June 20th Playbook – PoliticsPA

It’s the Juneteenth holiday. Street Named PA Dems Chair. Shapiro Enters Summer With Huge Cash Lead. PA Unemployment Rate Hits Pre-Pandemic Low. Here is the Playbook.


PA Weather
Waynesburg | Scattered Showers, 73
Jersey Shore | Partly Sunny, 78
Royersford | Mostly Sunny, 80


PIAA State Champions
Softball: Montgomery, Neshannock, Avonworth, Clearfield, Pittston Area and Spring-Ford.
Baseball: Dubois CC, Central, Everett, Montour, Bethel Park and Warwick


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PA Dems Select Street as Chair: The Pennsylvania Democratic Committee selected state senator Sharif Street as its next chair.

Ups and Downs – June 17: We’ve stepped to the side over the past few weeks, but now we return with “Ups and Downs.” Who has had a good week … and who may not have had the best of weeks.


PA Governor Race: Shapiro Enters Summer With Huge Cash Lead: Josh Shapiro enters the summer with a huge cash-on-hand lead over Doug Mastriano in the race for the Pennsylvania governor’s mansion.

  • Shapiro Endorsed by Firefighters: The Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association today endorsed Josh Shapiro for governor of the Commonwealth.
  • The Caucus: Mastriano won’t talk to the mainstream press, an unconventional strategy as contest against Shapiro begins
  • PennLive: Shapiro wins endorsement of Pa. firefighters union, vows to protect organized labor
  • City & State PA: Shapiro picks up big endorsement from statewide firefighters union
  • Philly Clout: Sharif Street is the new Pa. Democratic Party chair. Josh Shapiro wanted someone else.
  • CNN: Pennsylvania Democrat keeps focus on January 6 in campaign for governor against an election denier


PA Senate Race: ‘Unlikely duo: Pennsylvania Democrats aim for united front’: The Associated Press reports that “one candidate is unabashedly blunt, willing to embrace progressive positions, doing little to build rapport with party leaders and dominating rooms with a 6-foot-8-inch frame. The other crafts a more moderate image, a deliberate public speaker who became a congressional aide out of college and has carefully cultivated relationships within the party ever since.”

  • Fox News: Senate GOP re-election arm ties Democrats in key swing states to Biden, soaring gas prices
  • The Hill: The seven Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022


‘State’s 4.6% unemployment rate matches pre-pandemic numbers’: PennLive reports that “in May, Pennsylvania saw the lowest unemployment rate since it was matched in October 2019, months before the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to Pennsylvania Labor & Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier.”

‘Kamala Harris calls Pittsburgh a leader in lead remediation during Homewood visit’: WESA reports that “Harris visited a community center in the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh Friday to tout the White House’s effort to reduce lead poisoning.” 

‘Wolf administration says Pa. is having ‘rolling outages’ of diesel fuel, makes move to allow sales of out-of-state fuel’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “the Wolf administration on Friday acknowledged “rolling outages” of diesel fuel across the state and said it was temporarily dropping a biodiesel requirement — a move that will allow out-of-state diesel to be sold in Pennsylvania.”

‘These are the reproductive health bills currently before Pa.’s General Assembly’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “with Wolf’s tenure winding down, and the U.S. Supreme Court set to issue an opinion in a court case that could strike down the landmark Roe. v. Wade ruling, here are the reproductive health bills before Pennsylvania’s General Assembly this legislative session.”

‘Abortion is still legal in Pennsylvania. What to know about existing requirements, access’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “Pennsylvania does not have a trigger law on the books to outlaw abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, which guaranteed federal constitutional protections for abortion rights.”


