June 30th Playbook

State Rep. Jason Ortitay announces that he will not run for Governor in 2022, while Reps. Fred Keller and G.T. Thompson join the Conservative Climate Caucus in the U.S. House. Here is the Playbook. 

Ortitay Rules Out Run for Governor: State Rep. Jason Ortitay, who had been mulling a run for governor for months, announced on Tuesday evening that he will instead seek reelection in the state House in 2022.

Keller and Thompson Join Conservative Climate Caucus: The newly formed caucus, which includes 60 plus Republicans, lays out a set of beliefs on how they think the climate is changing and a set of goals the group hopes to achieve.

Dent Named As Inaugural Penn State McCourtney Institute Visiting Fellow: Former Congressman Charlie Dent, a Penn State alumnus, will be the McCourtney Institute for Democracy’s first visiting fellow.

Reader Poll: Who Should Republicans Nominate for Governor in 2022?: Republicans have already begun lining up for the 2022 open statewide seat, while chatter on the Democratic side has been quiet.

‘Gov. Tom Wolf says new state budget will ‘move Pennsylvania forward’: PennLive reports that Gov. Tom Wolf called the $40.8 billion state budget that was passed by the General Assembly a “good budget,” in an interview on KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh on Tuesday morning. 

‘Scranton Dems recommend Welby for state House seat’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that the “Scranton Democratic Party committee recommended Thom Welby on Tuesday as the party nominee for the vacant 113th state House District seat.”

‘GOP lawmakers pushing new election-auditing office in budget’: The Associated Press reports that “Republicans and Democrats are feuding over whether Pennsylvania’s roughly $40 billion budget package negotiated behind closed doors and passed within hours of becoming public includes money for the state auditor general to begin auditing election results.”

‘Pat Toomey is as conservative as ever. That’s not how many see him. Blame the Trump effect.’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a new survey, co-led by a Penn researcher, “shows that activists in both parties now rate Sen. Pat Toomey as one of the most moderate Senate Republicans, even though his record remains staunchly conservative.” 

‘GOP Legislature says it funded election audits; Wolf, Auditor General DeFoor disagree’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “under pressure from former supporters of President Donald Trump, Pennsylvania’s legislative Republicans gave $3.1 million to the state’s auditor general to fund future election audits.” 

‘West Philly state Rep. Amen Brown implicated in deed fraud, other lawsuits’: Billy Penn reports that state Rep. Amen Brown (D-Philadelphia), who was “implicated in deed fraud and other lawsuits,” is saying that “he was the victim of a Craigslist scam,” while “the rightful owner spent years fighting to get their father’s property back.” 

‘State Sen. Kim Ward recovering from mastectomy’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) “underwent a double mastectomy at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh on Monday, according to a video she posted on her official Twitter account.”

‘In competitive seat and weighing a Senate run, Rep. Conor Lamb’s voting the party line more often’: Roll Call reports Rep. Conor Lamb’s (D-Allegheny) “party unity score is at 99 percent so far this year.”

‘Two seek Democratic nomination to challenge 87th district statehouse seat’: The Carlisle Sentinel reports that Colleen Nguyen and Heather MacDonald “have both begun campaigns for the Democratic nomination to challenge the seat currently held” by state Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland).  

‘Philadelphia and Pittsburgh move ahead with plastic bag bans as Pennsylvania’s preemption nears its end’: Spotlight PA reports “that cities and townships hoping to ban plastic bags within their borders may finally have the legal authority to do so in Pennsylvania.”

Scheller To Host Campaign Kickoff Event on June 30: Lisa Scheller, a former Lehigh County Commissioner and businesswoman who lost to Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) by just under 4 points in 2020 for Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District and has filed to run again in 2022, will be holding her campaign kickoff event tonight. 

‘Tony Moreno accepts Republican nomination for Pittsburgh mayor, will challenge Ed Gainey in November’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “in an attempt to buck the odds in a city that hasn’t elected a Republican mayor in nearly a century, retired Pittsburgh police Officer Tony Moreno will run as the party’s nominee against Democratic state Rep. Ed Gainey in the November general election for mayor.”

‘Allegheny County Council panel, mulling bill on no-knock warrants, hears from accountability activist’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports “the Allegheny County Council Committee on Public Safety met Tuesday afternoon to discuss the proposed ban of no-knock warrants in the county.”

‘Allentown City Councilmember Ce-Ce Gerlach charged with failing to report child abuse: ‘I have not committed any crimes,’ she says’: The Allentown Morning Call reports “Allentown City Councilmember Ce-Ce Gerlach failed to report suspected child abuse when she was a Valley Youth House social worker, instead dropping a teenaged boy off at a crime-ridden homeless encampment where he was solicited for sex, the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office alleges.”

