July 9: We’re not going anywhere

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🗓️ What’s happening todayThe State House convenes at 11 a.m., and the Senate bangs the gavel at 1 p.m.

👂 What do we hear. Governor Josh Shapiro was invited to participate this week ultra-exclusive, unofficial Allen & Co. Sun Valley (Idaho) conferenceHis schedule has him in Harrisburg today.

🎂 Happy birthday. Cake and candles for Senator Elder Vogel Jr.

🗞️ Today’s headlines >> Your inbox. Where can you find the latest on what’s happening in Keystone State politics? Sign up for the PoliticsPA Playbook. We’ll bring you all the latest headlines in an easy-to-read format every weekday at 8am. And it’s free. Add your name to the list and sign up now.

The best story

1. President Biden: ‘We’re Not Going Anywhere’

President Joe Biden confirmed on Monday what he said the previous day during two visits to the Keystone State, saying he had no intention of resigning as the Democratic presidential candidate.

“The bottom line is we’re not going anywhere,” he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I’m not going anywhere. I wouldn’t run if I didn’t absolutely believe I was the best candidate to beat Donald Trump in 2024.” (PoliticsPA)


Wild expresses concerns about Biden’s ability to top candidate list“Congresswoman Susan Wild (D-07) became the first Pennsylvania Democratic representative to express concerns about President Joe Biden’s ability to be elected to the top of the ticket.” (PoliticsPA)

  • Read the letter President Biden sent to House Democrats urging them to support him in the election. (AP)
  • Reader Poll: Should Joe Biden Resign? (PoliticsPA)

Pennsylvania presidential ad spending could hit record high. “Political advertising in Pennsylvania for the 2024 presidential election is projected to reach $360 million, the highest in the nation. Total spending, including lower-tier elections, is estimated at $800 million, the third-highest in the nation.” (Central Square)

Conservative Group Spends $4 Million in Ad Buys to Boost US Republicans in Congressional Races. “AFP Action, a major conservative advocacy group backed by billionaire Charles Koch, is rolling out more than $4 million in digital ads Monday to support Republican congressional candidates nationwide. The ad buys will boost Republican Senate candidates in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, Montana and Nevada.” (Reuters Agency)


2. A week tardy, Pennsylvania lawmakers in the ‘red zone’ of finalizing state budget

“Lawmakers in the state Capitol are finalizing details of a new way to fund public education and are nearing a budget agreement, a week after the deadline to approve a new spending plan passed.

The cornerstone of the $47 billion-plus budget is expected to be investments in K-12 and higher education. And that funding has been the biggest sticking point during negotiations.” (“Philadelphia Inquirer”)


Disagreement on student poverty measurement delays PA budget“Legislative leaders say a new problem has emerged: choosing which data to use to determine which schools need the extra money the most.” (PA reflector)

Weilheimer Nominated to U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. “U.S. Senators Bob Casey and John Fetterman announced that President Joe Biden has nominated Judge Gail A. Weilheimer to serve on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.” (PoliticsPA)

Pennsylvania still has dormant same-sex marriage ban, and lawmakers want to overturn it“State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, the bill’s sponsor, said his legislation would protect Pennsylvania’s rights if federal action is taken against same-sex marriage.” (“Philadelphia Inquirer”)

Pharmacy Benefits Reform Bill Moves Closer to Passage in Pennsylvania Senate“Pharmacy benefit managers are middlemen in the pharmaceutical industry. They are largely responsible for overseeing the prescription drug side of health insurance plans. The nation’s largest pharmacy benefit managers have recently come under intense scrutiny from state legislators, such as Pennsylvania, and federal regulators.” (Penn Capital-Star)

Around the Commonwealth of Nations

3. The winner of the Cabell/Walsh race could be known on Friday

Mike Cabell, Jamie Walsh

“The unofficial winner of the Republican nomination for the 117th District House seat could become clear after a special meeting of the Luzerne County Board of Elections on Friday.

However, it depends on whether the challenger Jamie Walsh is appealing to the state’s Supreme Court against an order made last week by a panel of Commonwealth Court judges.

Walsh is leading in the current state Rep. Mike Cabell “by three votes, according to unofficial results from the April 23 primary.” (Voice of the Citizens)


Pennsylvania orders counties to print entire year on absentee ballots, instead of just first two digits“Beginning with the upcoming general election, Pennsylvania counties must print the entire year on outer envelopes, not just the first two digits, per a July 1 State Department directive.” (Leader of the times)

PoliticsPA Series “Candidates in Focus”. “With so many candidates on the ballot across the Commonwealth, PoliticsPA will conduct a series of interviews over the summer to highlight Pennsylvania state representative and senator candidates running in the general election in November. The series is open to any candidate who makes the ballot, regardless of political affiliation.” (PoliticsPA)

Pennsylvania House committee backs Pittsburgh tax break program despite opposition that creates ‘unlevel playing field’“A proposal to give Pittsburgh the right to create its own tax relief program for certain longtime homeowners took a major step forward Monday, despite objections from Allegheny County Republican Rep. Rob Mercuri, who said it would exacerbate the negative effects of a possible upcoming reassessment of the county’s property tax.” (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Blair plans to fire chief administrator. “A pending vote terminating the employment of Chief Clerk/County Administrator Nicole Hemminger effective July 2 is on today’s agenda for the commissioners’ actions.” (Altoona Mirror)


4. What do you mean

  • Whoever runs for president, freedom is at stake. (Keith C. Burris)
  • Keystone State leader could be key for Democrats. (Lynn Schmidt)
  • Best Democratic Alternative: Kamala Harris-Josh Shapiro ticket. (Alan Steinberg)
  • Many college presidents have found themselves in the tough position of trying to please opposing views of constituents on their campuses. (Michael A. MacDowell)
  • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court does not share the ideological divide in the SCOTUS Chevron decision. (Jerry Dickinson)
  • Pennsylvania Senate makes clever moves to ensure student success. (Beth Ann Rosica)
  • Budget breakup process. (Representative Seth Grove)
  • Rural Pennsylvania can thrive, not just survive. (Guy Ciarrocchi)
  • Here He is, Mythical America. (Mark Berg)
  • Tax cuts alone won’t make Pennsylvania a more attractive place to live and work. (Joseph Johns)
1 thing

5. Celebrate Lettuce!

Easy Caesar Salad

“Caesar salad has reason to celebrate: it’s turning 100.

Italian immigrant Cesar Cardini He is said to have invented the dish on July 4, 1924, at his restaurant, Caesar’s Place, in Tijuana, Mexico. It was a muggy night, and Cardini was struggling to feed the influx of Californians who had crossed the border to escape Prohibition.

In the middle of the dining room, Cardini tossed whole romaine lettuce leaves into the ingredients he had on hand, including garlic-flavored olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, lemons, eggs, and Parmesan cheese. A star was born.” (AP)

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