👋 Hello Tuesday. How are we going to spend our money? We’ll find out today.
Pittsburgh | Gradual Clearing, 43
Harrisburg | Gradual Clearing, 45
Philadelphia | Gradual Clearing, 46
76ers (42-22) | d. Indiana 147-143 | TUE vs. Minnesota
Penguins (31-22-9) | lost to Florida 4-1 | TUE vs. Columbus
Flyers (24-28-11) | d. Detroit 3-1 | TUE vs. Tampa Bay
What We’re Hearing
“We are not going to be able and we are not going to be passing ideological bills. They are not going to happen.”
Cake and candles for former U.S. House Rep. Jason Altmire.
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1. What We’re Watching For In Gov. Shapiro’s Budget Address
On Tuesday morning at 11:30 a.m., Gov. Josh Shapiro will deliver his first budget address to a joint session of the General Assembly at the State Capitol in Harrisburg.
The challenge before Pennsylvania’s new governor is to begin making good on campaign promises that were made on the trail.
In addition, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has ruled the state’s public school funding formula to be unconstitutional, adding to the list, as well as trying to make the state more attractive to major companies.
How To Watch The Address
PCN-TV begins coverage at 11 a.m.
Shapiro’s 1st Budget to Focus On Schools, Business Taxes. “Gov. Josh Shapiro is expected to emphasize funding for Pennsylvania’s poorest school districts and making the state more competitive for cutting-edge tech firms when he delivers his first budget to the Legislature on Tuesday.” (AP)
What One of Harrisburg’s Top Republicans Is Looking For In Gov. Shapiro’s First Budget Address. “The fresh ideas and relationships between a new governor and a reconfigured Legislature might just offer Pennsylvania the opportunity to fix two broken funding systems: the ones for K-12 education and for state police.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Gov. Shapiro Is Delivering His First State Budget Address Today. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
2. McClinton Responds to Allegations Against Zabel
Democratic House Speaker Joanna McClinton is responding to sexual harassment allegations lodged against a lawmaker of her own party.
At least three people have accused state Rep. Mike Zabel of harassing them. Lobbyist Andi Perez told a House panel in January that an unnamed lawmaker groped her while discussing a bill at the state Capitol. Perez later identified that lawmaker as Zabel.
“That is something that is sensitive,” McClinton said in an interview with WITF’s The Spark Monday. “Me and my leadership team do not take these allegations lightly,” adding an internal ethics body is empowered to look into the allegations under newly-approved House rules. (WITF)
A Sexual Harassment Allegation Is Straining PA House Democrats’ Narrow Majority. “Newly empowered in the Pennsylvania House, Democrats are facing their first big controversy: how to handle allegations that a member of their caucus, Rep. Mike Zabel, had sexually harassed a lobbyist.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Female GOP Reps Send Letter to Speaker Calling For Zabel’s Resignation. “Sixteen female state representatives have hand-delivered a letter to Speaker of the House of Representatives Joanna McClinton renewing the call for the resignation of Rep. Mike Zabel.” (PoliticsPA)
Senate Passes Bill to Enhance Breast Cancer Screening To Aid In Early Detection. “Legislation that would remove the financial barrier for women at high lifetime risk for breast cancer from obtaining supplemental screenings and require insurance companies to cover their genetic counseling and testing won Pennsylvania Senate passage on Monday.” (PennLive)
PA Judiciary Committee Unanimously Forwards Nomination of Acting AG Henry to Full Senate. “The Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday voted unanimously to forward the nomination of Acting Attorney General Michelle Henry to the full Senate with a favorable recommendation.” (Capitolwire)
- Senate Committees Advance Shapiro’s Nominees For AG, State Police Chief. (PennLive)
- Shapiro’s Top Cop Nominees Sail Through Senate Committees. (The Center Square)
Mastriano, Unchastened, Says He Is Weighing a Senate Run. “Doug Mastriano lost the Pennsylvania governor’s race last year by double digits, an almost unheard-of shellacking in a battleground state where winners and losers are often separated by a single percentage point.” (POLITICO)
Former State Rep. Donald Snyder Passes Away at 71. “Snyder served in the state Legislature from 1981-2000, representing the 134th District of Pennsylvania.” (CNHI News)
Around The Commonwealth
3. Shapiro Secures Financial Commitment From Norfolk Southern
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro has secured an initial commitment from Norfolk Southern to pay for damages to the Commonwealth and its residents resulting from the February 3 train derailment that impacted Beaver and Lawrence Counties.
