April 16th Playbook

House Speaker Bryan Cutler announced that he tested positive for COVID-19. Here is the Playbook. 

Cutler Tests Positive for COVID-19: House Speaker Bryan Cutler announced in a statement on Thursday morning that he tested positive for COVID-19.

Dickinson Announces Rematch Vs Doyle: The law professor at the University of Pittsburgh supports the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, increasing federal funding for public schools and canceling student debt, and an immediate increase to a $15 an hour minimum wage, according to his campaign’s priorities page.

POLITICO Profiles Fetterman: POLITICO profiles Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s 2022 U.S. Senate campaign titled “The Democrats’ Giant Dilemma” and adds that “John Fetterman’s blue-collar progressivism has endeared him to Pennsylvania voters. Why are so many Democratic leaders opposing his Senate run?”

Centre County Officials Endorse Kenyatta for U.S. Senate: State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta’s (D-Philadelphia) U.S. Senate campaign rolled out a series of endorsements from officials in Centre County including Centre County Treasurer Colleen Kennedy, Centre County Controller Jason Moser, Centre County Democratic Jury Commissioner Laura Shadle and more.

Inquirer: PA Republicans Go Bid on Culture Wars While Biden Pushes Big Spending: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that transgender girls in sports, abortion, voting laws, vaccine passports, are “some topics attracting the most vocal attention from GOP lawmakers.”  

Gloves Come Off In Pittsburgh’s Mayoral Race, As Outside Groups Get Involved: WESA reports that the “first real attack ad of Pittsburgh’s mayoral campaign,” began this week, as outside groups get involved in the campaign. 

Kelly Viewed As Potential Candidate for Top Republican on House Ways and Means Committee: According to POLITICO, the GOP race is already underway to replace Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), who is retiring at the end of his term, as the top Republican on the House Ways and Means committee. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler) is mentioned as a potential candidate.  

Perry Pushes ‘Replacement Theory’ During Committee Hearing: The York Dispatch reports that Rep. Scott Perry (R-York) “repeated a controversial talking point largely viewed as racist that insinuates that Americans are being “replaced” by immigrants” on Wednesday. 

Smucker Quietly Leaves Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) “quietly left” the Bipartisan House Problem Solves Caucus. 

Toomey Tweets Support for Russia Sanctions: Sen. Pat Toomey sent out a tweet on Thursday voicing his support of President Joe Biden’s administration’s latest sanctions against Russia. Toomey described the sanctions as a “welcome step to hold Moscow accountable for its ongoing aggression” in his tweet but added that he supports additional measures to “fully punish Putin for his malevolent behavior.”

Biden Says His Climate Plan Means Jobs. Some Union Members Are Skeptical: The Allegheny Front reports that “President Biden is selling the climate-friendly aspects of his $2 trillion infrastructure plan as a chance to create good-paying union jobs. But at a local branch of one of the country’s oldest unions, there are doubts that dealing with climate change will be good for workers here, in the oil-and-gas state of Pennsylvania.”

Bucks Lawmakers Demand Philly Reimburse Suburban Commuters: The Bucks Local News reports that bipartisan legislators from Bucks County have sent a letter to Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney “seeking reimbursement for suburban commuters who worked from home during the pandemic.”  

Toomey warns GOP colleagues to stay away from earmarks: The Hill reports that Sen. Pat Toomey said that he “will not seek earmarks if Congress resumes the practice of padding spending bills with pet projects to boost their chances of passing, and the Pennsylvania senator warned GOP colleagues not to participate either.”

Make the Road Action in Pennsylvania Announces 2021 Primary Endorsements: Make The Road Action in Pennsylvania, which describes itself as the largest Latinx group in PA, announced the endorsement of eight candidates in Allentown, Reading, and Philadelphia. The group is backing Ce-Ce Gerlach for Mayor of Allentown; Larry Krasner for Philadelphia District Attorney; plus Justan Parker Fields, Erik Rodriguez, Natalie Santos, and Patrick Palmer for Allentown City Council; Linda Vega Sirop for Allentown City Magisterial Judge; and Peter Rosario for Reading Magisterial Judge.

