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March 21: PA’s Highest Earners

🏀 It’s Tip-Off Thursday. March Madness kicks into high gear today with 16 men’s games. The 64-team women’s bracket begins Friday.

PA Weather
☀️ Butler | Sunny, 36
🌤️ Lock Haven | Mostly Sunny, 36
☀️ Swarthmore | Sunny, 44

PA Sports
🏀 Sixers (38-31) | Phoenix 102-115 | Fri vs. LA Lakers
🏒 Flyers (35-26-8) | Thu vs. Carolina
🏒 Penguins (30-30-8) | Fri vs. Dallas
🏀 Duquesne (NCAA MBB) | Thu vs. (6) BYU, 12:40 p.m.
🏀 Drexel (NCAA WBB) | Fri vs. (1) Texas, 3 p.m.

What We’re Hearing
At 2:48 a.m., House and Senate appropriators released the bipartisan $1.2 trillion, 1,012-page bill to fund major federal agencies through the end of September. The bill is almost six months late and now must be jammed through Congress by 11:59 p.m. tomorrow to avoid a government shutdown, giving members barely any time to vet it

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Rep. Louis C. Schmitt.

Pennsylvania Political Headlines In Your Inbox Daily
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Top Story

1. In PA’s Senate Race, Casey Puts ‘Greedflation,’ Corporations On Ballot

Casey blames higher consumer prices on 'greedflation,' pointing to soaring corporate profits | News |

“For Democrats trying to defend the White House and Senate majority, Bob Casey is emerging as the tip of the spear in attacking “greedflation” — a blunt term for corporations that jack up prices and rip off shoppers to maximize profits — and trying to reframe the election-year narrative about the economy.

Fast-rising prices over the past four years have opened a key soft spot in 2024 for Democrats on an important voter concern, with polls showing that inflation is weighing down President Joe Biden in his bid for a second term against Donald Trump.” (AP)


Republicans Are Counting on Millionaires to Flip the Senate. “With Democrats at a fund-raising advantage, the G.O.P. has backed candidates who can self-fund. But their wealth is likely to factor in the fight for Senate control.” (New York Times)

US Republicans Have Taken Sharp Populist Turn In The Trump Era, Reuters/Ipsos Data Shows. “The Republican Party’s transformation is apparent at any Donald Trump rally: The crowd is filled with working-class voters, many without college degrees, who are in lockstep with him on issues where he has overhauled the party’s platform, from immigration to trade to foreign policy.” (Reuters)

Trump Indicates He Would Back a 15-Week Federal Abortion Ban. “Former President Donald Trump indicated this week that he was likely to back a 15-week federal ban on abortion, with exceptions for rape, incest and life-threatening emergencies.” (New York Times)

Biden Campaign Launching Affordable Care Act Anniversary Events Across Pennsylvania, Nationwide. “To mark the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, the Biden-Harris campaign is launching a series of events across Pennsylvania and seven other swing states, to rally support for the landmark health care law even as former President Donald Trump has renewed his calls to overturn it.” (Penn Capital-Star)

Sens. Fetterman and Casey Weigh In On Judicial Nominee Facing Islamophobic Attacks, Uncertain Confirmation. “Until this week, Pennsylvania’s two Democratic senators had been largely quiet as President Joe Biden’s nominee to a key federal court post in Philadelphia became the target of Islamophobic attacks, which began late last year.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)



2. How Much Do PA’s Top-Paid State Government Workers Make?

“PennLive’s annual survey of the highest earners in state government for 2023 saw the number of employees in the three governmental branches who earned $200,000 or more increase by 119% from the prior year.

According to the governor’s Office of Administration, Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts and independent agencies, 823 employees across state government crossed that threshold. Who are they?” (PennLive)

  • 200+ PA State Workers Earned More Than Gov. Shapiro Did In 2023. (PennLive)
  • Who Were PA State Government’s Highest Earners In 2023? (PennLive)



Shapiro Says No to PA National Guard Troops for Southern Border. “The eyes of Texas won’t be seeing Pennsylvania National Guard troops at the state’s southern border.” (PoliticsPA)

Governor’s Plan To Boost Mass Transit Aid Passes Pennsylvania House, But Faces Long Odds In Senate. “The bill would deliver an increase of about 20% in state aid to public transportation systems, proposed by the Democratic governor in his budget plan earlier this year.” (AP)

Legislators Prepare Bills In PA House, Senate To Support Shapiro’s Energy Policy. “Democratic lawmakers in both chambers of the Pennsylvania General Assembly are seeking co-sponsors for bills proposing to enact Gov. Josh Shapiro’s recently proposed energy policy into state law.” (CNHI News)


Around The Commonwealth

3. Election 2024: Get to Know The Republicans Running For Congress In The Lehigh Valley

From left, Maria Montero, Ryan Mackenzie and Kevin Dellicker are vying for the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district in the April 23 primary election. The district includes Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties and part of Monroe. The winner will face Democratic incumbent Susan Wild in November. (Amy Shortell/The Morning Call)

“In an unusually crowded primary election race, three Republicans are vying for the nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Susan Wild in Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District.

No clear front-runner has emerged between businessman Kevin Dellicker, state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie and attorney Maria Montero, as different Republican leaders and groups have thrown their support behind all three.” (Allentown Morning Call)


Dem Oppo Powerhouse American Bridge Sets Its Sights On The House. “American Bridge 21st Century, the powerhouse Democratic opposition research group, is expanding to target House candidates for the first time — a significant sign of how hotly contested the battle for the lower chamber is. That includes a mix of seats where Democrats are on defense — like Rep. Susan Wild’s district in Northeast Pennsylvania.” (POLITICO)

PA-12: Lee, Patel Release First Campaign Ads. “The political ad season has come to the airwaves in western Pennsylvania.” (PoliticsPA)

Introducing the Kitchen Table Podcast. “PoliticsPA is further broadening its media content offerings with the relaunch of the Kitchen Table Politics podcast available today on Spotify and Apple.” (Broad + Liberty)

Gainey, Innamorato Endorsement In House Contest Raises Eyebrows Along With Challenger’s Hopes. “State House candidate Ashley Comans gained the support of southwestern Pennsylvania’s three most powerful Democrats Tuesday: U.S. Rep. Summer Lee, Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato, and Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey.” (WESA)

What a Proposed Performance-Based Funding Model Could Mean For Pitt, Penn State, Other State-Related Universities. “The proposed performance-based funding model is used by more than half of states across the country, though experts warn such plans can have unintended consequences if not constructed thoughtfully.” (Spotlight PA State College)



4. What’s On Your Mind

  • PA Gov. Shapiro is Sharpening His Approach To Partisan Budget Fights And More. (John Baer)
  • Stop Pandering To Pittsburgh: Politicians Should Drop Opposition To Nippon Steel. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Why Christians — and Republicans — Might Want to Reconsider the Premise that ‘Life Begins at Conception’. (Bradley Onishi)


1 Thing

5. Shapiro Picks Big Blue

Gov. Shapiro's 2024 men's basketball bracket

We all know that Gov. Josh Shapiro is a huge basketball fan. So it’s no surprise that he has publicly released his bracket for the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament.

His Final Four? Connecticut, Creighton, Kentucky and North Carolina with the Wildcats of Kentucky taking it all.

Remember to have your bracket in no later than 12:15 p.m. today.


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