It may have been a short week with the Independence Day holiday, but what a week it has been. Pennsylvania is close to having a budget after a week of infighting and Voter ID and reproductive rights have risen to the forefront.
Here are our Ups and Downs for the week ending July 8.
Kim Ward. The Senate Majority Leader was able to secure a constitutional amendment that stated that “this constitution does not grant the right to taxpayer-funded abortion or any other right relating to abortion.”
Josh Shapiro. The current attorney general and Democratic candidate for governor was the recipient of endorsements from nine former leading GOP members.
Doug Mastriano. See above.
Pat Browne. The GOP Senate Appropriations chair delivered what will turn out to be his final Pennsylvania budget. The $45.2 billion spending package includes a $2.1 billion deposit to the state’s Rainy Day Fund, and a spending outline for the remaining $2.2 billion federal stimulus funds.
The University of Pittsburgh. Pitt was used as a political pawn during Pennsylvania’s budget process but the state-related university was still able to receive $155 million in state appropriations for 2022-23. House GOP members had attempted to force Pitt to end its fetal tissue research program.
Jim Kenney. The embattled mayor of Philadelphia said in exasperation that he will “be happy when I’m not here – when I’m not mayor, and I can enjoy some stuff.” Kenney was speaking early Tuesday morning after gunfire marred the city’s annual Independence Day celebration on the Ben Franklin Parkway. The response was swift and not kind.
John Dougherty. “Johnny Doc,” who stepped down in November as business manager for Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council, was caught on tape that he was closing in on the union members that may have betrayed him to the FBI. His attorneys are calling into question whether the tapes may include their conversations with their client – a possible violation of his rights.
Marc Scaringi, Ronald Hicks, Carolyn McGee, Jenna Ellis, Bruce Marks. The five Pennsylvania lawyers were among a group of seven that had complaints filed against them with the PA Supreme Court on Thursday. The 65 project said in their filings that the lawyers lent their “law license and the legal profession’s integrity and power to an orchestrated effort to undermine our nation’s elections” in 2020. Ellis is the senior legal adviser to GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano.
Tioga Borough. The small borough in north central Pennsylvanua recently hired Timothy Loehmann, the former Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014. But following criticism from residents and outcry on social media, Loehmann has withdrawn from the borough’s police force, according to reports.