June 28: The next morning

😎 I have Friday on my mind. Saying goodbye to June and the first half of 2024.

Pennsylvania Weather
☀️ Slippery Rock | Mostly Sunny, 83
☀️ Montoursville | Sunny, 80
☀️ Fogelsville | Sunshine, 81

Sports PA
⚾ Phillies (53-28) | Miami 4-7 | Friday-Sunday vs. Miami
⚾ Pirates (39-41) | Friday-Sunday vs. Atlanta
⚽ Union (4-8-7) | Sat. v. Montreal

🗓️ What’s happening today. Supreme Court announces more decisions at 10 a.m. State House convenes at 10 a.m.

👀 What we see. PA Democrats have it that way put up a billboard highlighting David McCormick’s praise for Dobbs’ decision to overturn the Wade verdict as a “huge victory.”

🎂 Happy birthday. Cake and candles for Rep. Bud Cook.

🗞️ Today’s headlines >> Your inboxWhere can I get the latest political information in the Keystone State? Sign up for the PoliticsPA Playbook. We’ll deliver 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 subscribe now.

The best story

1. Concerns About Biden’s Age, Trump Struggles with Reaction to Conviction, and Other ‘Highlights’

President Joe Biden on Thursday evening during a long-awaited debate with the former president, he tried to allay concerns about his age and physical fitness for a second term Donald Trumpwho took advantage of these moments of weakness but did little to get rid of his own weaknesses.

It was the first debate between two presidents, the first time Trump was asked about his felony conviction in a debate, and a historic early prime-time showdown between the two oldest major party candidates. (Philadelphia Inquirer)


  • Democrats are starting to ask the question: Should we replace Biden? (known)
  • In the Philadelphia suburbs, Biden and Trump supporters gather to cheer on their candidates. (WHY)
  • Harrisburg Democrats react to Biden’s debate performance on Watch Party. (Penn Capital Star)
  • The GOP debate team finds plenty of moments where their confidence in Trump soars. (PennLive)
  • Five takeaways from Biden-Trump debate: Democrats deeply concerned about Biden’s speech. (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
  • Pittsburghers react to the highly anticipated presidential debate between Biden and Trump. (Tribune-Review)
  • Local reaction: Biden appeared ill, Trump ignored questions. (LehighValleyNews.com)
  • ‘Same Old Schtick’: Swing State Voters Exhausted and Disgusted by Biden-Trump Debate (Erie Times-News)

NRCC is targeting two Pennsylvania congressional districts with $3 million in ad purchases“The National Republican Congressional Committee has announced its first wave of ad bookings for the 2024 election cycle, and Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre-Scranton-Hazleton are in its sights.” (PoliticsPA)

7 in 10 Americans say Supreme Court justices prioritize ideology over impartiality, new AP-NORC poll finds“The poll reflects the continued erosion of trust in the Supreme Court, which enjoyed broader confidence just a decade ago.” (AP)


2. Despite progress, the state budget will likely not be completed by June 30

Dollar banknotes

“As the end of fiscal year 2024 approaches in the commonwealth, it is increasingly unlikely that a new budget for fiscal year 2025 will be adopted by June 30.

Governor Josh Shapiro did its part by submitting its $48.3 billion budget to the General Assembly on February 6. Although lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say they have made significant progress, the tea leaves say the new month and fiscal year will begin without a bill passing.” (PoliticsPA)


Pennsylvania to start fiscal year without budget, lawmakers say Shapiro says optimistic“Pennsylvania lawmakers’ work to complete a new budget remained on track to enter the new fiscal year, with Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro and top lawmakers still expressing optimism Thursday that closed-door talks are making progress despite the missed deadline.” (AP)

Pennsylvania Senate passes “Stand with Israel” bill “The Pennsylvania Senate passed the ‘Support Israel Act’ by a 41-7 vote, which would prohibit boycotts or divestments from Israel and companies doing business with Israel by entities with interests in the Pennsylvania Treasury or Commonwealth pension funds.” (PoliticsPA)

Sources say Shapiro’s PACER plan likely stalled“Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro’s plan to quickly get Pennsylvania into a carbon emissions trading program appears to have no chance of succeeding.” (Wide + Freedom)

State House Republicans are pushing to advance the Holocaust curriculum bill“Pennsylvania House Republicans are pushing to advance a bill that would increase transparency in Holocaust education in public schools.” (WITF)

Around the Commonwealth of Nations

3. Property taxes are the lifeblood of local government, but officials and residents hate to adjust them

What You Need to Know About Pennsylvania Property Taxes

“Property taxes are a vital source of revenue for Pennsylvania municipalities and school districts, but political inertia and fear of rising costs can prevent communities from updating their rates.

So when assessments are out of date, funding for schools, roads and other essential services is potentially inadequate. Local leaders have the ability to adjust taxes and provide regular assessments, but because such changes can raise costs for voters, the issue is thorny.” (PA reflector)


State Police Protection for Small Towns Is ‘Unsustainable’ “Pennsylvania counties are getting rid of small, part-time police departments, requiring the Pennsylvania State Police to take over public safety responsibilities without any additional funding.” (Central Square)

Pennsylvania House Passes Bill Expanding Hunting to Sundays. “The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday to expand Sunday hunting, even as some lawmakers expressed concerns about state park trespassing and hunting regulations.” (Penn Capital Star)


4. What do you mean

  • Joe Biden is a good man and a good president. He must withdraw from the race. (Tomasz Friedman)
  • The great democratic madness has arrived. (Karen Tumulty)
  • The most significant presidential debate in history. (Peggy Noonan)
  • Reagan’s 2024 nominee is not a Republican. (Sean O’Keefe)
  • A simpler idea for faster governance. (“Wall Street” daily)
  • Who will win Pennsylvania in November? (Zachary Kennedy)
  • The real question we should be asking ourselves as we watch the first presidential debate. (Solomon Jones)
  • We don’t just vote for candidates. We vote for truth or lies. (Jaya Wissota)
1 item

5. Time of crisis

Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese draw historic 3.3 million WNBA viewers for Fever vs.  Sky |  March

“Philadelphia remains the only one of the nation’s six largest cities without a women’s professional sports team.

At a time when women’s sports are booming, and this year’s NCAA women’s basketball championship game achieved record viewership that was higher than the men’s championship game, the city has not fielded a women’s team in any major sport in more than a decade.

This drought may end soon.” (Philadelphia Business Journal)

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