December 17th Playbook

We have state House and Senate maps! Here is the Playbook.


‘Panel gives state House, Senate district maps preliminary OK’: The Associated Press reports that “the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission voted Thursday in favor of new preliminary district maps over sharp objections from the House’s Republican leader, as a large increase in the state’s minority population helped shape big changes.”

‘The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022’: Pennsylvania remains the #1 Senate seat most likely to flip in 2022, according to the latest ratings update from CNN.

‘Pa. Democrats could get a big boost from a new state House map, while the GOP would solidify a Senate edge’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “a newly proposed state House map is actually friendlier to Democrats than the state’s natural political geography, according to a detailed data analysis.”

‘Is the new Pa. House map better for Democrats or Republicans? We tested it.’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “the new map will help determine each party’s prospects for winning a majority — and with it the power to make policy affecting millions of Pennsylvanians.”

‘Is the new Pa. Senate map better for Democrats or Republicans? We tested it.’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “the new map will help determine each party’s prospects for winning a majority — and with it the power to make policy affecting millions of Pennsylvanians.”

‘Pennsylvania lawmaker proposes constitutional amendment to end state control of liquor sales’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “state Rep. Natalie Mihalek wants Pennsylvania voters to make the final decision on whether to bring an end to the state’s control over liquor sales. Mihalek, an Allegheny County Republican, wants to use the constitutional amendment process to privatize the work carried out by the Liquor Control Board and its 600 wine and spirits stores.”

‘Doctor vs. doctor: Arkoosh wants a chance to go ‘toe-to-toe’ with Oz in Pennsylvania Senate battle’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “marking the entrance of Dr. Mehmet Oz into the U.S. Senate race with a searing indictment of his medical record, Dr. Val Arkoosh, the Montgomery County commissioner and physician who’s vying to become Pennsylvania’s first female senator, said the state can’t afford to hand the reins of such an important seat to a “television personality.””

‘Preliminary maps of legislative districts impact midstate counties in unexpected way’: PennLive reports that “a preliminary plan that redraws the state legislative district boundaries shakes up several existing legislative districts in the midstate, in one case leaving what was the fastest growing county in the state with one less representative.”

‘Preliminary redistricting map would create open state Senate seat in Cumberland County’: The Carlisle Sentinel reports that “preliminary maps for state House and Senate districts passed Thursday by the Pennsylvania Legislative Redistricting Commission would entail significant shake-ups for Cumberland County — including a change of senator for the majority of the county, as well as a seat that would join the West Shore suburbs with a portion of Harrisburg.”

‘Veteran state representative Peifer retiring from House’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “longtime state Rep. Michael Peifer won’t seek reelection next year after spending 16 years in the House.”

‘Redistricting plan puts Yudichak in Baker’s district, moves his seat to Lehigh Valley’: The Citizens Voice reports that the proposed state Senate map puts state Sen. John Yudichak into state Sen. Lisa Baker’s district. 

‘Reorganized State Legislative Map Could Pit Incumbents Against Each Other’: KDKA reports that “while it’s true that statewide, 12 Republican incumbents are facing off against each other, in this region both Republican and Democratic incumbents are forced to run against each other. For example, Republican Rep. Lori Mizgorski, of Shaler, could face Democratic Rep. Sara Innamorato, of Lawrenceville; Republican Rep. Carrie Lewis Delrosso, of Oakmont, versus Democratic Rep. Tony Deluca, of Penn Hills; and Republican Rep. Parke Wentling, of Greenville, versus Democrat Rep. Mark Longietti, of Hermitage. The one-party battle in this region features Rep. Mike Puskaric, a Union Republican, against Rep. Jason Ortitay, a Cecil Republican.” 

‘Pennsylvania redistricting: Proposed new state House and Senate maps revealed, with big changes for Lehigh Valley’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “a five-member commission on Thursday approved a preliminary set of House and Senate legislative maps for use over the next decade of elections, and they contained big changes for the Lehigh Valley.”

‘Proposed Pa. House map puts Scranton in four different districts’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “a proposed redrawing of state legislative district boundaries puts parts of Scranton into four different House districts and splits Lackawanna County between two Senate districts.”

‘Wolf touts progress in Scranton, pushes for raising minimum wage’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “progress in Scranton looks like renovations to City Hall, a new Center for Technology Innovation and the relocation of a bank headquarters. Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday highlighted projects partially funded through the state’s latest round of Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grants.”

‘Swissvale attorney, borough council president Abigail Salisbury eyes run for Pa. House 34th District’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Abigail Salisbury, a 39-year-old lawyer who runs her own practice and specializes in nonprofit law, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday that she’s bidding to represent the 34th District that stretches from the eastern edge of Hazelwood up through Swissvale, Rankin, Braddock and Turtle Creek.”

