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March 15th Playbook

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate slightly increased in January. Here is the Playbook. 

March 12th Ups and Downs: Harrisburg Republicans plan an in-person gathering at an “upscale” resort, Gov. Tom Wolf receives backlash from fellow Democrats on COVID-19 vaccine distribution, plus an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer leads to a bill being introduced. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.

ABC News Highlights PA’s 2022 Senate Race: ABC News details the “early stages” of the Pennsylvania’s 2022 Senate race.

Reschenthaler Talks to WESA About COVID-19 Relief Bill, Toomey, and Jan. 6 Insurrection: Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny) talked to WESA’s Lucy Perkins about a variety of topics including the COVID-19 relief, Republicans responding to Sen. Pat Toomey’s vote to convict former President Donald Trump, the riots in Washington D.C. on January 6 and more.  

Berks County GOP Votes to Censure Toomey: The Reading Eagle reports that the Berks County Republican Committee unanimously voted to censure Sen. Pat Toomey over his vote to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial.  

Wild Joins Labor Caucus As Vice Chair: Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) has been named as a Vice Chair of the Labor Caucus, according to a press release from her office. 

Burns Named Dem Chair in Second Amendment Caucus: State Rep. Frank Burns (D-Cambria) has been elevated to Democratic Chairman of the PA Legislature’s Second Amendment Caucus, according to the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat. Burns takes over the position previously held by former state Rep. Bill Kortz (D-Allegheny), who recommended Burns for the role when Kortz announced that he was going to retire. 

Thompson Introduces Bill To Allow Whole Milk In Schools: The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports that Rep. G.T. Thompson (R-Centre) and Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-NY) introduced the Whole Milk Act for Healthy Kids Act of 2021 that would “allow flavored and unflavored whole milk into school cafeterias.” 

NFIB Partners with Novak Strategic Advisors in PA: The National Federation of Independent Business announced that Angela Leopold and Novak Strategic Advisors (NSA) will be supporting NFIB’s advocacy program and legislative priorities in Pennsylvania as they conduct a comprehensive search and transition process for its next PA State Director, according to a press release from NFIB. Former State Rep. Gordon Denlinger, NFIB’s immediate past Pennsylvania State Director, recently joined Auditor General Tim DeFoor’s staff. 

Hammer Removed from Johnstown Mayoral Ballot: The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports that Jeff Hammer, who announced his candidacy for the Democratic Party nomination for Mayor, was removed from the ballot due to a few signatures that were deemed invalid, lowering his total under the 100 vote threshold needed to run.  

Harrisburg & DC   
AP: Unemployment rises in Pennsylvania, as payrolls grow too
AP: As school workers get vaccine, Wolf puts police, others next 
AP: Governor seeks overhaul of Pennsylvania’s highway funding
AP: Democrats bank on relief aid to win back wary working class 
AP: Biden, Harris and others to promote relief plan’s benefits 
Spotlight PA: Partisan Pa. websites masquerading as local news threaten trust in journalism, new report finds 
Spotlight PA: During height of coronavirus pandemic, Pa. lawmakers still cashed in big on meals, lodging
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Redistricting, explained: What it is, how it works, and how Pa. politicians get to draw their own maps 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Wolf, COVID-19 task force announce targeted vaccinations for cops, firefighters; currently eligible residents to get appointments by end of March 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Monthly checks to flow to Pa. children, families under tax credit tweak in new federal stimulus 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Report ranks the best states for women | The Numbers Racket 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: State on track to vaccinate school employees by end of March, officials say 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: When in doubt, fact check. And how to do it | Five for the Weekend
WESA: Majority Of Voters Say PA Congressmen Should Not Have Voted Against Certifying Election Results
Patriot News: Pennsylvania’s largest pension system investigates possible $25 million error
Patriot News: Democrats recommend veterinarian to vie for open Senate seat
Inquirer: Billions of stimulus dollars are coming to Pa. and N.J. schools to help get them open again
Inquirer: Pa.’s largest pension plan admits making an ‘error’ that may have benefited teachers at taxpayers’ expense
Morning Call: MAP: How much money Pennsylvania schools will get from federal stimulus
Morning Call: Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf announces push to finish phase 1A of COVID-19 vaccine rollout and plan to vaccinate police, grocery workers, other groups
PLSReporter: Wolf says he wants to phase out gas tax; creates commission to find alternate funding sources
PLSReporter: Senate Democrats push for immediate statutory fix to bungled constitutional amendment
PLSReporter: Wolf promises all 1A vaccine appointments to be scheduled by March 28
PLSReporter: Right 2 Know Episode 84: The Feds Are Coming
York Daily Record: COVID vaccine in Pa.: All residents in Phase 1A will get appointments by end of March
York Daily Record: FBI: Pennsylvania business owner charged for involvement in U.S. Capitol insurrection
KYW Newsradio: PennDOT plan to toll 9 bridges draws ire from Republican state lawmakers
StateImpactPA: Midstate county seeks input on how to address climate change
Beaver County Times: Wolf commits to replacing gas tax, forms commission
Beaver County Times: Efforts ramping up to vaccinate Pa. teachers 
KDKA: Lifting Utility Shutoff Moratorium Could Affect Over 1M Pennsylvania Customers
Politico: Trump’s false claims of voter fraud inspire flurry of voting restriction bills 
Politico: Pro-Biden Super PAC launching ads touting Covid relief package  

