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January 29: Taking The A-Train

SEPTA in Philadelphia

🤨 Monday, Monday. Can’t trust that day.

PA Weather
☁️ Franklin | Cloudy, 36
☁️ Fayetteville | Mostly Cloudy, 42
☁️ Fogelsville | Mostly Cloudy, 41

PA Sports
🏀 Sixers (29-15) | Denver 105-111 | Mon vs. Portland
🏒 Flyers (25-19-6) | Boston 2-6 | Tue vs. Florida
🏒 Penguins (22-17-7) | Montreal 3-2 (OT) | Tue vs. Winnipeg

What We’re Hearing
“There’s a very good argument that white rural, non-college-educated voters in Pennsylvania have more in common with rural, non-college-educated voters in England that voted for Brexit as opposed to voters in a more diverse urban core — college-educated voters in London and New York.” – Mike Madrid

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. Shapiro To Propose $282.8 Million In New State Money For SEPTA And Other Transit Agencies

Gov. Shapiro at opening of new State Archives building

Gov. Josh Shapiro plans to propose $282.8 million in new state funding for public transit in his upcoming budget, administration officials said Saturday, a development that comes as a cash-strapped SEPTA prepares for deep service cuts and a fare increase.

Shapiro’s new measure would generate an estimated $1.5 billion over five years by increasing the allocation of sales tax revenue dedicated to supporting commonwealth transit systems, the administration said. SEPTA would get the largest cut.

If enacted, the governor’s plan would establish the largest bump in the state’s share of public transportation funding since landmark legislation in 2013 earmarked $450 million yearly from the Pennsylvania Turnpike.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


Governor Proposes Overhaul Of PA Higher Education. “Higher education in the Commonwealth may be in store for big changes. Gov. Josh Shapiro announced a three-point plan on Friday that has been in development for over a year.” (PoliticsPA)

Shapiro’s Higher Ed Plan Sparks Excitement, Questions About The Cost Of Long Overdue Changes. “What’s different about Shapiro’s plan is it has the governor’s backing and lawmakers generally like the concept of its focus on students, addressing workforce needs and serving as an economic driver.” (PennLive)

  • Governor Proposes ‘Bold’ Plan to Restructure Pennsylvania Higher Ed. (Inside Higher Ed)


Casey Acknowledges ‘Long, Tough Race,’ Ahead Of Him In Match-Up With McCormick. “This race will be different for Bob Casey. The three-term senator has faced challengers before, but never one as well-funded and with as much early GOP support as Dave McCormick.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Strategists Chart Keys To A Pennsylvania Victory In The 2024 Presidential Election. “Donald Trump won Pennsylvania and the presidential election in 2016, only to lose both to Joe Biden four years later. Want to try for two out of three? The winner is likely to take the oath of office at the U.S. Capitol a year from now.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)


2. Officials Fret Over 2024 Election; Is PA Prepared For Misinformation And Mail Ballot Canvassing?

League of Women Voters files federal lawsuit to force Pa. to come up with uniform procedure to authenticate mail-in ballots – Pennsylvania Capital-Star

“As the 2024 presidential election approaches, the people who run voting in Pennsylvania say the commonwealth must prepare to be at the center of national scrutiny.

These officials, who administer elections on the county level, argue the state should update its century-old Election Code, make long-sought adjustments to mail voting processes, and strengthen the system against bogus fraud claims.

