January 2: Hello 2024

🎉 We’re Baaa-ack. Here’s hoping that you and yours had a happy holiday. We’re refreshed and ready to go.

PA Weather
☁ New Stanton | Mostly Cloudy, 36
🌥 New Kingstown | Partly Sunny, 40
☀ New Hope | Sunny, 42

PA Sports
🏈 Steelers (8-7) | Sat vs. Baltimore
🏈 Eagles (11-5) | Sun vs. NY Giants
🏀 Sixers (22-10) | Tue vs. Chicago
🏒 Flyers (19-11-5) | Tue vs. Edmonton
🏒 Penguins (17-13-4) | Tue vs. Washington

What We’re Hearing
Sen. Art Haywood will host a press conference this afternoon to announce his intent to file an ethics complaint against a member of the PA Senate for their efforts to delegitimize and discredit the 2020 presidential election results.

Happy Birthday
🎂 Cake and candles for Sen. Doug Mastriano.

Start Your 2024 Smart
The PoliticsPA Playbook gives you all today’s PA political headlines in an easy-to-read format. All by 8 AM. And it’s free. Subscribe now. Gonna be a big year.


Top Story

1. Why The Pennsylvania Legislature Is Off To A Slow Start In 2024

“The Pennsylvania House is about to enter an extended post-holiday hibernation.

In a calendar released in December, state House Speaker Joanna McClinton told her colleagues the body would not meet to vote on bills until March 18 to allow for a water leak above the chamber’s ceiling to be repaired.

Traditionally, state lawmakers break for Christmas and return to Harrisburg by mid-January to hold votes. That’s what the state Senate plans to do this year.” (Spotlight PA)


New Year Means A Pay Raise For Gov. Josh Shapiro, His Cabinet And Judges. “Under state law that provides for automatic pay hikes for the governor and other top officials, Shapiro’s salary will increase to $237,679 – about $8,000 more than he was paid during his first year in office, according to the state’s budget office website.” (PennLive)

As 2024 Election Approaches, Voting Officials Worry PA Isn’t Prepared For Misinformation. “These officials, who administer elections on the county level, argue the state should update its century-old Election Code, make long-sought adjustments to mail voting processes, and strengthen the system against bogus fraud claims.” (Spotlight PA)



2. The Top 5 Stories From Gov. Josh Shapiro’s First Year In Office

Gov. Josh Shapiro has adopted the phrase “getting stuff done” (sometimes using a different word than “stuff”) as the slogan for his first year as the state’s top executive. And to be sure, there is a decent list of accomplishments he can take credit for— including perhaps his favorite, the rebuilding of a portion of I-95 in Philadelphia in just 12 days’ time.

However, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Shapiro. A top aide in his office resigned abruptly amid sexual harassment allegations from another employee, which resulted in questions about how Shapiro’s office handled the matter. And his first attempt at passing a state budget ran late after disagreements between Democrats and Republicans over school vouchers.

But he ends the year with a majority of Pennsylvanians approving of his job performance, according to a new poll, and a high national profile as a potential future leader, although he still has a long list of “unfinished business” heading into 2024.” (Penn Capital-Star)


A Look At The Crowded 2024 Field For PA Attorney General. “The race to become Pennsylvania’s next attorney general will be one of the most hotly contested statewide races on the 2024 ballot — and more than a half-dozen candidates are vying for it in the upcoming primary.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

PA Lawmakers Worked Across Party Lines To Improve Conditions For Incarcerated Women. “The Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act was signed by Gov. Josh Shapiro on Dec. 14 and requires Pennsylvania’s prisons and jails to provide newborn parents with three days of bonding time.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Malcolm Kenyatta On Breaking Barriers And Making Pennsylvania Black Queer History. “Pennsylvania state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, the recently endorsed Democratic candidate for auditor general in the state, is set in his vision and goals for the office. As the first openly gay Black man endorsed by a political party for a statewide office in Pennsylvania, Kenyatta’s candidacy has made state history.” (Advocate)

Bucks County Mom Behind Conservative School Movement Charged With Assault, Giving Teens Alcohol. “A former Pennsylvania lieutenant governor candidate and outspoken voice in the conservative “parental rights” school movement has been charged with punching a teenager while hosting an underage drinking party at her Bucks County home in September.” (Bucks County Courier Times)


Around The Commonwealth

3. States and Congress Wrestle With Cybersecurity At Water Utilities Amid Renewed Federal Warnings

National cyber security agency sends out warning after Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa hacked – WPXI

“The tiny Aliquippa water authority in western Pennsylvania was perhaps the least-suspecting victim of an international cyberattack.

