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March 24: Lawyers, Guns and Money

🍻 Yes. It’s Friday. It’s also National Cheesesteak Day. Wit or witout?

PA Weather
Seven Springs | Rain, 45
Hershey | Rain Likely, 51
Mt. Pocono | Cloudy, chance of rain, 47

PA Sports
Flyers (27-32-12) | Minnesota 5-4 (SO) | SAT vs. Detroit
Penguins (35-27-10) | Dallas 2-3 | SAT vs. Washington
76ers (49-23) | FRI vs. Golden State

What We’re Hearing
Google has signed up former Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) to lobby. He will lobby on “Openness and competition in online services and devices; privacy and data security issues.

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Rep. Jason Dawkins.

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Top Story

1. Democrats, Marchers Press Gun Violence Debate At PA Capitol

May be an image of 5 people and people standing

“Anti-gun violence advocates rallied Thursday and packed into a friendly legislative hearing in Pennsylvania, where a politically divided government has fought firearms policy to a virtual standstill for decades, and rising gun violence has gripped the state’s largest city.

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 gathered on the Capitol steps in Harrisburg, coinciding with similar rallies this week at state Capitols in Florida, Michigan, California and Texas.” (AP)

Related

PA House Hearing Points Toward Movement On Gun Legislation. “The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on gun violence Thursday, with the Democratic majority indicating they intend to move forward with legislation to tighten the state’s firearm laws. (PennLive

  • Advocates Rallying Tighter Gun Laws Hope To Seize On Change In PA House Leadership. (PennLive)
  • Loved Ones Of Gun Violence Victims Implore PA Lawmakers To Act, Pass Laws. (CNHI News)

 

Harrisburg

2. Commonwealth Court Dismisses GOP Lawsuit On Ballot Curing Procedures

PA Judicial Center

“The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania dismissed a lawsuit filed by numerous Republican organizations challenging the authority of the county boards of elections to develop and implement mail-in ballot cure procedures.

In a 33-page ruling from Judge Ellen Ceisler, the court ruled that the case should be dismissed due to the court’s lack of “subject matter jurisdiction.”

In other words, the court does not have the legal authority to address the claims that the Republican plaintiffs brought.”

Related

PA Judge Dismisses Latest GOP Mail Ballot Lawsuit. “A Pennsylvania judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Republican National Committee that had sought to prevent counties from helping voters ensure their ballots count by fixing minor, technical deficiencies on mail-in ballot envelopes.” (AP)

Shapiro Proposes Multi-Million-Dollar Spending Plan To Recruit, Retain PA Police. “As part of his $44.4 billion budget proposal, Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro pitched a multi-million-dollar investment in Pennsylvania police.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

Early PA State Budget Talks Reveal A Sticking Point: How Much To Give To Colleges and Universities. “State House and Senate lawmakers began hearing funding pitches from people representing the state’s agencies, programs and services this week. The annual budget hearings will form the basis of budget talks later this year, the majority of which typically happen behind closed doors.” (WESA)

Josh Shapiro’s Budget Chief Still Needs Senate Approval. But First, Scrutiny Of A Top Achievement. “As former state Sen. Pat Browne awaits confirmation in his new job as Pennsylvania’s top tax collector, the tax benefits of one of his biggest public achievements are under scrutiny by the man who ended his long legislative career last year.” (Post-Gazette)

Frankel, Schwenk Announce Formation of Jewish Legislative Caucus. “State Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) and Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks) announced the formation of Pennsylvania’s first-ever Jewish Legislative Caucus on Tuesday.” (PoliticsPA)

 

DLGA Turning Spotlight On No. 2. “The Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association (DLGA) is aiming to shine a spotlight on the second-in-commands with hopes of helping them move to center stage.” (PoliticsPA)

How Local Government Works. A Basic Guide To Requesting Public Records In PA. “Have you ever wondered how your municipality makes a decision? Perhaps you see a renovation project going on and want to understand the need for the makeover or its costs. The meeting minutes of a planning commission or a contract with builders, among other kinds of public records, might answer your questions.” (Spotlight PA)

 

Around The Commonwealth

3. Fetterman Will Return To Senate ‘Soon,’ But There’s No Timeline Yet

US Sen. John Fetterman expected back 'soon'

“Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman’s office said Thursday that he is expected to return soon to the chamber, although Democratic leaders are giving no timeline five weeks after he sought inpatient treatment for clinical depression.” (AP)

