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July 28th Playbook

President Joe Biden will be visiting the Lehigh Valley today, while a professor at Penn announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Here is the Playbook. 

Penn Professor Launches 2022 Senate Bid: Eric Orts, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, describes himself as the only candidate that is making combating climate change “the centerpiece of his campaign.”

DeFoor Discusses 2020 Election, While Calling for Increased Funding for Auditor General’s Office at PA Press Club: The recently elected Auditor General said that the 2020 election has been certified and his office was moving on to other matters, while calling for an increase in funds to his office.

Reader Poll: Republicans Should Nominate Parnell for U.S. Senate in 2022: Sean Parnell finished in first place by securing 48% of the vote in the seven candidate poll. Jeff Bartos finished in second place by tallying 35% of the vote, while Kathy Barnette finished in third place by receiving 17% of the vote.

Biden To Visit Lehigh Valley on Wednesday: According to a release from the White House Press Office, President Joe Biden will be in Macungie to “emphasize the importance of American manufacturing, buying products made in America, and supporting good-paying jobs for American workers.”

‘Will this round of Pa. redistricting be another all-out war? It’s all in the details’: WHYY reports that “Pennsylvania lawmakers are starting the fraught process of drawing new maps for congressional and state legislative districts. And already, they acknowledge that major points of contention will need to be ironed out before the maps take effect in 2022.”

‘State could soon see effects of governor’s limited power in emergencies’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “as the delta variant of COVID-19 spreads and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changes course to recommend that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in some places, some expect that states that have rolled back executive power may get a crash course soon in the effects of their changes.”

‘Wolf Administration will not require Pa. students to wear masks in school despite CDC recommendation’: PennLive reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is not considering reinstating a statewide mandate for mask wearing in K-12 schools despite Tuesday’s updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending everyone in schools wear masks regardless of their vaccination status, according to a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Education.”

‘Transportation funding report could launch years of debate’: The Associated Press reports that “a transportation funding commission is preparing to recommend how to raise billions more dollars in Pennsylvania for a 21st-century highway system, a report that will land at a politically touchy time and is expected to kick off a debate that could last years.”

‘President Joe Biden is coming to the Lehigh Valley. Here’s what you need to know’: The Allentown Morning Call reports on “what you should know if you want to go or you’re in the area” of President Joe Biden’s visit to the Lehigh Valley on Wednesday. The Morning Call also details why Mack Trucks is hosting the visit

‘Wild: Biden’s Lehigh Valley visit will ‘reaffirm’ support for manufacturing’: The Pocono Record reports on Rep. Susan Wild’s (D-Lehigh) comments about President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to the Lehigh Valley. 

‘Sen. Toomey buys into crypto craze, praising potential of technology driving digital currency’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Sen. Pat Toomey’s “purchases — and comments made on Tuesday at the hearing and in an interview — signal an open mind to the burgeoning form of currency from one of Washington’s staunchest free-market advocates, who will leave public office after his Senate term expires at the end of 2022.”

Bartos Visits Erie County: WJET reports that Jeff Bartos, a Montgomery County real estate developer who was the GOP Lt. Governor nominee in 2018 and is seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, “stopped at the Erie County Republican Headquarters” on Monday as “part of his statewide tour.”

‘Ex-Rep. Haggerty sentenced to probation in credit card case’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “former state Rep. Kevin M. Haggerty avoided jail and will spend three years on probation for using a woman’s credit cards without her permission to buy more than $950 worth of booze and other items.”

‘District judge acquitted of charges she interfered with police investigation’: PennLive reports that Harrisburg Magisterial District Judge Sonya McKnight, “who was accused of taking a prescription pill bottle from her son’s car during his arrest has been acquitted of all charges.”

‘Harrisburg schools pass financial fitness test, win release from special state financial audits’: PennLive reports that “Pennsylvania Auditor General Tim DeFoor said Tuesday that broken business operations of the Harrisburg School District, after two years of intense oversight from his office, are now ready to stand on their own two feet and will be taken off of a cycle of special real-time audits by his staff.”

‘All Aboard Erie announces multi-state push for high-speed rail, new executive director’: The Erie Times-News reports that “on Tuesday, All Aboard Erie announced the formation of the Lakeshore Rail Alliance, a multi-state coalition of seven passenger rail organizations that will use their collective voice to push for better mobility along the Lake Shore Corridor between Chicago and New York City.”