‘Retirement costs for Pennsylvania school districts, taxpayers will continue to edge up in 2022’: PennLive reports that “a Public School Employees Retirement System committee on Thursday moved to charge school districts 35.26 percent of payroll to fully fund pension system costs in fiscal 2022-23. That percentage, called the employer contribution rate, means the state and school districts together are obligated to pay an extra $35.26 for every $100 of paid salary to cover pension system costs.”

City & State PA’s Biggest Winners & Losers This Week: City & State PA highlights the three winners and losers in Pennsylvania politics this week.

‘Pa. Rep. Scott Perry was part of a top meeting with Trump officials as they plotted to reverse the 2020 election, report says’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “days after the 2020 election was called for Joe Biden, some of then-President Donald Trump’s top aides gathered for a crucial meeting, including chief of staff Mark Meadows, campaign manager Bill Stepien, close adviser Stephen Miller, and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Joining them was Rep. Scott Perry, a Republican from Pennsylvania, in a session that set the course for Trump’s attempts to try to undo Biden’s lawful win, said a report Thursday from the New York Times.”

‘Philly’s program that prevents evictions will continue through 2022’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Philadelphia’s nationally recognized program to prevent evictions is set to continue for another year after City Council unanimously voted Thursday to extend it.”

‘A zoning overhaul aims to empower Philly residents. Voters will decide if it becomes law’: WHYY reports that “Philadelphia voters will soon decide whether City Council should have more say over who sits on the Zoning Board of Adjustments, the independent board empowered to make legally binding decisions about what proposed developments get built.”

‘Montgomery County commissioners vote 2-1 to approve 2022 budget with 8% tax hike’: Montgomery Media reports that “the Montgomery County commissioners Thursday adopted a $498.6 million general fund operating budget and capital improvement plan for fiscal year 2022 with an 8 percent property tax increase.”

‘’We can’t miss this unique opportunity’: Civic groups push Pittsburgh Mayor-elect Ed Gainey to make public transit a top priority’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Pittsburghers for Public Transit and 25 other civic groups are calling on Pittsburgh Mayor-elect Ed Gainey to make significant changes to support transit during his first 100 days in office.”

‘Pittsburgh City Council advances bill to review deputy-level mayoral appointments’: WESA reports that “Pittsburgh City Council is set to vote next week on a bill that would give council the ability to interview mayoral appointees for positions like deputy and assistant directors and chiefs.”

‘Mayor Peduto blasts back at DA Zappala over Jim Rogers death case’: WTAE reports that “Mayor Bill Peduto responded with a rare public flash of anger aimed at Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala when asked about the D.A.’s criticisms of the mayor’s handling of the Jim Rogers case.”

‘DA surprised by Luzerne County Council’s withdrawal from suit’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Luzerne County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce said Wednesday he was surprised county council is withdrawing from litigation over the timing of the DA election because the underlying issues have not yet been adjudicated.”

‘An 18 percent property tax increase is on the table in Lebanon County’: PennLive reports that “an average Lebanon County homeowner will see a property tax increase of more than $100 next year if the county commissioners give final approval to their tentative 2022 budget next week. County officials contend an 18 percent increase in the property levy is needed to support a budget that will top out at $123.9 million.”

‘Cumberland County anticipates surveys, outreach on use of American Rescue Plan Act funds in early 2022’: The Carlisle Sentinel reports that “Cumberland County anticipates doing public surveys and issuing allocation priorities early next year with regard to the county’s share of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.”

‘Lancaster County commissioners approve 2022 budget, making it the 9th year without raising property taxes’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “Lancaster County will go a ninth year without raising property taxes under the 2022 budget approved Wednesday by the county commissioners.”

‘Lehigh County is one step closer to having a health department that could tackle issues such as the opioid crisis’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “the Lehigh County Board of Commissioner voted to begin the process of forming a Lehigh County Department of Health at its Wednesday night meeting.”

‘Allentown residents won’t see a tax increase in the 2022 budget’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “Allentown City Council unanimously passed a $124.6 million 2022 budget Wednesday night after a less contentious budget process compared to previous years.”

‘Berks County passes a $577 million 2022 budget with no tax increase’: The Reading Eagle reports that “Berks County commissioners unanimously passed a 2021 county budget that holds the line on taxes.”

‘Rep. Susan Wild visits Upper Macungie broadband technology company looking to double workforce’: WFMZ reports that “U.S. Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA 7th District) toured Infinera on Thursday. She’s working on a bill that would ask the administration to create an office devoted to dealing with supply chain issues.” 

