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December 15th Playbook

State Rep. Austin Davis will reportedly launch a campaign for Lt. Governor and will have the support of Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Here is the Playbook.  


‘W.Pa. Rep. Austin Davis to enter Pa. Lt. Gov race with Dem Josh Shapiro’s backing’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “Josh Shapiro is expected to tap a western Pennsylvania state representative to be his running mate in 2022. Shapiro, the state’s attorney general and, so far, the Democrats’ only candidate for governor in 2022, will publicly endorse state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, as his pick for lieutenant governor in the coming weeks, Democratic sources told the Capital-Star on Tuesday.”

‘Gov. Tom Wolf not looking to impose a statewide mandate to curb spread of COVID-19: ‘Vaccine is our strategy’’: PennLive reports that “despite the uptick in COVID-19 cases particularly in Central Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf has no intention of imposing a statewide mask or vaccine mandate but will continue to urge Pennsylvanians to get vaccinated. “The vaccine is our strategy,” Wolf said on a KDKA morning radio show.”

‘Pennsylvania tries again to move up ’24 presidential primary’: The Associated Press reports that “Pennsylvania is again aiming to put its presidential primary in position to determine the winner, rather than let other states play that role. The state Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill to move up Pennsylvania’s primary elections in presidential election years by five weeks to the third Tuesday in March.”

‘Pa. Republicans are moving a new draft congressional map. It’s still mostly a mystery’: WHYY reports that “there’s a brand new, Republican-drawn congressional map draft in play in Pennsylvania’s legislature. It’s expected to pass through a key House committee Wednesday morning — though both Democrats and Republicans on the committee said they didn’t have all the details or rationale for the proposal late Tuesday afternoon.”

‘Pa. GOP plans new attempt to prevent entry into regional climate initiative’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “in yet another attempt to stave off Pennsylvania’s entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the commonwealth’s GOP House leadership says it plans to introduce a resolution this week to “disapprove” of a key component of the administration’s plan to fight climate change.”

‘Bill ensuring prescription assistance eligibility for seniors heads to governor’s desk’: PennLive reports that “legislation that ensures thousands of older Pennsylvanians have access to medications regardless of the 5.9% cost-of-living increase in their Social Security benefits is on its way to Gov. Tom Wolf for enactment.”

‘State senator said he wasn’t the target of the shooting that damaged his district office’: PennLive reports that state Sen. Sharif Street “said he wasn’t the target of a shooting incident that occurred outside his district office in the early morning hours on Tuesday that damaged his office as well as some surrounding buildings.”

‘Proposed constitutional amendment seeks to cut executive branch out of the process’: PennLive reports that “legislation that seeks to put the responsibility for advertising future constitutional amendments in the legislative branch’s hands cleared a Senate committee on Tuesday in a bipartisan 8-3 vote.”

‘Bill to ban private money from Pennsylvania elections passes House amid heated debate; Lehigh County got $762,000 last year’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “the Pennsylvania House on Tuesday gave final passage to a bill to ban private funding of elections, with Republicans claiming an unfair distribution of money had favored blue counties and a top Democrat asserting some supporters didn’t want “certain” Philadelphians to vote.”

‘Pa. House moves to reform bridge naming process’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the House Transportation Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve legislation sponsored by Rep. John Lawrence, R-Chester, that would give private citizens the ability to name roads themselves if they secure community input, collect money to replace road signs, and apply to PennDOT.”

‘Senate committee advances GOP fetal remains legislation’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “an amended version of a Republican-penned bill requiring medical facilities to provide for the disposition of remains after a fetal death advanced out of a Senate committee Tuesday.”

‘Bill banking on Pa. organics has Dept. of Ag’s support’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “Pennsylvania’s “PA Preferred Organic Program,” an initiative aimed at helping Pennsylvania farmers transition to growing organic crops, as well as promote and market organic produce, could become a permanent part of the state’s budget thanks to a bill currently in the General Assembly.”