Billy Penn: United Nations slams Philly police as city begins settling tear gas lawsuits
Billy Penn: Philadelphia scales back pandemic porta-potties, raising concerns over potential ‘minefield of human feces’
Billy Penn: Secret Philly: How the City Hall clocks adjust for Daylight Saving Time
Philadelphia Business Journal: Philadelphia ‘absolutely in sync’ with Biden on vaccine distribution, health chief says 
Philadelphia Business Journal: Philadelphia’s estimated $1.1B from stimulus package will help pull city out of huge budget hole, councilman says
Philadelphia Business Journal: 81% of restaurants, gyms receiving $12M in Philadelphia grant funding are located outside of Center City
Philadelphia Tribune: How will Philadelphia respond to verdict in trial of Minneapolis cop who killed George Floyd? 
KYW Newsradio: Philly plans to meet Biden’s pledge of making all adults vaccine-eligible by May 1, officials say
KYW Newsradio: $1.9T COVID-19 relief could be a major step toward lifting Philadelphia families out of poverty 
Inquirer: As more vaccine comes, Pa., N.J., and Philly leaders say President Biden’s May 1 goal can be achieved
Inquirer: Job or kids? One in three working moms forced to choose as pandemic enters Year Two.

Bucks County Courier Times: Santarsiero, Democratic Caucus support fracking ban
Bucks County Courier Times: ‘Implausible theory:’ Federal judge tosses Judicial Watch lawsuit against Bucks
Bucks County Courier Times: LGTBQ+ group say Equality Act needs support
Bucks County Courier Times: Bensalem’s outspoken top cop steps into politics with run for Bucks County sheriff
Bucks County Courier Times: Pennsylvania unemployment: Department to hire up to 1,000 more call center workers to help backlog
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks County farmers confront obstacles
Bucks Local News: Bucks County Commissioners respond to Gov. Wolf’s call to set 1A vaccine appointments
Bucks Local News: Senate Democrats fire back against Republican lawsuit seeking to overturn Delaware River Basin fracking ban
Bucks Local News: Southeast House and Senate Republicans announce additional vaccination sites coming to counties
WFMZ: Berks state rep. critical of PennDOT toll bridge plan
Inquirer: Judge empties Delaware County Juvenile Justice Center after allegations of rampant abuse
KYW Newsradio: Delco Juvenile Justice Center shut down following abuse allegations
Pottstown Mercury: Anti-Asian American actions spark concern among local officials
Pottstown Mercury: Montgomery County officials say race, ethnicity data important for vaccine rollout
Pottstown Mercury: Pa. short-changed Pottstown schools $67M in the past six years
Pottstown Mercury: Friday Update: Montgomery County reports 118 new coronavirus cases, 3 deaths
Daily Local News: Chester County commissioners push for more vaccines

WESA: Reschenthaler Weighs In On COVID Relief Bill, Toomey, Jan. 6 Insurrection
WESA: Western PA Planned Parenthood Workers Vote Overwhelmingly To Unionize
WESA: Most 1A Pennsylvanians Are Projected To Be Vaccinated By End Of March, Wolf Lays Out Next Steps
City Paper: New homeownership support program in Pittsburgh draws praise from Peduto and skepticism from others
City Paper: UPDATE: Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania workers vote to unionize 
Post-Gazette: Pa. hopes to vaccinate all educators by end of March
Post-Gazette: Wolf: All in Phase 1A will be able to make vaccine appointment by end of March
Post-Gazette: As overdose deaths rise, federal aid targets expansion of access to drug treatment and medications
Post-Gazette: Vaccine controversy raises wider public-health worries
Post-Gazette: SPECIAL REPORT | Pain, loss, courage: One year of COVID-19 in Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette: Allegheny County adds 329 cases, no new deaths 
Tribune Review: ‘Reverberation of grief’: Covid losses take toll on Western Pennsylvania residents, communities
Pittsburgh Business Times: Here’s what the relief bill means for local universities
KDKA: Allegheny County Emergency Rental Assistance Applications Available March 15
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports No New Deaths, 329 Additional Cases