‘Pittsburgh City Council Votes To Extend COVID Sick-Leave Benefit’: WESA reports that “Pittsburgh City Council approved legislation Tuesday morning to extend paid citywide COVID sick leave benefits for another year. That means that, at least until next summer, city employers with 50 or more workers must offer workers 80 hours of paid sick leave if they have to quarantine for the virus, or to care for family members with the disease.”

‘A state board approved Philly’s longterm financial plan. But the pandemic has created huge challenges going forward.’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “the state board that oversees Philadelphia’s finances approved the city’s five-year financial plan Tuesday while raising concerns about razor-thin cash reserves coming out of the coronavirus pandemic and the costs of labor contracts that Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration is negotiating.”

‘Pittsburgh economy adds 9,300 jobs in June; jobless rate drops slightly’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “the Pittsburgh region’s economy continued to show signs of a slow recovery, adding 9,300 jobs in June, most of which were in the leisure and hospitality sector.”

‘Scranton city council narrowly OKs acceptance of grant for public health coordinator’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that Scranton City Council “narrowly adopted previously tabled legislation authorizing the acceptance of a grant for a privately funded public health coordinator position at City Hall.”

‘Fine line divides local public and private universities on vaccine requirements’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “a fine line is dividing public and private universities in the region with regard to vaccine mandates.”

‘After 10 years of using ‘City Without Limits’ as its motto, Allentown has a new slogan’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “after using that motto for about a decade, Allentown unveiled a new slogan Tuesday: “All Inspiring.”

Barletta To Visit Western PA: Former Congressman Lou Barletta, who is seeking the GOP nomination for Governor, will be in western PA today. He’s scheduled to visit the Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh in the afternoon and will be joining Beaver Borough Mayor Thomas Hamilton in Beaver County in the evening. 

AFP To Rally in Lehigh Valley Against Biden’s Infrastructure Plan: Americans for Prosperity-Pennsylvania (AFP-PA) will host a rally today across from the Mack Trucks plant in Macungie where President Biden is expected to visit ahead of his scheduled appearance to discuss manufacturing, according to a press release. The AFP “activists plan to make their voices heard and hope President Biden hears their opposition to his $4 trillion infrastructure proposal.”

Harrisburg & DC   
Post-Gazette: UPMC leader Jeffrey Romoff to retire, be succeeded by executive VP
Post-Gazette: State could soon see effects of governor’s limited power in emergencies 
Post-Gazette: Sen. Toomey buys into crypto craze, praising potential of technology driving digital currency
AP: No mask mandate, but Pennsylvania urged to follow guidance
AP: Transportation funding report could launch years of debate
AP: Can Biden’s plans manufacture more US factory jobs?
AP: Former state lawmaker gets probation in credit card case
AP: Another Pennsylvania man charged in Jan. 6 Capitol breach
Spotlight PA: You’re invited! A free panel on what we know about evictions and rental assistance in Pennsylvania.
WHYY Newsworks: Will this round of Pa. redistricting be another all-out war? It’s all in the details
KDKA Newsradio: Gov. Wolf has no plans to bring back statewide mask mandate
Patriot News: Wolf Administration will not require Pa. students to wear masks in school despite CDC recommendation 
Patriot News: Repeat a grade to bridge pandemic learning gaps? Most Pa. parents say no thanks
Patriot News: Pa. registers spike of nearly 1,000 new COVID-19 cases
WITF: As A Potential Eviction Surge Looms, Pennsylvania Officials Are Pointing To More Than $1 Billion In Housing Assistance Money
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: ‘There was no concern for my life’: Families losing homes despite federal eviction moratorium
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: With a rise in overdose deaths, how is Pa. combating the opioid epidemic?
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. man with ties to GOP lawmaker — and Trump ally — Sen. Doug Mastriano arrested for Jan. 6 involvement
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Wolf admin. officials push for tick-borne illness awareness
Inquirer: An anti-Trump Pa. Republican is warning against ‘MAGA extremists’ in new Senate campaign
USA Today: Nearly 1,500 nursing home employees call off one-day strike. Find out what changed
StateImpactPA: In boost for environmental rights, Supreme Court rules drilling revenue from state forests must be used for conservation 
StateImpactPA: DEP to propose limits on PFAS-family chemicals that it says balance cost and public health
Tribune Review: Fine line divides local public and private universities on vaccine requirements
WTAE: COVID-19 transmission levels in Pennsylvania by county
KDKA: Gov. Tom Wolf Says He’s Not Considering Another Statewide Mask Mandate
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Health Department Reports 986 New Coronavirus Cases  