Gerlach Talks to Allentown Morning Call: Allentown City Councilwoman Ce-Ce Gerlach, Democrat running for Allentown Mayor, talked to the Allentown Morning Call’s Andrew Wagaman on Thursday about her bid for mayor during a Q&A. On Friday, Wagaman is scheduled to interview Republican Tim Ramos at 11 a.m. in the weeklong Q&A with the Allentown mayoral candidates. 

Former Erie Mayor Savocchio endorses Schember: The Erie Times-News reports that former Erie Mayor Joyce Savocchio endorsed Erie Mayor Joe Schember for reelection. 

Keller and Meuser Visit Facilities at Texas Border: The Sunbury Daily Item reports that Reps. Fred Keller (R-Snyder) and Dan Meuser (R-Luzerne) “spent part of this week in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, talking to Customs and Border Patrol agents about the migrant situation at the border and seeing firsthand the humanitarian toll it is taking on everyone in the region.” 

Erie Times-News Details Schember’s Reelection Bid: The Erie Times-News reports on Erie Mayor Joe Schember’s bid for a second term.  

Erie Times-News Details Spagel’s Mayoral Bid: The Erie Times-News reports on Democrat Tom Spagel’s campaign for Mayor of Erie.  

Perry Talks to BBC About withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan: Rep. Scott Perry (R-York) talked to BBC to discuss what he sees as a “dangerous new withdrawal strategy” from President Joe Biden for all U.S. troops from Afghanistan in September. 

Kenney Delivers Annual Budget Address: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s $5.2 billion budget proposal that he unveiled on Thursday in the annual budget address.

Allentown Mayoral Candidates Talk About Affordable Housing: WFMZ reports about how the candidates running for Allentown mayor would address affordable housing. 

Post-Gazette: Reschenthaler’s Call for Boycott of Beijing Olympics Pressure Biden’s Stance on China: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny) participated in a virtual conference call on Thursday with other politicians and rights groups to call for the U.S. to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.  

Motion to Denounce Bans on Transgender Athletes Fails Before Allegheny County Council: KDKA reports that a motion before Allegheny County Council on Tuesday night to “denounce attempts to ban transgender athletes from youth and college sports” failed by one vote. 

Cartwright and Fitzpatrick Introduce Bill To Expand Eligibility for Agent Orange Disability Benefits: The Military Times reports that Reps. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) introduced legislation on Thursday “to expand the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange for disability benefits to veterans who served in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia during the conflict.”

Former Montco State Rep Sells Florida Mansion to Golf Great Greg Norman for $12M: The South Florida Business Journal reports that former state Rep. Joseph Lashinger, who is also the former president of Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino in Chester, and his wife, Julie, sold their mansion in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, to former pro golfer Greg Norman for $12.2 million. 

Fair Districts PA To Host Prison Gerrymandering Virtual Forum: Fair Districts PA is partnering with the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, Decarcerate PA, the Abolitionist Law Center, Straight Ahead, Free the Ballot, Pennsylvania Council of Churches Advocacy and the ACLU – Pennsylvania in a series of forums about gerrymandering, prison gerrymandering and the impact of both on PA prison policy. Their next regional forum is slated to take place Saturday, April 17 starting at 11:00 a.m. for southcentral PA.  

