June 9th Playbook

State Sen. Scott Martin announced an exploratory committee for Governor, while Rep. Chrissy Houlahan announced she will not run for Senate in 2022. Here is the Playbook. 

Houlahan Rules Out Senate Run: Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan told the Philadelphia Inquirer that her “highest best use” is to seek another term in the House instead of launching a bid for the statewide office in 2022.

Martin Announces Exploratory Committee for Governor: The Lancaster County Republican touts being a “strong conservative” who is an advocate for “fighting for limited government, support of the free market and job-creating small businesses, protection of the unborn, and preservation of the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”

‘House votes to end governor’s pandemic disaster declaration’: The Associated Press reports that “Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives voted on party lines Tuesday to put an end to the governor’s pandemic disaster emergency declaration, less than a month after voters dramatically expanded lawmakers’ powers to control such declarations.” 

‘Pennsylvania’s new unemployment claims system goes live’: The Associated Press reports “Pennsylvania’s long-awaited overhaul of its rickety unemployment claims filing system went live on Tuesday, with some users immediately complaining about glitches and the state agency that runs the program reporting a phone outage that temporarily prevented it from making or receiving calls.”

‘Pa. House passes Down Syndrome abortion ban. Wolf vows veto’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “A bill to ban abortions in cases of an in-utero Down Syndrome diagnosis passed the Pennsylvania House by a vote of 120-83 on Tuesday evening,” although Gov. Tom Wolf has “already promised to veto the proposal if it reaches his desk again.” 

‘Pa. GOP lawmakers threaten state funding for Penn veterinary program over vaccine policy’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “A group of House Republicans are threatening to withhold almost $32 million in state funding for Philadelphia’s largest private employer over its employee vaccine policy.”

‘Pa. Sen. Katie Muth sues PSERS pension fund over disputed financial records’: PennLive reports that state Sen. Katie Muth (D-Montgomery) “sued the Pennsylvania Public Employees’ Retirement System on Tuesday seeking financial records she says the embattled $64 billion pension fund refused to turn over to her.” 

‘Gov. Wolf, Democrats make a pitch for $1 billion-plus investment in Pa. schools’: PennLive reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf and Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday joined their voices to make a united pitch for a historic investment in public education and address inequities in the formula used to distribute those dollars to school districts.”

‘At Tele Town Hall, Toomey Reiterates Opposition To Biden’s Broad Infrastructure Plan’: WESA reports that Sen. Pat Toomey “is part of a small group of GOP senators who has been working with the White House about infrastructure spending proposals. But as Democrats threatened to move ahead without Republican support on Tuesday, Toomey told voters during a telephone town hall that there are still enormous differences between the political parties.”

‘Dauphin County appoints new commissioner’: PennLive reports that “Dauphin County has appointed Chad Saylor, the county’s chief clerk, to fill the vacancy created on the county board of commissioners with the retirement of Jeff Haste.” 

‘Allegheny County election results certified; Moreno still undecided on running as Republican’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “Voters may have a choice in the fall Pittsburgh mayoral election, if Tony Moreno claims the Republican nomination he earned by getting 1,379 write-in votes in the May primary. Moreno has previously said he was awaiting for certification of the results before announcing whether he will continue his campaign for mayor.” 

‘Allegheny County Executive Fitzgerald proposes 2 budget bills in address to County Council’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald proposed two budget bills at Allegheny County Council’s first June meeting. 

‘State Rep. Tony DeLuca Plans To Introduce Minimum Wage Question To Ballot In Next General Election’: KDKA reports that “State Representative Tony DeLuca, a Democrat representing Allegheny County, is planning to introduce legislation that would add a minimum wage increase ballot question in the next general election.”

‘Protesters stage sit-in in Mayor Jim Kenney’s office during Philadelphia budget negotiations’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports “As Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and City Council members tried Tuesday to reach a deal on next year’s budget, and as residents implored Council to “defund the police” or reconsider some tax cuts, a small group of sign-toting activists went one step further: They rushed past security at City Hall and staged a sit-in in the mayor’s vacant office.”