‘Chester County officials push for lower-cost housing models’: The Daily Local News reports that “with housing prices increasing faster than incomes in Chester County, county leaders are looking for ways to create more homes affordable to middle-income and smaller families.”

‘Crossed-out candidate card cost county council hopeful the election, lawsuit says’: The Express-Times reports that “Republican county council candidate Nicole Romanishan filed a lawsuit last week saying her name was crossed off candidate cards handed out to more than 1,000 Northampton County voters as they went into polling places to vote.”

‘County Council appoints former Millcreek School Board president to fill 1st District seat vacancy’: The Erie Times-News reports that “Erie County Council passed a resolution Thursday to fill a vacancy among its ranks. In a 7-0 vote, council members approved the nomination of Democrat and lifelong Erie resident Terry Scutella to sit on the council.”

‘County executive-elect Davis plans to change Erie County’s approach to COVID-19’: The Erie Times-News reports that “Erie County school districts will set their own policies for face masks and other COVID-19 mitigation measures when Brenton Davis becomes Erie County executive on Jan. 3.”

‘Erie City Council passes budget for 2022 during Wednesday evening meeting’: WJET reports that “Erie City Council have decided to pass next year’s budget worth more than $95 million but not without some changes.”

‘Centre County mulls policy that would require unvaccinated employees to get weekly COVID tests’: The Centre Daily Times reports that “unvaccinated Centre County employees could be tested weekly for COVID-19 if a new policy is approved by the county commissioners.”

‘York mayor ready to present plans for $35 million in COVID-19 relief offered by ARPA’: The York Daily Record reports that “York received $35 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds and on Monday, Mayor Michael Helfrich shared his proposal to use that money to address public safety, joblessness, homelessness, and healthier families.”

‘York County commissioners approve 2022 tax increase — and it’s not as high as projected’: The York Daily Record reports that “the York County commissioners unanimously approved on Wednesday a tax increase for 2022. It will be a 1 mill increase, which is 0.10 mills lower than the hike that was proposed last month.”

‘Richard Neal Sr., former Philadelphia police commissioner, dies at 81’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Richard Neal Sr., 81, the former commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, died Saturday, Dec. 11, after a stroke at Bryn Mawr Hospital.”

‘No tax increase for Lycoming County property owners’: The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that “Lycoming County commissioners voted to approve the county’s 2022 budget, holding the real estate tax rate for county residents at 6.50 mills. Property owners will now pay $650 per $100,000 of their property’s assessed value in taxes to the county.”

John Baer: A Christmas fantasy: Pa. lawmakers offer taxpayers some gifts 
Mark Pinsley: Why Pennsylvania should immediately repeal its stand your ground laws
Paul Muschick: Why I support the anti-critical race theory crowd’s latest attempt to reshape public education in Pennsylvania
Seventeen Disability Industry Leaders: Gov. Tom Wolf has failed to address the collapse of Pa.’s intellectual disability system
Matthew Rink: Laughlin’s exit from gubernatorial race no surprise. Not in today’s GOP, at least.
Saeid Kamalpour: Small businesses in Pennsylvania seek congressional action on climate
John L. Micek: Pa. Special Ed. panel recommends more funding predictability for schools | Thursday Morning Coffee
Camika Royal: End the Philly School District’s unfortunate history of prioritizing the privileged 
Zakia Royster-Morris and Shakeda Gaines: Bashing neighborhood schools isn’t the right way to talk about Philly’s new special-admissions policies
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: People who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 are ‘impacting the lives of so many people.’ This is both true and tragic.
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Pennsylvania’s bridge toll project is eroding public trust 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Peace and joy give way to lawmakers carrying a piece 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Airport CEO to thank for return of London connection
Elizabeth Wydra: On the anniversary of the 13th Amendment’s certification, remembering the nation’s ‘Second Founding’
Ross T. Hamilton, Jr.: My students need to know about pivotal Black leaders
Sinta Penyami Storms: As an Asian American, I’m tired of being pitted against other communities of color 
Will Bunch: A theory: How Trump’s Jan. 6 coup plan worked, how close it came, why it failed 
Trudy Rubin: Welcome to the new, confusing Middle East, from which the U.S. can’t escape 
Jessica Blatt Press and Katherine Rapin: Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2021 Recap: We Can Solve Problems 
Jessica Blatt Press: Ideas We Should Steal: Citywide Restorative Justice

2 Responses

  1. Brian Sims definitely gets a down arrow. It’s official: nobody like him. Josh Shapiro doesn’t like him. The old women and young girls he’s accosted on the street don’t like him. He needs to go away.

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