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January 28th Playbook

The President is coming to Pittsburgh to talk infrastructure. Governor visits Montco to promote raise in minimum wage. Snow is coming to Philadelphia. Here is the Playbook. 


Is Biden’s Popularity Slide Having an Impact With PA Voters?: The presidential approval rating is a number that could determine the fate of an entire presidency. Is it having an effect on Pennsylvania voters? It appears that way.

Multimillionaire Candidates Spur Big Spending in GOP Senate Race: According to AdImpact, Republican candidates and the groups supporting them have spent and reserved $15.3 million on television ads. We’ve only just begun.

‘GOP hopefuls offer similar message’: The Altoona Mirror reports that “at a debate among Republican candidates for governor Thursday at the Blair County Convention Center, there were 10 candidates, but a fairly uniform message. 

‘Judge begins review to pick new congressional district maps’: The Associated Press reports that “a Pennsylvania judge on Thursday launched a review of competing proposals to redraw the boundaries of the state’s congressional districts, the morning after Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a plan sent to him by Republican lawmakers.”

‘Key Pa. Dems to miss Biden visit, cite scheduling conflicts’: The Associated Press reports that “President Joe Biden will appear in Pittsburgh on Friday as an opening step in a broader campaign to promote the White House’s achievements in key states before the midterm elections.”

‘Redistricting is now in the courts. See all of the Pa. congressional maps submitted to them’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “on Sunday, the Commonwealth Court will pick one map for the coming decade after Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the Republican-controlled Legislature could not come to an agreement.”

‘Mappapalooza: The fight over Pennsylvania’s congressional district lines has headed to court’: PennLive reports that “after Gov. Tom Wolf refused to negotiate this winter with Republican legislative leaders on a new map for the 2020s, the job is now clearly in the hands of the state courts. Here’s a look at the twelve Congressional map proposals submitted to the Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough in advance of her two-day hearing on the matter that began Thursday.”

‘Pa. plans better help for children born into addiction, including undoing pandemic harms’: PennLive reports that “Pennsylvania this week created a task force to find better ways to protect and help children of parents addicted to drugs or alcohol.”

‘Wolf admin: DCED Secretary Dennis Davin to resign next month’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin will resign next month, the Wolf administration said Thursday.” 

‘Pa. poised to see $1B from national opioid settlement, with all 67 counties signing on’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “every Pennsylvania county has signed onto a settlement that’s expected to bring in $1 billion — potentially as soon as this spring — to address the opioid crisis, the state’s top prosecutor announced Thursday morning.”

‘Lawmakers, Jewish leaders announce $4.5M in security grants; call for permanent funding’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “lawmakers from the House and Senate joined Jewish leaders in Pittsburgh on Thursday, as the nation and world observed International Holocaust Remembrance Day, to announce a new round of state funding for a program intended to keep marginalized and vulnerable communities safe from harm.”

‘Bartos touts his business experience, derides other candidates for weak ties to PA at tele town hall’: WESA reports that “Jeff Bartos worked to distinguish himself in a crowded field of Republican U.S. Senate candidates at a tele-town hall on Thursday evening, by highlighting his experience as a small business owner and emphasizing his Pennsylvania roots – a dig at Republican candidates who many say have weaker ties to the state.”

‘Lamb bill to research abandoned oil and gas wells advances out of committee’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “The Abandoned Well Remediation and Research Act, sponsored by Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Mt. Lebanon, calls for just over $162 million over the next five years to be allocated to a U.S. Department of Energy initiative to find and monitor abandoned wells as well as study efficient ways to plug or potentially re-purpose the holes drilled decades, or even a century, ago.”

City & State PA’s Biggest Winners & Losers This Week: City & State PA highlights the three winners and losers in Pennsylvania politics last week.

‘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.”

‘Loaded gun stolen from state Sen. Marty Flynn’s car was used in August shooting, police say’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “a loaded handgun belonging to state Sen. Marty Flynn was reported stolen in late July from his car and a teenager used it days later to shoot a man six times, Scranton police said this week.”

‘How a proposed amendment to the state constitution could affect abortion access in Pennsylvania’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “the latest effort to limit abortion access in Pennsylvania is moving through the legislature, this time in the form of a constitutional amendment that wouldn’t be subject to a gubernatorial veto.”