‘Bill aimed to stop vaccine mandates for kids seems it’s going nowhere’: City & State PA reports that “lawmakers hoping to stop schools from requiring students to get vaccinated for COVID-19 shouldn’t hold their breath. After the state Senate approved legislation that would prohibit the commonwealth from implementing COVID-19 vaccination requirements in order to attend school, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration has come out against the bill, calling it “a waste of time and taxpayer money.””

‘VIDEO: ‘You have to invest in communities, not prisons’: Former juvenile offenders call for reform’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “young activists called on state lawmakers to implement the recommendations of Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice Task Force.”

‘Amy Gutmann faced questions over Penn’s donations from China at hearing for ambassadorship’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann faced questions Tuesday about Penn’s donations from China, but largely batted them back during a relatively ruffle-free, 90-minute Senate foreign relations committee hearing on her nomination to become U.S. ambassador to Germany.”

‘Pa. AG Shapiro heading to court over GOP legislators’ subpoena for voter information’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said his office will argue in court on Wednesday that the subpoena issued by state Senate Republicans for information about millions of voters “violates Pennsylvanians right to protect their own private, personal data without a legitimate, justifiable legislative purpose.””

‘Toomey, Reschenthaler use defense spending bill as vehicle to combat illicit fentanyl from China, Mexico’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “two U.S. lawmakers from Pennsylvania want to crack down on foreign countries flooding America’s drug supply with deadly illicit fentanyl that is a main driver behind record-breaking overdose deaths.”

‘Dr. Oz Senate bid bolstered by new super PAC’: The Washington Examiner reports that “Mehmet Oz, the television personality better known as Dr. Oz running as a Republican for Senate in Pennsylvania, has gained the support of a super PAC advised by a collection of experienced political operatives steeped in Washington.”

‘Far too little vote fraud to tip election to Trump, AP finds’: The Associated Press reports that “an Associated Press review of every potential case of voter fraud in the six battleground states disputed by former President Donald Trump has found fewer than 475 — a number that would have made no difference in the 2020 presidential election.”

‘Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf looks to final year in office and impacts of COVID-19’: WESA reports that “Governor Tom Wolf is about to enter his final year in office, as he is term-limited. Although the pandemic has continued to dominate conversation, Wolf says there is optimism for focusing on other efforts.”

‘Pa. revises Confederate markers, recasts forces as ‘enemy’ soldiers’: Spotlight PA reports that “after removing a trio of Confederate historical markers an hour west of Gettysburg, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has replaced two with significant revisions that view Confederate milestones through a more critical lens.”

‘Pennsylvania Gets $17M In Federal Money To Promote Statewide Tourism’: KDKA reports that “Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday announced that the state will receive slightly more than $17 million to promote tourism.”

‘Smerconish says Dr. Oz refused to be interviewed on CNN for one reason’: CNN reports that “CNN’s Michael Smerconish revealed on his radio show that Mehmet Oz, a former talk show host and Republican candidate running for a Senate seat in Pennsylvania, told him he would not appear on CNN for fear of upsetting Fox News.”

‘Philly Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw will not become the new head of the NYPD’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw is not heading to New York City. After weeks of rumors that Outlaw was a frontrunner to take over the New York Police Department next year, that city’s mayor-elect Eric Adams told the New York Post on Tuesday that Keechant Sewell, chief of detectives in Nassau County, would instead be his next top cop.”

‘As the murder rate soars, DA Larry Krasner plays ‘Good cop/good cop’’: “in an interview with City & State, Krasner said his approach to prosecuting is centered around a more “focused” approach to enforcement, “as opposed to this shotgun enforcement, this chainsaw kind of surgery, that’s been going on for decades in America – which is why we are the most incarcerated country in the world.””

‘How Philly’s indoor dining COVID vaccine mandate will work’: Billy Penn reports that “the policy goes into effect Jan. 3, with a short grace period.”

‘What Philly restaurant owners are saying about the new vaccine mandate’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “many restaurateurs quickly reacted to the news. Here’s what some of them had to say.”

