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November 16: Breaking Bad

Dollar bills

Good Thursday Morning. Thanks for reading the PoliticsPA Playbook

PA Weather
☀️ Philipsburg | Sunny, 66
☀️ Sayre | Sunny, 63
☀️ Boyertown | Sunny, 63

PA Sports
🏈 Pitt (2-8) | Thu vs. Boston College
🏀 Sixers (8-3) | Boston 107-117 | Fri vs. Atlanta
🏒 Penguins (8-6-0) | Thu vs. New Jersey
🏒 Flyers (8-7-1) | Carolina 3-1 | Sat vs. Vegas

What We’re Hearing
“Bob Casey was supposed to have an easy race. I’ve watched that race very closely, because it may not be near as easy as we were hoping.” – Jon Tester

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El.

Start Your Day Smart
Subscribe to the PoliticsPA Playbook. It’s free and gives you all today’s PA political headlines in an easy-to-read format. All by 8 AM.


Top Story

1. Spending on PA Supreme Court Race Broke Records, Set Precedent For Outside Influence

PA Judicial Center

“The candidates for Pennsylvania Supreme Court and their allies spent at least $22 million to influence the race’s outcome, with much of that total used to persuade voters that the future of abortion access was on the line.

That number is likely to rise as final campaign finance reports are filed later this month.

Democrat Daniel McCaffery scored a decisive victory over Republican Carolyn Carluccio, buoyed by last-minute spending on TV ads that painted the GOP candidate as “deceptive” and “dangerous.” (Spotlight PA)


PA House Passes ‘Shield Law’ To Protect Providers, Out-Of-Staters Seeking Abortions. “A bill seeking to protect those who travel to Pennsylvania to get abortions by barring public officials from cooperating with authorities in other states that criminalize the practice advanced Wednesday through the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.” (AP)

Trump Signals He’s Out For Revenge In Second Term. “Former President Trump told his supporters earlier this year he would be their “retribution” if reelected. Trump’s own words have made increasingly clear how fixated he is on revenge and targeting his perceived enemies if he wins a second term in the White House next November.” (The Hill)

Could ‘Scranton Joe’ Really Lose Swing State Pennsylvania? “When pollsters like Siena College and Emerson College want to take the temperature of voters in swing states, they inevitably stick a political thermometer in Pennsylvania. And as of late, those polls show “Scranton Joe” Biden trailing Donald Trump in the incumbent president’s home state.” (DV Journal)

‘Just Getting Started’ Moms For Liberty Not Backing Down After Big Election Losses. “Moms for Liberty has no intention of slowing down after a slate of losses in last week’s elections.” (LehighValleyLive)



2. Pennsylvania’s Senate Approves Millions For Universities And Schools, But Rejects House Priorities

State Senate chambers

“Pennsylvania’s Legislature on Wednesday approved hundreds of millions of dollars for universities after a fight that has dragged on five months into the fiscal year, although the politically divided body continued to feud over elements of school funding.

Legislation to send just over $600 million to several higher education institutions passed both the House and Senate within hours, but the bill lacks the increase in aid for three major universities — Temple, Pitt and Penn State — that Democrats had sought and that Republicans opposed.” (AP)


In Wake Of Recent Allegations, PA House Lawmakers Target Sexual Harassment In The Capitol. “Five women in the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus unveiled a bill package Wednesday to address sexual harassment in the Capitol.” (WESA)

How A Lobbyist For Investment Contractors Ended Up Heading The PA Pension Board That Hires Them. “Gov. Josh Shapiro named Gregory C. Thall to chair the State Employees’ Retirement System board earlier this month after pledging “zero tolerance” for lobbyists.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

HD-140: Petrecco Announces Candidacy For Galloway Seat. “Within the next few weeks, Rep. John Galloway (D-Bucks) will resign from his state House seat to become Magisterial District Justice in Falls Twp. And today, Donna Petrecco announced her candidacy to replace Galloway in the predominantly Democratic district.” (PoliticsPA)

HD-34: Comans Announces Challenge to Salisbury. “Ashley Comans, a school director in Wilkinsburg, has announced her candidacy for the 34th Legislative District seat currently occupied by Abigail Salisbury.” (PoliticsPA)

PA Senate Passes Bill Cracking Down On Organized Retail Theft. “The Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill Wednesday allowing for first-degree felony charges against organized retail theft rings and authorizing a new division of the state attorney general’s office to deal with the issue.” (PennLive)


Around The Commonwealth

3. Changing The Face Of PA: How The Population Is Projected To Change Over The Next 30 Years

Discover Downtown Huntingdon

“What will the population of Pennsylvania look like in 30 years? The Center for Rural Pennsylvania has an idea and it could mean the state has to start planning now for the demographic shift that will greatly affect many factors in the commonwealth.

According to a recent population projection published by the Center, in partnership with the Pennsylvania State Data Center, the commonwealth’s population is expected to increase in 2030 and 2040, with a slight decline by 2050.

Population growth in Pennsylvania is expected to be concentrated in the southeast part of the state, with counties farther north and west witnessing more population decline.” (The Keystone)


Will The Rift Between Philly Democrats Blow Over As 2024 Approaches? “The municipal election surfaced tension between the party’s establishment and progressive wings.” (Billy Penn)

Fight Over Tax Money For Private School Tuition Snags Education Funding Bill Again. “A months-long stalemate over public education funding appeared likely to continue on Wednesday as state House lawmakers stripped GOP-backed school choice funding from a spending bill.” (Penn Capital-Star)

Erie County Executive’s Proposed ‘Modest’ Tax Hike Would Be County’s Highest Since 1983. “Erie County Executive Brenton Davis describes his proposed property tax increase for 2024 as “modest.” If it goes through, it could also be described as “historic.”” (Erie-Times-News)

Allentown City Council Fails To Override Mayor’s Veto Of City Council Budget And Rejects His Compromise For 2% Tax Increase. “Allentown City Council on Wednesday failed to override Mayor Matt Tuerk’s veto of its 2024 budget and rejected his compromise proposal for a 2% tax increase, leaving the city without a budget next year for the time being.” (Morning Call)



4. What They’re Saying

  • PA Must Work Harder To Combat Antisemitism. (Ari Mittleman)
  • Students Should Educate Themselves on Politics, Voting. (Riley Haubert)
  • House Of Cards: Gainey Budget Masks City’s Coming Financial Struggles. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Here’s What You Can Do If Politics Comes Up At The Thanksgiving Table. (John Baer)
  • Parents Need Options In Education To Help Their Children Succeed. (Sharon Sedlar)
  • Is It That Hard To Be A Leader For All Americans? (Mary C. Curtis)
  • Could Pension Increase Prompt A New Pension Crisis For Pennsylvania? (Tribune-Review)
  • This Thanksgiving, Set Politics Aside and Celebrate America. (Bill Gindlesperger)


1 Thing

5. The Best and Worst U.S. Airports

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport - Official Site

“Searing heat. Erratic sports teams. An unending influx of Californians.

Residents of this desert city have plenty of gripes. One thing you’ll hear few complaints about: the airport. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is a breeze to get to. It offers a solid lineup of airlines and flights. And travelers rarely fret about flight delays and cancellations given the never-have-to-look-at-the-forecast weather.

It’s a combination that helped land the airport atop The Wall Street Journal’s annual ranking of the country’s busiest airports—again.”

Pittsburgh ranked 15th among midsize airports, while Philadelphia was 27th.


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2 Responses

  1. Population in northwest PA will sharply decrease in 30 years, as half the people there now will be dead from old age.


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