Harrisburg & DC   
AP: Pennsylvania extends J&J vaccine ‘pause’ by 4 days
Spotlight PA: Board member sues powerful Hershey School, claims he’s being denied financial records
Inquirer: Pennsylvania Republicans go big on culture wars while Biden pushes big spending
Inquirer: Nearly half of Pennsylvania nursing home staff declined coronavirus vaccines
Patriot News: Pa. House Speaker Bryan Cutler tests positive for COVID-19
Patriot News: Pa. state agency to offer retirement incentive to free up money for student aid
Patriot News: Pa. state universities freeze tuition for third consecutive year
Patriot News: Pa. college students could see a $154 increase in the maximum state grant award
Patriot News: Pa. extends pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccine
Patriot News: Pa. COVID-19 update: hospitalizations rise by more than 100 in a week
Patriot News: Shippensburg University gets interim president
Post-Gazette: State House committee hears suggestions on improving Pa.’s election laws, but will the Legislature listen?
Post-Gazette: Nearly 94,000 state-owned university students in Pa. will see a tuition freeze — for a third straight year
Post-Gazette: Pa. considers whether to reinstate work search requirements for jobless benefits
Post-Gazette: Pa. woman among those who had blood clots after Johnson & Johnson vaccine
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. extends Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause after Pa. woman, five others experience blood clots
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Already quarantining, Pa. House Speaker Cutler tests positive for COVID-19
Morning Call: Muhlenberg College poll shows many Pennsylvanians still hesitant to get COVID-19 vaccine
WESA: Some In Power Are Still Mad That PA’s Supreme Court Ruled On Election Law. Here’s Why It Matters Now
WESA: A Better Unemployment System For Pennsylvania Is On Track To Launch In June. Expect Some Hiccups.
WESA: House Speaker Cutler Tests Positive For COVID-19
WESA: Health Department Survey Finds Only About Half Of Pennsylvania’s Nursing Home Staff Have Been Vaccinated
Bucks County Courier Times: Pa. wants college students to be vaccinated for COVID before returning to campus this fall
PLSReporter: Voting advocates on guard as House wraps up election hearings
PLSReporter: State extends Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause to April 24
PLSReporter: Cutler tests positive for COVID-19
LNP | LancasterOnline: Matthew Stem to leave state Education Department, take leadership role at IU13 
Erie Times-News: Corry restaurant owner running for governor
Erie Times-News: PA nursing homes to receive more COVID-19 vaccines through new state initiative
National Journal: Senate News
Tribune Review: Pennsylvania State System universities freeze tuition for a 3rd year 
KDKA: More At Stake Than Just New May Deadline When It Comes To Taxes
Rolling Stone: Now Is Our Last Best Chance to Confront the Climate Crisis
Philly Voice: Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities freeze in-state tuition for third straight year  
The Hill: Toomey warns GOP colleagues to stay away from earmarks
CNN: How the ugly, racist White ‘replacement theory’ came to Congress

Philly Clout: The 2022 Senate race’s first ad hits John Fetterman in a sore spot on race 
KYW Newsradio: Kenney: New Philadelphia budget seeks to be ‘restorative’ with need to ‘rebuild equitably’
Billy Penn: After blowback, Philly police yank NRA’s gun safety curriculum from city rec centers 
Inquirer: Kenney sees ‘hope for an eventual return to all that makes Philadelphia great’ in annual address
Inquirer: Mayor Kenney said his budget wouldn’t increase police spending. It’s not that simple. 
Inquirer: Philadelphia businesses would see modestly cut tax rates under Kenney’s budget plan 
Inquirer: Democrats and Republicans square off in court over Delaware River Basin Commission fracking ban 
Inquirer: Philly police spike NRA-developed kids program after gun-safety advocate uproar 
WHYY Newsworks: Philly police plan to ask for more funds as Taser rollout falls short 
WHYY Newsworks: Street sweeping is back: What to know about Kenney’s $62 million cleaning plan 
WHYY Newsworks: Landlords use eviction records to screen tenants. Kendra Brooks wants to limit that 
WHYY Newsworks: ‘We are here to save a life’: Mumia Abu-Jamal to undergo heart surgery; supporters call for his release 
WHYY Newsworks: Pa. coronavirus update: DOH launches program to vaccinate more nursing home residents
Philadelphia Business Journal: 5 things to know about Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposed FY22 budget 
CBS3: ‘Ya Fav Trashman’ Terrill Haigler Presented With Congressional Citation
Delaware Valley Journal: Newsmaker Q&A: Anti-Semitism Resolution Nixed at Penn
Philadelphia Citizen: The Citizen Recommends: Philly Under Fire 
Philadelphia Citizen: Philly Under Fire Episode 1: “Roadmap to Nowhere” 
Philadelphia Citizen: Philly Under Fire Episode 2: The Other Epidemic

Bucks Local News: Bucks lawmakers demand Philadelphia reimburse suburban commuters
Bucks Local News: Bucks and Montgomery counties join lawsuit to protect Delaware River from fracking
Daily Local News: Ralliers in West Chester support transgender athletes
Daily Local News: Rep. Shusterman applauds $8 million in funding to help schools return to in-person education
Daily Local News: Judge allows work on Mariner East pipeline to continue 
Daily Local News: Resources available in Chester County for seniors needing vaccine assistance
Delco Daily Times: Delaware County continues to move forward with prison deprivatization 
Delco Daily Times: Delco residents protest police killings 
Inquirer: Sunoco floats Mariner East 2 pipeline reroute plan to avoid more Marsh Creek Lake spills
South Florida Business Journal: Former Montco state representative sells Florida mansion to golf great Greg Norman for $12M
Delaware Valley Journal: Bucks Lawmakers to Mayor Kenney: Refund Our Commuters’ Wage Taxes 
Delaware Valley Journal: DelVal Democrats Play Key Role in Reparations Vote
Montgomery Media: Montgomery County commissioners extend coronavirus emergency disaster declaration for 7th time
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks pauses J&J clinics through Saturday