‘Sentencing set Wednesday for former Chester County Sheriff ‘Bunny’ Welsh’: The Daily Local News reports that Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh, the former longtime Chester County sheriff, is “set to appear before a Common Pleas Court judge for sentencing in the criminal case filed against her by the state Attorney General’s Office.”

314 Action Endorses Arkoosh for Senate: 314 Action Fund, a national organization that helps elect STEM professionals to office, has endorsed Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh for the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. Senate. 

Arkoosh to Hold Facebook Live on Abortion Access: Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh, who is seeking the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. Senate, will be holding a Facebook Live discussion on Wednesday morning with Kelsey Leigh of Fox Chapel, a patient storyteller, on “choice and abortion access,” according to a press release from Arkoosh’s campaign.  

Harrisburg & DC   
AP: House votes to end governor’s pandemic disaster declaration
AP: Pennsylvania’s new unemployment claims system goes live 
AP: Another lawmaker eyes GOP primary for Pennsylvania governor 
AP: House advances ban on abortions over Down syndrome diagnoses 
AP: Houlahan decides against running for US Senate in 2022
AP: Feds: Pennsylvania man faked Trump family personas in fraud
Inquirer: Democratic Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan won’t run for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania
Inquirer: A Pa. Door Dash driver pretended to be Trump’s family online. The president fell for it. Then, the feds came knocking.
Spotlight PA: You’re invited! A live reader Q&A on congressional redistricting 
Spotlight PA: Facing FBI probe, PSERS backtracks on disclosure that staffers were on both sides of real estate dealings 
Spotlight PA: Jobless in Pa. livid over new unemployment system errors as state declares victory
WESA: At Tele Town Hall, Toomey Reiterates Opposition To Biden’s Broad Infrastructure Plan
Patriot News: Pa. Sen. Katie Muth sues PSERS pension fund over disputed financial records
Patriot News: Gov. Wolf, Democrats make a pitch for $1 billion-plus investment in Pa. schools 
Patriot News: Pa. House sends local gun law pre-emption bill to state Senate 
Patriot News: Pennsylvania Society, a must-attend event on the political circuit, returns this year 
Patriot News: Should Pa. students get mental health days? 
Patriot News: Court gives Pa. school district a win in battle to keep its ‘Redskins’ nickname despite discrimination claim
Patriot News: Still only 1 Pa. county with high spread of COVID-19, as statewide positive test rate falls below 3%
Patriot News: Pa. nears at least one vaccine dose for 60%: COVID-19 update
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: With a legacy at stake, Gov. Tom Wolf pushes for fair school funding 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. GOP lawmakers threaten state funding for Penn veterinary program over vaccine policy 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. debuts new unemployment compensation system 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. House passes Down Syndrome abortion ban. Wolf vows veto
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. House votes to permanently end Wolf’s COVID-19 disaster emergency 
City & State PA: Wolf calls on lawmakers to use COVID-19 aid to fund school districts 
City & State PA: L&I debuts modernized UC benefit system amid continued criticism
USA Today: Wolf, Democrats want to use surplus for education aid. Why the GOP is pushing back
USA Today: Pa. House votes to end Wolf’s COVID-19 emergency declaration
USA Today: Bill to restrict abortion after Down syndrome diagnosis passes Pennsylvania House
PLSReporter: The Capitol Recap: House Republicans discuss vote to end emergency declaration
PLSReporter: ‘We have the money’: Dems push for fair school funding with projected state revenue surplus
Fox News: Pennsylvania man impersonated Trump family members to rip off thousands through fake donations: prosecutors
Post-Gazette: Now, it’s the public’s turn to weigh in on Pennsylvania university mergers
WHYY Newsworks: Pa. House votes to end disaster declaration, relaunch unemployment work requirements 
Philadelphia Business Journal: Bill diverting portion of Pennsylvania hotel tax to tourism marketing, culture organizations advances
KYW Newsradio: Pa. flips switch on new unemployment compensation system — with some hiccups
KYW Newsradio: Medical marijuana law changes get through Pennsylvania House
The Hill: Man charged with impersonating Trump family members to defraud hundreds
KDKA: Pa. State System Of Higher Education Holding Virtual Public Hearings Regarding Plan To Combine Universities
Pittsburgh Business Times: House committee moves RGGI bill closer to full vote
CNN: Man arrested for allegedly impersonating Trump’s family in fundraising scheme  

