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June 5: Budget Season

👍 It’s Monday. Here we go!

PA Weather
Emporium | Mostly Sunny, 77
Gettysburg | Mostly Sunny, 77
Perkasie | Mostly Sunny, 78

PA Sports
Pirates (31-27) | St. Louis 2-1 | M-W vs. Oakland
Phillies (27-32) | Washington 11-3 | M-W vs. Detroit
Union (9-4-3) | Montreal 3-0 | Sat vs. San Jose

What’s Happening
They’re baaaack. The House reconvenes at noon, while the Senate starts up again at 2p.

What We’re Hearing
“I think there will be a little bit of horse trading. I am hopeful that we can negotiate a reasonable budget, and get it done on time.” – Sen. Dan Laughlin

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan.

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Top Story

1. How The Far Right Tore Apart One Of Its Best Tools To Fight Voter Fraud

Home - Eric States

“The group hosting the event — We The People, Bayou Chapter — is one of hundreds of so-called election integrity groups that have popped up across the country since 2020, motivated by former President Donald Trump’s lies about voting.

During the Q&A portion of the event, people asked about how to stop dead people from voting “to support the Democrats” and voiced a number of other popular election conspiracy theories.

ERIC is currently the only system that can catch if someone votes in more than one state, which is illegal. And election officials widely agree it helps to identify dead people on voting lists. But Louisiana was done with it. It was the first of many times to come in which Republican officials would turn their back on this tool they once praised, in an effort to score political points with their base.” (NPR)


YouTube Will No Longer Take Down False Claims About U.S. Elections. “YouTube will no longer remove videos falsely claiming the 2020 U.S. presidential election was stolen, reversing a policy put in place in the contentious weeks following the 2020 vote.” (WHYY)

Suddenly, Things Are Actually Going The Senate GOP Campaign Arm’s Way. “Senate Republicans blew it last year in the midterms. Six months later, things are finally going their way.” (POLITICO)

Fetterman, Lee Explain Votes Against Debt Ceiling Bill. “Western Pennsylvania’s U.S. Sen. John Fetterman and U.S. Rep. Summer Lee were among lawmakers in Washington to vote against the debt ceiling and budget cuts package after weeks of tense negotiations.” (Tribune-Review)



2. PA Budget 2023: Your Guide To What’s On The Table, What Comes Next, And How To Follow Along

“June is budget negotiation month in Pennsylvania, when state lawmakers decide how to direct billions of tax dollars and make big policy choices on everything from energy to education to health care.

The average Pennsylvanian likely doesn’t have time to prowl the halls of the Capitol in Harrisburg to keep up with the latest developments, which is why Spotlight PA has compiled this guide.

Here, you’ll learn what Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro has proposed, what comes next in the process, and how to follow along.” (Spotlight PA)


It’s Crunch Time In Harrisburg As State Budget Season Goes Into Full Swing. “Gov. Josh Shapiro and a divided state Legislature are heading into a month of high-intensity lawmaking with an eye on mutual goals that include expanded property tax and rent relief, quicker reductions in corporate net income taxes and a new funding source for state police.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Behind The Hold-Up Of This Cabinet Member’s Confirmation. “They promised they wouldn’t rehash that infamous election and its fallout. Still, there were shades of 2020 throughout the confirmation hearing for acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt in Harrisburg on March 24.” (Pocono Record)

Short On Cash, But Not Demand, PA Counties Press For Mental Health Funding Hikes. “When the mental health crisis hit a new peak during the COVID-19 pandemic, inpatient psychiatric care beds sat empty in Dauphin County. The empty beds are a symbol of strains on county mental health systems around Pennsylvania that county commissioners say are due to a lack of proper funding.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

New Report Finds Enrollment And State Funding At PA Colleges Continues To Decline. “Yet another national report has raised the alarm on the state of higher education in Pennsylvania.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  • The Cost Of Higher Ed: Pitt Is One Of The Nation’s Priciest Public Universities For Local Families. (Public Source)


School Choice Coalition Pressures Governor For Support. “An unorthodox coalition wants Gov. Josh Shapiro to put money behind the support he expressed for school choice on the campaign trail last year.” (The Center Square)


Around The Commonwealth

3. Philadelphia’s Slumping Voter Turnout Worries Democrats Ahead Of 2024

Center City District | Center City District

“This historic city has long fueled Democratic victories in Pennsylvania, helping candidates for president, governor and U.S. Senate run up huge margins to offset Republican advantages across most of the state.

But more recently, the once strong election engagement by Philadelphia’s voters has been waning.” (Washington Post)


Progressive Unity And Grass Roots Advocacy Paved Way For 2023 Allegheny County Election Sweep. “In the past few years, Pittsburgh area progressives have won several major elections by maintaining a close coalition and taking advantage of enthused, on-the-ground organizers. This wave built on a movement active in the area for decades, which ignited after the 2016 presidential election.” (Pittsburgh City Paper)

The Dollars Per Vote In This Year’s Mayoral Election, From $26 For Cherelle Parker to $460 For Allan Domb. “Allan Domb and Jeff Brown dumped their own money into their mayoral campaigns. But they didn’t get much bang for their buck.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Why This CEO Moved His Team From Harrisburg To Philadelphia And Refocused On Environmental Cleanup. “CEO Nicholas Grasberger says he’ll have an easier time recruiting executives if they can live in the Philadelphia region.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)



4. What They’re Saying

A glance around the Keystone State at editorials and opinions.


  • The Future of Pittsburgh Is In Combatting Hate Through Solidarity And Peace. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Enough Garbage. It’s Time To Pass A State Bill That Gets Serious About Litter. (Citizens Voice)
  • With Synagogue Shooting Trial Unfolding, PA And Federal Courts Need To Reevaluate Position On Cameras In The Courtroom. (Tribune-Review)



  • Some People Want To Ban Books Because They’re Afraid Of The Truth. (J. David Sanderfer)
  • Through A Glass, Darkly: Looking For America’s Political Future (Fletcher McClellan)
  • Inside The Fight To Save American College From Runaway Careerism. (Will Bunch)
  • The Democrats Must Make A Better Argument For Government. (Keith Burris)
  • We Should Feel Good About The Sane Adults Reaching Across The Aisle. (Dick Polman)
  • A Fair Shake On Wage Taxes For Philly’s Suburban Communities. (Kyle Sammin)
  • PA’s Primary Revealed Two Democratic Parties. (Guy Ciarrocchi)
  • The Wokes’ Uncivil War Against America. (William Haupt III)


1 Thing

5. Five Places To Get Great Burgers

The Burgery Company updated their phone number.

PA might be home to chicken pot pie and scrapple, but it apparently also has some amazing burger places.

Five restaurants in the Keystone State recently made Yelp’s Top 100 Burgers In America list for 2023.

Where can you find them in the Commonwealth? Of course, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are represented … but you can also find one in Emmaus and Gettysburg. (Morning Call)


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One Response

  1. The Republicans are beside themselves over a hedge fund guy worth a fortune being their savior in the PA Senate race. It’s a disconnect from reality. The R’s must think voters are stupid and can’t wait for another rich guys tax cut. Then there is an incumbent President born blocks from the incumbent Senator in Scranton, Pa, running at same time which is historic. The R’s think their Fabian hedge fund manager will make voters swoon at the thought of casting a vote. Life is good at the Four Seasons pub.


  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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