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February 16: Roll of the Dice

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What We’re Hearing
“The more you expand [gambling], you’re just going to be dividing up that pie, rather than growing it.” – Richard Auxier

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Rep. Mike Sturla (Sun.).

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Top Story

1. Shapiro Wants To Tax Skill Games. He Must First Navigate PA’s Wealthy, Warring Gambling Interests

Gov. Shapiro at opening of new State Archives building

“As part of his budget pitch this year, Gov. Josh Shapiro says he wants to regulate and tax skill games to raise tens of millions of dollars in revenue.

In making this proposal, the Democrat wades into a years-old battle for dominance of the gambling industry, which last year contributed $2.3 billion in tax revenue to the commonwealth’s coffers.

Lawmakers, meanwhile, aren’t necessarily rushing to take firm positions.” (Spotlight PA)

Related

‘They’re Going To Change The Name Of Pennsylvania’: Examining Trump’s Claim. “Nearly lost in the torrent of words former President Donald Trump spewed during last week’s 72-minute speech at the Pennsylvania Farm Show was a warning that Pennsylvania, itself, might cease to exist.” (PennLive)

Western PA Congressional Delegation At A Crossroads For Ukraine Support. “There’s a lot at stake for Ukraine as the U.S. House of Representatives weighs a Senate bill to spend $95 billion in foreign aid — money that would help the country fend off a Russian invasion while also supporting Israel and Taiwan.” (WESA)

What Do HD-140 Results Show Us For November? “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” (PoliticsPA)

 

State

2. PA Courts Didn’t Pay Ransom In Cyberattack, And Attackers Never Sent A Demand

PA Judicial Center

“Pennsylvania’s state courts agency said Thursday that it never received a ransom demand as part of a cyberattack that briefly shut down some of its online services earlier this month and prompted a federal investigation.

The attack, called a “denial of services” attack, on the website of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts disabled some online portals and systems that were all fully restored this week, officials said.

The attack didn’t compromise any data or stop the courts from operating on a normal schedule, officials said.” (AP)

Related

In Wake Of Hacks, PA Lawmakers Push To Make Chief Information Officer A Cabinet Level Post. “The CIO currently falls under the Office of Administration – which provides business support to state agencies – but this legislation would have them report directly to the governor.” (WITF)

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Try To Ban Guns From Polling Places. “Amid a time of divisive partisanship, poll workers are feeling less safe. That’s why Rep. Tim Brennan is introducing legislation to prevent firearms at polling places.” (WITF)

State Legislators Hold Hearings On Artificial Intelligence. “This session brought together leading voices from academia and the technological industry to discuss the implications of generative AI technologies on society, the economy, and governance.” (Broad + Liberty)

Damage That Closed PA House Chamber Repaired Ahead Of Schedule. “Work to repair damage from a water leak above the state House chamber was completed more than a month ahead of schedule, Speaker Joanna McClinton’s office quietly announced last week.” (Penn Capital-Star)

Special Election Scheduled For April 23 For State 139th House District Seat. “Voters in Wayne and Pike counties will soon choose a new state representative in a special election to replace Joe Adams.” (WVIA)

In The Running: Erie-Area Candidates File Petitions To Run For PA State Rep, Senate. “Erie-area candidates are lining up to seek a seat in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.” (Erie Times-News)

 

Around The Commonwealth

3. Local Lawmakers Predict Budget Proposal To Legalize Marijuana Won’t Pass

MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION: Pennsylvania senators propose legal recreational marijuana for ages 21 and older

“State Sen. Patrick Stefano said he sees opportunity for compromise with Gov. Josh Shapiro’s 2024 budget proposal that could benefit Pennsylvanians statewide.

But Shapiro’s call to legalize recreational marijuana will likely be dead on arrival in the state Senate – as are any ideas the move would generate $275 million in new income over the next year, he said Thursday.

Stefano and state Rep. Carl Walker Metzgar both told Somerset County Chamber of Commerce business leaders that lawmakers will need to look elsewhere to fund the 2024-2025 spending plan – and that they don’t plan to support the proposal.” (Johnstown Tribune-Democrat)

Related

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey Says His Accomplishments And Love For The Job Qualify Him For Another Term. “Now in his third year as mayor of Pittsburgh, Ed Gainey says he’s found his perfect job.” (CBS Pittsburgh)

Gov. Shapiro’s Special Prosecutor Comments ‘Flatly Untrue,’ Says DA Krasner. “A plan to hire a special prosecutor to handle crimes on SEPTA will erase the will of voters and take up to 80-percent of cases away from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, Larry Krasner says” (NBC10)

Philly Dems Ousted Committeepeople Who Backed The Working Families Party But Boosted GOP Judges. “Some ousted Democratic committeepeople are accusing the party of hypocrisy — and warning that kicking them out could impact turnout efforts for this year’s presidential election.” (Philadelphia Inquirer Clout)

Lebanon County’s Ballot Drop Box A Casualty Of Election Conspiracies. “More than two dozen Lebanon County residents packed a county commissioners and elections board meeting at the courthouse in the City of Lebanon on Thursday to voice their grievances about the county’s decision last month to remove the county’s ballot drop box. ” (The Keystone)

 

Editorial

4. What’s On Your Mind

 

1 Thing

5. Wawa Coming For Sheetz

This map quantifies the Sheetz versus Wawa turf war | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

“Wawa wants to come to Hershey.

The Delaware County-based convenience store chain is eyeing real estate at Cocoa Avenue at Fishburn Road in Derry Township at a former bank.

Wawa has always operated stores on the eastern side of the state with none located west of the Susquehanna River. The company said it aims to open 40 stores in central Pennsylvania.” (PennLive)

 

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2 Responses

  1. So now a cyber attack has slowed down the AOPC from declaring legitimate ethical complaints against PA judges as being without merit.





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