News & Brews February 8, 2022

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Gov. Wolf to deliver final budget address today

Gov. Wolf will deliver his eighth and final budget address this morning at 11:30 am. The address will be live-streamed here. In advance of the event, our friends at the Commonwealth Foundation released a checklist outlining what a good budget would look like. View it here.

Commonwealth Court recommends map to Supreme Court

Fulfilling the state Supreme Court’s request, yesterday Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough recommended a congressional redistricting map to the high court from among those presented to her at the recent hearings. Her selection: the map that the Legislature passed and Gov. Wolf vetoed. Read her full recommendation here. Parties to the case can file objections to the map by February 14, and then the Supreme Court will hear oral argument on February 18.

Shapiro wants to be elected first, then will decide RGGI stance

It was an a la Nancy Pelosi moment. You know, when she famously said Congress had to pass Obamacare so we could find out what was in it? Well, Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro wants Pennsylvanians to elect him governor, and then he’ll figure out his position on Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Shapiro told the Delaware Valley Journal, “Ultimately, that is a determination I will make as governor, in close consultation with workers and affected communities.” That’s right: As RGGI threatens to destroy jobs and hike electricity prices, Shapiro won’t say where he stands.

Senate committee holds hearing on legalizing recreational marijuana

Yesterday, the Senate Law and Justice Committee held a hearing on legalizing marijuana for recreational use among adults. PennLive reports that committee chair Mike Regan (Cumberland and York counties), who along with Democrat Rep. Amen Brown (Philadelphia) is leading a proposal for legalization, said the effort is meant to tackle the black market for marijuana while ensuring the safety of the marijuana purchased. But those opposed to legalization warn of the potential harms, both to individual health and to public safety.

A look at the new House map

Spotlight PA gives its take on the new House map approved by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission on Friday, looking at how it stacks up on “compactness, contiguity, minimal splits, and equal population.” Anyone can bring a legal challenge to the map to the state Supreme Court within 30 days of Friday’s vote.

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