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January 30: Battle Lines Drawn

😀 Hello, Tuesday. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for reading the PoliticsPA Playbook.

PA Weather
☁️ Girard | Mostly Cloudy, 40
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☁️ Green Lane | Mostly Cloudy, 39

PA Sports
🏀 Sixers (29-16) | Portland 104-130 | Tue vs. Golden State
🏒 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
“It’s an inevitability at this point. It makes no sense for Pennsylvania not to have a legal adult use (marijuana) market when the rest of the states around us do. I think there is some urgency for us to address this.” – Rep. Dan Frankel

Political News? Yes, Please
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Top Story

1. Reproductive Rights and Medicaid at Center of PA Supreme Court Ruling

The members of the supreme court of Pennsylvania sitting in court.

“In a complicated 219-page decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned a dismissal by the state’s Commonwealth Court and said that the lower court must hear a challenge to the constitutionality of a 1985 state law that limits the use of Medicaid dollars to cover the cost of abortions.

In a 3-2 decision, the Supreme Court put aside a 39-year-old decision that upheld a law banning the use of state Medicaid dollars for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

The new ruling does not necessarily find a constitutional right to an abortion in Pennsylvania, where abortion is legal under state law through 23 weeks of pregnancy.” (PoliticsPA)


PA Supreme Court Sets Up A Showdown Over Whether Abortion Is A Right Protected By The State Constitution. “Pennsylvania’s highest court on Monday stopped just short of recognizing abortion access as a right protected by the state’s constitution. But in a fractured decision, three of the five justices weighing that question signaled that they could be open to making such a finding in the future.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

U.S. Supreme Court Schedules March 26 Oral Arguments In Abortion Pill Access Case. “The case centers on when and how patients can access mifepristone, a pharmaceutical the U.S. Food and Drug Administration originally approved in 2000.” (Penn Capital-Star)

Biden Super PAC Plans a Historic $250 Million Ad Blitz. “The ads, which are to be split between $140 million on television and $110 million on digital and streaming platforms, cover seven states that are seen as the main presidential battlegrounds: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.” (New York Times)



2. Shapiro, Siger Announce Strategy to Guide PA’s Economic Growth

“Strategy. (n) a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.

For the first time in almost 20 years, Pennsylvania is creating a comprehensive plan to guide the Commonwealth’s economic growth, designed to make Pennsylvania a leader in innovation and economic development.

On Tuesday, Gov. Josh Shapiro and Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger will announce a 10-year strategy to create economic opportunity for all Pennsylvanians.” (PoliticsPA)


Marijuana To Mental Health, 5 Questions Ahead Of Shapiro’s 2024 Budget Address. “Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro is set to share insights on his Year Two agenda during the 2024 budget address Feb. 6.” (Erie Times-News)

Battle For The 32nd: Competition Heats Up As Two Democrats To Compete In Primary. “Joe McAndrew, who won last year’s special election, to face Penn Hills mayor Pauline Calabrese.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Sen. John Fetterman To Deliver Keynote At Democratic Event In Solidly Republican Western State. “U.S. Sen. John Fetterman will be heading west in March to speak to a state gathering of Democrats. No, it’s not Iowa, all you fans of rampant political speculation, but Idaho.” (PennLive)


Around The Commonwealth

3. DLCC Makes Investment Into HD-140 Race Supporting Prokopiak

Jim Prokopiak

“With the eyes of the Pennsylvania political class focused again on a special election, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is stepping up with an investment of its own into the Bucks County race.

As the balance of power in the state House rests with the 140th Legislative District race between Democrat Jim Prokopiak and Republican Candace Cabanas, the DLCC is putting $50,000 in the hands of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus to assist.” (PoliticsPA)


Pennsylvania Judge Rules In Favor Of State In Opioid Settlement Dispute With Philadelphia’s District Attorney. “Pittsburgh and Philadelphia’s District Attorneys had sued the state attorney general over an opioid lawsuit settlement, saying the agreement would not bring enough money to their cities.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Former GOP Lieutenant Governor Candidate Held On Charges Including Punching A Teen At Her Daughter’s Birthday Party. “Witnesses at a preliminary hearing Monday described a drunken scene to a Bucks County judge.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

PA Secretary of State Encouraging Midstaters To Become Poll Workers. “Tuesday is Help America Vote Day and Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt will be making several stops in the Midstate on Tuesday. He is hoping to recruit many to become poll workers.” (ABC27)

Candidate Announcements

  • HD-5: Berks County Sheriff Running For State House Seat In The 5th District. (Reading Eagle)
  • SD-15: Army Veteran Running For Pennsylvania State Senate’s 15th District. (ABC27)



4. What’s On Your Mind

  • Gov. Shapiro Gets It Right With His Public Transit Funding Push. But More Is Needed. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • American Democracy Depends On How U.S. Supreme Court Rules On Presidential Immunity. (John Sigle)
  • GOP War On Voting Rights Continues. (York Dispatch)
  • A ‘Virtuous’ Plan to Make PA Budgets Worse Than They Already Are. (Jerry Shenk)
  • A Blueprint For Quality Schools. (Stacy Holland)
  • The Sad Future of AM Radio. (Tom Purcell)


1 Thing

5. Allegheny Voted PA’s River of Year

Allegheny River Trail Photos | TrailLink

A river essential to Pittsburgh’s landscape has won Pennsylvania’s 2024 River of the Year.

The public voted on three nominated waterways and chose the Allegheny River as the best. Out of the over 20,000 votes cast, the Allegheny River received 8,307 of them. The Youghiogheny River came in second with 7,212 votes and the Lackawaxen River finished third with 4,740 votes.

The Allegheny River starts as a stream in Potter County, dips briefly into New York, then crosses six Western Pennsylvania counties before ending in Pittsburgh where it meets the Monongahela River and flows into the Ohio River. (WPXI)


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One Response

  1. Abortion rights should be maintained in PA for anyone that wants it. If you are against abortion, do not have one. Nobody is forced to abort. But you have no right to block anyone else’s abortion.


  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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