News & Brews June 29, 2022

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State budget unlikely to be complete by June 30

The end of June is the traditional deadline for our state budget, but while lawmakers and Gov. Wolf are reportedly close to reaching an agreement, the final budget likely won’t be completed by tomorrow. City & State PA reports that House Appropriations Committee Chair Stan Saylor “expressed a sense of optimism that the budget would be completed within the next week, but noted that once a framework is agreed upon by legislative Republicans and Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration, legislative language will need to be drafted and proofread, which he said could take multiple days.”

A look at Fetterman’s (temporarily) home-bound campaign

As Lt. Gov. John Fetterman campaigns for U.S. Senate while simultaneously recovering from a stroke, the NY Times writes (paywall) that he “is trying something utterly novel in American politics: a towel-snapping virtual campaign of sassy online memes, withering mockery of his opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and fourth-wall-bending television ads and online videos that explode many of the usual tropes of political campaigns.” The story adds that Fetterman’s campaign is “making the most of a health crisis that would doom many less nimble campaigns — fending off suspicious reporters, opposition researchers and the usual gossip that can pose dangers to any campaign.”

Wolf says pro-life legislation may drive companies out of Pa.

With the legality abortion now in states’ hands, Gov. Wolf is telling Republican lawmakers that any efforts to protect life may lead companies to leave Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are working on efforts that would further protect life, while several Democrat lawmakers are proposing codifying abortion in state law.

Senate committee advances RTK legislation

Yesterday, the Senate State Government Committee unanimously approved legislation that would expand Right-to-Know requirements for state-run universities (Penn State University, University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, and Lincoln University). The bill, which now heads to the full Senate for consideration, would also require these universities to share more information with the public about their revenue and expenses.

House passes poll watcher bill; Wolf will not sign

Yesterday, the House passed legislation that would allow poll watchers to work outside their counties of residence. The bill, which previously passed the Senate, now heads to Gov. Wolf, who has already indicated he will not sign it. Unclear, however, is whether Wolf plans to actually read the bill or simply pre-judge it because it’s proposed by Republicans, as he did last year with Rep. Seth Grove’s Voting Rights Protection Act.

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