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February 5: Budget Address Preview

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What We’re Hearing
Portions of the Pennsylvania Courts website are currently unavailable due to a cyberattack. “Our court information technology and executive team is working closely with law enforcement including the CISA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I to investigate the incident,” Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Debra Todd said.

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Cake and candles for Rep. Craig Staats whose birthday was Sunday.

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Top Story

1. Shapiro To Deliver Budget While Seeking Money For Higher Education And Public Transit

Gov. Josh Shapiro

Gov. Josh Shapiro is set to deliver a second budget proposal to Pennsylvania lawmakers on Tuesday with a firmer grasp on how he wants to pursue several top priorities, his state in a relatively strong fiscal position and lessons learned from last year’s ugly budget fight.

Most details of the Democratic governor’s budget plan for the 2024-25 fiscal year, which starts July 1, remain under wraps. But Shapiro has made it clear he will seek more money for higher education and public transit agencies and possibly underfunded public schools.” (AP)

Related

Five Things to Watch In The Governor’s Budget Address. “Gov. Josh Shapiro will make his second budget address on Tuesday in the Capitol Rotunda. Here are five things that we are watching for in the budget address.” (PoliticsPA)

  • Op-Ed: When It Comes to the State Budget, We Cannot Afford Another Groundhog Day. (Rep. Bryan Cutler)

 

Tuition, Taxes, Transit, And More – What To Watch For In Gov. Shapiro’s Unique Budget Rollout. “Governor Josh Shapiro is set to deliver his 2024-25 budget proposal on Tuesday, a pitch which is guaranteed to be different in more ways than one.” (PennLive)

Raising Taxes On The Table As PA Weighs How To Pay For Education Court Ruling. “Pennsylvania likely needs billions of dollars to shore up its public schools following a landmark court ruling, but lawmakers are entering a new state budget cycle with few concrete proposals.” (Spotlight PA)

  • Shapiro Budget Expected To Address Court Ruling On School Funding. (Citizens Voice)
  • Pittman, Struzzi Waiting For Shapiro Budget Address. (WCCS Radio)

 

POLITICO Pro Q&A: Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey on Trade. “Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey sits squarely in the crossfire of the debate over American trade policy.” (Politico $$)

 

State

2. A Lower Bucks Special Election Will Determine Control of the PA House

HD-140: Jim Prokopiak vs. Candace Cabanas

“The balance of the Pennsylvania House is on the line for a fourth time in less than a year, with a special election next week in Lower Bucks County.

Two candidates are running to replace longtime Democratic Rep. John Galloway, who resigned to become a magisterial district judge. The outcome of the Feb. 13 election will determine which party controls the House, currently tied at 101-101.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Related

Montgomery, Delco, Chester Committee Members Favor Stollsteimer for Attorney General. “With party conventions taking place in the southeastern collar counties, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer claims the most votes among committee members in Delaware, Montgomery and Chester counties in his quest for Pennsylvania’s Attorney General.” (PoliticsPA)

Kevin Dellicker Outraises Republican Opponents For Lehigh Valley’s Congressional District, But Incumbent Susan Wild Has A Huge Advantage. “The race for the Lehigh Valley’s congressional district is expected to be very competitive, with several election forecasters rating it a “toss-up” in 2024, but incumbent Congresswoman Susan Wild has a major advantage over her opponents: cash.” (Morning Call)

Supreme Court Enters Election Season With Politically Potent Cases. “The Supreme Court will grapple with a sizable number of politically significant cases as the presidential election season heats up over the next few months, touching on abortion rights, gun control and the fate of criminal charges against the leading Republican candidate, Donald Trump.” (Roll Call)

 

Around The Commonwealth

3. Western PA Republicans Oppose Biden’s Pick Of First Muslim-American To Federal Appeals Court

Adeel Mangi, a Philadelphia-based lawyer who Biden just nominated as the first Muslim American to join the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

“Western Pennsylvania’s Republican lawmakers are trying to quash the confirmation of the first Muslim American nominated to the federal appeals court for the Keystone State.

Supporters of Adeel Abdullah Mangi’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit said he is being held to a different standard because of his religious background.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Related

How The Right Learned To Stop Worrying And Love John Fetterman. “Sam ​​DeMarco is the Republican Party chairman in Allegheny County, where Fetterman — now a senator — lives. At the time, he castigated Fetterman as someone who kept finding “a way to fail upward” and questioned how any “reasonable” person could vote for him. But that was more than a year ago. ” (NBC News)

Philly Dems Made Good On Threats To Oust People Who Backed The Working Families Party. But Only Some Of Them. “About half of those being removed are in Councilmember Cindy Bass’ 22nd Ward, and some believe they are being targeted by her for backing her Democratic primary opponent.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

In Chester’s Historic Bankruptcy, A Court Ruling Affirms The State Receiver’s Powers In A Fiscal ‘Emergency’. “In a ruling that is a game changer in Chester’s historic bankruptcy — and may have impacts on economically struggling towns elsewhere — the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has affirmed the state-appointed receiver’s plans to rescue one of the nation’s most-distressed cities from “financial doom.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Candidate Announcements

 

Editorial

4. What’s On Your Mind

  • Why Help Ukraine: An Open Letter to My Congressional Colleagues. (Rep. Chrissy Houlahan)
  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court Takes Aim at Politics of Cruelty. (Francis Wilkinson)
  • Despite The Steep Odds And Political Risks, Harrisburg Must Act To Protect Democracy Before The Presidential Election. (LNP)
  • Pennsylvania Court Has Found A Way To Undermine Judge Samuel Alito’s Extremism. (Sarah K. Burris)
  • Democracy Dies When PA Pols Tell Their Own Voters To Drop Dead On Fracking. (Will Bunch)
  • Shapiro Economic Plan A Shot In The Arm For Moribund Pittsburgh Region. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Do-Nothing Dems In The PA House Hold Bipartisan Reforms Hostage. (Jennifer Stefano)
  • Is Bhavini Patel Too Foreign For Pittsburgh? Summer Lee’s Camp Thinks So. (Brandon McGinley)
  • The Complicated Laurie MacDonald Won’t Back Down. (Adriana E. Ramírez)
  • School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea, And Pennsylvania Should Learn From Other States’ Cautionary Tales. (Susan Spicka)

 

1 FUTBOL Thing

5. Philadelphia To Host Six World Cup Matches in 2026

World Cup 2026: Philadelphia gets July 4 Round of 16 game among six contests

“Philadelphia will host six games in the 2026 men’s soccer World Cup, capped off by a round-of-16 game on July 4 — the United States’ 250th birthday.

Lincoln Financial Field’s slate will have five group stage games, starting on June 14, a Sunday. The rest are set for June 19, June 22, June 25, and June 27, the last day of the group stage.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

 

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  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?


    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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