‘Philly Councilmember David Oh introduces bill to repeal city’s sugary beverage tax’: WHYY reports that “calling it “self-serving” and “vindictive,” Republican City Councilmember David Oh on Thursday introduced legislation to repeal Philadelphia’s tax on sugary beverages, one of Mayor Jim Kenney’s signature achievements.”

‘Game Commission seeks applicants for eastern Pa. commissioner’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation is seeking “well-informed” applicants to represent several eastern Pennsylvania counties on the state Game Commission’s Board of Directors.”

‘Progressives want to derail a Republican appointment to Philly’s elections board’: Philly Clout reports that “progressive groups are calling on City Council to block a nomination from Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, to have a Republican finish his former boss’ term on the board that runs city elections.”

‘President Biden Set To Discuss Infrastructure During Pittsburgh Visit’: KDKA reports that “according to the White House, President Biden will use his trip to Pittsburgh to discuss strengthening the nation’s supply chains and revitalizing American manufacturing and union jobs, among others topics.”

‘Here’s how much each Pa. county will get from the opioid settlement’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “counties are slated to receive funding as soon as April.”

‘Gov. Tom Wolf visits Montco to promote minimum wage raise’: Montgomery Media reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf visited Montgomery County on Thursday to discuss a topic he’s talked about time and time again: the state’s minimum wage.”

‘Gov. Wolf visits expERIEnce Children’s Museum to celebrate $5 million state investment for museum expansion’: WJET reports that “Governor Tom Wolf stopped by the expERIEnce Children’s Museum on Thursday morning to discuss state funding for the expansion of the museum and hoe it will impact the economy in Erie.”

‘Pennsylvania Republican Lou Barletta’s PAC Spent Most Of Its Money On Overhead’: Huffington Post reports that “a Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor’s political action committee spent the vast majority of its money in the 2020 election cycle on administrative costs, rather than contributions to political candidates, according to an analysis of official campaign-finance data.”

‘State Rep. Mihalek introduces measure to privatize liquor sales through amending state constitution’: The Observer-Reporter reports that “state Rep. Natalie Mihalek, R-Peters Township, has introduced legislation that would privatize alcohol sales in Pennsylvania by amending the commonwealth’s constitution.”

‘Mihalek introduces bill that would increase penalties for concealing the death of a child’: The Observer-Reporter reports that “state Rep. Natalie Mihalek, R-Upper St. Clair, has introduced a measure that would increase the penalty for concealing the death of a child.”

‘LGBTQ+ supporters rally at Chambersburg’s Icefest opening’: PennLive reports that “Chambersburg area residents rallied in support of the LGBTQ+ community Thursday night at the opening of the borough’s largest annual event, IceFest. The rally was to show support following the repeal of the LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance by Chambersburg Borough Council.”

‘‘We are in desperate, desperate need’: Lehigh, Northampton counites need Spanish-speaking poll workers for May primary’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “do you speak both Spanish and English? If so, Lehigh and Northampton counties need you to work the polls in the upcoming May primary.”

‘Controversial Pittsburgh media figure Wendy Bell goes national on Newsmax’: Pittsburgh City Paper reports that “local controversial media personality Wendy Bell is joining national far-right online opinion site Newsmax.”

‘Philadelphia man cleared after 37 years in prison, sues city’: The Associated Press reports that “a Philadelphia man freed after 37 years in prison in a case tainted by perjured testimony accused the city of “outrageous police misconduct” in a lawsuit filed Thursday, the same day his 1984 murder case was dismissed.”

‘Blair seeks more input on gun rights agreement’: The Altoona Mirror reports that “Blair County commissioners are expected to keep gathering input for a proposed gun-rights preservation agreement to address the referendums voters approved in November.”

‘A Philly committee spent 18 months examining the city’s gun violence crisis. Here’s what it found.’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “the 194-page study, commissioned by City Councilperson Curtis Jones Jr., includes data and insights from police, prosecutors, public defenders, public health workers, and city officials.”

‘More voting, political engagement among goals in Council election reform bills’: KYW Newsradio reports that “campaign finance, conflict of interest are among the bills’ focuses.”

‘Temple taps former Philadelphia police commissioner to audit campus security’: KYW Newsradio reports that “amid a recent rash of violent crime near campus, Temple University is bringing on former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey to conduct a safety audit.”

