February 6: Talk of the Town

💬 Hello, Tuesday. It’s the Talk of the Town – it’s Budget Address Day in Harrisburg

PA Weather
☀ Lewisburg | Sunny, 44
☀ Lancaster | Sunny, 44
☀ Lansdale | Sunny, 41

PA Sports
🏀 Sixers (30-19) | Dallas 102-118 | Wed vs. Golden State
🏒 Flyers (25-19-6) | Tue vs. Florida
🏒 Penguins (22-17-7) | Tue vs. Winnipeg

What’s Happening
The Senate will convene at 11 a.m. The House will convene at 12 p.m. The Governor will deliver his annual budget address at 12:30 p.m.

How To Watch The Budget Address
PCN will provide live coverage online and over the air beginning at noon.

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Rep. Brendan Boyle.

Political News? Yes, Please
The PoliticsPA Playbook gives you all today’s PA political headlines in an easy-to-read email format. All by 8 AM. And it’s free. Subscribe now.

 

Top Story

1. Governor’s Budget Could See Significant Payments To Schools, Economic Development

Gov. Shapiro's 2023-24 budget address

“Facing calls for more public schools funding and wanting to attract big business, Gov. Josh Shapiro will deliver his second budget proposal to Pennsylvania lawmakers Tuesday.

The Democrat has released few details of his spending plan for the 2024-25 fiscal year, which begins July 1. He’s expected to return with bigger proposals for higher education institutions, underfunded public schools and economic development.

The governor is looking at a relatively strong fiscal position and will almost certainly propose an operating budget that goes above this year’s $45 billion. Still, Pennsylvania is running deficits again, using $1 billion in surplus cash to prop up this year’s spending. With flush reserves, Shapiro is expected to propose lowering taxes.” (AP)

Related

K-12 Education Funding In The Spotlight As Shapiro Prepares State Budget Address. “An elevated speaking platform, hundreds of chairs and massive television screens were in place in the Capitol ahead of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s 2024-2025 budget address, along with a sense of anticipation — particularly about what Mr. Shapiro would say about K-12 education.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  • Gov. Josh Shapiro To Deliver Budget Address In Historic Fashion. (PennLive)
  • What Will Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro Say In His Second Budget Address? (Penn Capital-Star)

 

Casey, Fetterman Back Bipartisan Border Deal; McCormick, Perry Come Out Against It. “Democratic U.S. Sens. John Fetterman and Bob Casey endorsed a bipartisan deal Monday that would revamp immigration over the southern border and allocate billions in foreign aid, while Casey’s GOP challenger Dave McCormick called it a “capitulation.”” (PennLive)

GOP Senate Candidate David McCormick Has Up To $2.2 Million In A ‘Dynasty Trust’ That Allows Him To Evade Wealth Taxes — Potentially Forever. “A dynasty trust is essentially a pot of money often used by the ultra-rich to pass wealth down to future generations without incurring certain wealth taxes.” (Business Insider)

 

State

2. Pro-Palestinian Advocates Pressure PA Treasurer Over Millions In Israel Bonds

Pro-Palestine rally held at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg | fox43.com

“Hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators descended on the Pennsylvania state Capitol building Monday to protest the investment of taxpayer dollars in Israel Bonds, the first action in what organizers said will be an ongoing campaign to pressure lawmakers to divest from Israel amid the ongoing war in Gaza.

Pennsylvania has a history of using its investment powers to make political statements, from divesting in Russian assets in response to the invasion of Ukraine or selling off Chinese assets in opposition to their communist government. ” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • Scores of Gaza War Protestors Detained At PA Capitol Monday. (PennLive)

 

Related

Money Talks, And Gets Talked About, In 12th Congressional District Primary. “Congresswoman Summer Lee and Democratic challenger Bhavini Patel each started 2024 bolstered by strong fundraising at the end of last year — a sign that the primary battle in the 12th Congressional District will be hotly contested.” (WESA)