Related

Ups and Downs. “It’s the first official week of spring and budget hearings are blooming all over the Capital City. But other news was made outside the halls of the Capitol … providing us with many of our Ups and Downs for the week ending March 23.”  (PoliticsPA)

Norfolk Southern To Bankroll Local Relief Fund. “Norfolk Southern Railway has agreed to pay Lawrence and Beaver counties jointly $1 million to start a community relief fund in the wake of the company’s Feb. 3 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.” (New Castle News)

  • Rebuilding The Public Trust After Derailment Starts From The Ground Up. (The Center Square)

 

The Surprising Alliances Among Allegheny County Democrats. “Politics isn’t just about the votes our leaders cast. It’s about the friends, and enemies they make along the way.” (WESA)

Allegheny County Public Defender, Legal Experts Question Ethics Of District Attorney’s Office. “Two prosecutors in the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office said earlier this month that they couldn’t withdraw criminal charges in one case or make a plea deal in another because of politics.” (Tribune-Review)

Poll Shows Jeff Brown Leading Crowded Field In Philly Mayoral Race, But Comes With A Caveat. “Democrat businessman Jeff Brown leads the crowded race for Philadelphia mayor by almost a double-digit gap just 60 days ahead of the May primary, according to a poll completed this week by FM3 Research.” (Broad + Liberty)

‘Pragmatic Progressive’ Maria Quiñones Sánchez On Finding Her Niche In A Crowded Philly Mayor’s Race. “When asked about her “pragmatic progressive” label, Maria Quiñones Sánchez said, “I like the ‘badass’ one better.”” (City & State)

PA Woman Gets Three Years In Prison For Entering Nancy Pelosi’s Office During Jan. 6 Capitol Riot. “A Pennsylvania woman linked to a far-right extremist movement was sentenced on Thursday to three years in prison for storming the U.S. Capitol, where she invaded then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office with other rioters.” (Tribune-Review)

Can Republicans Win Again In Montgomery County? The New GOP Chair Shares His Approach. “How do you energize a Republican Party that keeps losing in the Philadelphia suburbs?” (Inquirer)

Leschinskie Complies With Order To Withdraw His Name From Ballot. “Former Shamokin City Councilman Joseph Leschinskie withdrew his name from the spring ballot following a letter from Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Matulewicz threatening legal action against him.” (Daily Item)

 

Editorial

4. What They’re Saying

A glance around the Keystone State at editorials and opinions.

  • The GOP’s Scorn Over The Trump Investigations Affirms The Racist Disconnect Of Its ‘Law and Order’ Messaging. (Solomon Jones
  • Candidates For Allegheny County Executive Must First Deliver On Job Growth. (Post-Gazette)
    PA Can Be A Leader In Natural Gas Production. (Greg Moreland)
  • Is There Light At The End of The Tunnel For Charter Reform In PA? (MediaNews Group)
  • Allegheny County’s District Attorney Office Needs An Integrity Unit. (Rob Perkins)
  • Help Cities Cover Tax Exemptions (Times-Tribune)
  • Central York Is Banning Books Again. There’s Nothing ‘Fictitious’ About It. (York Dispatch)
  • Philly’s Masterman School Being Sacrificed On Altar Of DEI. (George Will)

 

1 Thing

5. What We Hate: QR Menus

Are QR Code Menus The Future Of Dining? | NCR

The results of Axios’ informal survey of COVID changes at stores and restaurants are in: Readers say they despise the move to QR menus the most — with many complaining in all caps.

  • “I HATE QR code menus. Savoring the menu is an important [part] of the dining experience,” said Linda D., from Lake Forest, Illinois.
    “Hate QR — if I’m out, I want to get OFF of my phone,” wrote Sally K. from Oakland, California. Another reader pointed out it’s very unlikely you’d get COVID from a menu.

 

What do we love? The clear winner was curbside pickup and increased delivery options.

 

 

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3 Responses

  1. The picture of those guns is terrifying. At any moment the guns could have jumped into someone’s hands and started killing people.

    We have to do something immediately to prevent these pieces of inanimate metal from magically hurting anyone else.

  2. At what bar did the Trib find Zappala this morning for a comment? He must have been drunk already when he told the reporter to “go ahead” and file a disciplinary complaint against two of his assistant D.A.’s because they were poorly trained. Zappala gas been shifting blame for over 20 years. His daddy taught him well.





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