January 20th Playbook

SEIU endorses state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta for U.S. Senate, while former House Speaker Mike Turzai announces that he won’t run for Governor in 2022. Here is the Playbook. 

News

‘SEIU endorses Malcolm Kenyatta’s bid for U.S. Senate’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “SEIU Pennsylvania, which represents 80,000 workers, including healthcare workers, security guards and food service employees endorsed Kenyatta, who they said best represented working class voters.”

‘Former Pa. House Speaker Mike Turzai declares he is not running for governor’: PennLive reports that “for weeks, there was talk that former Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai was toying with the idea of jumping into the crowded field of Republicans competing to be the party’s gubernatorial nominee. On Wednesday, he declared he is not a candidate.”

Street Announces He Is Not Running for U.S. Senate: NBC10’s Lauren Mayk reports that state Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) will not run for U.S. Senate in 2022. Mayk also reports that “he has not decided who to support in Senate race. He also says he has not ruled out a run for something else, including Congress, this year.”

‘McSwain lands endorsement of big GOP campaign donor’: The Associated Press reports that “Bill McSwain, the chief federal prosecutor in Philadelphia under former President Donald Trump, received the endorsement a major Republican campaign donor on Wednesday in a big field of GOP candidates seeking the party’s nomination for governor.”

‘Delaware County Republican puts $3 million of his own money into his campaign for governor’: The Caucus and LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “Dave White, of Delaware County, a relatively unknown figure across the state, so far has raised $3.35 million for his primary campaign. Detailed figures will be available from the Department of State for all candidates after Jan. 31.”

‘Senate passes bills aimed at ransomware, data breaches’: The Associated Press reports that “Pennsylvania’s state Senate passed a package of legislation on Wednesday aimed at preventing data security breaches and requiring victims and law enforcement officials to be notified when they do happen.”

‘AG Shapiro and GOP candidates call for pension plan to disclose investigation results’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “key Pennsylvania lawmakers are growing impatient with delays by the board of the state’s biggest pension fund in disclosing the results of an internal investigation into the $73 billion plan.”

‘Biden nominates federal public defender to be the first woman of color on the appellate court based in Philadelphia’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “President Joe Biden has nominated a veteran public defender, Arianna J. Freeman, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, where she would be the first woman of color to sit on an appellate bench that oversees cases for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and the Virgin Islands.”

‘Three-term GOP Pa. lawmaker will not seek re-election’: PennLive reports that “Pennsylvania Rep. Frank Ryan announced on Wednesday he is not seeking re-election to a fourth term of office in the House of Representatives.”

‘PODCAST: GOP’s Jason Richey Has A Contract With PA Voters’: The Delaware Valley Journal reports that “in this edition of the Delaware Valley Journal, News Editor Linda Stein talks to GOP gubernatorial candidate Jason Richey about his campaign’s “Contract with Pennsylvania.””

‘Pa. senator is ‘running’ for governor, well more like scooting these days’: PennLive reports that “Sen. Scott Martin is among the 14 Republicans running for governor this year, but recently his running has turned to scooting.”

‘Bill requiring missing persons reporting to national database heading to the governor’s desk’: PennLive reports that “the state Senate on Tuesday approved House Bill 930 by a 44-5 vote, sending it to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk for enactment. The governor will review the bill when he receives it, a spokeswoman said.”

‘Bill automatically increasing funding for Pa.’s school choice advances in Senate’: PennLive reports that “Senate Republicans continued their push for expanding school choice on Wednesday by advancing a bill that seeks to clear the waiting list of students seeking financial aid to attend a private school.”

‘Pa. creeps closer to map deadline without final lines in place’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “uncertainty around the once-a-decade redrawing of Pennsylvania’s political topography continued this week, amid a last-minute effort from Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to offer his own compromise plan and continued court proceedings.”

‘Pa. Senate committee advances local firearm ordinance preemption bill’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “a Republican-penned, and veto-bound, bill that would deter municipalities from drafting local gun ordinances stricter than state law advanced out of a Senate panel on Wednesday.”

‘USDA appoints Heidi Secord as Pa.’s Farm Service Agency exec’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “additional staff is coming to agriculture and rural development offices in Pennsylvania and across the country, U.S. Department of Agriculture officials have said.”

