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January 19: The Art of the Deal

🤗 Workin’ For The Weekend. Make it a good one.

PA Weather
❄️ Somerset | Snow, 24
❄️ Wellsboro | Snow, 23
❄️ Kennett Square | Snow, 30

PA Sports
🏀 Sixers (26-13) | Fri vs. Orlando
🏒 Flyers (25-14-6) | Dallas 5-1 | Sat vs. Colorado
🏒 Penguins (21-15-6) | Sat vs. Vegas

What’s Happening Today
The March for Life, the largest anti-abortion event in the country, takes place today in Washington, D.C.

What We’re Hearing
“I hope this year proves that we’re able to communicate and work together to actually get stuff done, not just say it.” – Sen. Kim Ward.

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Rep. Danilo Burgos (Fri.), and Reps. Joe Kerwin and Chris Pielli (Sat.).

Start Your Day Smarter
The PoliticsPA Playbook gives you all today’s PA political headlines in an easy-to-read format. All by 8 AM. And it’s free. Subscribe now.


Top Story

1. Shapiro Drew National Attention Last Year, But 2024 Will Bring A Big Test Of His Bipartisan Promises

Gov. Josh Shapiro

Gov. Josh Shapiro promised to work across the aisle to get things done.

In his first year, Shapiro rose in his popularity and national profile, in large part thanks to his swift reopening of a collapsed portion of I-95 within 12 days, showing his administration’s ability to creatively solve problems. The 50-year-old Democrat from Abington also cites more than a dozen smaller wins as he worked with the divided legislature, including a long-sought increase in property tax and rent rebates for seniors and probation reforms.

The next year, however, will be a critical test of Shapiro’s ability to make bipartisan deals, and it could define his leadership in Pennsylvania — and nationally. Debates over the state’s education system and how to fund it will be at the center of the action.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • Picturing Gov. Josh Shapiro’s First Year. (Inquirer)



Ahead of New Hampshire, Some Pennsylvania Republicans Insist Presidential Race Has Just Begun. “Will Trump coast to the Republican nomination? Some Pennsylvania Republicans say he can still be beaten ahead of next week’s New Hampshire primary.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

In Close Election, 18-Year-Olds In Pennsylvania Could Make The Difference But Most Don’t Register To Vote. “A Los Angeles-based civics group says that although tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians turn 18 each year, the vast majority do not register to vote.” (CBS Pittsburgh)

Republican Dave McCormick Would Repeal Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. “The GOP candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania blamed the bill and other spending for inflation.” (HuffPost)

Casey Asks Congressional Investigators To Look At ‘Greedflation’. “U.S. Sen. Bob Casey has asked the investigative arm of Congress to investigate what he says is corporate greed costing American families thousands of dollars in jacked-up prices.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Rep. Smucker On National Debt: ‘We Have An Existential Problem That We Have To Address’. “U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker and members of the House Budget Committee on Thursday approved legislation that would form a bipartisan commission to study cutting the national debt, which reached $34 trillion this week.” (LNP)



2. Pennsylvania Cannot Bar Adults Under 21 From Carrying Guns, Court Rules

3rd Circuit Court of Appeals

“The Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Pennsylvania laws that ban 18- to 20-year-olds from carrying firearms in public during a state of emergency are unconstitutional.

The federal appeals court cited a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that expanded gun rights and marked the latest instance of a court striking down a gun law after the Supreme Court’s conservative majority changed the landscape of firearms regulation with its June 2022 ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.” (PoliticsPA)


Pennsylvania Can’t Stop Young Adults From Openly Carrying Guns During Emergencies, US Court Rules. “Young adults in Pennsylvania cannot be arrested for openly carrying guns in public during a declared state of emergency, at least while a court fight over the issue plays out, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.” (AP)

What’s Next For The Jan. 6th Ethics Complaint Against Doug Mastriano. “A far-right Pennsylvania state senator is the subject of a new ethics complaint that alleges he helped incite the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.” (Spotlight PA)