‘Wolf, local lawmakers happy with 2021-22 state budget’: According to the Observer-Reporter, “in contrast to the rancor and delays that characterized some past state budgets, Gov. Tom Wolf is expected to sign a $40.8 billion budget for 2021-22 into law this week, with both the Democratic governor and Republicans that hold the majority in the General Assembly saying they are satisfied with the plan.”

‘Area lawmakers support proposed Pennsylvania budget plan’: The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that “local lawmakers gave passing marks to next year’s state budget approved by the General Assembly, noting that it represents a fiscally responsible spending plan.”

‘Philly controller says urgent action is needed to fix short-staffed, ‘unsafe’ jails’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Philadelphia City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart “held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to urge the mayor and managing director to address a situation she said is endangering both workers and incarcerated people.”

‘Lehigh Valley unemployment is lowest since COVID pandemic hit’: Lehigh Valley Live reports that “the Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate dipped in May to 6.2%, a whopping 8.4-percentage-point drop from the May 2020 rate of 14.6%, according to state data released Tuesday.”

‘Job growth in Lancaster County stays flat in May, but expected to improve’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “job growth in Lancaster County continued to flatline in May, a new state report shows, but a labor market expert here believes the stagnant situation is temporary.”

‘Area jobless rate down slightly; labor force shrinking’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “the Pittsburgh region lost 10,700 workers from the seven-county labor force in May and is 31,000 below May 2020 during the covid restrictions on the economy, a problem that continues to plague the region, according to economic data the state released Tuesday.”

Harrisburg & DC   
AP: GOP lawmakers pushing new election-auditing office in budget 
AP: Supreme Court won’t sidetrack plans for PennEast pipeline  
AP: Woman who filmed photographer assault at Capitol arrested 
Inquirer: Pat Toomey is as conservative as ever. That’s not how many see him. Blame the Trump effect.
Spotlight PA: Philadelphia and Pittsburgh move ahead with plastic bag bans as Pennsylvania’s preemption nears its end
Patriot News: Gov. Tom Wolf says new state budget will ‘move Pennsylvania forward’ 
Patriot News: ‘All done’: Pa. Sen. Kim Ward sends message following her breast cancer surgery 
Patriot News: Company once owned by Gov. Wolf has a new owner 
Patriot News: Pa. rises to 7th in U.S. for first COVID-19 vaccine doses
Patriot News: For second straight week, there are no counties in Pa. with high spread of COVID-19 
USA Today: Does Pa. budget include money for an Arizona-style election audit? What we know
USA Today: Pa. lawmakers passed a budget on time, but here’s what they didn’t do
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: GOP Legislature says it funded election audits; Wolf, Auditor General DeFoor disagree 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa.’s U.S. House Republicans split on vote to remove statues of Confederate leaders, bust of Dred Scott author 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Legal recognition for transgender, nonbinary Pennsylvanians doesn’t come easy. Here’s why some are calling for change 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Left out of state budget, Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement will ‘maintain minimum services’ with Ag funds 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: How Biden’s expanded endangered species protections help Pa. birds
WESA: Pennsylvania’s Midstate U.S. Attorney Had Prosecuted It All. Then Came The Pandemic And An Insurrection.
WESA: State Juvenile Justice Task Force Finds Too Many First Time Offenders Put In System For Low-Level Crimes
Roll Call: In competitive seat and weighing a Senate run, Rep. Conor Lamb’s voting the party line more often
City & State PA: A partisan fight brews over election audit funding in Pa.’s new budget 
City & State PA: Cut off: Cocktails to-go saga stalls in Senate 
Post-Gazette: ‘The system is not broken’: Listening session at CMU discusses LGBTQ+ rights, panel gets emotional reaction
Post-Gazette: FCC opens up $7.2 billion tech fund for schools, libraries to close ‘homework divide’
KDKA: Gov. Wolf Reminds Those Facing Food Insecurity To Participate In Farmers Market Nutrition Program
KDKA: Pa. Budget Plan Would Allow For College Athletes To Cash In On Name, Image, Likeness
KDKA: Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward Undergoes Double Mastectomy
StateImpactPA: U.S. Supreme Court rules PennEast pipeline project can use eminent domain to take N.J. state land 
StateImpactPA: DEP pushes to expand electric vehicle infrastructure, but challenges lie ahead
KYW Newsradio: Supreme Court sides with PennEast Pipeline; project may have ended without approval, expert says
Tribune Review: Pennsylvania bill to legalize cocktails to-go stalls, on hold for summer
The Hill: Study: EPA underestimated methane emissions from oil and gas development
Politico: Trump-backers want to export the Arizona ‘audit’ across the country