Inquirer: A state board approved Philly’s longterm financial plan. But the pandemic has created huge challenges going forward. 
Inquirer: Shot in the head at 10 in Philly, he’s now a VA psych tech and an antiviolence activist 
WHYY Newsworks: How repairing homes reduced crime in Philly neighborhoods
Philadelphia Business Journal: City of Philadelphia says it won’t mandate Covid-19 vaccine for city workers – yet 
Philadelphia Business Journal: Depleted Restaurant Revitalization Fund leaves Philadelphia business owners ‘in limbo’
KYW Newsradio: What new CDC mask recommendations mean for Philadelphia 

WHYY Newsworks: Tensions over COVID-19 school safety plans boil over in Bucks County
Montgomery Media: Montgomery County ranks third in PA for animal cruelty and neglect court cases
Montgomery Media: New coronavirus cases in Montgomery County more than double during seven-day period

WESA: Pittsburgh City Council Votes To Extend COVID Sick-Leave Benefit
WESA: New Energy Map Of Commercial Buildings Could Help Pittsburgh Reach Its Sustainability Goals
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh City Council renews COVID-19 paid sick leave, denies historic designation before summer recess 
Post-Gazette: South Side community leaders, residents gather to discuss recent crime spike
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh-area schools reviewing policies after CDC recommends universal masks in schools
KDKA: Workers In City Of Pittsburgh Will Continue To Get COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave 
KDKA: Renters Behind On Rent During Pandemic May Have Access To Millions To Pay Off Debts
KDKA: PWSA Receives $24 Million State Loan To Repair 22 Miles Of Sewer Lines
KDKA: Pittsburgh Public Schools Parents Weigh In On District’s Health And Safety Plan
Pittsburgh Business Times: Pittsburgh City Council renews paid sick leave policy for those with Covid-19
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh’s requirement for paid covid sick leave to last for a year
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh economy adds 9,300 jobs in June; jobless rate drops slightly 

Beaver County Times: Attorney General Shapiro investigating ways to spend billion-dollar opioids settlement
Beaver County Times: Beaver County’s COVID cases up 9.7%; Pennsylvania cases surge 84.8%
WTAE: Former Butler County probation officer speaks out about allegations against judge
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: 1st Summit Arena receives $869K in COVID-19 relief funding
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Nearly 1,000 new COVID-19 cases reported
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Zoning hearing board approves Westmont water tank variance, with conditions

Times-Tribune: Ex-Rep. Haggerty sentenced to probation in credit card case
Times-Tribune: Scranton city council narrowly OKs acceptance of grant for public health coordinator
Times-Tribune: Former Lackawanna County 911 director says county forced him out
Times-Tribune: Other business from Scranton City Council’s July 27, 2021, meeting 
Times-Tribune: Four more Pennsylvanians died of COVID-19, none in NEPA
Citizens Voice: County Council postpones vote on homestead exemption tax rebates 
Citizens Voice: More than 100 added to county’s fully vaccinated list; state reports 986 new cases
The Times Leader: 27 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County Tuesday; 986 statewide

South Central 
Patriot News: ‘I’m thankful and grateful:’ Harrisburg district judge accused of interfering with police investigation acquitted of all charges
Patriot News: Harrisburg schools pass financial fitness test, win release from special state financial audits
Patriot News: CBS 21 announces changes to news team lineup, including a new anchor
Patriot News: Lancaster County man in tactical gear sprayed chemical irritant at police officers during Capitol attack: FBI
Carlisle Sentinel: Claremont residents say staffing situation growing more dire throughout sale process 
Carlisle Sentinel: Cumberland County plans Wednesday vote on Claremont as Middlesex asks for more info on subdivision plan 
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 11 new cases of COVID-19 reported Tuesday in Cumberland County
York Daily Record: Lancaster County man charged with assaulting police officers during Jan. 6 riot in D.C.
York Dispatch: Municipalities launch protests against York City wastewater treatment system sale 
York Dispatch: York County COVID-19 case rate doubles over past two weeks
LNP | LancasterOnline: CDC says masks should be worn in schools. How will Lancaster County schools respond?
LNP | LancasterOnline: FBI charges Ephrata man, shown on video using pepper spray on police, with assault, obstruction in Jan. 6 Capitol attack 
LNP | LancasterOnline: COVID-19 hospitalizations up 77% in 2 weeks in Pennsylvania; Tuesday’s 986 new cases are most since late May

