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July 9: Not Going Anywhere

Biden addresses crowd in Wilkes-Barre

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🗓️ What’s Happening Today. The State House convenes at 11 AM, while the Senate gavels in at 1 PM.

👂 What We’re Hearing. Gov. Josh Shapiro was invited to attend this week’s ultra-exclusive, off-the-record Allen & Co. Sun Valley (Idaho) Conference. According to his schedule, he is in Harrisburg today.

🎂 Happy Birthday. Cake and candles for Sen. Elder Vogel Jr.

🗞️ Today’s Headlines >> Your Inbox. Where can you find all the latest news on what’s happening in Keystone State politics? Sign up for the PoliticsPA Playbook. We’ll deliver all the latest headlines in an easy-to-read format every weekday at 8 AM. And it’s free. Add your name to the list and subscribe now.


Top Story

1. President Biden: “We’re Not Going Anywhere”

President Joe Biden at Harrisburg campaign event

President Joe Biden reinforced on Monday what he said during two stops in the Keystone State the previous day that he is not going to step aside as the Democratic nominee for president.

“The bottom line here is that we’re not going anywhere,” he told the MSNBC “Morning Joe” program. “I am not going anywhere. I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t absolutely believe that I am the best candidate to beat Donald Trump in 2024.” (PoliticsPA)


Wild Expresses Concerns About Biden’s Electability at Top of Ticket. “Congresswoman Susan Wild (D-07) became the first Pennsylvania Democratic representative to express concerns about President Joe Biden’s electability at the top of the ticket.” (PoliticsPA)

  • Read The Letter President Biden Sent To House Democrats Telling Them To Support Him In The Election. (AP)
  • Reader Poll: Should Joe Biden Step Aside? (PoliticsPA)


Pennsylvania Presidential Ad Spending May Break Records. “Political advertising in Pennsylvania for the 2024 presidential election is predicted to reach $360 million, the highest level in the nation. Overall spending, including down-ballot races, is projected to be $800 million, the 3rd-highest in the nation.” (The Center Square)

Conservative Group Rolls Out $4 Million Ad Buy To Boost Us Republicans In Congressional Races. “AFP Action, a major conservative advocacy group backed by billionaire Charles Koch, is rolling out over $4 million worth of digital ads starting on Monday backing Republican congressional candidates throughout the country. The ad buy will buoy Republican Senate candidates in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, Montana and Nevada.” (Reuters)



2. One Week Late, PA Lawmakers Are in ‘Red Zone’ of Finalizing the State Budget

“Lawmakers in the state Capitol are finalizing the details of a new way to fund public education and nearing a budget deal, a week after the deadline to approve a new spending plan.

The cornerstone of the more than $47 billion budget is expected to be its investments in K-12 public education and higher education. And that funding has been the biggest hang-up during negotiations.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


A Disagreement About Measuring Student Poverty Is Delaying the PA Budget. “Legislative leaders say a new issue has emerged: picking which data to use to determine the schools most in need of supplementary money.” (Spotlight PA)

Weilheimer Nominated For U.S. District Court For Eastern District of PA. “U.S. Senators Bob Casey and John Fetterman announced that President Joe Biden has nominated Judge Gail A. Weilheimer to serve on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.” (PoliticsPA)

PA Still Has A Dormant Ban On Same-Sex Marriages, And Lawmakers Want To Eliminate It. “State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, the bill’s sponsor, said his legislation would protect rights in Pennsylvania if there were federal action against same-sex marriage.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Pharmacy Benefit Manager Reform Bill Inches Closer To Passage in PA Senate. “Pharmacy benefit managers are pharmaceutical industry middlemen. They’re largely responsible for overseeing the prescription drug side of health insurance plans. The nation’s largest pharmacy benefit managers have lately come under heavy scrutiny from state lawmakers, like in Pennsylvania, and federal regulators.” (Penn Capital-Star)


Around The Commonwealth

3. Winner of Cabell/Walsh Race Might Be Known Friday

Mike Cabell, Jamie Walsh

“The unofficial winner of the Republican nomination for the 117th District state House seat might become clear after a special meeting of the Luzerne County election board on Friday.

However, that depends on whether challenger Jamie Walsh files an appeal with the state Supreme Court over an order handed down by a panel of Commonwealth Court judges last week.

Walsh leads incumbent state Rep. Mike Cabell by three votes, according to unofficial returns from the April 23 primary.” (Citizens Voice)


Pennsylvania Directs Counties To Print Full Year On Mail Ballots, Instead Of Only First Two Digits. “Starting with the upcoming general election, Pennsylvania counties must print the entire year on outer envelopes instead of only the first two digits, according to a July 1 Department of State directive.” (Times Leader)


PoliticsPA’s Candidate Spotlight Series. “With so many candidates on the ballot across the Commonwealth, PoliticsPA will run a series of interviews over the summer to highlight Pennsylvania State Representative and Senate candidates running in the general election in November. The series is open to any candidate appearing on the ballot regardless of political affiliation.” (PoliticsPA)

PA House Committee Advances Pittsburgh Tax Break Program Over Objection It Creates ‘Unequal Playing Field’. “A proposal to give Pittsburgh the right to create its own tax-break program for some longtime homeowners made a big step forward on Monday over the objections of Allegheny County Republican Rep. Rob Mercuri, who said it would exacerbate negative effects of a possible upcoming county property tax reassessment.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Blair Plans To Fire Top Administrator. “The pending vote, ending Chief Clerk/County Administrator Nicole Hemminger’s employment as of July 2, is on today’s meeting agenda for commissioners’ action.” (Altoona Mirror)



4. What’s On Your Mind

  • Whoever Runs For President, Liberty Is On The Line. (Keith C. Burris)
  • Keystone State’s Leader Could Be The Key For Democrats. (Lynn Schmidt)
  • The Best Democratic Alternative: A Kamala Harris – Josh Shapiro Ticket. (Alan Steinberg)
  • Many College Presidents Are In A Straitjacket Trying To Appease Opposing Constituencies On Their Campuses. (Michael A. MacDowell)
  • Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court Does Not Align With Ideological Split of SCOTUS Chevron Decision. (Jerry Dickinson)
  • Pennsylvania Senate Makes Smart Moves For Student Success. (Beth Ann Rosica)
  • The Broken Budget Process. (Rep. Seth Grove)
  • Rural PA Can Thrive, Not Just Survive. (Guy Ciarrocchi)
  • There He Is, Myth America. (Mark Berg)
  • Tax Cuts Alone Won’t Make Pennsylvania a More Attractive Place to Live and Work. (Joseph Johns)


1 Thing

5. Lettuce Celebrate!

Easy Caesar salad

“Caesar salad has something to celebrate: It’s turning 100.

Italian immigrant Caesar Cardini is said to have invented the dish on July 4, 1924, at his restaurant, Caesar’s Place, in Tijuana, Mexico. It was a steamy night, and Cardini was struggling to feed an influx of Californians who had crossed the border to escape Prohibition.

In the middle of the dining room, Cardini tossed whole Romaine leaves with ingredients he had on hand, including garlic-flavored oil, Worcestershire sauce, lemons, eggs and Parmesan cheese. A star was born.” (AP)



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  • 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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