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March 23: Obstacles Remain

Rep. Emily Kinkead (far left)

🐕 Hello Thursday. It’s National Puppy Day.

PA Weather
Philipsburg | Showers, 61
Pottsville | Showers Likely, 63
Newtown | Showers, Breezy, 66

PA Sports
Flyers (26-32-12) | d. Florida 6-3 | THU vs. Minnesota
Penguins (35-26-10) | d. Colorado 5-2 | THU vs. Dallas
76ers (49-23) | d. Chicago 116-91 | FRI vs. Golden State

What We’re Hearing
“We have a plan, we’re ready to go right now. There’s no reason this needs to be a crisis now or a crisis in the future.” – Rep. Scott Perry

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Rep. Joe Webster and Rep. Stephanie Borowicz.

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Top Story

1. Women Have More Power Than Ever In PA Legislature, But Lawmakers Say Big Hurdles Remain

A Pa. first: Women poised to lead both legislative chambers

“When Emily Kinkead asked Lisa Bennington for advice on running for elected office, the former Pennsylvania state lawmaker gave blunt words of warning:

“Don’t run, you’re so smart. There’s so many other things you can do.”

Kinkead ended up running anyway, and won a state House seat to represent part of the Pittsburgh suburbs in 2020. The Democrat said when she got to the chamber, she found a very different place from the old boys’ club Bennington experienced more than a decade ago.” (Spotlight PA)


Sen. Bob Casey Pushes Bill Requiring Safety Barriers On All Domestic Commercial Passenger Planes. “Casey’s Saracini Enhanced Aviation Safety Act would mandate that all commercial passenger planes in the United States have a barrier installed between the cockpit and cabin to avoid hijackings like the ones that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.” (PennLive)

House Freedom Caucus Urges Biden To Start Debt Limit Negotiations: ‘We’re Ready’. “Rep. Scott Perry, Pennsylvania Republican and Freedom Caucus chairman, said the group has presented its list of demands in exchange for raising the cap on how much the federal government can go into debt.” (Washington Examiner)

  • Freedom Caucus Seizes Center Stage. (Axios)


PA’s Deluzio Teams With NY Lawmaker On Railroad Safety Bill. “U.S. Reps. Chris Deluzio D-17th District, and Nick LaLota D-N.Y., have introduced a version of bipartisan rail safety legislation in the House, part of an ongoing push to hold Norfolk Southern railroad responsible for a February derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, and toughen rules to prevent future wrecks.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)



2. In PA’s 2023 DA Races, There’s Already A Winner: Unopposed Prosecutors

Pennsylvania District Attorney Directory - Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association - PDAAPennsylvania District Attorneys Association – PDAA

“Upon compiling the list of candidates who qualified in the 49 Pennsylvania counties with DA elections this year, I found that only 14 – less than a third of the total – drew multiple candidates, with a few of those races seeming to offer voters a stark choice.

Thirty-five counties, meanwhile, drew only one candidate by the deadline.

That’s 35 candidates who are poised to waltz into office without facing much scrutiny into their policies.” (Bolts)


Gun Violence To Bring Hearing, Panel To PA Capitol. “The March For Our Lives at the state Capitol rally marks its fifth anniversary since its inception after the 2018 shooting that killed 17 students and staff at a Parkland, Florida, high school. Hundreds are expected at the rally in Harrisburg, which coincides with similar rallies this week at state Capitols in Florida, Michigan, California and Texas.” (AP)

Leader of PA’s State Universities Lays Out Scenario To Ensure A Tuition Freeze Next Year. “Students at Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities next year could see tuition frozen for a fifth consecutive year but there’s a catch.” (PennLive)

Lawmakers Ask University Heads To Justify Spending Proposal Increases. “Presidents of Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh, Temple and Lincoln University gathered in Harrisburg to justify the boost in subsidies that is more than $32 million in Gov. Josh Shapiro’s 2023-24 budget.” (PoliticsPA)

