January 25th Playbook

The state Senate approved a proposed congressional map, while Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s gubernatorial campaign starts the year with $13.5 million cash on hand. Here is the Playbook. 

News

Shapiro Starts 2022 with $13.5M On Hand, a Record: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro announced a record-setting haul for his campaign entering 2022.

‘Courts likely to pick Pa. congressional map after Wolf, Legislature fall short’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Senate passed a map along party lines Monday that Wolf has already said he opposes.”

‘Lawmakers stalemated on congressional map, top senator says’: The Associated Press reports that “Pennsylvania’s state Senate majority leader said Monday that a partisan stalemate remains unbroken on a new map of congressional district boundaries for the state, and she predicted that the state’s highest court will end up settling the matter.” 

‘The Pa. governor’s race will shape voting laws — and maybe the 2024 election’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “voting laws are likely to be one of the most high-stakes consequences of the election, one that could ripple into the 2024 presidential campaign.”

‘Biden to go to Pittsburgh as he looks get out of DC more’: The Associated Press reports that “President Joe Biden is set to travel to Pittsburgh on Friday to spotlight his administration’s efforts to strengthen the nation’s supply chains and other aspects of his domestic agenda.”

‘GOP Senate spending tops $15M in PA’: POLITICO reports that “Republicans in Pennsylvania have already spent $15 million on the air, and it’s only January.” 

‘Gift ban advocates target Pa. GOP leaders, urging an end to ‘Groundhog Day’’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “dressed in top hats and coats, advocates for a legislative gift ban took their cause to the streets on Monday night as they gathered outside a fundraiser for the highest-ranking Senate Republican and the Harrisburg home of the No. 2 GOP lawmaker in the state House.”

‘Here are the endorsements in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race’: City & State PA “put together a list of the most current endorsements in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race compiled from a combination of press releases, social media posts and candidate websites.”

‘The 2022 Top 50 Political Consultants in Pennsylvania’: City & State PA lists “the 2022 Political Consultants Power 50.”

‘Wolf administration gives $2.7M to cleaner transportation projects, including ones powered by fossil fuels’: StateImpactPA reports that “Pennsylvania is giving more than $2.7 million to transportation projects that promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

‘Analysts forecast rise in oil and gas impact fees after prices rose in 2021’: StateImpactPA reports that “analysts expect oil and gas impact fees in Pennsylvania will rebound for 2021 after hitting a low point in 2020.”

‘Will Pennsylvania’s state-run alcohol stores finally be privatized? How the latest attempt differs from past ones’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “Pennsylvania’s alcohol sales system on Monday was attacked as “an anti-consumer relic born out of one man’s disdain for the consumption of alcohol” and moments later was defended as a strong profit generator.”

‘Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to visit Lehigh Valley on Tuesday’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “Cruz will visit Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays in Coplay for a rally with Republican U.S. Senate candidate David McCormick.”

‘Democrats Seek Ed Gainey’s Replacement In State House’: KDKA reports that “local Democrats are looking for the candidate who will finish out Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey’s term in the State House. The Allegheny County Democratic Committee has planned a nomination meeting for Feb. 5.”

‘Cartwright, Casey, Haaland cite funding to clean up abandoned mine lands’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Haaland was joined by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, and U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, and local partners to highlight investments in Abandoned Mine Land (AML) clean-up in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.”

‘Bucks County lawmaker introduces legislation to prohibit remote stalking’: The Bucks Local News reports that “state Rep. John Galloway, whose district includes Falls Township, Tullytown Borough and Bristol Borough, is introducing legislation that would seek to prohibit Apple AirTags from being used outside of their intended use as a locator for misplaced personal items.”

‘Bucks becomes the first county in Pa. to combat human trafficking by regulating massage therapy businesses’: The Bucks Local News reports that “the Bucks County Commissioners on Jan. 20 voted to combat human trafficking by adopting an ordinance regulating the operation of massage therapy establishments, while still promoting fair labor practices.”

‘Pa. sends first ‘strike team’ to overloaded hospital’: PennLive reports that “Pennsylvania on Monday deployed a ‘strike team’ to help a Bucks County hospital overcome staffing shortages.”

‘Keller pushes for prison legislation’: The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that “U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, R-Kreamer is pushing legislation requiring the director of the Bureau of Prisons to be appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.”

‘Councilmember Johnson, wife called ‘sophisticated actors’ in corruption trial hearing’: KYW Newsradio reports that “a hearing at a Philadelphia federal court Monday gave a preview of what evidence and issues are likely to be raised when Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson and his wife face a corruption trial in March.”

‘Mayor Ed Gainey names new leaders for key city departments — planning, economic development’: WESA reports that “on Monday, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey nominated Karen Abrams to lead the city’s Department of City Planning, Heidi Norman to transition from acting director of the Department of Innovation and Performance to its permanent director, and appointed Kyle Chintalapalli as the city’s chief economic development officer.”

