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August 4: Signed, Sealed, Delivered

🏖️ Good Morning and Hello Friday. I’m headed out for a well-deserved week of R-and-R, but fear not. The talented and handsome John Cole will be at the controls next week.

PA Weather
Presque Isle | Sunny, 78
Raystown Lake | Becoming Mostly Sunny, 83
Lake Ariel | Partly Sunny, T-storms later, 76

PA Sports
⚾ Phillies (59-50) | Miami 4-2 | Fri-Sun vs. Kansas City
⚾ Pirates (48-60) | Milwaukee 1-14 | Fri-Sun vs. Milwaukee
⚽ USWNT | Sun vs. Sweden (Round of 16)
⚽ Union | D.C. United 0-0 (PK: 5-4) | Mon vs. NY Red Bulls (Leagues Cup Rd of 16)

What We’re Hearing
Pro-life activist Mark Houck announced he will challenge Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick for the Republican nomination in PA-01 in 2024.

All The PA Political News You Need To Start Your Day
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Top Story

1. Shapiro Signs Main 2023-24 Pennsylvania Budget

Gov. Shapiro signs 2023-24 PA budget

Our long, statewide nightmare is (almost) over.

On Thursday afternoon, Gov. Josh Shapiro received Pennsylvania’s main budget bill from the state Senate and signed it into law.

“The people of Pennsylvania have entrusted me with the responsibility to bring people together in a divided legislature and to get things done for them – and with this commonsense budget, that’s exactly what we’ve done,” said Shapiro. (PoliticsPA)


Governor Signs PA’s Main Budget, Leaving Work Ahead For Some Programs’ Funding. “Pennsylvania’s overdue state budget moved closer to completion Thursday after Senate Republican leaders summoned their colleagues back to the Capitol to complete work they had held up when budget negotiations with Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro soured a month ago, but about a billion dollars in spending is still in limbo.” (AP)

Shapiro Signed The Main PA Budget Bill, Moving The Process Forward Even As Challenges Remain. “The state Senate on Thursday sent a $45.45 billion spending bill to Gov. Josh Shapiro, who immediately signed it, but Republicans said more than $1 billion of the spending couldn’t happen without additional legislation.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

What’s Delivered In PA’s Newly Signed State Budget, And What Needs More Work. “All sides agree a certain number of new line items, or line items that are being funded for the first time with state tax dollars, need completion of accompanying enabling legislation before they can be released.” (PennLive)

PA Budget Impasse Nears End As Gov. Josh Shapiro Signs Main Spending Bill. “More than a month after the state missed its June 30 deadline, Gov. Josh Shapiro has signed Pennsylvania’s main budget bill into law, allowing tens of billions of dollars to flow to school districts, counties, and nonprofits.” (Spotlight PA)

Shapiro Signs Budget Bill, Vetoes School Voucher Funding, Billions In Allocations Still Unsettled. “Pennsylvania’s state budget was signed into law Thursday, seemingly ending a month-long standoff over the commonwealth’s $45.5 billion spending plan. Except, the process still isn’t completed in full and partisan divides over Republican-backed school vouchers that precipitated the delay could jeopardize at least $1.1 billion in spending prioritized by Democrats.” (CNHI News)



2. Shapiro Administration To Allow State Contract With CPC Organization To Expire

Home - Real Alternatives

“Following Governor Josh Shapiro’s signing of the 2023-2024 budget, Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh announced the Commonwealth’s contract with Real Alternatives – an organization that purports to provide counseling, referrals, and other services through partnerships with crisis pregnancy centers – will come to an end by December 31, 2023.” (PoliticsPA)


Most PA Republican Officials Are Quiet About The Trump Election Indictment. “As of Wednesday afternoon, just two of the eight Republicans in Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation had spoken publicly about the charges and criticized the Justice Department. Both have endorsed Trump’s reelection campaign.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Chris Deluzio Is Western PA’s Most Vulnerable Member Of Congress. It’s Not Denting His Progressive Streak. “Just outside Pittsburgh, the 17th is a swing district featuring both suburbanites who have abandoned the Republican Party during the Trump era, and rural, working-class voters who have broken with Democrats.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

‘A New Perspective’: Summer Lee’s Different Path In Congress. “As the first Black woman elected to the U.S. House from Pennsylvania, U.S. Rep. Summer Lee is traveling a different path than her predecessors.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

What To Know About Mail-In Voting In PA In 2023. “Registered Pennsylvanians planning to vote by mail ahead of the Nov. 7 general election can already begin requesting their ballots.” (Erie Times-News)

For The Third Time This Year, A Special Election Will Decide Control Of PA House. “Voters in Allegheny County will choose between a Democrat with experience in economic and workforce development and a local Republican committee chairperson to fill the seat recently vacated by former Democratic state Rep. Sara Innamorato.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)


Around The Commonwealth

3. PA Rural School Educators Urge Lawmakers To Build A New Fair Funding Formula

Student Services – Huntingdon Area School District

Jennifer Todd, a family and consumer science teacher in the Bald Eagle Area School District, told state lawmakers at a hearing on public education in Centre County on Wednesday that teaching in a rural school district means ‘always having to do more with less.’