‘Thompson could be House Ag chair after 2022’: The Bradford Era reports that “Glenn Thompson said he doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself, but he admits to eagerly looking ahead to the 2022 midterm elections and the potential flip of U.S. House control to the Republicans.”

‘Fairer Elections in Pa. Could Depend on 12 Mathematicians’: NBC10 reports that “University of Pennsylvania mathematician Philip Gressman and 11 fellow professors from universities across the state have taken their math skills to court in hopes of ending the decades-old, much-maligned way of splitting up Pennsylvania’s voters into congressional districts.”

‘Who wants to run for governor as a Republican in 2022?’: City & State PA reports that “with the field changing by the day, here is the latest list of candidates.”

‘Here are the candidates running for PA’s U.S. Senate seat in 2022’: City & State PA lists “who is running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania in 2022.”

‘Krasner’s office fires back at Pa. Senate leader who called for impeachment’: FOX29 reports that “Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s Office delivered sharp criticism of Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman who urged state leaders on Tuesday to begin impeachment proceedings against the newly re-elected prosecutor.”

‘Western Pa. candidate withdraws from state House race over proposed changes to legislative districts’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “if the new legislative redistricting maps are eventually approved as they’re drawn now, the race to succeed Ed Gainey in the 24th state House district would change drastically. One candidate who declared previously took note and rescinded her candidacy.”

‘Fox Chapel councilwoman Mandy Steele conquers coal tar, now wants a shot at state House’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “a Fox Chapel Borough council member, who led an effort to ban coal tar in municipalities across the region, is running for Pennsylvania’s 33rd state House district, insisting “the time is now” to stand up for the environment.”

‘Longtime local organizer La’Tasha Mayes announces bid for Gainey’s House seat’: Pittsburgh City Paper reports that “La’Tasha Mayes, a nationally recognized leader in the field of reproductive justice and founder, president, and CEO of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, is the latest candidate to enter the race.”

‘State Rep. Eric Nelson wants ‘natural immunity’ exemption for employer vaccine mandates’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “state Rep. Eric Nelson, R-Hempfield, said he intends to introduce a bill in February that would allow workers with natural immunity to avoid workplace mandates if they can prove they have sufficient antibodies through a blood test conducted by a state-certified lab.”

‘Investigation finds Pitt’s use of fetal tissue in research is above board’: WESA reports that “an outside investigation paid for by the University of Pittsburgh has found the institution is “fully compliant with federal and state regulatory requirements” regarding its use of fetal tissue in scientific research. The investigation came after the university was criticized by right-wing media for its research practices.”

‘Pennsylvania parents outraged after school employee tapes mask to child’s face’: Fox News reports that “parents in a Pennsylvania school district have expressed outrage after a photo of a school employee using tape to affix a mask to a child’s face went viral online. The school district has confirmed that the photo is genuine.”

‘Senator Dan Laughlin reaches out to Nation Fuel asking for headquarters to be moved to Erie’: WJET reports that “state Senator Dan Laughlin is reaching out to representatives at National Fuel Gas Company asking them to consider Erie, Pennsylvania as the future home of their corporative headquarters.”

‘Former Pennsylvania Auditor General’s official portrait includes lightsaber, football helmet’: WJET reports that “former Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released his official portrait on Wednesday, complete with a green lightsaber and college football helmet.”

‘What’s next for the redrawing of state legislative districts as public comment comes to an end?’: WESA reports that “the Legislative Reapportionment Commission held a second series of public hearings over the weekend for maps of new state House and Senate districts using new Census data.”

‘Dept. of Agriculture seeks funding proposals to improve Pa. wine, beer and cider’: WJET reports that “the Department of Agriculture’s Wine Marketing and Research Board plus the Malt and Brewed Beverage Board are seeking proposals for up to $2 million in funding for projects to increase sales, quality, and production of Pennsylvania wine, beer, and cider. The boards will then review proposals and recommend projects to the PA Liquor Control Board.” 

‘City Council to unveil redistricting plan after weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “after weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations and with a deadline approaching, Philadelphia residents as soon as Thursday could get their first glimpse of City Council President Darrell L. Clarke’s proposed map for new legislative districts.”