‘Philly Mayor Jim Kenney has atrial fibrillation. He’ll miss two days of work for a heart procedure.’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney on Tuesday will be anesthetized for a common medical procedure to treat atrial fibrillation, the most prevalent type of heart arrhythmia, the mayor’s office announced Monday.”

‘Pennsylvania school board member blasted for ‘appalling’ message to concerned parents’: Fox News reports that “the president of Parents Defending Education sounded the alarm Monday on “Fox & Friends First” after a school board member in Pennsylvania told parents “I don’t work for you” as parents nationwide push for more influence in the classroom.”  

‘Philly DA: City’s 2022 murder rate already outpacing record-deadly 2021’: WHYY reports that “Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner wants his office laser-focused on fighting the city’s gun violence epidemic as homicides spike to a rate unseen for at least six decades.”

‘Prosecutors say Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson accepted Eagles tickets from Local 98, too’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “a December 2015 Eagles game against the Buffalo Bills has already played a role in the conviction of one Philadelphia City Council member and raised questions about a second member’s failure to disclose the free tickets she received.”

‘What Philly’s ban on pre-hire marijuana testing means if you’re looking for a job’: Billy Penn reports that “a new Philadelphia law that forbids marijuana testing during the hiring process stands to improve job prospects for many, including people with state-sanctioned prescriptions.”

‘In a record-breaking 2021 for Pennsylvania gaming, these casinos brought in the most revenue’: The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that “of the five casinos that brought in the most money, three of them are in the Philadelphia area.”

‘ACLU finds Allegheny County students are arrested more often than anywhere else in Pennsylvania’: WESA reports that “students at school districts across Allegheny County encounter the juvenile and criminal justice systems more often than their peers in the rest of Pennsylvania, according to a new report. The county’s Black students were much more likely to be arrested than white students, even in districts where the Black student population was less than 10%.”

‘Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk restructures his office and adds positions’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “new Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk is looking to shake up the structure of his office.”

‘Bethlehem has never had an African American city council member. The Bethlehem NAACP is hoping that changes.’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “Bethlehem has never had an African American city council member, but the Bethlehem NAACP is hoping that changes.”

‘Luzerne County Council set to vote on $29.74 million in American Rescue allocations’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Luzerne County Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the spending of $29.74 million in American Rescue Plan funding, according to the agenda.”

‘Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey Makes Good On Bet With Kansas City Mayor’: KDKA reports that “Mayor Gainey put on a Chiefs jersey and sent barbecue from Pittsburgh to Kansas City as a result of the Steelers losing in the Wild Card round last weekend.”

‘Manheim Township commissioners terminate manager in ‘mutual separation,’ replace with former fire chief [update]’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “the newly Republican-controlled Manheim Township Board of Commissioners voted Monday night to replace Democrat-appointed Township Manager James Drumm with former township fire Chief Rick Kane.”

‘Erie county executive gives preview to his first State of the County Address’: WJET reports that “Erie County Executive Brenton Davis taped his first State of the County on January 24th. Davis was able to give us a preview of this address.”

‘Mayor highlights challenges of operating city while state investigates’: The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that Mayor Derek Slaughter talked to the Sun-Gazette “about the challenge to lead the executive branch of the City of Williamsport during an ongoing criminal investigation by statewide grand jury and Attorney General Josh Shapiro into finances managed by a past administration.”

‘Upper Darby council to vote on $20M worth of American Rescue Plan allotments’: The Delaware County Daily Times reports that “Upper Darby Township Council will vote Feb. 2 on Mayor Barbarann Keffer’s proposal to allocate more than $20 million of American Rescue Plan money to a number of township projects including major sewer infrastructure improvements, grants to small businesses, employee bonuses, park open space and gun violence prevention.”

‘Forty Fort mayor appointment was a bipartisan effort’: Citizens Voice reports that “there’s one question newly appointed Forty Fort Mayor Brian Thomas is surprised he wasn’t asked after he applied for the job.”

‘Planning commission discussion turns to property owners’ rights’: The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that “a discussion on a draft of the county’s solar ordinance by the Planning Commission, evolved into a back-and-forth on whether property owners’ rights supersede the county’s jurisdiction over those properties.”

Opinion  
Bernie O’Neill and Eugene DePasquale: The Pennsylvania legislature needs to pass charter reform
John L. Micek: In U.S., Pa. students are getting more diverse. Their teachers aren’t | Monday Morning Coffee
Inquirer Editorial Board: City Council’s redistricting plan comes up short again
Monica McAghon: Let’s honor Martin Luther King’s vision of a non-nuclear world
Dick Polman: At the end of his first year, it’s Biden versus his implacable foes 
Whitney Schott: There is a major weak spot in school COVID-19 protocols: mealtimes 
Christine Speer Lejeune: Ideas We Should Steal: Other-Caring Our Way Out Of COVID Malaise

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