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June 28: The Morning After

😎 I’ve Got Friday On My Mind. As we say goodbye to June and the first half of 2024.

PA Weather
☀️ Slippery Rock | Mostly Sunny, 83
☀️ Montoursville | Sunny, 80
☀️ Fogelsville | Sunny, 81

PA Sports
⚾ Phillies (53-28) | Miami 4-7 | Fri-Sun vs. Miami
⚾ Pirates (39-41) | Fri-Sun vs. Atlanta
⚽ Union (4-8-7) | Sat. vs. Montreal

🗓️ What’s Happening Today. The Supreme Court announces more decisions at 10 AM. The State House convenes at 10 AM.

👀 What We’re Seeing. PA Dems have put up a billboard highlighting David McCormick’s praise of the Dobbs decision to overturn Roe v. Wade as “a huge victory.”

🎂 Happy Birthday. Cake and candles for Rep. Bud Cook.

🗞️ 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. Concern About Biden’s Age, Trump’s Struggle To Respond To Criminal Conviction, and Other ‘Highlights’

How CNN Handled The First Trump-Biden Presidential Debate

President Joe Biden struggled to dispel concerns about his age and fitness for a second term in a highly anticipated debate Thursday night with former President Donald Trump, who capitalized on those moments of weakness but did little to dismiss vulnerabilities of his own.

It was the first time two presidents debated, the first time Trump was asked in a debate about his felony conviction, and a historically early primetime matchup between the two oldest men to become the major parties’ nominees.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

The Reaction

  • Democrats Begin Asking the Question: Should We Replace Biden? (NOTUS)
  • In Philly’s Suburbs, Biden and Trump Supporters Flock To Watch Parties To Cheer On Their Candidates. (WHYY)
  • Harrisburg Dems React To Biden’s Debate Performance At Watch Party. (Penn Capital-Star)
  • GOP Debate Party Finds Plenty Of Moments For Their Confidence In Trump To Soar. (PennLive)
  • 5 Takeaways From Biden-Trump Debate: Democrats Deeply Worried After Biden’s Performance. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Pittsburghers React To Highly Anticipated Presidential Debate Between Biden and Trump. (Tribune-Review)
  • Local Reaction: Biden Seemed Ill, Trump Ignored Questions. (
  • ‘Same Old Schtick’: Swing State Voters Exhausted and Disgusted By Biden-Trump Debate. (Erie Times-News)


NRCC Targets Two PA Congressional District Races With $3M Ad Buy. “The National Republican Congressional Committee announced its first wave of ad reservations for the 2024 election cycle and Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre-Scranton-Hazleton are in its sights.” (PoliticsPA)

7 in 10 Americans Think Supreme Court Justices Put Ideology Over Impartiality, According to a New AP-NORC Poll. “The poll reflects the continued erosion of confidence in the Supreme Court, which enjoyed broader trust as recently as a decade ago.” (AP)



2. Despite Progress, State Budget Unlikely to be Completed by June 30

Dollar bills

“As the clock ticks down on the 2024 fiscal year in the Commonwealth, it is looking less and less likely that a new budget for FY25 will be in place by June 30.

Gov. Josh Shapiro did his part, submitting his $48.3 billion budget to the General Assembly on February 6. While legislators on both sides of the aisle say they have made significant progress, the tea leaves say that a new month and fiscal year will begin without the passage of the bill.” (PoliticsPA)


Pennsylvania to Begin New Fiscal Year Without Budget, As Shapiro, Lawmakers Express Optimism. “Work by Pennsylvania lawmakers to complete a new budget was on track to blow into the new fiscal year, with Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro and top lawmakers still expressing optimism Thursday that closed-door talks are yielding progress, despite the missed deadline.” (AP)

Pennsylvania Senate Passes “Stand With Israel Act.” “By a 41-7 vote, the Pennsylvania Senate passed the “Stand With Israel Act” that prohibits holdings in the PA State Treasury or Commonwealth pension funds from boycotting or divesting from Israel and companies doing business with Israel.” (PoliticsPA)

Shapiro’s PACER Plan Likely Stuck In Park, Sources Say. “It looks like Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro’s plan to fast-track Pennsylvania into a carbon cap-and-trade program is going nowhere.” (Broad + Liberty)

State House Republicans Push To Expedite Holocaust School Curriculum Bill. “Pennsylvania House Republicans are pushing to fast-track a bill that would increase the transparency of Holocaust instruction in public schools.” (WITF)


Around The Commonwealth

3. Property Taxes Are Lifeblood of Local Government, But Officials, Residents Hate To Adjust Them

What You Need to Know About Pennsylvania Property Taxes

“Property taxes are a critical source of revenue for Pennsylvania municipalities and school districts, but political inertia and fear of rising costs can prevent communities from keeping rates updated.

So when assessments are outdated, funding for schools, roads, and other essential services potentially falls short. Local leaders have the ability to adjust taxes and ensure assessments happen regularly, but because such tweaks can raise costs for constituents, the issue is touchy.” (Spotlight PA)


State Police Protection For Small Towns ‘Unsustainable’ “Pennsylvania localities are getting rid of small, part-time police departments — requiring Pennsylvania State Police to take on public safety duties without any extra funding.” (The Center Square)

Pennsylvania House Passes Bill To Expand Hunting to Sundays. “The Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill to expand hunting on Sundays, despite some lawmakers expressing concerns about provisions on trespassing and hunting in state parks.” (Penn Capital-Star)



4. What’s On Your Mind

  • Joe Biden Is a Good Man and a Good President. He Must Bow Out of the Race. (Thomas Friedman)
  • The Great Democratic Freakout Is Upon Us. (Karen Tumulty)
  • The Most Important Presidential Debate Ever. (Peggy Noonan)
  • The Reaganesque Candidate in 2024 Isn’t a Republican. (Sean O’Keefe)
  • A Simpler Idea For Speedier Government. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Who Will Win Pennsylvania In November? (Zachary Kennedy)
  • The Real Question We Should Be Asking As We Watch The First Presidential Debate. (Solomon Jones)
  • We Don’t Just Vote For Candidates, We Vote For Truth Or For Lies. (Jay Wissot)


1 Thing

5. Crunch Time

Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese drive historic 3.3 million WNBA audience in Fever vs. Sky game | Marca

“Philadelphia remains the only one of the country’s six largest cities without a women’s professional sports franchise.

At a time when women’s sports is on the upswing, punctuated by record television viewership for this year’s NCAA women’s basketball championship game that generated higher ratings than the men’s title game, the city has not fielded a women’s team in a major pro sport in more than a decade.

That drought may soon end.” (Philadelphia Business Journal)


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One Response

  1. Last night’s unpresidential debate was huge embarrassment for America. Trump lied from start to finish. Biden was unable to respond at even a minimal level. Time for 2 new choices.

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