Observer-Reporter: State Rep. Jason Ortitay considering a run for governor
Observer-Reporter: Bridgeville, South Fayette governments both express opposition to tolling I-79 bridge
Observer-Reporter: President judge touts courthouse progress through COVID-19 pandemic
Observer-Reporter: Bentleyville man charged in Jan. 6 insurrection at U.S. Capitol
Beaver County Times: County examines its ‘resilience’ in new report
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Thompson introduces bill to allow whole milk in schools
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Local COVID-19 death count unchanged; Cambria’s vaccination rate up to 22%
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: SUNSHINE WEEK: State law does little to discourage agencies from dragging out records fights
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Two new COVID-19 deaths in Cambria County, Department of Health reports; 2,840 more cases, 43 deaths in Pa.
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Big crowd for COVID-19 vaccines; Technical glitch blamed after ‘too many’ line up; some turned away
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Johnstown Housing Authority residents get crack at COVID shots
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: For local use of pandemic relief bill funds, many unknowns remain
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Advocates seek public’s testimony on impact of COVID-19, hoping to create ‘a small archive of experiences’
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Official: Vaccination of teachers, school staff in Pa. on schedule
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Wolf calls for plan to wean state off gas tax
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: General Assembly could consider plan to help adult survivors of child sex abuse next week
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Somerset County row office races set for primary, general
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Acting secretary of state: Election was secure and accurate
Tribune Review: Overtime, hazard pay boost Westmoreland County employee wages in 2020
Tribune Review: Medical marijuana dispensary opens in Irwin
Altoona Mirror: Wolf eyes gas tax change
Altoona Mirror: Gov. Wolf says vaccine waiting lists ‘will shrink’
Altoona Mirror: Lawmakers: Vaccine task force ‘highly productive’
Altoona Mirror: Blair to host COVID-19 testing
Altoona Mirror: Pandemic challenges law enforcement
Altoona Mirror: Zoning board OKs Park Hills Plaza variances
Altoona Mirror: Area briefs

Citizens Voice: Local Democrats choose Flynn to run for state Senate seat
Citizens Voice: Lackawanna County case set precedent for filling DA vacancy
Citizens Voice: State lawmakers to debate bills that could affect Luzerne County district attorney replacement
Citizens Voice: Luzerne County will receive estimated $114M from latest rescue plan
Citizens Voice: 73 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Luzerne County on Sunday
Times-Tribune: Local Democrats choose Flynn to run for state Senate seat
Times-Tribune: Former state Rep. Gaynor Cawley of Scranton dies of cancer at 79 
Times-Tribune: See who is running for office in Lackawanna County, NEPA
Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County candidates for May 18 primary election
Times-Tribune: Daily COVID-19 cases drop slightly in region
The Times Leader: Estimated $300 million for NEPA in American Rescue Plan
The Times Leader: Baker backing bill to put the brakes on tolling of interstate bridges
The Times Leader: Local schools eligible for estimated $123.5 million in federal aid
The Times Leader: All Luzerne County ZIP Codes report fewer than 50 COVID-19 cases this week
The Times Leader: Luzerne County shows marked improvement in latest coronavirus statistics
The Times Leader: 73 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County on Sunday
South Central 
Lebanon Daily News: Retired veterinarian recommended by local Democrats to run for Arnold’s vacant Senate seat
Patriot News: Democrats recommend veterinarian to vie for open Senate seat
Patriot News: Who’s running in York County? The list of 2021 primary election candidates
Patriot News: Who’s running in Lebanon County? The list of 2021 primary election candidates
York Daily Record: I-83 South Bridge project: Telephone town hall meeting planned about replacement, tolling
York Daily Record: York County officials unveil website to keep residents in step with vaccination efforts
York Daily Record: Protesters march for racial justice at Biglerville High School
York Dispatch: Eight months later, York County hasn’t released all public information sought by York Dispatch
York Dispatch: York County launches online COVID-19 vaccine hub
York Dispatch: No new deaths, 106 additional cases of COVID-19 in York County
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster County in a pandemic [timeline]
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster mayor updates search for police chief; hopes to have hired May or June
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster County schools to get $127M in coronavirus relief; how will they spend it? [Lancaster Watchdog]
LNP | LancasterOnline: Which Lancaster County industries have bounced back from the pandemic, which haven’t?
Carlisle Sentinel: Interactive: A timeline of COVID-19 in Cumberland County
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 36 new cases of COVID-19, no new deaths reported for Cumberland County Saturday

