December 13th Playbook

State Sen. Scott Martin announces his candidacy for Governor. Here is the Playbook. 

News

‘Lancaster County’s Sen. Scott Martin officially joins Pa. race for governor’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “state Sen. Scott Martin is officially entering Pennsylvania’s 2022 race for governor Saturday, launching a campaign he hopes will rise above a crowded and well-funded Republican field by leaning on his relatability as a parent and small business owner and on his solid conservative legislative record.”

‘Pennsylvania high court throws out mask mandate for schools’: The Associated Press reports that “a statewide mask mandate for Pennsylvania schoolchildren was thrown out by the state Supreme Court on Friday, raising the prospect that at least some students in the state may soon be allowed to attend classes without a face covering.”

‘With Redistricting Process Behind Schedule, Pennsylvania Primary Election Could Be Delayed’: KDKA reports that “Pennsylvania Sen. Jay Costa, the Democratic Senate Leader from Forest Hills, is warning that Pennsylvania’s May primary could be delayed until June.”

‘Sen. Aument, House Speaker Cutler supporting Sen. Scott Martin’s run for Pa. governor’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “Lancaster’s top lawmakers are throwing their support behind Sen. Scott Martin’s gubernatorial run. House Speaker Bryan Cutler and Sen. Ryan Aument both said Saturday they believe Martin’s background and legislative record will set him apart from the 14 other GOP candidates who have announced or plan to announce their gubernatorial bids.”

‘Pennsylvania Turnpike preparing to collect tolls for PennDOT on 9 state bridges’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “the Pennsylvania Turnpike will install overhead tolling gantries on nine bridges that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is considering for tolls.”

‘Casey dismisses Republican attacks, says Democrats’ legislative victories will boost the economy’: WESA reports that “U.S. Sen. Bob Casey said on Friday that Democrats’ work earlier this year to revive the country’s aging infrastructure — as well as their efforts to pass unprecedented spending on social safety net programs this month — will combat the U.S. economy’s rising inflation rate.”

‘Sturla, Smith-Wade-El face off in virtual forum Saturday; here are the key takeaways’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “state Rep. Mike Sturla and Lancaster City Council President Ismail Smith-Wade-El — both Democrats seen as hopefuls in the race for the state House’s 96th District seat — met in a public forum Saturday afternoon. Here are some key takeaways from what happened.”

‘See how the proposed Pennsylvania congressional map scores in every key area’: Spotlight PA details how the proposed Pennsylvania congressional map “scores in every key area.”

‘Former Lehigh County commissioner discusses her preliminary map for new Pa. congressional districts, addresses criticism’: Amanda Holt talks to WFMZ about “her design of a preliminary map for new congressional districts” that “was chosen by the State Government Committee.” 

‘Efforts to change Pa. fireworks law haven’t fizzled out. House, Senate committees to hear feedback’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “after years of pleas from residents, municipalities, and first responders — and failed legislative attempts — reform could be coming to Pennsylvania’s fireworks law.”

‘Law enforcement advisory panel offers recommendations for policing reforms’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “a citizen law enforcement advisory panel recommended a number of reforms Friday, including calling for the Pennsylvania State Police to turn over all use of force incidents ending in death to an outside investigator.”

‘New federal infrastructure funds would go toward helping Pa. communities with poor internet access’: WITF reports that “Pennsylvania will get $100 million in federal money to expand broadband internet infrastructure and close the gap between rural and urban counties, Sen. Bob Casey said Monday. The state is expected to receive nearly $18 billion overall from the recently-signed infrastructure bill.”

‘Facing criticism, Shapiro stands by move to regulate RGGI’: City & State PA reports that “as Republicans lob criticisms at Attorney General Josh Shapiro over his stance on Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to cap carbon emissions from the state’s electricity sector, the Democratic gubernatorial hopeful is standing by his office’s decision to sign off on the controversial regulation.”