WESA: Gloves Come Off In Pittsburgh’s Mayoral Race, As Outside Groups Get Involved
WESA: Bill Introduced In PA To Ban Transgender Girls From Girl Sports Is ‘Not Based In Any Science’
The Allegheny Front: Biden Says His Climate Plan Means Jobs. Some Union Members Are Skeptical
Post-Gazette: Reschenthaler’s calls for boycott of Beijing Olympics pressure Biden’s stance on China
Post-Gazette: City task force spotlights cash payments by subcontractors on construction projects
Post-Gazette: First a pandemic, now rising prices complicate local construction projects
KDKA: Motion To Denounce Bans On Transgender Athletes Fails Before Allegheny County Council
KDKA: Health Department: 109 Allegheny County Residents Have Tested Positive For COVID-19 After Getting Vaccinated
KDKA: Seneca Valley School District Students Say It Is Time To Change Mascot
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 403 New Cases, No Additional Deaths
Tribune Review: Peduto orders crackdown on contractors committing tax fraud
Tribune Review: Covid hospitalizations continue to be a concern in Allegheny, Westmoreland
City Paper: Democratic Allegheny County Councilor makes insensitive remark about motion denouncing anti-trans sports bills before voting against it

Altoona Mirror: Leonard seeks seat on City Council
Altoona Mirror: Beatty announces bid for Altoona Council
Tribune Review: Westmoreland commissioners say $140 million borrowing plan will put off future tax hike
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Experts answer your COVID-19 questions: ‘I had the monoclonal antibody treatment and I can get a vaccine shot 80 days later. They say to wait 90 days. Any harm with me going for the shot at 80 days?’
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Surging virus: Daily COVID-19 case averages have doubled locally
Observer-Reporter: Snyder: More than $85,000 awarded for Wisecarver Reservoir boat ramp access project 
Observer-Reporter: North Franklin Township to pave roads
Observer-Reporter: State System to freeze tuition at public universities for third straight year
Observer-Reporter: COVID-19 vaccinations moving well in Allegheny County

Citizens Voice: Sanguedolce appoints first assistant, other top officers in DA’s office
Citizens Voice: Four drop boxes approved for primary; poll workers sought
Citizens Voice: Salavantis touts DA experience in campaign for judge
Citizens Voice: Lackawanna County pulls out of proposed LCTA/COLTS consolidation talks
Citizens Voice: Pennsylvania’s vaccine provider map not always accurate
Citizens Voice: 113 new COVID-19 cases reported in county on Thursday
The Sunbury Daily Item: Meuser, Keller visit facilities at Texas border
The Times Leader: Luzerne County adding three mail ballot drop boxes
The Times Leader: 113 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County Thursday; 2 new deaths
Times-Tribune: COVID-19 cases continue to rise 

South Central 
York Dispatch: Rep. Perry pushes ‘replacement theory’ during committee hearing 
York Dispatch: Southern York County schools to retire Native American mascot
York Dispatch: Thursday update: 197 new COVID-19 cases reported in York County
LNP | LancasterOnline: Pa. House Speaker Bryan Cutler tests positive for COVID-19
LNP | LancasterOnline: Rep. Lloyd Smucker quietly leaves bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus
LNP | LancasterOnline: Matthew Stem to leave state Education Department, take leadership role at IU13
LNP | LancasterOnline: Manheim Twp. man charged in Capitol attack seeks release; feds want more time on cases
Carlisle Sentinel: PASSHE names interim president for Shippensburg University
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 60 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Cumberland County Thursday
Patriot News: Pa. House Speaker Bryan Cutler tests positive for COVID-19
Patriot News: Harrisburg’s new Affordable Housing Program will provide incentives for developers
Patriot News: Shippensburg University gets interim president 

