times News: Profile of Erie City Council Candidate Bob Maerski

NEPA
The Times Leader: Bills tackle corruption, juvie justice
The Times Leader: UPDATE | Munchak: ‘I broke a state violation’
Go Lackawanna: Munchak fraud charge tied to health care firm

Opinions
Baer Growls: Those Stubborn Facts
Al Kernan, Courier Times: The Case against the GOP – Why Obama Should be re-elected
Barbara Stakes, Courier Times: Fixing Medicare should not imperil those with pre-existing conditions
Reading Eagle Editorial: Exotic or homegrown, food-borne pathogens a threat
Post-Gazette Editorial: Wills on the web: It’s about time a key public document went online
Tribune Review Editorial: Mixed message
York Daily Record Editorial: Cart before hoarse
York Daily Record Editorial: City Council taps the breaks
York Dispatch Editorial: ‘Sacrifices’ not shared

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