‘Ready. Set. Philly! to shut down with business startup well underway’: WHYY reports that “a group formed to help restart the economy is ending, and its leadership, along with Mayor Jim Kenney, said a vaccine mandate announced Monday is the next logical step to furthering the reopening of the city.”

‘Police, AG partnership cuts shootings in Southwest Philly neighborhood by nearly 50%’: KYW Newsradio reports that “the 18th Police District in Southwest Philadelphia has made rapid strides in decreasing the number of shootings, and law enforcement leaders point to a partnership with the Pennsylvania Attorney General as a main reason why.”

‘Allegheny County Not Yet Considering Indoor Dining COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement’: KDKA reports that “Philadelphia will require people to show proof of their COVID-19 vaccine to dine or drink indoors. Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O’Connor said the county health department would most likely be the lead on creating a similar policy in Pittsburgh.”

‘Southwestern Pennsylvania named a finalist for up to $100M in Build Back Better money’: WESA reports that “Southwestern Pennsylvania could get up to $100 million in federal funds to boost its autonomous technology sector. The area was named Monday as one of 60 finalists in the U.S. Commerce Department’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge.”

‘Pittsburgh City Council looks to update city code to deploy 5G infrastructure’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “lawmakers introduced legislation Tuesday to update Pittsburgh’s city code in accordance with a new state law meant to standardize the process for setting up the next generation cellular network, which promises to increase speed and reduce latency to enable things like self-driving cars, telemedicine with fewer glitches and movie downloads that take a matter of seconds.”

‘In Cumberland Co., state and local officials ask Pennsylvanians to license dogs in 2022’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “officials from the state Department of Agriculture and Cumberland County spoke from the Cumberland County Courthouse Tuesday to remind Pennsylvanians to get their 2022 dog license before year’s end.”

‘Allentown City Council eliminates new positions in the 2022 proposed budget, but could reinstate them when new mayor takes office’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “after a heated debate, Allentown City Council decided to eliminate 13 new positions that Mayor Ray O’Connell was proposing for the 2022 budget, but vowed to re-evaluate them once Mayor-elect Matt Tuerk takes office.”

‘Lehigh County considering creating a health department that could cost at least $1.6 million annually’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “Lehigh County is looking to form a county health department to bring more health services to residents.”

‘Reading wants public input on how to spend American Rescue Plan money’: The Reading Eagle reports that “Reading wants to hear from the public how to spend the $61 million it will receive from the American Rescue Plan. The city will hold a second interactive public forum for residents to weigh in on how Reading should spend the federal dollars.”

‘Reading City Council adopts $95.4M budget for 2022’: WFMZ reports that “Reading City Council voted 6-1 Monday night to adopt a $95.4 million budget for 2022.”

‘Opioid lawsuit settlement could bring $2.9 million to Somerset County’: The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports that “Somerset County voted Tuesday to approve an opioid lawsuit settlement between Pennsylvania communities, Johnson & Johnson and three pharmaceutical distributors. It could mean $2.9 million for Somerset County, tentative figures show.”

‘Cumberland County commissioners divided over timing of pay study’: The Carlisle Sentinel reports that “in a somewhat uncommon split vote, the Cumberland County commissioners were divided Monday on whether to go forward with a county pay study, given the current economic conditions.”

‘PennDOT will provide $1.4 million for Pittsburgh Pedestrian Wayfinding Project’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “city officials are moving forward on a project to help residents and visitors more easily navigate four business districts in Pittsburgh.”

‘Group launches website to provide news, give voice to Black community in Pittsburgh’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “a Pittsburgh-based group of artists and activists has launched a website aimed to amplify the city’s Black voices.” 

‘Northampton County councilman: Pandemic-relief grants should not ‘go on indefinitely’’: WFMZ reports that “Northampton County Council has given away millions of federal dollars in grants to small businesses over the last two years, part of County Executive Lamont McClure’s plan to help businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic and then to thrive.  As county council approved another $571,615 in grants Thursday, “How much longer is this going to go on?” asked Councilman John Cusick.”