Billy Penn: West Philly state Rep. Amen Brown implicated in deed fraud, other lawsuits
Billy Penn: UPenn president Amy Gutmann reported as Biden’s pick for ambassador to Germany  
Inquirer: German news report: Penn President Amy Gutmann will be next U.S. ambassador to Germany 
Inquirer: Philly controller says urgent action is needed to fix short-staffed, ‘unsafe’ jails 
Inquirer: Philly races to distribute rental assistance before the national eviction ban ends 
Inquirer: What to expect while you’re out shopping as Philly’s plastic bag ban begins
Inquirer: Philly residents in areas losing their pool this summer say the list isn’t equitable: ‘Where are these children supposed to go?’
WHYY Newsworks: ‘Tipping point’: City Controller Rhynhart calls on Philly to hire hundreds more correctional officers 
WHYY Newsworks: Could Philly’s World Cup bid mean an end to FDR Park’s beloved wild meadow? 
WHYY Newsworks: Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium to receive Philadelphia Magis Award
Philadelphia Tribune: Black Clergy, Krasner call on Philly’s largest companies, nonprofits to fund violence prevention efforts 
KYW Newsradio: ‘Unsafe environment’: City controller calls for more staff at Philadelphia prisons
Philadelphia Magazine: WHYY Union Takes Aim at CEO Bill Marrazzo’s $740K Salary in Latest Escalation 

Montgomery Media: Montgomery County records lowest coronavirus positivity rate in SE Pa.
Delco Daily Times: As mask mandates end, Delco continues offering vaccine 

Post-Gazette: Tony Moreno accepts Republican nomination for Pittsburgh mayor, will challenge Ed Gainey in November
Post-Gazette: According to Mayor Bill Peduto’s plan, here’s where the city’s American Rescue Plan dollars would go
Post-Gazette: Allegheny County Council panel, mulling bill on no-knock warrants, hears from accountability activist
Post-Gazette: ‘The system is not broken’: Listening session at CMU discusses LGBTQ+ rights, panel gets emotional reaction
Post-Gazette: A taxing equation? Lawsuit accuses county of manipulating property-sales data for its benefit in assessment appeals
WESA: Tony Moreno Re-Enters Mayoral Race, This Time As A Republican 
WTAE: Tony Moreno to accept Republican nomination for Pittsburgh mayor
KDKA: Tony Moreno Announces He’s Accepting Republican Nomination For Pittsburgh Mayor
City Paper: Tony Moreno, who lost Pittsburgh mayor race as a Democrat, now running as a GOP
City Paper: Pittsburgh Pirates face backlash for booking homophobic, anti-vax country singer 
Pittsburgh Business Times: Pittsburgh among top 10 metros that would benefit most from $15 minimum hourly wage, LendingTree study finds
Tribune Review: Tony Moreno re-enters Pittsburgh mayoral race as Republican
Tribune Review: Area jobless rate down slightly; labor force shrinking

Observer-Reporter: Wolf, local lawmakers happy with 2021-22 state budget
Observer-Reporter: Lawmakers approve bill to let students repeat a year of school
Observer-Reporter: COVID-19 mask mandate lifted in state
Observer-Reporter: Mask rules vary after Wolf’s statewide mandate expires
Beaver County Times: Beaver County Commissioners urging municipalities to apply for government funding
Beaver County Times: New COVID-19 cases plummet in Pennsylvania
Tribune Review: State Sen. Kim Ward recovering from mastectomy
Tribune Review: Westmoreland County election bureau director ousted
KDKA: Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward Undergoes Double Mastectomy
KDKA: $2 Million In Pandemic Relief Funds Available To Westmoreland County Communities
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Medical marijuana law update lands on Wolf’s desk; GOP rejects effort to add home-growing provision
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Somerset County names recycling coordinator
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: State average now fewer than 200 COVID-19 cases; Cambria adds 3
Altoona Mirror: Council orders McCrory paperwork

Times-Tribune: Scranton Dems recommend Welby for state House seat 
Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County commissioners to hold special meeting Wednesday
Times-Tribune: Pop-up city halls resume in Scranton
Times-Tribune: PA Department of Health reports 162 new COVID-19 cases, 13 deaths statewide
Citizens Voice: County audit shows $3.7 million surplus for 2020
Citizens Voice: Former search committee member offers tips for county manager search 
Citizens Voice: Luzerne County tenants receive $3.6M in rent assistance 
Citizens Voice: More than 200 added to county’s vaccine total
The Times Leader: 2 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County on Tuesday; 162 statewide 

