December 15: Winners and Losers

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PA Sports
🏈 Eagles (10-3) | Mon vs. Seattle
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🏐 Pitt | Nebraska 0-3 (NCAA semifinal)
🏀 Sixers (15-7) | Fri vs. Detroit
🏒 Flyers (16-10-3) | Washington 4-3 (SO) | Sat vs. Detroit
🏒 Penguins (13-12-3) | Sat vs. Toronto

What We’re Hearing
Former Gov. Tom Wolf and his wife, Frances, recently sold their home in Mount Wolf and will be moving to an apartment in Philadelphia to live closer to family.

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Rep. Stephen Kinsey (Fri.), Sen. Ryan Aument (Sat.) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick and Rep. Zachary Mako (Sun.)

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Top Story

1. The Winners And Losers In The PA State Budget Deal

Joe Pittman at 2023-24 budget signing

“Pennsylvania, the only state with a divided legislature, finally finished its state budget late Wednesday night, nearly six months after the fiscal year began.

The final deal tied up loose ends for more than $1 billion of new and expanded programs, including a new child-care and dependent-care tax credit program and a 40% increase in a private school tax credit program.

Getting the rest of the budget across the finish line — with a one-seat Democratic majority in the House and a solid GOP majority in the Senate — was not a small feat. Here’s a look at the winners and losers in Pennsylvania’s final budget agreement signed by Gov. Josh Shapiro on Wednesday night.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


Clean Slate Expansion, Probation Reform Bills Become PA Law In Last-Minute Legislative Trading. “In a flurry of last-minute bill trades accompanying this week’s budget settlement, the Pennsylvania legislature also passed a list of criminal justice measures — including an overhaul of the state’s probation system as well as an expansion of the Clean Slate program that stands to fix a long-running records access problem.” (PennLive)

Where The Ad Dollars Are Targeted In PA. “Advertising dollars. The lifeblood of any political campaign. AdImpact projects the 2023-24 election cycle will total $10.2 billion in political ad spending. So where are the dollars being targeted in the Keystone State?” (PoliticsPA)

PA AFL-CIO Endorses Casey For Senate. “Sen. Bob Casey Jr. landed an important endorsement on Thursday morning, as the Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) announced its backing for the 63-year-old Democrat.” (PoliticsPA)

Pennsylvania’s Democratic Party Is Likely To Vote To Oppose Vouchers Josh Shapiro Supported. “Gov. Josh Shapiro is wrapping up his first year in office and two things are clear: He’s skilled at scoring political wins that gain national attention. And his own political party is not shy about handing him a loss.” (Philadelphia Inquirer Clout)

‘I’m Not A Progressive’: Fetterman Breaks With The Left, Showing A Maverick Side. “Sen. John Fetterman is breaking with progressives on hot-button issues with his fiery support for Israel and calls for Democrats to engage on tougher immigration laws, disappointing some on the left as he shows an independent streak.” (NBC News)



2. Three-Month Halt Of PA House Chamber Sessions Has People Asking: Leak Damage Repair Or Political Maneuvers?

Democrats win control of Pa. House of Representatives, end GOP rule -

“A scenario from 25 years ago illustrates why some lawmakers are skeptical about the three-month stoppage that has been scheduled for all formal voting sessions of the Pennsylvania House early next year.

The stretch of 96 days without a structured session of the 203 members — each of whom makes more than $102,000 a year — coincides with a long stretch when Speaker Joanna McClinton’s party will be without the razor-thin majority it has held for much of the past year.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)


HD-140: Galloway Resigns His Seat; Special Election Set For February 13. “In a move that has long been anticipated, Rep. John Galloway has resigned his seat in the 140th Legislative District. He won election as a Magisterial District Judge in Falls Township and will assume that position at the start of the year.” (PoliticsPA)

HD-140: Graves Seeks GOP Nomination For Bucks County Seat. “The first Republican has announced her candidacy for the 140th Legislative District seat in the Pennsylvania House vacated by the resignation of John Galloway.” (PoliticsPA)

HD-155: Deuso Hopes To Make Election History Twice. “First, Democrat Erica Deuso seeks to topple the candidacy of incumbent state Rep. Danielle Friel-Otten. Unseating a popular incumbent from one’s own party may seem a steep climb in and of itself, but Deuso is also seeking to become the county’s first openly transgender candidate to win election to the General Assembly.” (West Chester Daily Local News)