Inquirer: Protesters stage sit-in in Mayor Jim Kenney’s office during Philadelphia budget negotiations 
Inquirer: Philly Councilmember proposes creative arts fund, calling for ‘consequences’ if city underfunds the arts 
Inquirer: Racial equity is essential to hospital quality and some in Philly are falling short, new report says 
Inquirer: Philly native Jake Tapper talks about his love for the city’s sports teams in Inquirer Live interview
Inquirer: Temple hires Chestnut Hill resident and former Ivy League school dean as its next president
WHYY Newsworks: Protesters stage mayor’s office sit-in to oppose Philly business tax cuts 
WHYY Newsworks: Philadelphia gun control lawsuit: City and state to clash in court hearing 
WHYY Newsworks: Jason Wingard to make history as Temple University’s first Black president
WHYY Newsworks: Melony Roy named news/digital director at WHYY 
Philadelphia Tribune: Sweepstakes gives vaccinated residents a chance to win up to $50,000 
KYW Newsradio: ‘We’re upset’: Philly airport business owners say they might close if wage bill passes
KYW Newsradio: Philly to give away up to $50,000 to dozens of vaccinated people
KYW Newsradio: ‘Know your history’: Juneteenth in Philadelphia begins with flag-raising
KYW Newsradio: Temple University’s first Black president has Philadelphia roots
KYW Newsradio: Most kids should keep wearing face masks, say Pa. and Philly health leaders
Philly Voice: With Philly Vax Sweepstakes, city residents have chances to win up $50,000 for getting their COVID-19 shots
Philadelphia Business Journal: Temple University names former Wharton vice dean Jason Wingard as its next president
Billy Penn: Don’t regret it! ‘Philly Vax Sweepstakes’ offers $50,000 prizes — but only if you’re vaccinated

Inquirer: Democratic Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan won’t run for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania
Montgomery Media: Education funding front and center as clock ticks on PA budget talks 
Montgomery Media: Montgomery County officials celebrate Pride Month, raise Progress Pride Flag
Daily Local News: Sentencing set Wednesday for former Chester County Sheriff ‘Bunny’ Welsh 
Daily Local News: Chester County raises Pride Flag at offices in support of LGBTQ community
Daily Local News: Sen. Comitta to host free shredding event June 12
WHYY Newsworks: Chester activists denounce a new Philadelphia Union-Subaru partnership as environmental injustice
Bucks County Courier Times: DEP test results: PFAS not widespread in Pennsylvania; considers max level drinking water standard

WTAE: After DA Zappala about-face on plea deals, judge resumes taking prosecutor plea offers
Tribune Review: Allegheny County election results certified; Moreno still undecided on running as Republican 
Tribune Review: Black political advocacy group asks Supreme Court to investigate Zappala’s conduct 
Tribune Review: Sewickley has a council vacancy, no borough manager
Post-Gazette: Allegheny County Executive Fitzgerald proposes 2 budget bills in address to County Council 
Post-Gazette: Allegheny County resolution puts real estate wholesalers in the hot seat 
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh immigrant groups brace for effects of Supreme Court ruling against temporary residents 
KDKA: State Rep. Tony DeLuca Plans To Introduce Minimum Wage Question To Ballot In Next General Election
KDKA: Elizabeth Township Residents Push Back On Gas-Fired Power Plant Proposal
WESA: Permitless Concealed Carry Of Guns Is Being Considered In The Legislature 

Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: State police spokesman confirms search warrant was served at Cambria elections office, offers no details
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: New COVID-19 cases remain under 500, average less than one year ago
Observer-Reporter: Commissioners approve agreement with nonprofit for county donations
Observer-Reporter: Audit finds ‘significant’ issues in Register of Wills office 
Observer-Reporter: COVID-19 cases reported in Washington, Fayette counties
Altoona Mirror: Commissioners cancel upcoming meetings
KDKA: Audit Finds Numerous Issues In Register Of Wills Office
Beaver County Times: New COVID-19 cases decline in Pennsylvania