Lehigh Valley      
Morning Call: President Joe Biden is coming to the Lehigh Valley. Here’s what you need to know
Morning Call: Why Mack Trucks is hosting Joe Biden in its first presidential visit
Morning Call: Joe Biden visit to Lehigh Valley: Traffic disruptions expected, state police warn 
Morning Call: After 10 years of using ‘City Without Limits’ as its motto, Allentown has a new slogan 
Morning Call: Lehigh Valley’s hospitals could mandate COVID vaccines for employees
Pocono Record: Wild: Biden’s Lehigh Valley visit will ‘reaffirm’ support for manufacturing
Reading Eagle: Reading to contribute $3 million to Santander venues but not without some hesitation 
Reading Eagle: Reading looks to return almost $800,000 to property owners
Reading Eagle: Berks supervisors wrong to approve controversial warehouse project, lawsuit claims 
Reading Eagle: Berks County adds 36 COVID cases, Pa. most in 2 months as surge signs continue
WFMZ: Biden set to visit Mack Trucks to promote American manufacturing
WFMZ: Reading City Council to give $3M to Berks County Convention Center Authority 
WFMZ: Northampton, Monroe counties among ‘substantial-risk’ areas where CDC recommends indoor masking 
Express Times: Joe Biden in the Lehigh Valley: Everything to know about the president’s stop on Wednesday | Where, when, traffic and more 
Express Times: President Biden visits the Lehigh Valley: Prepare for ‘major’ traffic problems, troopers say 

North by Northwest
WJET: United States Senate candidate makes stop in Erie
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Water damage at Williamsport City Hall may lead to temporary exit
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: National COVID-19 cases rise by 170% in past two weeks
Erie Times-News: All Aboard Erie announces multi-state push for high-speed rail, new executive director
Erie Times-News: Erie County reports highest daily COVID-19 case count in almost two months

Donna Bullock and Danilo Burgos: Hoarding billions in stimulus dollars leaves small businesses behind 
Paul Muschick: Masks in schools: Why are districts jumping the gun with decisions now?
Salena Zito: Roadside America: A cultural treasure that fell victim to COVID-19 restrictions
Scott Burris: Opioid settlement announced by attorneys general is a Band-Aid for an epidemic 
Anthony C. Stevenson, Ed. D.: Repealing wage preemption is what’s best for our local economy
Joseph Otis Minott: DEP steamrolling power plant approval is out of step with agency rhetoric 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Pittsburgh City Council and Mayor Bill Peduto snubbed citizens in four-year spending plan
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: The case for vaccine mandates, especially among health care workers
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: With COVID-19 cases beginning to rise again in Lancaster County, and delta variant here, it’s time to mask up again 
John L. Micek: Feds send $7.5B in grants, incl. $229M in Pa., to arts venues hit by pandemic | Wednesday Coffee
Tim Talley: How drug price gouging puts veterans’ lives at risk
Xavier Humphrey: Don’t feel sorry for Black students: Challenge us 
Frank Stearns: Tattoos also are health risks 
Anish K. Agarwal and Eugenia South: In our ER, it’s more common to care for victims of gun violence than patients with heart attacks 
Will Bunch Newsletter: America won’t come back without strong unions 
Trudy Rubin: Why helping Iraq makes strategic sense after the end of the U.S. combat mission

3 Responses

  1. I’m sick of seeing this “illegal trade” bullshit. Most likely a rightwing scam anyhow.

  2. Agree with the article in this post saying soon Pa will see the result of stripping power away from the Governor in emergencies. We have an Executive to handle emergencies but the knuckleheads in Republican State Senate know better. Not a good idea to take power away from Governor in emergencies.

  • 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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