PA Senate Democrat Proposes Series Of Bills To Increase Accessibility. “A Pennsylvania senator has announced plans for a series of proposals to increase housing accessibility and make finding affordable housing easier by removing some barriers to renters and low-income homeowners in Pennsylvania.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

Mastriano Announces New Legislation On ‘Curriculum Transparency’ “Senate Bill 340 would require schools to post every textbook, course syllabus, and state academic standards for every course offered on a publicly accessible website. Schools would also be required to update the website no more than 30 days after any changes are made.” (ABC27)

PA Has 12th Highest Property Taxes In The U.S. “Because home prices have risen so dramatically since 2020, tax assessments are rising as well—which means larger annual property tax bills. Higher property taxes can be daunting for homeowners, but they are a boon for state and local governments that rely heavily on property tax revenue. ” (Construction Coverage)


Around The Commonwealth

3. Scranton To Biden: Love Ya, Joe. But A 2024 Run?

Scranton Archives - Uncovering PA

“In Joe Biden’s childhood hometown of Scranton, signs of affection for the U.S. president are hard to miss.

Two streets and an expressway into the city bear his name, and personal letters from Biden that invoke the “Scranton values” of hard work and common decency that he frequently flags are proudly displayed in living rooms and offices of some supporters.

Despite those strong ties, interviews with about two dozen Scranton voters show many harbor deep concerns about Biden running again. Biden, 80, is already the oldest sitting U.S. president and would be 86 at the end of his second term, if re-elected.” (Reuters)


Another Allegheny County Executive Candidate Calls For Ethics Reform In Local Government. “At a Wednesday news conference, Michael Lamb called for all candidates and public officials to sign what he called a Pledge of Good Governance that would include promises to disclose job expenses and support open meetings and transparency while not accepting gifts from people trying to exert influence.” (Tribune-Review)

  • County Exec Candidates Tussle Over Ethics Reform. (WTAE)
  • Liv Bennett Drops Out Of County Executive Primary, Will Run As Independent For County Council. (Union Progress)


The Ballot Questions In The 2023 Philadelphia Primary Election, Explained. “This year, voters in Philadelphia will be asked to answer four ballot questions: a new division within the Commerce Department, changes to the city’s rainy day fund, exemptions for the Citizens Police Oversight Commission, and the creation of the Public Safety Officer position.” (Inquirer)

Wood Bows Out Of Philly’s Mayor Race. “The No. 1 name on the ballot for the Democratic nomination for mayor of Philadelphia has dropped out.” (PoliticsPA)

Philly Mayoral Candidates Discuss School Conditions, Gun Violence During Forum. “Mayoral candidates faced the reality Philadelphia’s school children deal with during a forum Tuesday at the Parkway Central Library.” (WHYY)

Could PA’s Liquor Tax Make Up For Nonprofits’ Tax-Exempt Status? Lehigh Valley Lawmaker Hopes So. “Across the Lehigh Valley and statewide, large institutions such as colleges, government and hospitals employ thousands of people and drive local economies. But as nonprofits, they are also tax exempt, which means they don’t always pay for publicly funded services they consume.” (Morning Call)



4. What They’re Saying

A glance around the Keystone State at editorials and opinions.


1 Thing

5. National Puppy Day

Dogs are the best.



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4 Responses

  1. Rep. Scott Perry is a disgrace to PA and USA. Nobody should support him on anything anytime anywhere. Lock him up for his part in the Capitol insurrection.

  2. Mastriano is in the process of creating yet another unfunded mandate. Elementary and middle schools and high schools and public colleges would need to post every book for every course at every institution at every level all curriculum requirements and all books so anyone fancied themselves on what instructional tools to use could weigh in. Ask your child what books they are using would save Mastriano’s bureaucratic nightmare. Talk your school about questions on curriculum solves other problems. People go to college and graduate school for 8 years or more studying education and curriculum. Show respect for the profession.


  • 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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