‘Mumia Abu-Jamal has appealed his conviction again. The victim’s widow wants DA Larry Krasner off the case.’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted in 1983 of fatally shooting a Philadelphia police officer, has filed another appeal seeking to overturn his life sentence — and the effort is again drawing resistance from the officer’s widow and the police union.”

‘‘Not even close to out of the woods’: Philly Council faces big challenges as they return to work’: WHYY reports that “Philadelphia City Council resumes its weekly meetings after a winter break Thursday morning and there is plenty to do as the legislative body remains virtual to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

‘Philly councilmember, local unions seek to increase participation in skilled trade apprenticeship programs’: PhillyVoice reports that “a new online resource contains dozens of apprenticeship opportunities available in Philadelphia, including many in the construction sector. The book was compiled by Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson.”

‘Pittsburgh snagged nearly 1/3 of infrastructure bill’s funding for inland waterways’: WESA reports that “the Port of Pittsburgh has locked in an “unprecedented” amount of funding to overhaul a critical piece of the nation’s inland waterway system, U.S. Senator Bob Casey announced on Wednesday.”

‘Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey looks to modify Office of Management and Budget’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey is asking City Council to consider legislation that would modify the duties and structure of the Office of Management and Budget.”

‘ACLU report says Pa. judges are breaking state law by overusing cash bail’: Pittsburgh City Paper reports that “by taking data from the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts over a two-year period from 2016 to 2017, and from more than 383,000 cases, the ACLU determined that of the more than 166,000 cases assigned cash bail, over half of those cases’ defendants were not able to post bail, and thus were sent to county jails.”

‘Lancaster County appointed its first slate of members to its health advisory council. Here’s who was — and wasn’t — chosen’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “a representative from each of the county’s four major health systems will sit on Lancaster County’s newly created Health Advisory Council, along with a school superintendent, two municipal officials, a hospice physician and a counselor for people without health insurance, county Commissioners Ray D’Agostino and Josh Parsons announced Wednesday.”

‘Bethlehem City Council accepting applications for new member’: WFMZ reports that “Bethlehem City Council is looking for a new member to serve on the legislative body for the next two years.”

‘Lehigh Co. searches for poll workers, interpreters on National Poll Worker Recruitment Day’: WFMZ reports that “the Office of Voter Registration announced it will have a table present in the front lobby of the Government Center to provide information on how to become a poll worker or Spanish interpreter in Lehigh County.”

‘Erie county executive requests salary increases for several positions’: WJET reports that “the Erie county executive is requesting salary increases for several positions. County council will have the final say on those increases however.”

‘75% of adults in Pa. are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, slightly above national average’: PennLive reports that “as of Monday, 74.9% of Pennsylvanians 18 or older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the state health department said in its weekly pandemic update.”

‘The coronavirus in Pennsylvania, by the numbers’: City & State PA reports that “Pennsylvania officially reported more than 6,400 hospitalizations for COVID-19 on Friday.”

Opinion  
Chrissy Houlahan: My father survived the Holocaust by a miracle. It shouldn’t take a miracle to be Jewish and alive. | Opinion
Paige Cognetti,  Danene Sorace, and Derek Slaughter: We’re Pa. small city mayors. Fair legislative maps will aid our recovery
John L. Micek: Pa. Senate bills aim to aid name changes for transgender Pennsylvanians | Wednesday Morning Coffee
Salena Zito: Why Greensburg turned red in 2021
Gene Therapy: We’re looking at 10 months of TV ads from the land of Oz
Paul Muschick: ‘One of the last things that patients say is, I should have just gotten the vaccine.’
Clay Jacobs: Alzheimer’s patients should have access to all FDA-approved treatments 
Beth Ann Rosica: West Chester Reign of Error
Joyce M. Davis: We need powerful poets to expose brutal truths | Social Views  
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Parents whose kids are exposed to COVID-19 need more clarity from schools. This clear chart would help.
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Give young people voice on gun violence
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Free at-home COVID tests a milestone in public health
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Shovel neighbors’ snow to rebuild solidarity 
Bruce Ledewitz: The Big Lie is undermining our democracy. Both parties need to to defeat it 
Solomon Jones: Drafting a fresh blueprint for racial justice
Courtney Boen and Carolyn Cannuscio: ​​Angry that school is closed? Don’t blame teachers or unions. 
Helen Ubiñas: Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch mask dispute provides a lesson in enabling

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