News & Brews June 9, 2022

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Federal stimulus money is point of negotiation this budget season

Spotlight PA reports that as the traditional June 30 state budget deadline approaches, “support for spending some of the state’s billions in remaining [federal] stimulus money and surplus tax revenue is gaining bipartisan traction.” Gov. Wolf and Democrats have wanted to spend, spend, spend the money, but many Republicans have highlighted that spending it on any new recurring expenses is irresponsible, as the state would then need to find a new way (i.e. new taxes) to pay for those expenses once the stimulus money is gone. We’ll see how this goes.

House committee advances const. amendment to privatize liquor

Yesterday, the House Liquor Control Committee voted on party lines to advance a proposed constitutional amendment to get government out of the liquor business. The amendment, introduced by GOP Rep. Natalie Mihalek (Allegheny and Washington counties), states, “The Commonwealth shall not manufacture or sell, at wholesale or retail, liquor.” Because this measure is a proposed constitutional amendment, it would need to pass both chambers in two consecutive legislative sessions and then be approved by voters. Surveys have shown that liquor privatization enjoys support from a majority of Pennsylvanians across party lines.

Lawmakers hear testimony on inflation, with another hearing set for today

Yesterday for the first time, average gas prices in PA hit $5 per gallon. But as Pennsylvanians struggle with record inflation, one testifier at a House Republican Policy Committee Hearing said that from a 30,000-foot view, “the American consumer is in fantastic financial shape.” Needless to say, lawmakers weren’t convinced. Read more here, and click here at 9am to watch the committee’s second hearing on ‘how radical liberal policies have driven inflation to historic highs.”

Time for the U.S. Senate race…2024 edition?

I guess it’s never too early to start? The dust hasn’t even begun to fully swirl (never mind settle) on this year’s Senate race, and already, politicos are looking ahead to 2024. This time, POLITICO reports that GOP donors and strategists are urging David McCormick—who just lost the GOP primary to Mehmet Oz by the slimmest of margins—to run against Democrat Sen. Bob Casey in two years. Read more here.

Central PA company targeted nationwide over owners’ political views

Well, Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, maker of Martin’s Potato Rolls and supplier of bread products to restaurants nationwide, is the latest target of the media and the left (but I repeat myself). There are calls from New York to San Francisco to boycott the Franklin County company because its owners donated to Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano. PennLive has more.

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