December 7th Playbook
State Sen. Dan Laughlin announces that he won’t run for Governor in 2022. Here is the Playbook.
‘Laughlin won’t run for PA governor, set to endorse another Republican’: The Erie Times-News reports that “State Sen. Dan Laughlin of Erie has decided to forego a run for governor in 2022 and instead endorse a fellow Republican for the job… That candidate is Republican businessman and former Delaware County Councilman Dave White, Laughlin told the Times-News Monday.”
‘Sunoco ordered to dredge lake, pay $4M over pipeline spill’: The Associated Press reports that “a pipeline developer will dredge part of a contaminated lake and pay more than $4 million for spilling thousands of gallons of drilling fluids at a popular state park outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania state officials announced Monday in a settlement that will allow construction to resume.”
‘’It is a Hanukkah present’: Wolf directs $6.6 million to Tree of Life reimagining project’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “on Monday, the final day of Hanukkah, the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill came one step closer to healing. State and city officials, including Gov. Tom Wolf, Mayor Bill Peduto, and Mayor-elect Ed Gainey stood side-by-side in the rain outside the synagogue to announce a $6.6 million state investment to redevelop the site where a shooting attack claimed the lives of 11 congregation members in 2018. “
‘AG’s office approves RGGI rule, after Shapiro criticized the plan’: StateImpactPA reports that “the Attorney General’s office has signed off on a rule that would let the state join a regional program to cut emissions from power plants.”
‘Will Pa. lawmakers live up to their redistricting transparency promises? Doubt is creeping in’: WHYY reports that “House GOP lawmakers’ new congressional-map-drawing website was designed to add transparency to Pennsylvania’s redistricting process, allowing constituents to pitch their own ideas about where district lines should lie. But for most of November, it didn’t seem to be working, raising concerns from advocates as lawmakers prepare for a once-a-decade redistricting process that has a significant impact on the commonwealth’s balance of political power. Last week, a month after lawmakers introduced the tool, not a single constituent map was shown on the website.”
‘Pa.’s carbon fee for power plants is ready to be enacted, but legislative agency says it can’t yet’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “a statewide program to limit carbon emissions from Pennsylvania power plant operators is set to become law — but slower than environmental advocates would like.”
‘Manchin and Sinema get star billing in Pa. Senate race’: POLITICO reports that “in the high-stakes primary for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat, a debate is raging over what it means to be a loyal Democrat in the Biden era. How voters answer that question could help determine the new playbook for Democrats running in battleground states.”
‘Pa.’s Houlahan co-leading push to require women to sign up for draft in must-pass defense bill’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “as the Senate works to finalize a major annual defense measure, there is a bipartisan push to include a requirement that all young Americans — including women — for the first time register for the military draft.”
‘Inside Dr. Oz’s Shameless Flip-Flop on Abortion’: The Daily Beast reports that “Dr. Oz claims to have seen up close what happens when women are forced to get unsafe abortions. But now that’s he’s running for Senate, he’s fine with overturning Roe v. Wade.”
‘Former Congresswoman Melissa Hart Launching Bid To Become Pennsylvania’s First Female Governor’: KDKA reports that “former U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart, a McCandless Republican, is running for governor of Pennsylvania next year. In her first TV interview on the subject, Hart told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Monday that she brings the right kind of experience to the office.”
‘Casey: Broadband funding for rural areas key element of infrastructure bill’: The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports that “a lack of quality broadband service is an issue that the pandemic shined a glaring light on in 2020. Nearly 400,000 Pennsylvanians don’t have reliable high-speed internet access – an estimate that dwarfs the city of Pittsburgh’s population. It’s going to take close collaboration with state- and county-level officials in areas such as Cambria, Indiana and Somerset counties – but $100 million in new statewide funds will build broadband bridges to close lingering gaps in rural Pennsylvania, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. said Monday.”
‘Who wants to run for governor as a Republican in 2022?’: City & State PA lists the candidates that are running for Governor in 2022 in Pennsylvania.
‘Toomey wants further Iran sanctions for kidnapping plot against U.S. citizen’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., has taken up the cause of an Iranian-American journalist and activist who was the target of a kidnapping plot on U.S. soil by the Iranian regime, and the lawmaker says he wants to see broader sanctions on the oppressive republic.”
‘Rep. Shusterman introduces bill to ban plastic bottles in all lodging establishments’: The Daily Local News reports that “State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-157th Dist., introduced new legislation to ban small plastic bottles in lodging establishments.”
