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February 7: The Day After

Senate GOP Leadership

👋 Welcome Wednesday. Let’s make it a great one, shall we?

PA Weather
☀️ Murrysville | Mostly Sunny, 51
☀️ McElhattan | Mostly Sunny, 49
☀️ McAdoo | Mostly Sunny, 42

PA Sports
🏀 Sixers (30-19) | Wed vs. Golden State
🏒 Flyers (26-19-6) | Thu vs. Winnipeg
🏒 Penguins (23-17-7) | Fri vs. Minnesota

What’s Happening
The Senate will convene at 11 a.m.

What We’re Hearing
“I don’t stand for out-of-control spending with no explanation of how we are going to responsibly pay for it. The governor’s budget address — with all of the proposed spending and government intrusion on PA families — was obviously his audition for being the sweetheart of the DNC.” – Sen. Kim Ward

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Rep. Kevin Boyle.

Political News? Yes, Please
The PoliticsPA Playbook gives you all today’s PA political headlines in an easy-to-read email format. All by 8 AM. And it’s free. Subscribe now.


Top Story

1. Governor Seeks Billions For Schools And Development In Budget That Envisions Legal Weed

Gov. Josh Shapiro 2024 budget address

Gov. Josh Shapiro’s second budget proposes significant increases to education and economic development and would regulate adult use marijuana, while leaning heavily on Pennsylvania’s flush reserves to underwrite his vision.

The Democrat on Tuesday unveiled his budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year, which begins on July 1, in front of a joint session of the House and Senate in the ornate Capitol Rotunda, watched over by a heavy police presence.

After a relatively modest first-year budget proposal, Shapiro returned in his second year with an admittedly “ambitious” $48.3 billion plan that marshals billions more for underfunded public schools, public transit, higher education and major industrial and high-tech projects to invigorate a slow-growing economy.” (AP)


Money for K-12, Recreational Weed, And Minimum Wage: Gov. Shapiro Delivers An Ambitious $48.34 Billion State Budget. “Gov. Josh Shapiro unveiled an ambitious $48.3 billion spending plan Tuesday that attempts to tackle decades of deferred investment in education and proposes no new tax increases.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Shapiro Pitches Legal Cannabis, Regulated Skill Games In Budget That Bumps Education Spending By $2.2B. “In his annual budget address Tuesday, Gov. Josh Shapiro unveiled a $48.3 billion spending plan that proposes to significantly increase funding for public education and legalize recreational marijuana.” (Spotlight PA)

Shapiro Proposes $48.3B Budget. “In an 84-minute address, Gov. Josh Shapiro outlined his budget priorities for the 2024-25 fiscal year before state representatives in the Capitol Rotunda.” (PoliticsPA)



2. Interest In Local Police Work Drops In Western PA Despite Jump In State Police Academy Applicants

Police Department - Borough of South Greensburg

“While the Pennsylvania State Police force is seeing increased interest from people wanting to become troopers, many suburban and rural departments in Western Pennsylvania are facing a challenge trying to attract new officers.

Chiefs say it is reflective of the staffing challenges local departments routinely face and a general decline in people turning to law enforcement as a career.

“Our biggest issue is finding people who want to police anymore,” said Penn Township police Chief John Otto.” (Tribune-Review)


PA Court Systems Targeted Through Cyber-Attack, Affecting Some Services. “Members of the Pennsylvania Courts are continuing to restore services on Tuesday evening, though the directed cyber attack has continued to prevent access to several of the state’s digital services.” (Beaver County Times)

Washington County OKs Cybersecurity Upgrades, Apparent Ransom Payment. “The Washington County commissioners called an emergency meeting Tuesday to approve $400,000 for wide-ranging digital security upgrades to the county’s computer systems along with an apparent ransom payment to the hackers who launched last month’s cyberattack that crippled government services and the courthouse.” (Washington Observer-Reporter)

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s GOP Primary Challenger Says He’s Still In The Race Despite Rumors. “Rumors of the death of Mark Houck’s Congressional campaign have been greatly exaggerated.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


Around The Commonwealth

3. An Election In February? It Could Shift Power In PA, And Lower Bucks Voters Hold The Key

HD-140: Jim Prokopiak vs. Candace Cabanas

“A special election to select a new state representative for parts of Lower Bucks will be held Tuesday, and has statewide implications in who controls the Pennsylvania legislature.

The election was called when former Rep. John Galloway, of Falls, resigned after winning a seat as district justice in Falls, replacing retiring Judge Jan Vislosky. The winner will represent Lower Bucks County’s 140th Legislative District.

Here’s what you need to know.” (Bucks County Courier Times)


Pittsburgh City Council Approves Gainey’s $6M Comprehensive Plan Proposal. “Advocates say having a roadmap for such goals will make it easier for the city to pursue grant funding and set budgetary priorities.” (WESA)

Chester County Political Parties Endorse Candidates For Spring Primary. “The two major political parties in Chester County have their slate of endorsed candidates for this year’s primary election and set up a possible fall face-off between Democratic incumbent Chrissy Houlahan and a political newcomer, Neil Young of East Nantmeal, for the 6th Congressional District seat.” (West Chester Daily Local)

Row Officers: You Vote for Them, but Do You Know What They Do? “Chances are that the last time you went to the ballot box, you may have been voting for a few county officers without really knowing what their function was. The average Centre County resident probably can’t rattle off the job description for “prothonotary” or “clerk of orphans’ court,” for example.” (



4. What’s On Your Mind

  • Gov. Shapiro Wants To Fix Higher Ed In PA. His Plan Is Just a Start. (Sara Goldrick-Rab)
  • Before Fixing College, Gov. Shapiro Should Fix Pennsylvania’s Failing K–12 System. (Stephen Bloom)
  • Airport Authority’s Successful ‘Open Records’ Delay Tactics Highlight State Law’s Weakness. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Rural Center Hearings Show We Don’t Care Enough For Those Who Care For Us. (Eric Poole)
  • Lavish Spending Requests Will Mean Higher Taxes On All Pennsylvanians. (Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill)
  • Shapiro Wants To Build On ‘What We Did Last Year Together.’ Really? (Tribune-Review)


1 Thing

5. The Anti-Chocolate Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

A non-chocolate gift selection includes a bouquet of artisanal cured meat. 

“Valentine’s Day is a time for clichéd celebrations: tables for two. Red rose bouquets. The sound of Champagne bottles popping.

The most clichéd of all? A box of chocolates.

But not everybody’s love language is chocolate, and not just because of concerns about unhealthy additives that have been traced to some varieties of the confection. There’s also just the question of bestowing a gift that feels original.” (Bloomberg)


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2 Responses

  1. MAGA GOP prefer to cause border crisis rather than fix it, so they can continue to rail against the dysfunction that they caused.

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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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