Lehigh Valley      
Express Times: Why the Lehigh County GOP voted to censure Pat Toomey over his impeachment vote
Express Times: Time change 2021: Clocks change this weekend. Lehigh Valley lawmaker proposes permanent daylight saving time in Pa.
Express Times: Stats show the impact female judges are making on the Pennsylvania bench
Express Times: Federal COVID relief means $57.5M for Allentown, $33.8M for Bethlehem… and $2.7M for Easton  
Reading Eagle: Berks GOP Committee votes to censure Toomey over impeachment vote
Reading Eagle: Who’s running for City Council in Reading [Interactive Map]
Reading Eagle: Berks commissioners seek to discuss cleanup of Exide properties with EPA
Reading Eagle: Berks County COVID pandemic total surges with 211 new cases
Reading Eagle: Weekly report shows dip in Berks County COVID cases
WFMZ: Pa. representative wants to protect people who are being asked to enforce the mask mandate 
WFMZ: Allentown councilman says city should tackle campaign finance reform
WFMZ: Emmaus small business owner reflects on being mentioned in Biden’s address to the nation
WFMZ: Northampton County making it easier for seniors to find appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations
WFMZ: Reading community holds town hall to discuss youth violence
WFMZ: Parents rally in downtown Easton for full-time return to school
WFMZ: Reading plans community meeting amid spike in gun violence
Morning Call: Starting Monday, Lehigh Valley hospitality businesses can apply for COVID-19 relief grants. Here’s what they should know

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Laughlin: $10 minimum wage ‘reasonable’ in PA
Erie Times-News: How area lawmakers voted, week ending March 12
Erie Times-News: Erie-region teachers receive COVID vaccine
Erie Times-News: State reports 50 new COVID cases for Erie County
Erie Times-News: Vaccine milestone: Erie County reaches 20%
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Slate of candidates for Primary Election set
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: City Hall staff: River Valley Transit under investigation
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: DOH: 1 million fully vaccinated, still not enough supply
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: States drawing up big wish lists for the COVID relief money
Centre Daily Times: March 13 update: Centre County adds 48 COVID-19 cases; Pa. adds 2,840
Centre Daily Times: UPDATE: 2 suspects in custody for ‘Biden Barn’ fire, as more details emerge. Here’s what we know

Dan Meuser: Why I opposed the Democrats’ plan to spend another $1.9 trillion in stimulus checks
Margo Davidson: Redistricting delayed is representation denied 
Mike Regan: Texas and Mississippi are ending their mask mandate, and Pennsylvania should, too
Pat Carone Krebs and Ed Krebs: Tolling the John Harris/I-83 bridge is a regressive tax
Mark S. Singel: Biden’s big win will rescue millions of Americans
Joe McClure: K. Leroy Irvis, Pa.’s first Black House speaker, blazed trails and battled discrimination
Ann Flood: Bold actions chart path for economic recovery
Michael Lamb: Pittsburgh’s road to economic recovery
John L. Micek: As bridge toll debate heats up, Wolf pitches ditching Pa. gas tax | Monday Morning Coffee
Paul Muschick: Best news of the year: Nursing home visits to resume in Pennsylvania
Paul Muschick: Allentown State Hospital: Which redevelopment plan is best?
Donna Ancypa Holmes: Workers need the American Rescue Plan and a higher minimum wage
PennLive Editorial Board: The state did the right thing to get teachers vaccinated, but masks should stay on 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Uncle Joe channels FDR
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Farmer’s faith
Daily Local News Editorial: Sunshine Week exists to keep government on all levels accountable 
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Highlighting LNP Media Group’s fight for government transparency as Sunshine Week begins
York Dispatch Editorial Board: Pandemic or not, rethink school time
Mike Miorelli: From the editor: Come for the COVID coverage, stay for the great stories
Tom Murse: In the battle for facts, these folks are on the front lines
Helen Ubiñas: Demand accountability where the people in power can’t ignore you 
Therese Ummerlik: How I got the coronavirus vaccine in Pennsylvania
Paul Lagnese: Medical Errors: A cause of death that needs more attention
Frank Pizzoli: Get your LGBTQ history ready: America 250 celebration wants to know 
Christine Flowers: The pro-life case for the COVID vaccines
Dr. Leon Kraybill: Saying yes, saying no as more of us get vaccinated
Tony Norman: The mathematics of oppression
Dick Polman: Biden is the best man for this pivotal moment 
John Cole: All aboard the vaccine express | Editorial Cartoon
Michael Butler: Stop the dangerous antics; It’s time for unity
Chris Kelly: ‘Spring fever’ goes viral, but vaccines lag
Lisa Scottoline: Happy anniversary

  • 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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