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March 6: The Waiting Game

Gov. Josh Shapiro

🌅 Good Morning PA, It’s Monday.

PA Weather
Erie | Showers, 43
State College | Increasing Clouds, 44
Bethlehem | Mostly Sunny, 51

PA Sports
76ers (41-22) | d. Milwaukee 133-130 | MON vs. Indiana
Penguins (31-22-9) | lost to Florida 4-1 | TUE vs. Columbus
Flyers (24-28-11) | d. Detroit 3-1 | TUE vs. Tampa Bay

Schedules
Both the House and Senate are scheduled for sessions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

What We’re Hearing
“We don’t have time to waste. You will see a downpayment on the progress we need to make.”

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Top Story

1. Shapiro To Propose Tax Credit For Frontline Personnel

Josh Shapiro at podium during his inauguration

During a Friday morning interview with KYW NewsRadio in Philadelphia, Gov. Josh Shapiro announced that he plans to propose new incentives for workers in education, public safety and public health in his first budget address.

He will propose a tax credit for Pennsylvanians who acquire a license or certification in front-line professions, including teachers, nurses and police officers, or for individuals in these fields who move to the Keystone State with Pennsylvania-recognized credentials.

They would be eligible for a refundable tax credit of up to $2,500 a year over three years.

Related

What To Watch: Shapiro Proposes First Budget As Governor. “Gov. Josh Shapiro will deliver his first budget to the Legislature on Tuesday, as the Democrat aims in his first months to remake the state’s public school funding system and to put Pennsylvania on competitive footing with other states to attract major companies.” (AP)

Promises Will Turn Into Policy Proposals In Shapiro’s Inaugural Budget. “Tuesday is the day when the rubber truly hits the road for Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration as he lays out how he intends to keep the covenant with Pennsylvanians that he boldly stated in his inaugural address to “stand up for what’s right, to bring people together and to get things done for you.”” (PennLive)

  • What to Watch For In PA Gov. Josh Shapiro’s First Budget Address. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • What to Expect From PA Gov. Josh Shapiro’s First Budget Proposal. (Spotlight PA)

 

Harrisburg

2. Zabel Not Resigning, But Stepping Away

Mike Zabel

Delaware County state representative Mike Zabel says he’s not resigning, but stepping away from some of his duties as he seeks treatment of an unspecified nature.

In a letter to House Democratic leaders, Zabel said he was “very mindful of and saddened by the sensitive and disturbing allegations against me.”

Andi Perez, a lobbyist for the SEIU 32BJ Union, stated that Zabel sexually harassed her four years ago, caressing her leg while they were discussing legislation outside the Capitol and that he did not stop when she moved away from him.

Related

PA Lawmaker Won’t Quit Amid Sex Misconduct Claim. “A Pennsylvania state representative accused of sexual harassment said Friday he is not resigning but has stepped down from the Judiciary Committee and plans to enter inpatient treatment of some kind.” (AP)

Embattled Lawmaker Declines to Resign Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations. “The Delaware County Democratic lawmaker who has been accused by two individuals of sexual harassment notified House Democratic leaders that he will not resign from his House seat. (PennLive)

PA House Dems Knew About Zabel But Did Nothing, GOP Women Say. “When Bucks County Rep. Kristen Marcell first came to the House in Harrisburg, fellow members took her aside and gave her a warning: stay away from Mike Zabel.” (Broad + Liberty)

Resignations, Lead Changes and Ugly Accusations. Why The PA House Dysfunction Matters. “The question of what (Josh Shapiro) will be dealing with in the narrowly divided House looms large, given the body’s recent history of majority lead changes, speaker swaps and a sexual harassment allegation against a Democratic lawmaker — all within the first two months of the year.” (PhillyBurbs.com)

What’s Next For PA Schools. The State Ed Department Isn’t Talking, But Pittsburgh Educators and Advocates Are. “PublicSource spoke to five local educators and advocates about the state of education in the region and their expectations from the acting education secretary, who awaits confirmation by the state Senate.” (Public Source)

Online Access to PA Senate Spending Remains, But a Democrat Proposes Expanded Transparency. “Online access to monthly Pennsylvania Senate expense reports will continue during the 2023-24 legislative session, giving the public a glimpse into how lawmakers in the upper chamber spend taxpayer money.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

 

Around The Commonwealth

3. Split Decision By Allegheny County Democrats Points to Competitive Primary

John Weinstein: Treasurer running for Allegheny County executive

John Weinstein and Matt Dugan won local Democratic Party endorsements Sunday for Allegheny County executive and district attorney, respectively — a split decision illustrating the divide between the party’s establishment and progressive wings ahead of the May 16 primary elections.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Related

Weinstein Chalks Up Labor and Party Wins, Even As Democrats Show Desire For Change. “A pair of key endorsements this weekend gave a notable boost to Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinstein’s campaign to be the region’s next top local official.” (WESA)

PA Lawmakers Propose Legalizing Marijuana, Selling It Through State Liquor Stores. “Three separate proposals are planned by Pennsylvania lawmakers seeking to legalize recreational marijuana, provide social justice to those with low-level marijuana convictions and reap the tax benefits from a potential billion-dollar industry.” (CNHI News)

Butler County Employees Announce Intent to Strike On March 15. “On Friday, county employees announced their intent to strike March 15 after negotiations for wage increases have extended for months.” (Butler Eagle)

Darrell Clarke’s Nearly 25 Years On City Council Shaped How Philly Was Built. “A dustup over tax liens almost 30 years ago foreshadowed Darrell L. Clarke’s governing philosophy as one of the most powerful City Council presidents in Philadelphia history.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Biden To Unveil Budget, Deficit Cuts In Philly On Thursday. “President Joe Biden is coming to Philadelphia on Thursday to unveil his latest budget proposal and plans to protect Medicare, according to the White House.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Ex-Rep. Charlie Dent Offers Revealing, Behind-the-Scenes Look Into Politics of Congress. “In modern American politics, being labeled a moderate is almost a dirty word. The 24-hour news cycle and the primary system rewards candidates who hew toward the extremes of their party.” (LehighValleyNews.com)

Registering to Vote In PA. “How hard is it for a first-time voter to register in PA? In the latest installment of our Mystery Shopper column, a Philly student finds out.” (Philadelphia Citizen)

The Top Fundraisers Among PA Statewide Elected Officials. “This article lists top fundraisers among Pennsylvania statewide officeholders and candidates, overall and by party.” (Ballotpedia)

 

Editorial

4. What They’re Saying

A glance around the Keystone State at editorials and opinions.

  • We Must Stop Sexual Harassment at the State Capitol. (Jason Ortitay, PennLive)
  • In Their Plans to Reduce Crime, A Window Into the Mayoral Candidates’ Views On Public Safety. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • From Pizzagate to Drag Bills: The ‘Groomer’ Myth That Will Not Die. (Jason Zeitz, POLITICO)
  • Air and Water Testing Is Just Not For Disasters. (Tribune-Review)
  • Would Money Motivate PA Businesses To Move To a Four-Day Work Week? We Could Soon Find Out. (Paul Muschick, Morning Call)
  • Women Now Wield Power In Harrisburg But Progress Is Slow In PA And, In Lancaster County, Even Slower. (LNP)

 

1 Thing

5. Long COVID Mirrors Concussions

COVID-19 Digital Press Kit | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC

A University of Denver study finds that people experiencing long COVID share similarities with people diagnosed and recovering from a concussion.

The study could provide a roadmap for millions of Americans at a time when long COVID diagnoses and treatments continue to evade medical experts. (Axios Denver)

 

 

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