Ups and Downs

Looney Tunes

The Governor has delivered his budget and now the General Assembly has adjourned until late April. Negotiations will take place and posturing will be done. While preparations are underway for that, you can take a look at our Ups and Downs for March 6-9.

Up arrowJosh Shapiro. The governor delivered his first budget address to a joint session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly on Tuesday, calling for investments to make Pennsylvania communities safer and healthier, create opportunity and build an economy that works for all, and ensure every child has access to a quality education. His $44.4B budget “is packed with commonsense solutions to the problems the people of Pennsylvania face every single day,” said Shapiro. The GOP appears more willing to work with the first-year governor but time will tell.

Down arrowMike Zabel. After being accused of sexual harassment by a third woman, the Delaware County Democratic state representative has submitted his resignation effective March 16. The announcement followed a Wednesday morning press conference in which Rep. Abby Major came forward, accusing Zabel of sexual harassment in November 2022.

John Weinstein and Matt Dugan. Allegheny County Democrats met last Sunday and gave their endorsements for County Executive and District Attorney to the pair. The close vote in favor of Weinstein seemed to indicate a battle royale is brewing for the Executive seat, while Dugan’s nod came at the expense of incumbent DA Stephen Zappala.

Up arrowMichelle Henry and Christopher Paris. Gov. Shapiro’s nominees for Attorney General and State Police Commissioner both sailed through the State Senate by 49-0 votes. Confirmation required a two-thirds vote of the 50-member chamber.

Down arrowDoug Mastriano. The state senator from Franklin County says he is praying over a decision to run for the U.S. Senate seat against incumbent Bob Casey Jr. “We need somebody who can win a primary and a general election,” said Montana GOP Sen. Steve Daines, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “His last race demonstrated he can’t win a general.” Mastriano also retweeted a fake poll on the letterhead of Susquehanna Polling & Research that claimed he led Casey, 49.8% to 45%.

Up arrowAmanda Cappelletti. Congratulations to the state senator representing Delaware and Montgomery Counties on the birth of her daughter. She becomes the first sitting legislator in state history to give birth while in office.

Down arrowState Universities. The governor’s 2% funding increase includes neither the funding that system leaders sought to freeze tuition for a fifth straight year across the 85,000-student system, nor does it include a $112 million special request to support students pursuing careers in high-demand fields. Susan Spicka, executive director of Education Voters of Pennsylvania,said Shapiro’s proposed $44.4 billion spending plan has an “appalling neglect of funding for higher education.”

Employers. Shapiro is proposing that the Commonwealth raise its minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour. All of the states that border Pennsylvania pay more than $7.25 – New York ($14.20), New Jersey ($14.13), Maryland ($13.25), Delaware ($11.75), Ohio ($10.10) and West Virginia ($8.75). The budget also proposes $1.28 million more to hire investigators to enforce labor laws.

Up arrowNew Teachers, Nurses and Cops. The governor’s budget 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.

Down arrowTikTok. Legislation prohibiting government agencies from downloading and using TikTok on state devices saw approval in the Pennsylvania Senate, moving to the House for consideration. The proposal bans the app — and other services developed by TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance — from state-owned devices and networks, including Wi-Fi.

Down arrowErin McClelland. The  contractor in Allegheny County’s Human Services Division, didn’t submit signatures to the county election division for County Executive even though she was the first candidate to announce for the race. She said her experience working within the county service sector motivated her run, but she is moving on from the county executive race to seek reform.

Down arrowDaylight Saving Time. Did you know that daylight saving time can kill? Well, it’s not the time change itself, but the disruption in sleep patterns that doctors have found can have negative impacts on health. And, according to reports, they know that when the time changes, heart issues and strokes go on the uptick. Remember to “spring forward” before you go to sleep on Saturday.

3 Responses

  1. Why does the minimum wage matter anymore. There are no businesses paying the minimum and almost all are advertising for employees. Let the labor market work!

  2. The new children’s book Confederate Doug and the Phony Poll will be available on all prophetic websites soon! Order yours today!

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    • Mark Rozzi (27%)
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