Times-Tribune: Cognetti requests state performance audit of Scranton Single Tax Office, citing lack of accountability, transparency
Times-Tribune: Funding for area transportation projects advances in U.S. House
Times-Tribune: NEPA sees 39 new COVID-19 cases, three deaths
Citizens Voice: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport gets COVID-19 relief money
Citizens Voice: County council to vote on changes to administrative code
Citizens Voice: 15 new COVID-19 cases reported in county on Tuesday
The Times Leader: Another tax break request before Luzerne County Council
The Times Leader: 15 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County Tuesday; 450 statewide

South Central 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster Sen. Scott Martin announces exploratory bid for Pa. governor
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster city opposes plan to convert downtown retail space to 16 apartments; zoning appeal filed
Patriot News: Dauphin County appoints new commissioner  
Patriot News: Insurer doesn’t have to cover central Pa. hotel’s financial loss from Gov. Wolf’s COVID-19 shutdown orders: U.S. judge
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 20 new cases of COVID-19 for Cumberland County Tuesday
York Dispatch: York City video surveillance feasibility study to wrap up next month

Lehigh Valley      
Morning Call: Pennsylvania House approves resolution to fully terminate Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 disaster declaration; measure now goes to Senate
Reading Eagle: 4 write-ins could replace candidates listed for November ballot in Berks County
Reading Eagle: Reading sets goals for lead abatement program
Reading Eagle: Officials offer guidance for children not yet eligible for COVID vaccine
WFMZ: Sheriff candidate’s lawyer warns man who created Facebook page containing allegations to take it down or face legal action
Express Times: Another Pa. deer hunting tradition on its way out if this bill becomes law 

North by Northwest
Centre Daily Times: State College Borough Council closes loophole that allowed a proposed hotel to plan a 4th story
Centre Daily Times: Ferguson Township is the latest Centre Region municipality to repeal its COVID-19 ordinance 
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: ‘Let’s End COVID’ group aims to help community reach Biden’s goal
Erie Times-News: Blue Zones healthy living initiatives: 3 expansion options for Erie County. Where, and how much?

David Oh: After being decimated by the pandemic, Philly’s arts sector needs restored funding
David Hickton: Private companies need federal support to protect our critical infrastructure
Greg Zebrowski: Becoming ‘Warehouse Valley’ not area’s only economic option 
Kathryn Ott Lovell: Rec for all: Building an inclusive recreation system for Philadelphia
John L. Micek: Report: Pa. Legislature a ‘bipartisan criminal offense factory’ that drives up costs, doesn’t fix crime | Wednesday Morning Coffee
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Fetterman should stop flouting flag law and obey it 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Republican lawmakers want to ban private money for elections, but they should be more concerned about adequate state funding 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: A bipartisan bill would help the USPS take a step toward sustainable solvency 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Some selfish spending of stimulus funds could lift spirits and the economy at the same time
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Lancaster County’s COVID-19 mass vaccination site needs to finish the job 
Ducks Unlimited and the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations: Here’s how Pa. legislators can help nonprofits recover a critical source of revenue
Scott Hudson: Pennsylvania’s electric choice program is stuck in the past
Jessica Knapp: The end of the school year is only the beginning
Chris Freind: Hold people – not guns – responsible for shootings
Roxanne Patel Shepelavy: Ideas We Should Steal: Arts Everywhere 
Bruce Ledewitz: We never needed a Jan. 6 Commission. We need a Nov. 3 Commission. This is why 
Joyce M. Davis: Students will share their views on the pandemic, social unrest and more on PennLive’s opinion pages this summer | Social Views
Elizabeth Wellington: Why city pools matter, and how to find a pool in Philly this summer 
Trudy Rubin: U.S. exit from Afghanistan spells doom for translators, unless Biden steps in 
Anwar Curtis: Join us on June 13 in HBG to recognize these education heroes of the pandemic 
Gene Therapy: At the tone, we really don’t care what you do
Rashad Grove: In a society that prides itself on ‘toughness,’ Naomi Osaka’s move is iconoclastic

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