‘Lawmakers’ fight over fentanyl comes down to prosecution and sentencing reform’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “the topic was fentanyl. The debate: How to crack down on the insidious drug and its thousands of chemical compounds killing record numbers of Americans. As overdose deaths continue to soar across the country, the Biden administration’s argument to tighten regulations on the illicit substance and its variations got a receptive ear from members of Congress who have watched the tragedy unfold in their districts.”
‘Jack Daneri resigns from position of District Attorney’: WJET reports that “effective December 31, 2021 District Attorney of Erie County Jack Daneri will be resigning from his position.”
‘Parent tells Pennsylvania lawmakers some drug abuse treatment centers are ‘predatory’’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “amid a crisis that is taking thousands of lives, reliable information on Pennsylvania drug abuse treatment centers and recovery homes is almost impossible to find, a mother who lost a son to an overdose said Monday.”
‘‘We don’t have a crisis of crime.’ DA Larry Krasner says Philly tourists should feel safe despite a record number of killings’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner on Monday pushed back on the notion that the city is gripped by a violent crime crisis, despite a record number of homicides in what has become the most deadly year in its history.”
‘Pennsbury school board now can’t stop public comments it deems offensive. What does it mean for other districts?’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “a federal court order against the Pennsbury School District for curtailing public comments that officials deemed abusive or irrelevant has districts across the region reconsidering how they’ll handle heated or hateful speech during school board meetings — a regular phenomenon in some communities over the last year.”
‘Philly Council committee advances bill that could have major impact on development’: KYW Newsradio reports that “a Philadelphia City Council committee advanced a bill that asks voters to approve significant changes to the Zoning Board, which has enormous power over development in the city.”
‘CNN replacing Chris Cuomo this week with Michael Smerconish’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Michael Smerconish, the onetime Philadelphia radio host and a former Philadelphia Inquirer columnist, will fill in for Cuomo all week at 9 p.m., according to a CNN spokesperson. Nothing has been determined beyond Friday.”
‘Pittsburgh city solicitor steps down to join Port Authority’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “City Solicitor and Chief Legal Officer Yvonne Hilton is leaving her role with Pittsburgh’s city government to serve as associate counsel with the Port Authority of Allegheny County.”
‘City Council set to consider ‘final piece’ in pilot program to study curb use in Pittsburgh’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “hoping to reduce emissions and congestion, Pittsburgh is going to keep an eye on some parking spots.”
‘Churchill residents continue protests as council sets a date to vote on Amazon proposal’: WESA reports that “after 14 meetings and more than 57 hours of hearings and public comment, the Churchill Borough Council will soon vote on a proposal to turn a former Westinghouse site into an Amazon distribution center. But some residents are not done speaking up against the plan.”
‘Community asks Pittsburgh Public Schools to boost student support funding in 2022 budget’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “community members have called on the Pittsburgh Public Schools to direct more money in its 2022 budget toward mental health and support services for students while moving funding away from school police and security.”
‘Sheetz convenience stores names new president and CEO’: PennLive reports that “Altoona-based Sheetz announced today that the company will have a new president and CEO in January. Travis Sheetz, nephew of founder Bob Sheetz, will move into his new role in the new year. Travis Sheetz was previously president and chief operating officer.”
‘Philly to test new tech in bid to stop delivery drivers from parking illegally’: WHYY reports that “it’s online shopping season, so you might find yourself stuck behind delivery vans blocking the lane more often than usual. But transportation officials envision a better future, where delivery drivers glide smoothly into loading space reserved ahead of time. The city will test the idea in a pilot this spring.”
Gleason Endorses McSwain: Former PA GOP Chairman Rob Gleason has endorsed Bill McSwain for Governor, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Tamari.
‘Sala Udin named as PPS board president after new school directors take oath’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Pittsburgh school director Sala Udin was named board president for 2022 on Monday night shortly after being sworn in for a second term at the board’s annual reorganization meeting.”
‘Important COVID-19 barometer shows worsening outlook for Pa.’: PennLive reports that “Pennsylvania’s rate of positive COVID-19 tests reached 15.3% during the seven days ending Thursday, more than triple the level considered evidence of significant spread.”
Sharif Street: Pennsylvania’s digital divide is two distinct problems. It’s time to solve both
David Thornburgh: Why legislators must make congressional redistricting maps public now
Jon Geeting: Who Should Replace Al Schmidt?
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: The state system must clarify a muddled mission
John L. Micek: Biden’s domestic bill would fund reforestation in cities in Pa., elsewhere | Monday Morning Coffee
Michaela Haas: Turning Data Into Solutions
Kevin C. Gillen: As COVID drives home prices higher, crunching the numbers on housing affordability | Rebuilding Philly
Lyssa Horvath: I’m a highly qualified preschool teacher. Why won’t the state recognize that?
Dick Polman: There’s no cure for COVIDIOCY