News & Brews February 7, 2022

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Final state legislative maps approved, but court challenge coming

On Friday, the Legislative Reapportionment Commission voted 4-1 to approve new state House and Senate maps, with Republican House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff casting the dissenting vote. While the Senate map has drawn minimal criticism, the House map has been fiercely criticized by Republicans who have called it a Democrat gerrymander. Anyone can bring a legal challenge to the map within 30 days of Friday’s vote, and House Republicans are planning to do so.

GOP opts not to endorse in U.S. Senate, governor’s race

In a move not entirely surprising, Republican state committee members on Saturday decided not to endorse candidates in either the governor’s race or the U.S. Senate race. The decision came as both fields are large with no clear frontrunner in either race. Last week at a similar meeting, Democrats endorsed Attorney General Josh Shapiro for governor and Rep. Austin Davis for lieutenant governor but, like Republicans, declined to endorse in the U.S. Senate race.

What to (maybe) expect in Wolf’s final budget address

Tomorrow, Gov. Wolf will deliver his eighth and final budget address. The AP gives its takeon what to watch for as Wolf takes the podium. For starters, the story notes, “Wolf will almost certainly propose an operating budget that spends well above this year’s $38.6 billion approved plan for state dollars.” This is hardly surprising as ‘more spending’ has been a theme throughout Wolf’s budget addresses. Read the AP story here.

2024 GOP convention won’t be coming to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is no longer on the short-list to host the 2024 Republican National Convention. The Post-Gazette reports that city’s tourism agency was not given an official reason for the boot. But given how loudly some area Democrats painted the event with as many derogatory epithets as they could, it’s not really surprising that the RNC would look elsewhere.

A post-Johnny Doc IBEW Local 98 is flush with cash

WHYY reports that the conviction of former IBEW Local 98 leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty hasn’t harmed the union’s campaign coffers. The union’s political action committee now has “more money than ever: $13.3 million on hand.” Part of this is because the union hasn’t doled out as much cash recently. But another big part is that the union takes this money directly out of workers’ paychecks. Read the story here.

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