Pennsylvania’s Path To Better (And More Expensive) School Funding. “Pennsylvania public school advocates won their lawsuit over school funding. What comes next? A newly adopted report from the Basic Education Funding Commission lays out a roadmap for improved funding. Now the legislature has to decide how closely they want to follow that map.” (Forbes)


  • Longtime Senate Democratic Leader Announces Plans To Seek Re-Election. (PennLive)
  • Robinson Launches Reelection Bid In Pivotal PA Senate District. (Tribune-Review)
  • Lawmaker Chris Pielli Runs For Second Term Representing House D-156. (West Chester Patch)
  • HD-148: Environmental Lawyer Announces Challenge to Daley. (PoliticsPA)


Around The Commonwealth

3. Tentative Contract Deal Reached Between PA Higher Education System And Faculty Union

Our Universities | PA State System of Higher Education

“The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and the union representing faculty at 10 universities have reached an “agreement in principle” on a new four-year labor contract, both sides announced Thursday.

Members of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties have been working under the terms of an old contract that expired on June 30.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


Students Would Be Allowed To Take Mental Health Days Under PA Bill. “Pennsylvania may soon join the list of a dozen states that allow students to take a mental health day when they feel they need a day off to rest and recharge.” (PennLive)

Picking A Fight In The Mon Valley: A Familiar Label Surfaces As New Leaders Emerge. “Handpicked.” It’s an adjective we like when we’re talking about birthday gifts, one that can double the price of a bag of coffee beans. But when it comes to politics? Few labels are worse.” (WESA Politics)

John Street Is Advertising His Personal Injury Lawyering Through The Democratic City Committee. “A handful of city committee members — the elected foot soldiers of the Democratic Party — told Clout they got a letter in the mail from Street advertising the personal-injury law firm where he’s worked since fall 2022.” (Philadelphia Inquirer Clout)

Muhlenberg Added To List Of Schools Under Federal Investigation For Alleged Discrimination. “Muhlenberg College and a number of other schools, including Lafayette College in Easton, are under investigation for alleged violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” (Allentown Morning Call)



4. What’s On Your Mind

  • Battleground PA Is Live And The 2024 Election Season Is Well Underway. (Joyce Davis)
  • Pennsylvania Will Flood With Campaign Cash In 2024. (Tribune-Review)
  • 2024 Will Be A Critical Election Year For Pennsylvania Energy. (Mike Puskaric)
  • A Billionaire Gambler Gave Abbott $6 Million. It’s Time For Texans To Reclaim Their Democracy. (Houston Chronicle)
  • Texas Governor Says: Don’t Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses Yearning To Breathe Free. (Adriana E. Ramírez)
  • The DeSantis Team Ran The Worst Campaign In History. (Curt Anderson, Alex Castellanos)
  • Why Are Voters So Upset? Consider the Snickers Bar. (Paul Donovan)
  • How Unknown Factors Could Upend the 2024 Presidential Election. (Colin Hanna)


1 Thing

5. PA Startup Hotspots On The Rise

Pennsylvania’s becoming a new-business hotspot.

The Keystone State is up 13.7 percent from a year ago in new business applications — which rose 7.4% nationally between December 2022 and December 2023 — and is an excellent indicator of economic sentiment. Few people try to start a company when they foresee bad times ahead.

Delaware (+19.3%), New York (+8.1%) and Maryland (+0.5%) were also up, while New Jersey was down a 1.0 percentage point. (Axios)


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2 Responses

  1. Shapiro has a bright political future. Do not tarnish it by cuddling up to MAGA and their regressive policies.

  2. Of course the national debt is up – Trump added a great deal to it. Ditto to putting wars on credit cards. The Bush and Trump tax cuts seriously contributed to the issue. Trump was going to eliminate the national debt. The only debt he’s interested in eliminating is his own and having the rest of us pay for it. He makes it so hard to be a republican.


  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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