‘Erie City Council president believes it’s time for pay raises for council, starting in 2024’: The Erie Times-News reports that “Ed Brzezinski wants Erie City Council members to receive a pay increase for the first time in more than three decades. But City Council’s current president does not want the pay hike to take effect before 2024.”

‘Controller, commissioner dispute headed to courts again’: The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that “for the second time this year, the public dispute between County Controller Krista Rogers and the Lycoming County Commissioners over the transfer of personnel is headed to court.”

‘Amtran may use infrastructure funds to reach outward’: The Altoona Mirror reports that “Amtran expects to receive a still-undetermined amount of money through the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, potentially helping fund non-traditional service enhancements to outlying areas of Blair County.”

‘Former Councilman Facing Animal Cruelty Charges For Allegedly Running Over Cats’: KDKA reports that “a former councilman in Beaver County is facing animal cruelty charges after allegedly running over stray cats with his vehicle.”

‘‘I absolutely love our community.’ Meet Bellefonte’s new mayor, Buddy Johnson’: The Centre Daily Times reports that “Gene “Buddy” Johnson, a longtime Bellefonte resident, was sworn in as mayor of Bellefonte this past Saturday.”

‘Harrisburg radio host Ken Matthews to launch national news/talk show’: PennLive reports that “Ken Matthews, who has held down the weekday afternoon drive talk shift at radio station WHP 580 since 2013, is about to try to break big on the national radio scene.”

‘Comedian and former senator Al Franken to perform at ArtsQuest’s Musikfest Cafe’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “comedian, Emmy winner and former U.S. Sen. Al Franken is coming to ArtsQuest’s Musikfest Cafe in Bethlehem.”

‘COVID-19 killing younger people in Pa.’: PennLive reports that “fifty-eight percent of the 658 COVID-19 deaths registered in Pennsylvania during the week ending Sunday involved people 70 or older, according to new data released Tuesday. That’s a smaller portion than during the previous week, when 70-plus-year-olds accounted for 66% of the 654 deaths registered during the week.”

Pat Toomey, Chris Murphy, and Mark Barden: On the ninth anniversary of Sandy Hook, we must realize bipartisan action can save lives
William B. Farquhar: As federal budget stalemate continues, funding for local research is in limbo 
Paul Muschick: How we may be able to prevent the next Sandy Hook school shooting
Joyce M. Davis: Truly good people may give you the shirts off their backs, but they keep their masks firmly in place | Social Views 
David H. Safavian: Conservatives agree with Michael Rubin: we need to reform Pennsylvania’s probation system 
John L. Micek: It’s always sunny where? Calif. school official works from home in Philly | Tuesday Morning Coffee
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: State lawmakers need to pass legislation ensuring Pennsylvanians’ access to telemedicine
Jill Sunday Bartoli: The Grinch will steal Christmas if Congress doesn’t pass Build Back Better 
Tony Norman: Books that made 2021 worth living through
Eleni Towns: Congress must Build Back Better for Pa. kids
Cristina Ciocirlan: We need to repair, restore and reuse more things to save planet Earth
Trudy Rubin: Jan. 6 hearings lay out how Trumpers undermine America at home and abroad. Beware election coup in 2024 
Michael Coard: How you can celebrate the 11th anniversary of Philly’s slavery memorial this week 
Christina Griffith: Ideas We Should Steal: Cutting Light Pollution

3 Responses

  1. Brian’s Sims is so angry at Shapiro endorsing Austin Davis for LG that he plans on going out tonight and assaulting an old woman.

  2. I see the R’s are speed dialing a new Congressional Map. All in secret. As usual. Democracy weeps. Power is all that matters. “Call Me Dr” Dr Oz does not do a CNN interview so as not to offend his masters at FOX. Again, democracy weeps.

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