July 11 Playbook: A New Look

Good morning and welcome to the new week. It’s a new look for the Playbook. We hope you like it.

PA Weather

Pittsburgh | Sunny, 89
Harrisburg | Sunny, 84
Philadelphia | Sunny, 86

PA Sports

Phillies (46-40, 7.0 GB) | MON vs. St. Louis, 7:15
Pirates (36-50, 11.5 GB) | MON vs. Miami, 6:40
Union (8-2-9) | d. DC United, 7-0; WED vs. Inter Miami

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TOP STORY

1. Wolf Signs FY23 Budget

The 2022-23 Pennsylvania state budget is law. On Friday evening, Governor Tom Wolf signed the bill in a private event at the governor’s mansion.

“Since I took office, Pennsylvania’s students and families have been my top priority. We have made long overdue investments in the people of Pennsylvania, including better education for all, safer communities, and a brighter future,” Wolf said. “Securing $1.8 billion for education in this budget furthers these efforts and results in a historic $3.7 billion in investments my administration has made in education at all levels over the last eight years. I’m extremely proud of what we have accomplished.”

Senate Appropriations chair Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) said in a tweet that “this budget prepares for future challenges by transferring $2.1 billion to the Rainy Day Fund, bringing the balance in the fund to nearly $5 billion.

RELATED

  • PA’s $45.2 Billion Budget: A Closer Look at How The State’s Tax Dollars Will Be Spent. The 2022-23 budget, signed by Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday, was lauded by industry groups across the state (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Gov. Tom Wolf Signs State Budget, Celebrates Education Funding. Eight days into the new fiscal year, Pennsylvania has a finalized budget. (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)
  • Here’s How Pennsylvania Plans to Spend Its Billions in Stimulus Money. Home repairs, property tax relief for seniors, and state park repairs are among 20 programs that will be funded with the one-time stimulus money. (Philadelphia Inquirer)


HARRISBURG

2. State Abortion Amendment Moves Closer to 2023 Vote

A proposal to have voters decide whether to add a provision to the Pennsylvania Constitution to say it does not guarantee any rights relating to abortion or public funding of abortions passed the Legislature in a late Friday night session and could be on the ballot as early as next spring.

Senate Bill 106 passed in the Senate, 28-22, while the House passed the measure by a 107-92 vote. Under the Pennsylvania Constitution, the proposal needs to pass once again in the next legislative session that begins in January. Should that occur, the proposal would be placed on the May ballot for Commonwealth voters to decide.

The issue became heated on the floor in Harrisburg. “Women should have the right to their own bodies, full stop, full stop,” said Sen. Lindsey Williams (D-Allegheny). “If you don’t want to have an abortion, don’t have one, but don’t take away my right or the right of other women in this commonwealth to make that decision for herself.”

RELATED

  • PA Senate Republicans Advance Late-Night Constitutional Amendment Package on Abortion, Voter ID. The upper chamber voted 28-22 to send the proposal, Senate Bill (Post-Gazette)
  • After Advancing Constitutional Amendment, PA Republicans Move Closer to Being Able to Restrict Abortion Access. In the final days before their summer recess, Republicans in the House and Senate rushed a major constitutional amendment through its first phase of legislative approval. (WHYY)
  • Making Sense of the Pennsylvania GOP’s Push For An Abortion Constitutional Amendment. (Axios Philadelphia)


GOVERNOR

3. Transgender, Poll Watcher Bills Vetoed

Governor Tom Wolf used his veto power to reject three bills passed by the Republican majority legislature on Friday.

Wolf said no to measures that attempted to prohibit transgender athletes from playing sports that align with their gender identity; allow poll watchers to work in any Pennsylvania election district; and prohibit a state agency from contracting with a vendor of financial management services.

“I have been crystal clear during my time in office that hate has no place in Pennsylvania, especially discrimination against already marginalized youth representing less than half of 1 percent of Pennsylvania’s population,” said Gov. Wolf.

The poll watcher bill, sponsored by state senator and GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, “does nothing to increase access to voting,” wrote Wolf. “Instead this bill undermines the integrity of our election process and encourages voter intimidation.”

RELATED

  • Governor Wolf Vetoes Transgender Athlete Ban, Poll Watcher Bills. “Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday vetoed two highly controversial bills: one barring transgender female athletes from participating in high school and college sports and another that would have allowed poll watchers to observe election activity in counties where they were not registered to vote.” (PennLive)
  • Wolf Vetoes Bills on Poll Watchers, Transgender Athletes. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday rejected three bills passed by the Republican majority Legislature, vetoing measures regarding transgender athletes in school sports and poll watchers. (WESA-FM)


NEWS

4. Around The Commonwealth

  • PA Lawmakers Agree to Election Funding Deal – With Strings Attached. “Pennsylvania lawmakers have agreed to give counties $45 million in new election funding as part of the state budget, a move that — if successful and it continues into future years — could significantly change how elections are funded and run in the state.” (SpotlightPA)
  • PA GOP Leaders Form Pro-Shapiro PAC to Buck ‘Unacceptable’ Mastriano. “Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano will have to fend off attacks from many Democratic groups on the way to November and he can now add a GOP-backed political action committee to the list.” (PennLive)
  • PA Bridge-Tolling Proposal Dead, GOP Negotiates New Public-Private Partnership Rules With Wolf Administration. “As part of the state budget process last week, legislative leaders negotiated with the Wolf administration and settled on a bill that includes a series of changes to kill the tolling proposal and set up procedures to require greater participation in the process by the General Assembly.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Lancaster Cinema Cancels Mastriano Film Premiere. Lancaster-based Penn Cinema has canceled the premiere of the film, “Return of the American Patriot: The Rise of Pennsylvania,” which featured prominent right-wing Pennsylvania figures, including GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano. (PoliticsPA)
  • PA-17: Meet the Candidates. One of the congressional races that PoliticsPA will be focusing on during the upcoming months is the chase for the open seat in the 17th Congressional District. PA-17 encompasses all of Beaver County and much of the Allegheny County suburbs. (PoliticsPA)
  • Ups and Downs. What a week it was in Harrisburg. Here are the ups and downs for the week ending July 8. (PoliticsPA)


Commentary

 


 

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4 Responses

  1. Will the next GOP constitutional amendment take say there is no right to compensation for confiscated property (eminent domain) in the PA Constitution?

  2. Will there be a post on the latest Big Penguin Polling showing Mastriano and Oz leading among 1800 LV?

  3. It is clear that Mastriano can’t even fake evenhandedness. I saw a local broadcast where the news reporter said Mastriano would not even talk to the press and summed up his talk with supporters at a rally. How is this democracy? I know diehard Republicans turned off by his quoting God being on his side. I feel like it’s the era of the Crusades.

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