HD-103: Navy Veteran, Harrisburg Community Activist Joins House Race. “Navy veteran and Harrisburg community activist Laura Harding has joined the crowded field of Democrats running for the 103rd State House seat.” (abc27)

Following Ohio, PA Democrats Introduce Bill To Protect Reproductive Rights. “The intention of H.B. 1888 is to guarantee “personal reproductive liberty,” according to the bill’s memo, which would include the right to choose or refuse contraception or fertility care in the state of Pennsylvania.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

State Rep’s Bill Would Potentially Benefit Nonprofit He Founded And Is Based At His District Office. “A bill sponsored by State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski appears to be poised to benefit a nonprofit he helps run, a nonprofit which also shares the address of his district offices.” (Broad + Liberty)


Around The Commonwealth

3. Spending Around PA Supreme Court Race Set A Record, Surpassing $19.5M

How Pa.'s Supreme Court moved left, and what it means for the GOP – Pennsylvania Capital-Star

“Driven by the likelihood that Pennsylvania’s state Supreme Court will weigh in on abortion rights in the next decade, spending in this year’s race to elect its next justice surpassed $19.5 million, setting a new record for judicial races in the commonwealth, according to campaign finance reports.

As more than $8.5 million combined flooded into the candidates’ campaign funds, outside advocacy groups spent still more millions on ads discussing the candidates’ positions on reproductive rights.” (Penn Capital-Star)


Philly DA Krasner on SEPTA Special Prosecutor Law: ‘Never Should Have Happened’ “Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner blasted the terms of a new law signed Thursday by Gov. Josh Shapiro that allows a state-appointed special prosecutor to lead investigations and prosecutions of crimes committed on public transit in Pennsylvania’s largest city.” (CNHI News)

A PA Supreme Court Justice Recused Himself From Philly DA Larry Krasner’s Impeachment Case. “Justice P. Kevin Brobson decided to withdraw after disclosing that a lawyer representing Krasner’s opponents had previously worked as the justice’s personal attorney and on his campaign.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Allegheny County Councilors Wanted A Regular Salary. No One Considered The Pension Problem. “In politics, no victory is ever really final, and every celebration is premature.” (WESA Politics)

Westmoreland Commissioner Criticizes 3.5% Raises For Elected County Officials. “Annual cost-of-living increases for 2024 will total nearly 3.5% for county commissioners and row officers, marking the third year in a row that elected leaders will see a significant bump in pay.” (Tribune-Review)



4. What They’re Saying

  • When Leaders Reveal Themselves, The Next Step Is Ours. (Mary C. Curtis)
  • William Penn vs. UPenn. (Scott Douglas Gerber)
  • UPenn President’s Departure Highlights Higher Ed Hypocrisy. (PA Freedom Caucus)
  • Donors Must Defend University Integrity. (Elaine Maimon)
  • Time To Clean House at Penn. (Beth Ann Rosica)
  • Lawmakers Should Not Ignore Educational Freedom. (Rev. Joshua C. Robertson)
  • PA Must Adopt Clear, Sustainable Plan To Address Unconstitutional School Funding. (Aaron Chapin)
  • PA Cyber Charter School Students Should Get Access To Extracurriculars. (Sharon Sedlar)


1 Thing

5. Most Watched Netflix Shows

Netflix Review | PCMag

The most watched shows on Netflix aren’t what you’d guess.

Why it matters: For the first time, the streamer released detailed viewing data for thousands of shows and movies, Axios’ Rebecca Falconer writes.

Netflix’s top series don’t include popular licensed shows like “Breaking Bad,” “Seinfeld” or “The Office.” The list from the first six months of 2023 is heavy on Netflix originals:

“The Night Agent”: Season 1
“Ginny & Georgia”: Season 2
“The Glory”: Season 1
“Wednesday”: Season 1
“Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story”

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By: Steve Ulrich
Title: December 15: Winners and Losers
Sourced From:
Published Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2023 13:25:46 +0000

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I'm a writer for lifestyle publications, and when I'm not crafting stories, you'll find me cherishing moments with my family, including my lovely daughter. My heart also belongs to my pets—Sushi, Snowy, Belle, and Pepper. Besides writing, I enjoy watching movies and exploring new places through travel.