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Optimism v. pessimism at Senate budget hearing
Yesterday, at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, lawmakers questioned the Department of Revenue on its projections of about $5 billion more in revenue than projections from the Independent Fiscal Office. I mean, in life we generally appreciate the ‘glass half full’ approach, but when it comes to revenue projections (which invariably turn into spending that could lead to future tax hikes), rosiness may not be the best approach. The Center Square has more. Also, Senate budget hearings will continue today. Click here for the schedule and the link to watch.
Court drama over congressional redistricting continues
As our state Supreme Court considers whether to pick a congressional map from among about a dozen proposed maps or simply draw one of its own (and as the court has temporarily suspended the primary election calendar), a separate lawsuit is asking a federal court to stop the state Supreme Court from doing pretty much anything. The AP has more, but in short, it’s a mess. (The AP story is short on some details, so here’s a link to the recent emergency motion for a preliminary injunction in the federal suit.)
Op-Ed: A real budget can bring prosperity to PA
The Commonwealth Foundation’s Nathan Benefield had an op-ed in PennLive breaking down the reality surrounding PA’s current budget surplus (spoiler alert: it won’t last) and laying out a plan for how “lawmakers should prioritize taxpayers, grow spending responsibly, and give parents and students the education options they seek and need.” Read Nate’s piece here.
Former Acting Health Sec’t Beam set to be a UPMC lobbyist
The progressive Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that former Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam “is taking a new job as the top lobbyist for the commonwealth’s biggest health system.” Her hiring by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center as the next vice president of government affairs has “raised eyebrows among good government advocates, who highlighted it as a prime example of the so-called ‘revolving door’ between public service and the private sector.” Read more here.