🥳 I’ve Got Friday On My Mind
Titusville | Wintry Mix, 34
Selinsgrove | Wintry Mix, 36
Pittston | Snow, 41
PIAA Wrestling Championships, Hershey
Penguins (32-22-10) | lost v. NY Islanders 4-3 (OT) | SAT vs. Philadelphia
Flyers (24-30-11) | lost v. Carolina 1-0 | SAT vs. Pittsburgh
76ers (43-22) | FRI v. Portland | SUN vs. Washington
What We’re Hearing
Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti and her husband, Ryan, are expecting their second child. And former PA Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar is joining the University of Pittsburgh as a visiting scholar.
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1. Casey, Shaw Testify at Norfolk Southern Hearing
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey Jr. was one of three U.S. senators to testify before the Senate Environment and Public Works committee hearing on the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, on Thursday.
Casey spoke along with Ohio senators Sherrod Brown and J.D. Vance and highlighted the first-hand experiences of residents, first responders and business owners in Darlington, Pa., a borough in northwestern Beaver County that is located just seven miles from East Palestine.
He challenged the Norfolk Southern Corporation and its President and CEO, Alan Shaw, to step up and commit to fully supporting Pennsylvania residents for years to come, and called for the passage of the Railway Safety Act to prevent future, man-made disasters like the East Palestine train derailment.
Railroad CEO ‘Sorry,’ But Avoids Specifics At Senate Hearing. “In a packed Senate hearing, CEO Alan Shaw said his railroad firmly supports the goal of improving rail safety, but he also defended his company’s record.” (AP)
Shapiro Rejects Norfolk Southern’s Apology, Saying He Wants To See Actions To Reimburse PA. “Gov. Shapiro was in Philadelphia on Thursday but took a moment to talk with Jon Delano.” (CBS Pittsburgh)
2. Joe Biden’s Support For John Fetterman: ‘We’re With You, Pal’
“Before President Joe Biden got into the substance of his budget speech in Philadelphia on Thursday, he had a warm personal message for Sen. John Fetterman.
“John, if you can hear this at all, we’re with you, pal. We’re with you,” Biden said as he began his address, drawing cheers from the Democrats and laborers in the audience.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Prove That John Fetterman ‘Is Alive and Well,’ PA Republican Official Demands. “A western Pennsylvania Republican’s demand that Democratic U.S. Sen. John Fetterman prove he is “alive and well” or resign is gaining traction in conservative circles across the country.” (PennLive)
Kenyatta Announces Run For Auditor General. “State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta has his eyes set on another statewide office and announced his candidacy for Auditor General during a Thursday press conference.” (PoliticsPA)
- Kenyatta Enters 2024 Race For PA Auditor General. (AP)
Laughlin Advocates For Open Primaries. “A Pennsylvania State Senator is pushing for open primaries in Pennsylvania.” (Erie News Now)
PA Legislature’s Reserves Set Record High at $261M. “Pennsylvania’s legislative branch made history when it closed the books on the 2021-22 fiscal year by sitting on its largest-ever surplus of more than $261 million in its reserves.” (PennLive)
PA Counties See Potential Mental Health Funding Boost As A Down Payment. “Gov. Josh Shapiro wants Pennsylvania lawmakers to give $20 million more to counties to help them fund mental health services they provide to schools, correctional institutions, and more. But advocates and leaders say that money would only go so far.” (WESA)
Recovery Industry Execs Say Regulations Stymie Addiction Recovery. “Regulations governing staffing levels, required paperwork and licensing mandates are disrupting addiction treatment in Pennsylvania, two industry professionals told state lawmakers Thursday.” (CNHI News)
Around The Commonwealth
3. PA Senator’s Record Has Democrats, Voting Advocates Worried Passing Election Reform Will Be Difficult
“As the legislature returns to work after a slow start to the session, progressive advocates and Democratic lawmakers worry a critical state Senate committee will be a bottleneck for long-sought improvements, such as pre-processing mail ballots, to Pennsylvania’s election law.” (VoteBeat)