Regional Spotlight: Southeast and Lehigh Valley
WHYY: Philly City Council reaches deal on budget with property and wage tax relief
Inquirer: What you need to know about Philly’s new tax and budget plans 
WHYY: Delco elected officials debut bills aimed to protect Pennsylvania from for-profit health care 
WHYY: Rebuild funds on hold as Council member seeks $20 million more for her Philly district 
WHYY: Could Delco get a major LNG export terminal? How Biden’s plans to increase LNG exports could clash with its environmental justice goals in Chester 
WHYY: Philly Health Department appoints new director of Division of Substance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction 
WHYY: City Council passes bill to end ‘prison gerrymandering’ in Philly
Morning Call: Zachary Cohen defeats David Ritter by five votes in 2021 Lehigh County judge race after disputed mail-in ballots counted
Morning Call: Lehigh Valley lawmaker pushes bill for Pa. under-21 assault weapons ban as ‘cultural divide’ stalls gun law debate 
Morning Call: Dale Wiles, one of former Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski’s co-conspirators in contract fixing, dies at 54
Morning Call: Thousands of PPL customers have been mailed bills in error. State officials say they are investigating
Philadelphia Business Journal: Philadelphia City Council approves business and wage tax cuts as part of $5.6B budget deal 
City & State PA: How Philly’s ward system works and doesn’t work – and what is being done to change it 
AP: Philly DA seeks contempt charge for Vets for Trump cofounder
WFMZ: Local police chief, state lawmaker weigh in on proposed $100M for mental health services in Pa.
WFMZ: Doug Mastriano’s proposal to arm teachers in Pa. faces pushback
Inquirer: ‘It’s a start’: City Council cuts Philly’s wage and business tax rates in a win for diverse chambers of commerce 
Inquirer: As more people get guns and carry permits, Philly sees a sharp rise in homicides ruled justified 
Inquirer: Councilmember Cindy Bass is threatening to hold up rec center projects if her district doesn’t get more money 
Inquirer: Philly budget deal expands property tax relief and cuts business taxes. But most homeowners will still have tax hikes. 
Inquirer: Philly likely to set a 10 p.m. curfew for minors this summer under new Council bill. Experts say it’s ‘pointless.’ 
Inquirer: Philly’s five chambers of commerce show unprecedented unity pushing for wage tax cut 
Inquirer: Radnor Township blocks its police from intervening in abortions ahead of Roe v. Wade decision
Inquirer: Pennsylvania fines Sunoco Pipeline for Mariner East violations in Delco 
Inquirer: How much did the pandemic cyber charter surge cost Pa. school districts? More than $12k per student, new report says
WFMZ: Berks officials discuss possibility of Amtrak trains in region during railroad roundtable
WFMZ: Pa. senators, Rep. Wild supportive of framework for gun safety bill
Morning Call: ‘We’re here to try to save lives’: How a Lehigh Valley drug task force hopes to get fentanyl off the streets amid a surge in drug deaths
Morning Call: National hate group monitor unmasks a Lehigh Valley-area publishing company peddling Nazi and fascist literature
Morning Call: City Center has invested $1 billion in Allentown’s NIZ. Now it has its sights set on another part of city
Morning Call: As Juneteenth is celebrated at events across Lehigh Valley, a focus more on progress than on past
Daily Local News: Planning continues to reestablish Philly train service to West Chester
Reading Eagle: Reading City Council on 30-day countdown to appoint a new president
Reading Eagle: More than 100 attend Reading’s Juneteenth flag raising
Delaware Valley Journal: GOP Voter Registration Guru Scott Presler Brings His Magic to Bucks County
Philadelphia Business Journal: Approval of BIRT and wage tax cuts hailed as turning point by Philadelphia business leaders
WHYY: Philly defender association calls for pay parity with DA’s office
WHYY: SEPTA boosts police pay to $62,000 in an effort to improve safety and officer retention
WHYY: Philadelphia celebrates Juneteenth with block party, parade, film festival, and more
WHYY: $3 million federal grant to tackle disparities in Pa. unemployment compensation
WHYY: Philly officials want you to reimagine the Ben Franklin Parkway
WHYY: Philly loses control of Army-Navy Game. After this year, the city won’t host again until 2027
Levittown Now: Bristol Man In Custody Made Threatening Statements, Feds Say
Pottstown Mercury: Rep. Williams champions passage of bill honoring Tuskegee airmen
Express Times: How Northampton County is spending another $7.6M in pandemic relief money 
WFMZ: Millions of dollars in improvements planned for Berks Co. 
WFMZ: Reading City Council creates legacy fund to honor its late president 
WFMZ: Berks Leaders discuss school safety during private roundtable 
WFMZ: Reading officials share memories, poetry of late council President Jeffrey Waltman 
Express Times: Routes 22 and 309 part of the Lehigh Valley projects getting a piece of $486M plan
Billy Penn: 10 reasons the World Cup coming to Philly in 2026 is a big f-king deal


Jim Hertzler: Hey, Pa. Legislature: Where’s our local property tax relief?
Mark S. Singel: Mike Pence: American hero
Salena Zito: Half-built Pa. solar farm shows renewables aren’t ready for prime time
Nancy Eshelman: No need to chew on my choices for this Pa. election
John Sigle: Rural and urban folks need to find a way to communicate
John L. Micek: Want to really honor Pa. veterans? Pass a red flag law | Friday Morning Coffee
PennLive Editorial Board: Arming teachers isn’t the solution to mass shootings in schools
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Lawmakers should heed the voices of all those who want commonsense gun safety laws finally passed 
Disability Leaders Look to General Assembly with Optimism: Disability leaders call on the General Assembly to increase funding for home healthcare workers
Joseph R Fischer: Another week, another mass shooting
Paul Muschick: Lehigh Valley’s newest memorial is a stunning tribute to veterans and a true community effort
Christopher Hunt: African American Music Month celebrates 400-plus years of resistance, culture and innovation
Brittany Boyd-Chisholm: Home healthcare workers are our most undervalued healthcare personnel
Eleni Towns: No kid should go hungry this summer
John Cole: Raising the red flag over Pa. | Editorial Cartoon
Judy Young: We need leadership from MLB if we can’t get it from legislators