South Central 
York Dispatch: Rep. Lloyd Smucker fined $5,000 for flouting Capitol security measures 
Carlisle Sentinel: Pa. first lady visits LEAF Project in Perry County to highlight youth involvement in agriculture 
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 2 new probable cases of COVID-19 for Cumberland County Tuesday 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Job growth in Lancaster County stays flat in May, but expected to improve 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Thaddeus Stevens College reverses COVID-19 vaccine requirement
Patriot News: Mechanicsburg woman arrested, charged with entering the Capitol on Jan. 6 

Lehigh Valley      
Morning Call: Allentown City Councilmember Ce-Ce Gerlach charged with failing to report child abuse: ‘I have not committed any crimes,’ she says
Morning Call: To stream or not to stream? With pandemic restrictions lifted, municipalities consider a new era of public meetings
Reading Eagle: Reading officials say the Pa. law that allows the sale of amateur fireworks is putting people in danger
Reading Eagle: Berks County hires its first deputy director of agriculture
Reading Eagle: Berks County commissioners to take meetings on the road
Reading Eagle: Berks lawmaker reports increase in unemployment compensation scams
Reading Eagle: Reading raises hourly wage to $15 for 33 part-time employees 
Reading Eagle: 9 new COVID cases for Berks County as averages remain steady
Reading Eagle: U.S., Berks officials highlight effort to increase access to COVID services for underserved
WFMZ: Allentown councilwoman charged in case involving runaway teen
WFMZ: Reading City Council votes to boost part-time city workers’ minimum wage
Express Times: Was Allentown councilwoman’s arrest ‘political hit job,’ attorney asks
Express Times: Lehigh Valley unemployment is lowest since COVID pandemic hit
Express Times: Public participation returns to Bethlehem meetings in July

North by Northwest
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Area lawmakers support proposed Pennsylvania budget plan
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Vaccinations still required to curb COVID spread
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Williamsport City Council to hold joint meeting on $25.8M stimulus package
Centre Daily Times: Centre County commissioners allocate nearly $300,000 in CDBG funds to 3 projects
Centre Daily Times: State College ‘COB’ to oversee police is nearing its creation. Here’s what comes next — and how to help
Erie Times-News: ‘We need to get a handle on this’: Council approves Erie County OCY hires to meet state mandate
Erie Times-News: Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority to offer free fares through August
Erie Times-News: New COVID-19 cases at zero in Erie County; worries about variant remain

Paul Muschick: How a lawsuit could change how Pennsylvania schools are funded
Linda Dale Hoffa: Pa. is leading the way on pardon reform 
John L. Micek: Pa. Rep. Perry faces heat for comparing Dems to Nazis during speech | Tuesday Morning Coffee
Naiymah Sanchez: It’s far past time for Pa. lawmakers to pass comprehensive non-discrimination legislation
Dom Giordano: Grim Future for Philly if Gym Becomes Mayor
Tony Norman: America without tears
Susanna Martin and Valerie Ross: The push for affordable development in West Philly is not creating real affordability
Salena Zito: The American ‘General Store’ is a symbol of enterprise and exceptionalism
Inquirer Editorial Board: Overdose death is not a priority for City Council 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Strengthening the state’s data breach act is the right move
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Balancing free speech and responsible speech is tricky business for tech companies
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: On the hazards of hot weather and a Lancaster County farm crossing 
Mysore Nagaraja, Howard Sackel, and Bob Previdi: High-speed rail plans should appeal even to staunch critics
Ruth Abaya and Jennifer R. Clarke: Don’t get numb to gun violence, even as more people are shot in Philly each week 
Anthony O’Brien: Why eliminating the SAT would not help Black or Hispanic students
Inga Saffron: Housing boom displaces fast-food chains in central Philadelphia
Katherine Rapin: Medicine Of And For The People 
Ruth Ann Daily: Welcome signs of happiness among military
Monica von Dobeneck: Rep. Diamond must be afraid of what he doesn’t understand
Frank Stearns: WHO can’t say if we will need the booster vaccine 
Will Bunch Newsletter: Campus ‘Red Scare’ takes Florida back to the ’50s 
Trudy Rubin: How the Chinese Communist Party’s 100th anniversary on July 1st relates to our July 4th

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  • When Should The Special Elections For The PA House Be Held?

    • May 16, 2023 (Primary Day) (51%)
    • March, 2023 (47%)
    • April, 2023 (2%)

    Total Voters: 173

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