McConnell’s Hospitalization Raises Questions For GOP’s Future. “Senate Republicans found themselves shaken and disoriented Thursday after finding out their leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.) was in the hospital after tripping at a private event, raising questions about his health and future leadership of the GOP conference.” (The Hill)
DCCC Picks 29 ‘Frontline’ Members For Extra Help Next Year. “The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s initial list of Frontline members, shared first with CQ Roll Call, includes incumbents from districts that President Joe Biden lost in 2020, such as Reps. Mary Peltola of Alaska, Marie Gleusenkamp Pérez of Washington and Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania.” (Roll Call)
What Does a Committee Endorsement Mean These Days? “Believe it or not, people sometimes ask me to describe the Allegheny County Democratic Committee endorsement process, which took place this past weekend.” (WESA)
A Former State Rep With a Criminal Record Is Running For City Council, and Doug Mastriano Is Still Falling For Fake Polls. “One of the seven Democrats running for the 5th District City Council seat being vacated by Darrell Clarke already has strong name recognition — for all the wrong reasons.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Ups and Downs. “The Governor has delivered his budget and now the General Assembly has adjourned until late April. Negotiations will take place and posturing will be done. While preparations are underway for that, you can take a look at our Ups and Downs for March 6-9.” (PoliticsPA)
Lessons From Chicago. “Paul Vallas’ primary defeat of Lori Lightfoot — Paul Vallas! — holds many object lessons for mayoral candidates in Philadelphia” (Philadelphia Citizen)
Delco Republican Chair Asks Why Dems Calls For Zabel’s Resignation Seemed So ‘Tepid.’ “The head of the Delaware County Republican Party questioned why it took so long for outgoing state Rep. Mike Zabel, D-163, of Upper Darby to resign, while one Democratic legislator shared her experience with a Harrisburg lobbyist.” (Delco Times)
Allegheny County Executive Candidates Lay Out Policy Proposals During Online Forum. “Some Democratic candidates for Allegheny County Executive shared policy proposals and laid out key priorities during an online forum Thursday. In keeping with their past performances, candidates showed few differences on issues like infrastructure and environmental justice.” (WESA)
4. What They’re Saying
A glance around the Keystone State at editorials and opinions.
- Get To The Center And Stay There – If You Can. (Ruben Navarrette Jr.)
- When It Comes To The Sixers’ Arena, Let The Next Mayor Make The Call. (John Street, Ed Rendell)
- The Problem With The Word Woke. (Lori Falce)
- PA Has The Opportunity to Bring 21st Century Technologies to State Government. (Kevin Shivers)
- Scrap Noncompete Agreements. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Higher Education Needs a Serious Overhaul, And It Doesn’t Take a Degree To Understand Why. (Joyce Davis)
- Teacher Pensions Are Becoming A Bigger Share of Educational Costs. Here’s Why. (Michael Addonizio)
- Today Is Abortion Provider Appreciation Day. Thank You to Our Patients. (Melissa Reed, Dayle Steinberg and Sydney Etheredge)
- Meet The Republican Who Gave The Dems The House – And Blocked Voter ID. (Jeremy Baker)
- We Need a Rating System For The News. (Mark Pinsley)
5. Apple Goes Classical
Apple has announced that Apple Music Classical, a standalone app that specializes in the genre, will be released on March 28th.
After acquiring music service Primephonic in 2021, the company had originally aimed to release a classical-focused app by the end of last year. It missed that target, but now the service is nearly here.
Rather than natively being bundled into iOS, it will come in the form of a standalone release in the App Store. Access to the app comes included with a standard Apple Music subscription.
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Dush should spell his name phonetically…Douche.
I’m not sure Cartwright is in as tight a race as Perez from Washington State. Cong Perez is a great candidate in the biggest upset for Congress in the country. She won on part because Perez is car repair shop owner who knows what it is like to run a business. She was predicted by all the geniuses who have the political newsletters to have little chance to win but did so! Cartwright had professional candidate Bognet who runs for offices as a living and got little traction in Monroe or Lackawanna and won Alabama (Luzerne) but did not set the world on fire there.