Most of them are measures that election officials have pushed for consistently since 2020, but which polarized state lawmakers have not delivered. They include clarifying the state’s mail voting rules, allowing poll workers to count ballots before Election Day, and raising the bar for challenging results.” (Spotlight PA)


Gov. Shapiro Pledges Defense Of Reproductive Rights At Harrisburg Roundtable. “Shapiro opened the forum by telling panelists and attendees that his administration is currently taking steps to protect reproductive healthcare in the commonwealth if the US Supreme Court bans mifepristone, the most widely used abortion medication in the country.” (The Keystone)

Wild Mocks Carbon County Constituents Again: ‘They Drank the Trump Kool-Aid’ “U.S. Rep. Susan Wild told fellow Pennsylvania Democrats last week that her Carbon County constituents “drank the Trump Kool-Aid” and she was “dismayed” when redistricting added them to her district last year.” (DV Journal)

PA House Republicans Urge State Lawmakers To Support Texas In Border Standoff. “Two Republicans in the Pennsylvania House plan to introduce separate resolutions urging the commonwealth to support Texas in its standoff against the federal government concerning illegal crossings of the U.S.-Mexico border.” (New Castle News)


Around The Commonwealth

3. PA-12: Lee, Patel Clash Over The Middle East In Raucous Forum


“Conflict in the Middle East elicited heated exchanges between U.S. Rep. Summer Lee and one of her two primary challengers, Bhavini Patel. at the Barbara Daly Danko Political Forum at Carnegie Mellon University on Sunday.

Laurie MacDonald also attended the forum, making it the first opportunity for voters in the 12th Congressional District to hear from the three declared candidates vying for the Democratic nomination. The forum touched on a range of issues — including abortion, climate change and gun regulation — and while the candidates broadly agreed on those touchstone Democratic issues, there were sharp differences on a handful of issues amplified by a boisterous crowd.” (WESA)



6 Female Delaware County Political Leaders Eschew Jack Stollsteimer For AG Run. “A group of six female elected leaders in Delaware County have chosen to throw their support behind Keir Bradford-Gray in the Pennsylvania Attorney General race, instead of Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer.” (Delco Times)

HD-5: PA Rep. Barry Jozwiak Announces He Will Not Run For Re-Election. “The Bern Township Republican issued a statement Friday saying he is retiring from the House of Representatives when his term expires at the end of the year after serving five terms.” (Reading Eagle)

Republicans Competing To Control Luzerne County Party. “The anti-establishment Luzerne County Republicans group led by T.J. Fitzgerald is trying to take over control of the county party in the April 23 primary election and is backing Gene Ziemba as party chairman. Meanwhile, current Chairman P.J. Pribula and Vice Chairman Joe Valenti are trying to hold onto power.” (Standard-Speaker)

Candidate Announcements

  • HD-72: Cambria Regional Chamber President Amy Bradley to Seek GOP Nomination For 72nd District In State House. (Tribune-Democrat)
  • HD-85: Lewisburg Grad Running For PA’s 85th District. (Daily Item)
  • SD-19: Milne, Former Legislator, Returns To Chester County Political Sphere In Run For State Senate. (Daily Local)



4. What’s On Your Mind


1 Thing

5. Girl Scout Cookie Time

Here's when Girl Scout Cookies go on sale in DC in 2024 |

“It’s that special time of year when sash-adorned entrepreneurs sell some of the country’s most coveted cookies and learn some priceless life skills along the way.

While all Girl Scout Cookies will be delectable and support the cause, not all are made the same. Each council gets to decide which bakery will make their cookies, with each bakery offering both the same cookies but under a different name or exclusive flavors to that bakery.

Why? Only two bakeries in the country are allowed to bake Girl Scout Cookies: ABC Bakers in North Sioux City, S.D., and Little Brownie Bakers in Louisville, Ky.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


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2 Responses

  1. The PA Property Tax Rebate amendment past year was a charade that did not provide relief to seniors. No adjustment was made to Income Level brackets or Rebate limits for those brackets. Social Security COLA bumped me (barely) into next Income Level bracket where I was limited to LESS Rebate than for last 5 years. Even worse, my property taxes went up. All the politicians did was add higher income people at miniscule Rebate limits. Nobody I know is getting a bigger Rebate than before, so inflation is eating seniors alive.

  2. PA needs to remove the stupid date on mail-in ballots and other ridiculous requirements that serve no purpose other than to confuse voters.


  • 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%)

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