It had never had outside help in protecting its systems from a cyberattack, either at its existing plant that dates to the 1930s or the new $18.5 million one it is building.

Then it — along with several other water utilities — was struck by what federal authorities say are Iranian-backed hackers targeting a piece of equipment specifically because it was Israeli-made.” (AP)


Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle L. Parker Privately Took The Oath Of Office Ahead Of Her Official Inauguration Tuesday. “Under city law, Parker, the first female mayor in city history, officially became mayor at midnight. But she is not being publicly sworn in until her inauguration ceremony Tuesday because City Council, which hosts the ceremony during a special meeting, scheduled the event to avoid conflicting with the Mummers Parade on New Year’s Day.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

As Sara Innamorato Takes Office As Allegheny County’s First Female County Executive, Can She Back Up Her Campaign Promises?  “The job won’t be easy. Ms. Innamorato is inheriting a county that hasn’t had a countywide property tax assessment in more than 10 years, is grappling with public safety problems and — like many jurisdictions nationwide — is trying to address homelessness, alongside a need for more affordable housing.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  • Innamorato Faces An Allegheny County Council That Clashed With Her Predecessor. (Public Source)


‘Young Boss’: 2 Years Ago She Was In High School. Now She’s On The Allentown School Board. “Zaleeae Sierra said she wanted to make a bigger difference in her community. Elected in November to the nine-member Allentown School Board, the 20-year-old will now help make decisions about how the district should spend more than $434 million in taxpayer money.” (LehighValleyNews.com)

New Mayor of Coaldale Believed To Be Pennsylvania’s First Republican Hispanic Mayor. “When he moved to the borough in February 2022, Eric Ramirez had no intention of assuming a role in local government — certainly not in any substantial way.” (Hazleton Standard-Speaker)

Warren County DA Won’t Seek Re-Election, Will Focus On Advocacy For Marijuana Legalization. “District Attorney Rob Greene, a Republican, will not seek a fourth term after his current term ends in December 2025.” (Erie Times-News)



4. What’s On Your Mind

  • What I Wish For In 2024: Let’s Live Up To Our Mottos And Slogans And Catchphrases. (Helen Ubiñas)
  • What I Wish For In 2024: Better Days Ahead For Philly. (Jenice Armstrong)
  • What I Wish For In 2024: A Fight To Save Democracy. (Will Bunch)
  • A Resolution For A Hard Year To Come. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Who Owns Pennsylvania’s Historical Records? (Tribune-Review)
  • There’s Reason To Be Hopeful For The New Year. (Mark S. Singel)
  • Shapiro’s New Year’s Resolution. (Erik Telford)
  • John Fetterman Plays Against Type. (Salena Zito)
  • Fetterman, Trump, The Republican House And Other Poseurs. (Keith C. Burris)
  • Pennsylvania Used To Lead On Energy. Now It’s Falling Behind. (Patrick McDonnell)


1 Thing

5. Banished Words For 2024

Banished Word bubble 2024 smaller

“As the new year inspires us to look ahead to the future, it also gives us time to reflect on the past. Lake Superior State University (LSSU) proudly unveils this year’s Banished Words List, a lively tradition that began in 1976.

This tradition highlights certain words that are often misused, overused, or have lost their meaning over the past year. It encourages us to laugh at ourselves as we reconsider and reflect on the importance of our vocabulary.

Language is a dynamic, ever-evolving entity. The banished words list recognizes the rapid changes in expression, encouraging a reassessment of the impact and relevance of our vocabulary. We think you will find this year’s submissions truly cringe-worthy.”


Thanks for starting your morning (and your 2024) with us.
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By: Steve Ulrich
Title: January 2: Hello 2024
Sourced From: www.politicspa.com/january-2-hello-2024/130117/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=january-2-hello-2024
Published Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2024 13:02:10 +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.