Democrats Are Defending Their Majority In The Pennsylvania House For 4th Time In A Year. “The balance of power in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is at stake for the fourth time in a year as voters next week will choose between a Democratic school board member and a Republican political newcomer in a suburban Philadelphia district.” (AP)

PA Dems Are Upset Republicans Aren’t Tougher On Election Integrity — Kind Of. Not Really. “If you read the text message straight — no reading between the lines — one would have to believe Democrats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are upset that Republicans aren’t pushing harder for legislation requiring voter ID.” (Broad + Liberty)

James O’Keefe and Project Veritas Settle Suit Over Bogus Voter Fraud Claims Cited By The Trump Campaign. “Conservative provocateur James O’Keefe and his former organization Project Veritas have settled a lawsuit filed by a Pennsylvania postmaster after the group spread a Postal Service worker’s false claims of voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election.” (NBC News)

 

Around The Commonwealth

3. Smaller Transit Agencies Say More State Funding Is Vital For Them, Too

Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposed increase of $1.41 billion in transit subsidies over five years would mean more than $200 million a year extra for the state’s largest transit agencies, Pittsburgh Regional Transit and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority around Philadelphia. Those agencies carry millions of passengers a year and get 87% of the state’s transit subsidy funds.

The state’s other 29 transit agencies share the remaining 13%.” (Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Related

An Algorithm to Stop Democratic Donors From Wasting Their Money. “Online fundraising is the backbone of Democratic campaigns. The gusher of small-dollar donations that accelerated during the Trump years has been a powerful advantage for the party, delivering for candidates up and down the ballot. It is also hugely inefficient.” (POLITICO)

Who Is On The Ballot In 2024? “As we close in on the final week of nomination petition signing season, here is a list of who has completed the task and is on the ballot for the 2024 primary on April 23.” (PoliticsPA)

Residents Praise, Condemn Lebanon Co. Commissioners’ Ballot Drop Box Elimination Decision. “Republican incumbent Commissioners Bob Phillips and Michael Kuhn voted to remove the box where voters could turn in their mail-in ballots. Both commissioners have said that the removal of the box was about voter integrity.” (Lebanon Daily News)

Ephrata Man Who Lost 2022 GOP Primary Files Federal Claim Against Lancaster County. “Someone rigged the vote – at least, that’s the way Michael Miller saw it after he lost his 2022 Republican primary bid against state Sen. Ryan Aument of West Hempfield.” (LNP)

 

Editorial

4. What’s On Your Mind

  • At This Rate Of ‘Transparency,’ Philadelphians Will Need A Drawbridge To Access City Hall. (Helen Ubiñas)
  • The States That Matter In 2024. (Stuart Rothenberg)
  • Democrats’ Education Funding Recommendations Would Lead To Tax Hikes On Pennsylvanians. (Sen. Doug Mastriano)
  • Cyberattack On Court System Is Frustrating And Familiar. (Tribune-Review)
  • An Overdue Example On Subpoenas. (York Dispatch)
  • The Need For Cyber Charter Tuition Reform In PA Is Something We Can All Agree Upon. (Matt Lane)
  • Agriculture to Play Key Role in Pennsylvania’s Economic Strategy. (Russell Redding)

 

1 Thing

5. Best Performing Cities

Official Philly Tourism and Visitor Information - Visit Philadelphia

The Milken Institute, a nonpartisan nonprofit, assessed 403 U.S. metropolitan areas using 13 economic metrics, based on data from January 2022-August 2023.

The large metro areas that rose the most in this year’s rankings were Philadelphia; Elgin, Illinois; Houston; Richmond, Virginia; and Wichita, Kansas.

In terms of income inequality — as measured by the Gini coefficient — Ogden, Utah, got the best marks among large cities, followed by Provo, Utah; Clarksville, Tennessee; Olympia, Washington; and York-Hanover, Pennsylvania.

 

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——————————————-
By: Steve Ulrich
Title: February 6: Talk of the Town
Sourced From: www.politicspa.com/february-6-talk-of-the-town/131451/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=february-6-talk-of-the-town
Published Date: Tue, 06 Feb 2024 13:23:01 +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.