‘Allegheny County expected to receive $90 million as part of a billion dollar opioid settlement’: WESA reports that “all 67 Pennsylvania counties have signed a $1.07 billion settlement with opioid distributors and manufacturers. The deal is part of a national $26 billion settlement intended to resolve thousands of lawsuits against major pharmaceutical distributors McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health as well as manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.”

‘Failure To Follow Home Rule Charter On Council’s Pay Raise Could Lead To Citizen Lawsuits, Says City Controller’: KDKA reports that “in late December Pittsburgh City Council voted unanimously to raise their pay from $72,000 to $88,000, a $16,00 pay hike. City council president Theresa Kail-Smith defends the pay raise.”

‘Delaware County Council gets update on American Rescue Plan Act funds’: The Delaware County Daily Times reports that “Delaware County Council recently took a look at ways to spend the $110 million of American Rescue Plan Act monies as members offered their take on priorities they’d like to see funded.”

‘Local leaders expect ‘significant’ boost to drug-fighting efforts from opioid settlement’: The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports that “with all 67 of Pennsylvania’s counties signing on to a historic multi-state opioid settlement, Cambria County Drug and Alcohol Program Administrator Fred Oliveros said the money will mean a “significant” boost for the local battle against the drug epidemic.”

‘Burns named chair of license committee’: The Altoona Mirror reports that “state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, was named chair of the House Professional Licensure Committee.”

‘Town hall meeting discusses area’s opioid crisis’: The Altoona Mirror reports that “dozens of area residents gathered at the Tyrone-Snyder Public Library on Thursday evening for a town hall on addiction and recovery issues that are affecting the region.”

‘Luzerne County facing ‘tight turnaround’ on elections’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Luzerne County’s Election Board released two different calendars Thursday because the county is simultaneously preparing for two back-to-back elections.”

‘Natural gas impact fees eyed for increases’: The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that “city of Williamsport and Lycoming County officials say they are keeping an eye on the amount of natural gas impact fee to be announced in the summer and it could be higher than recent infusions.”

John Baer: Wolf, Corman, Mastriano, Oz said WHAT? Things in politics that make you go, “Hmmm” 
Dave McCormick: Pittsburgh knows: Biden agenda has failed
Darrin Kelly: Pittsburgh is at the heart of Biden economic recovery
Matt Smith: Pittsburgh region ready for supply chain investment
Franklin L. Kury: There is a fatal flaw in U.S. government 
Dave Reed: In response to former Lt. Gov. Singel’s recent opinion piece
Liz Terwilliger: Bills before Congress should be written so that the average person can understand them
Mohan Seshadri: The proposed state House map is good for Asian Americans – and for PA
Shira Goodman: Holocaust Remembrance Day 2022: We need to remember now more than ever
John L. Micek: ‘A critical moment’: Pa. enviro group boss Molly Parzen looks to big year | Thursday Morning Coffee
Larry Platt: Who Has The Guts To Say We Need Cops?  
Dave Hardy: Chicago’s Lessons For Philadelphia Schools 
Donna Cooper: Three Civic Heroes, RIP 
Reuben Jones: An Open Letter to Meek Mill: Pa. needs real probation reform 
Paul Muchick: New Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk is already doing something better than his predecessors
Gene Marks: Why Philadelphia small business owners are suffering while those in Ft. Myers are thriving
Jenice Armstrong: Biden owes his presidency to Black women. Appointing one to the Supreme Court is only right. 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Hazelwood Green a fitting backdrop for Biden
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Allegheny County shouldn’t make donating food more difficult
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Mayor should or­der re­lease of Jim Rogers investigation
 LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Lancaster County’s new Health Advisory Council doesn’t look like our diverse population
Ezekiel Emanuel and Rick Bright: COVID-19 is here to stay. Let’s act accordingly. 
Will Bunch: ‘Gag orders’ for U.S. teachers are becoming our new McCarthyism 
Abraham Gutman: Nazis murdered my great-uncle in a forgotten massacre. Decades later, the few memories are fading. 
Ettore Angelo: How Allentown schools are at a crossroads for great change
Priya Mammen: Jennersville isn’t just another shuttered hospital. It was my home for 2 years 
Desrine Prayer: Without a Pell Grant, I couldn’t pursue my nursing degree. Now Congress might take it away. 
Tony Norman: Music icons stricken by vaccine debate

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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