‘Reconvene the COVID-19 Task Force: Message from the state’s GOP’: City & State PA reports that “a spike in COVID-19 cases and mounting fears over the state’s hospital capacity has Republican leaders calling for increased collaboration between members of the General Assembly and Gov. Tom Wolf.”

‘Pennsylvania hospital nurses head for the exits citing overwork and pay disparities as lawmakers look for answers’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “hospital nurses across Pennsylvania are leaving their jobs at a calamitous pace — fleeing overwork, burnout and huge pay disparities — and in the search for solutions, some Pennsylvania lawmakers are looking to mandate hospital patient-to-nurse ratios.”

‘GOP’s first proposed congressional map would shift local representation west’: The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports that “the Republican Party’s first draft proposal of how to redraw Pennsylvania’s congressional districts would move Johnstown into a district currently held by U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, remove U.S. Rep. John Joyce from the local area and bring U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler into regional politics.”

‘Redistricting, reapportionment deadlines approach as 2022 elections loom’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “House Republicans announced their preliminary congressional map Tuesday, referring to it as the “citizen map” because it was drawn by piano teacher Amanda Holt, an activist for fair districts and member of Gov. Tom Wolf’s redistricting reform commission… The map appears to put U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser, R-9, Dallas, in the same district, with Matt Cartwright, D-8, Moosic. That could force the two incumbents to face each other if they want to return to Washington.”

‘Dr. Oz says Fauci should be ‘held accountable,’ suggests he resign after ‘misleading’ Americans on COVID’: Fox News reports that “TV personality and medical professional Dr. Mehmet Oz is calling for Dr. Anthony Fauci to be “held accountable,” suggesting that he should resign as Americans have lost “faith and confidence” in his service.”

‘DEP adjusts proposed methane rule, but critics say it’s not enough’: StateImpactPA reports that “the Wolf Administration is proposing tighter controls for pollution that leaks from oil and gas sites.”

‘PA Senate candidate Oz fights to be called ‘Doctor’’: CNN reports that “Pennsylvania Senate hopeful Dr. Mehmet Oz says the Philadelphia Inquirer is trying to ‘cancel’ him by removing his title ‘Doctor’ from its coverage. The paper’s grammarian explains why it happened.”

‘Rising cyber ransom attacks costing Pennsylvania victims millions’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “PA led the nation in data breach losses in 2020, says FBI.”

‘Republicans pounced when D.A. Larry Krasner said Philly doesn’t have a ‘crisis of crime.’ Expect more of the same in 2022.’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “despite homicides increasing in Republican and Democratic cities alike, GOP candidates for races in 2022 signaled they want to make crime in places like Philadelphia a top issue.”

‘Fmr. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter Comments On Spike In Crime and DA Larry Krasner’: TalkRadio 1210 WPHT reports that Dom Giordano talked with former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, “who wrote an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer speaking out against the policies by Larry Krasner that have led the city of Philadelphia down a horrible path.”

‘Cartwright bill would improve care for seniors, people with disabilities’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright this week announced he has reintroduced the Improving Care for Vulnerable Older Citizens and People with Disabilities through Workforce Advancement Act — bipartisan legislation to create sustainable career paths for direct care workers while improving care and lowering health care costs.”

‘Gritty and Wawa give Capitol Hill holiday contest a Philly twist’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “to celebrate the holidays, staff of Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon decorated the hallway outside her Capitol Hill office with Philly-themed decor, including a life-sized inflatable Gritty, a Wawa-themed tree, and a light-up Boathouse Row.”

‘City Council transfers dozens of properties to Philadelphia Land Bank’: KYW Newsradio reports that “Philadelphia City Council passed nine separate bills last week transferring dozens of properties around the city to the Philadelphia Land Bank for development. The transfers are part of a larger trend in using the Land Bank the way it was originally intended to be used.”

‘Delaware County Council votes to require contractors to reveal political contributions’: The Delaware County Daily Times reports that “starting in April 2022, contractors wanting to do business with Delaware County government will have to disclose any political contributions they have made as county officials work to eradicate pay-to-play contracts.”