Lehigh Valley      
Morning Call: Allentown, Bethlehem school districts would get extra money under push to fix ‘atrocious reality of underfunding’
Morning Call: Replay Q&A with Allentown mayoral candidate Ce-Ce Gerlach
Morning Call: New St. Luke’s recovery clinic will treat COVID-19 patients experiencing long-term symptoms like ‘brain fog’
Morning Call: Kutztown, East Stroudsburg and other Pa.-owned universities freeze tuition this fall
Reading Eagle: Run for Something endorses Ryan Lineaweaver for West Reading council
Reading Eagle: Berks County will launch hotline for those struggling to access COVID vaccine
Reading Eagle: Make the Road Pennsylvania endorses Peter Rosario for district judge post in Reading
Reading Eagle: Berks County adds 223 COVID cases, has record day of vaccinations
Express Times: 2 out of 3 Pennsylvanians plan to get COVID vaccine, Muhlenberg poll shows
Express Times: Lehigh Valley land among 26 farms, 2,370 acres newly preserved in Pa.
Express Times: COVID in Pa.: 5M people have at least 1 dose of vaccine; 5K new cases, 44 deaths; Lehigh Valley near 70K cases, 1,500 deaths | Coronavirus updates for Pennsylvania (04/15/21)
WFMZ: How can Allentown make affordable housing a reality? Allentown mayoral candidates weigh in
WFMZ: Leinbach: False statements at public meetings ‘disturbing’
WFMZ: Lehigh County extends state of emergency
WFMZ: Tower Health opens COVID vaccine appointments to 16+
WFMZ: Grant to help fund improvements to Reading businesses

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Corry restaurant owner running for governor
Erie Times-News: Former Erie Mayor Savocchio endorses Schember
Erie Times-News: Erie mayor’s race: Democrat Joe Schember
Erie Times-News: Erie mayor’s race: Democrat Tom Spagel
Erie Times-News: PA nursing homes to get more COVID-19 vaccines
Erie Times-News: COVID-19 vaccine protecting Erie’s older residents
The Sunbury Daily Item: Meuser, Keller visit facilities at Texas border
Centre Daily Times: New podcast dives into disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar
Centre Daily Times: April 15 update: Centre County adds almost 100 COVID-19 cases; Pa. has 5,060 positives
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: U.S. Rep. Keller calls border issue ‘a crisis’
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Montoursville board questions need for masks
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Supervisors OK pollution reduction agreement
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Lycoming County 51 new COVID-19 cases

Nathan Benefield: Fight Against PA Guv’s Powers Reflects Bipartisan Trend
John Baer: Tax season 2021: Taxes are still unfair, but don’t look for that to change 
Joseph O. Minott: Chesapeake Energy’s settlement doesn’t far enough. This chronic polluter must be shut down
Tara Murtha and Susan J. Frietsche: PA lawmakers are pushing bills that would increase maternal mortality
York Dispatch Editorial Board: Perry finds a new way to humiliate Pa.
York Dispatch Editorial Board: Fight efforts to hamstring Pa. governor
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Pennsylvanians with disabilities too often are overlooked when it comes to public health. In Lancaster County, that needs to change.
Inquirer Editorial Board: Kenney’s city budget is a return to normal — at least for now 
Inquirer: How should the government tax drivers to maintain roads? | Pro/Con
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Georgia’s voting law kicks off another round of partisan falsehoods
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Senators should have to speak on Senate floor to use the filibuster
John L. Micek: Poll: Pa. residents think worst of the pandemic is behind us, but still worried for the future | Thursday Morning Coffee
Silas Chamberlin: York County is still in a pandemic economic crisis: Here’s what needs to be done
Randy Padfield: Voters should let governor retain control so we can save lives during a crisis
Matthew Irvin: York FOP responds to mayor on police trial board
Phil Gianficaro: J&J vaccine pause will cause deaths
Will Bunch: Philly’s Nicetown was devastated by highway racism. Can Biden’s $2T plan help? 
Ray E. Landis: Older drivers and Public Safety: Preserve their independence by improving public transit 
Elizabeth Wellington: It’s normal to feel emotional about the vaccine. Here’s why it’s a rollercoaster.
Trudy Rubin: By pulling troops from Afghanistan, Biden risks a humanitarian disaster 
Annette S.L. Evans: As an Asian American woman, I’ve realized no one is coming to save me

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