Todd and her colleagues at other rural school districts across Pennsylvania told lawmakers how the previous school funding system, which was deemed unconstitutional earlier this year by the Commonwealth Court, harmed rural and less wealthy districts — and their students. ” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)


Ups and Downs. Our weekly look back at those who had good weeks, and those not so much. (PoliticsPA)

Five Years Later, Former Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski Maintains No Wrongdoing In Pay-To-Play City Hall Schemes. “In the five years Ed Pawlowski has spent in federal prison, not much has changed for him. And speaking of things that have not changed, Pawlowski still maintains no wrongdoing in the pay-to-play schemes that landed him a 15-year prison sentence.” (Morning Call)

Robinson Caught On Hot Mic Disparaging Philly Fire Dept. Captain. “Two Pennsylvania state lawmakers are in the hot seat after they were caught on a live microphone and on video making a disparaging remark about a Philadelphia Fire Department captain.” (PoliticsPA)

Lehigh Valley Man Named In $10M Lawsuit Over 2020 Election Fraud Investigation. “A cybersecurity firm hired to investigate fraud allegations in the 2020 presidential election says it was stiffed out of $550,000 in fees by a Lehigh Valley business owner and a Michigan attorney who were angry no fraud was found.” (Morning Call)

Independent Socialist Seeks To Oust Walton In District 10 County Council Race. “Allegheny County voters usually don’t have much to look forward to in off-year elections. In a jurisdiction where Democrats outnumber Republicans two-to-one, many local races are decided in the primary. But this year is different, as voters have an opportunity to break away from years of Democratic rule by supporting a true political outsider.” (WESA)

Dauphin County Dem Leader Calls For Fix After Lawsuit Against Harrisburg Candidate. “The chair of the Dauphin County Democratic Committee says she will work with legislators on a change to state law regarding political candidates with criminal records in light of the lawsuit against Harrisburg City Council candidate Lamont Jones.” (PennLive)

Hallam Sues County Officials, Asks Court To Compel Attendance At Jail Oversight Meetings. “Allegheny County Councilor Bethany Hallam has filed a lawsuit demanding that Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and two other county officials attend meetings of the county Jail Oversight Board in person rather than sending a surrogate.” (WESA)

VA Director Responds To Inquiries From Garrity, Meuser And Cartwright. “Cartwright and Garrity have co-authored another letter to Russell E. Lloyd, Director at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center, with “suggestions for constructive consideration and action.” Meuser also has been actively seeking resolutions to the concerns raised without much response from the VA.” (Times Leader)



4. What They’re Saying

  • The United States v. Donald Trump. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Trump’s Jan. 6 Trial: We Owe It To History. (Peggy Noonan)
  • In Trump vs. Our Justice System, The Rule Of Law Is Winnin. So Far. (Eugene Robinson)
  • LGBTQ+ People Deserve To Be Treated With Dignity And Respect. (PennLive)
  • Why Do Conservative Young Men Play With Fascism? (Michelle Goldberg)
  • The People Deserve Greater, Faster Transparency About Government Spending. (Tony Lynch
  • Derailment Rattled Region 6 Months Ago; The Fight For Accountability, Safer Freight Rail Continues. (Rep. Chris Deluzio)


1 Vacation Thing

5. Locales To Fit Every Political Type

Emerald Isle, NC | Bogue Inlet & Emerald Isle Beach

“It’s the first week of August, Congress is in recess and Washington has emptied out. Almost. You’re still here. You’ve been too busy working to make vacation plans. You’ve opened up Google Flights on your browser but don’t know where to start.

POLITICO Magazine has got you covered with a vacation guide specifically tailored to meet your political tastes. We know that — in this day and age — where you choose to vacation can be a political statement as much as where you do your social media thing, so here’s a guide to summer destinations for every politico out there.

But politics has consequences (for most of us) so choose wisely. The last thing you want to do is wander into the wrong partisan silo on your way to the pool.”


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