‘Pittsburgh Land Bank officials say 2022 is going to be a big year’: WESA reports that “Pittsburgh Land Bank officials said Friday that the city will see momentum in 2022 after years of delay.”

‘Pittsburgh City Council preliminarily approves changes to residential parking’: WESA reports that “Pittsburgh City Council is set to approve changes to the city’s Residential Parking Permit program, for the first time in nearly a half-century.”

‘What will happen to Wilkinsburg schools if Pittsburgh annexes borough? There’s no easy answer’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “supporters of Pittsburgh’s annexation of Wilkinsburg say the move would increase resources and lower taxes in the borough while adding population and revenue to the city. But questions remain about what the annexation would mean for Pittsburgh and Wilkinsburg’s schools.”

‘PG owner names new editorial page chief, company board member’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Ronald R. Davenport Jr., chief operating officer of Pittsburgh’s Sheridan Broadcasting Corp., has joined the nine-member Block Communications Inc. board. And Jeffery Gerritt, a 2020 Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who most recently was editor of the New Castle News and Sharon Herald, will join the Post-Gazette on Monday to guide the newspaper’s editorial and opinion pages.” 

‘Wilkinsburg community group files annexation petition to court, seeking to be added to Pittsburgh’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “the Wilkinsburg community organization behind the push for Pittsburgh to annex this neighboring borough submitted a petition to an Allegheny County court Friday, effectively initiating the process.”

‘Santa Visits Braddock With The Help Of Gisele Barreto Fetterman, Local Organizations’: KDKA reports that “Pennsylvania Second Lady Gisele Barreto Fetterman partnered with local groups, Good PGH Partner and Fred Rogers Productions, to bring Santa to kids in Braddock.”

‘Susek starting as Luzerne County’s new election director Monday’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “armed with 15 years of elections administration experience, Laflin resident Michael Susek will start work Monday as Luzerne County’s new election director.”

‘Luzerne County Council still faces budget decisions’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “there is less trepidation heading into Luzerne County Council’s 2022 budget adoption Tuesday because a real estate tax increase is not proposed, but there are still differing opinions on how the $157.8 million should be allocated.”

‘Chester County budget includes no new taxes, but funds for a morgue’: The Daily Local News reports that “the Chester County commissioners are expected to approve a proposed 2022 budget that includes no increase in the current property tax millage rate and a long-sought new forensic coroner’s facility.”

‘Lancaster County commissioners move slowly on health advisory council’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “the newly created Lancaster County advisory council that will keep decisions on addressing public health threats in the hands of county commissioners could begin meeting as early as February.”

‘How Lehigh Valley-area lawmakers voted in U.S. House, Senate’: The Allentown Morning Call details “how Lehigh Valley-area lawmakers voted in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate this week”

‘Perry County budget cuts deficit, will keep taxes level’: The Perry County Times reports that “the Perry County commissioners have proposed a 2022 budget that has cut deficits by nearly $2.5 million compared with the proposal made a year ago, according to the preliminary budget posted on the county’s website.”

‘Data dump: A look at the numbers in Carlisle’s 2022 budget’: The Carlisle Sentinel reports that “Carlisle Borough Council unanimously passed its 2022 budget Thursday night.”

‘Conduct board suggests barring Placey from future judicial service’: The Carlisle Sentinel reports that “the state’s Judicial Conduct Board is recommending that former county judge Thomas Placey be barred from future judicial service as a result of his violations of the state constitution and judicial decorum laws.”

‘Northampton County Council overrides McClure’s vetoes in 2022 budget’: WFMZ reports that “Northampton County Council voted 8-1 Thursday to override Executive Lamont McClure’s vetoes of three line items in the 2022 budget.”

‘Erie County Council discussing American Rescue Plan funding’: WJET reports that “American Rescue Plan funding could provide additional rental assistance money in the hands of those who need it. Erie County Council working to approve more than $8 million in emergency rental assistance funding.”