Sen Casey: $7M Pledge by Norfolk Southern To Help PA Counties Near Derailment Is ‘A Good Start’ “U.S. Sen. Bob Casey on Monday was in western Pennsylvania near the Norfolk Southern train derailment to tour a health resources center and learn about the impact of the disaster on a local fire department that responded to the scene.” (PennLive)
With The Boss Away, Running Fetterman’s Office Takes a Village of Coordinated Staff. “U.S. Sen. John Fetterman hasn’t been to his Capitol Hill office since mid-February. But he’s been able to keep abreast of issues affecting his constituents and participate in legislation thanks to a staff that works in lockstep to advance the senator’s priorities.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)
Biden Will Buck Tradition and Unveil Budget In PA. “With an eye on 2024, President Joe Biden will showcase his election-year budget plan this week in must-win Pennsylvania rather than the usual White House setting.” (AP)
Black Women’s Political Gains Due To Experience, Knowledge and Skill, Observers Say. “Political observers say the most recent political gains by Black women in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. are a result of their knowledge, skill, experience, work ethic and relationships.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)
Why The Mayor’s Race Is So Wide Open. “Some key voting blocs that were united in recent Philly elections are backing different candidates this year.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Democratic Party Endorsement Reveals Split That Will Continue Through Primary. “The Allegheny County Democratic Party has endorsed Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinstein for county executive and public defender Matt Dugan for district attorney, upsetting incumbent Stephen Zappala.” (CBS Pittsburgh)
It’s Petition Day When Candidates Submit Their Voter Signatures in Philly. “Philadelphia politicians have been campaigning for public office for months now, but Tuesday marks the day they — maybe — become official candidates.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
AG’s Office Asked to Determine If Tom Marino Is Eligible to Run For DA In PA County. “The state attorney general’s office might determine if former congressman Thomas A. Marino is eligible under the state election code to run for Lycoming County district attorney.” (PennLive)
4. What They’re Saying
A glance around the Keystone State at editorials and opinions.
- Democracy Only Works If We Work to Maintain It. (Ken Lawrence)
- PA’s Schools Are Falling Apart. This Is The One Thing We Can Do About It. (Elizabeth Fiedler, Tarik Khan, Bridget Kosierowski, and Bob Merski)
- Harrisburg Needs to End Reliance On School Property Taxes. (Lisa Boscola)
- Shapiro Must Address Fair School Funding. (Times-Tribune)
- Stop Blaming Gisele Fetterman and Jill Biden For Their Husbands’ Actions. (Jenice Armstrong)
- Keystone Saves Retirement Plan Should Be Back On the Table in Harrisburg. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Pennsylvanians Are Being Made To Serve Fetterman’s Ambition. (Seth Higgins)
5. Field of Dread
Six former members of the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies World Series champions have died due to the same brain cancer.
The rate of brain cancer among Phillies who played at the Vet between 1971 and 2003 is about three times the average rate among adult men.
The Philadelphia Inquirer decided to look into the anomaly and test the playing surface from Veterans Stadium, purchasing four souvenir samples of the artificial grass that covered the cement from 1977-81.
Tests run on two of the samples by Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories Environmental Testing found the turf contained 16 different types of PFAS, or per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances — so-called “forever chemicals,” which the EPA has said cause “adverse health effects that can devastate families.”
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No matter who is Allegheny County DA that office has historically been a cesspool of corruption and political prosecutions.
With Zappala headed down and out courtesy of the progressive Democrats he will still get the Republican nod thanks to his cousin Demarco who always holds the door open for him.
If Junior runs his campaign again maybe arrests will follow since rootin and lootin run together in his world.