News & Brews January 5, 2023

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What does surprise speaker mean for House partisanship?

After House lawmakers unexpectedly selected Democrat Rep. Mark Rozzi (Berks County) as speaker—and then Rozzi unexpectedly announced he would caucus neither with Republicans nor Democrats—Spotlight PA looks at what this all might mean for committee chairmanships and which bills come up for consideration.

GOP lawmakers react to Rozzi election

Capitol reporter Eric Scicchitano spoke with multiple Republican lawmakers to get their reactions to the surprise election of Democrat Rep. Mark Rozzi as House Speaker. Ranging from “disenchanted” to “extremely disappointing,” descriptors from several Republicans point to frustration at how the process played out, with specific focus on the relationship between GOP caucus leadership and rank-and-file members.

Review: Precipice is must-read for those who love liberty

Our president and CEO Matt Brouillette writes in RealClear Pennsylvania that CNX Resources Corporation CEO Nick Deiuliis’s recent book, Precipice: The Left’s Campaign to Destroy America, is an eye-opening read that “offers a unique and invaluable framework for understanding the basis of economic activity in America today.” The book looks at those who “have made America the freest, most prosperous nation in history”—and those who “threaten that freedom and prosperity.”

New PSERS investment officer will be highest paid Pa. public official

The new chief investment officer of the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) “will be the highest paid public official in Pennsylvania with a salary of $515,000,” the Inquirer reports. Benjamin L. Cotton comes to Pa. from the Detroit-based United Auto Workers’ Retiree Medical Benefits Trust. The PSERS board approved his hiring with near unanimous support, with Democrat Sen. Katie Muth (Montgomery and Chester counties) abstaining from the vote.

Turnpike toll hike to take effect Sunday

Well, here we go again. Turnpike tolls will see their annual increase beginning January 8—this year by 5% for both EZ-Pass and Toll-by-Plate drivers. “The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved the toll hike last year for the 359-mile road, saying it is needed to pay for new interchanges and lanes, as well as to meet obligations toward funding the state’s roads and transit systems, including SEPTA.,” notes the Inquirer. Ah yes, the annual “turnpike drivers must fund mass transit” line. Happy (and expensive) driving…

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