News & Brews March 1, 2022

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Check out these gubernatorial ads

PoliticsPA has a short round-up of ads being aired in the GOP gubernatorial primary contest. Included on the list are ads for former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain, Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, former U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta, and Delaware County businessman Dave White (Disclaimer: Commonwealth Partners has endorsed Bill McSwain for governor.) Check out the ads here.

Lawmakers seek to divest PA from Russian financial assets

House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (Centre and Mifflin counties) announced plans to introduce legislation “to divest Pennsylvania of any Russian financial assets in which the Commonwealth may be invested.” Benninghoff is calling for “concrete action … to hold Russia accountable and apply pressure to stop this attack on the innocent people of Ukraine as well as the viability of Eastern Europe.” On the Senate side, Democrat Sen. Sharif Street also introduced legislation to divest Pennsylvania from Russia. Street stated, “We cannot, must not and should not ignore the atrocity of Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine.” The Wolf administration said it supports state Treasurer Stacy Garrity’s decision to divest from Russian assets and will review any legislation that comes.

Grove aims to increase PA natural gas distribution to reduce dependance on Russia

Also in the wake of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, Rep. Seth Grove plans to introduce legislation that “would reduce our reliance on Russian natural gas by increas[ing] the production and availability of Pennsylvania natural gas.” Grove’s bill would increase drilling in PA, improve the drilling permit process, fund pipeline development, and end Pennsylvania’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Read his statement here.

Senate budget hearings continue today

The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to continue its series of budget hearings today. At 10am, the committee will hear from the office of Attorney General (and Democrat gubernatorial candidate) Josh Shapiro, and at 2:30 pm, the Department of Community and Economic Development is scheduled to testify. Both hearings will be live-streamed here.

Takeaways from House budget hearings

House Appropriations Committee Chair Stan Saylor released several takeaways from his committee’s latest budget hearings. Among them: questionable budget projections from Gov. Wolf and PA job losses due to permitting delays. Read more here.

Rep. Fred Keller not running for re-election

In the wake of the loss of one congressional seat and the redistricting that put him in the same district as a fellow Republican, U.S. Rep. Fred Keller announced he will not seek re-election this year. Keller posted, “This election is bigger than any one person. Rather than pit Republicans against Republicans, which the congressional map chosen by the liberal PA Supreme Court does, I am committed to helping take back the House, holding Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat, and electing a conservative governor.” Separately, a group suing over the new map has asked the U.S. Supreme to intervene.

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