‘County Executive vetoes appointments for Rail Futures Commission’: WJET reports that “on Nov. 30, the Erie County Council passed Ordinance No. 115, 2021, which would allow the Council to appoint members to the Rail Futures Commission. On Friday, Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper said in a statement she was surprised the ordinance went through so soon, so she decided to veto it.”

‘Lycoming controller sues commissioners as feud over transfer of employees continues’: PennLive reports that “the Lycoming County controller has renewed her legal fight with the commissioners over employees they transferred from her office. Controller Krista B. Rogers is seeking a preliminary injunction claiming the commissioners violated her independent supervision of the fiscal affairs of the county by transferring four positions to the Office of Budget and Finance.”

‘Former Westmoreland County Judge, David Regoli, Passes Away Unexpectedly’: KDKA reports that “a former Westmoreland County judge has died. David Regoli passed away unexpectedly on Thursday.”

‘Council holds off on passing budget, setting tax rate’: The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that “Williamsport City Council anticipates approving a budget for 2022 and setting the city tax rate at its meeting Thursday night.”

‘Yoder presents alternative Williamsport city budget models’: The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that “City Councilman Adam Yoder believes there might be better ways to budget moving forward. During the second reading of Mayor Derek Slaughter’s proposed $28.3 million budget for 2022, Yoder showed models that remove estimated beginning balance, or $1.9 million; $960,000 of federal American Rescue Plan money and estimated ending balance of $517,137.”

‘Reading wants to reopen its greenhouse’: The Reading Eagle reports that “Reading hopes to bring its greenhouse back to life. Public Works Operations Director Kyle Zeiber briefed City Council on plans to reopen the greenhouse in City Park.”

Opinion  
Kendra Cochran: The Pennsylvania’s legislature’s election reform targets people of color 
Mark S. Singel: Football and pitchfork politics
Paul Muschick: As COVID continues, Biden takes the blame. Here’s who really deserves it
Michael Torres: Pennsylvania Democrats Have a Union Problem
John Sigle: We don’t need leaders like Sen. Corman pulling us apart during a time of crisis
Ari Mittleman: Jews need passionate allies
Ross Miller: The dangerous invisibility of prosecutorial misconduct 
Craig Snyder: Cities’ pandemic responses: Philadelphia should rank high
Bill White: Who’s to blame for the decline in local news coverage?
PennLive Editorial Board: Voters must study the maps to stop self-serving politicians bent on even more gerrymandering 
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: End the theatrics and work to enact meaningful solutions to gun violence 
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Hospital staffs have shouldered the pandemic burden. As yet another COVID-19 wave strikes, elected officials must urge COVID-19 vaccination.
Inquirer Editorial Board: Picking a new commerce director is a tough but critical decision for Mayor Kenney
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Port Authority is investing wisely in the Mon Valley 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Enhancing the potential of people with disabilities
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Helping local seniors avoid social isolation isn’t difficult
John L. Micek: Report: Affordable, home-based childcare is key to economic recovery | Friday Morning Coffee
Erendira Zamacona: My journey to Washington for a pathway to citizenship 
Keith C. Burris: The high court can’t settle abortion
Danielle Thomas: Hospital workers are tired, burned out and suffering mentally
David M. Shribman: Age is much more than a number
Bruce Katz: America’s Delivery Crisis 
Max Weisman: Dads, we need to support paid leave for all 
Will Bunch: Nothing is more important than Team Trump’s January PowerPoint urging a full-blown coup 
Mario H. Lopez: Think you’ll be safe from a wealth tax? Think again
Barbara Jarmoska: Pennsylvania Republicans are making it harder for us to manage global warming 
Frank Stearns: Parents may now have to take responsibility for gun violence their children commit 
Ruth Ann Dailey: Are we ‘women’ or ‘people?’
John Cole: With pay raises hung by the chimney with care … | Editorial Cartoon
Mike Miorelli: Be An Angel this year has a special meaning

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