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‘The rise of Austin Davis’
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a profile piece of incoming Lt. Gov. Austin Davis, from his McKeesport roots to his stint as ‘ceremonial deputy mayor’ in high school and through his time in the General Assembly. The piece notes that it remains to be seen how he’ll use the role of Lt. Gov. to advance his priorities. “The position is largely ceremonial, albeit first in the line of gubernatorial succession. Mr. Shapiro vowed after his election that Mr. Davis ‘will redefine the role of lieutenant governor.’”
How to watch today’s inauguration
At 10am this morning, Lt. Gov.-Elect Austin Davis will be sworn into office. You can watch live here. Then, at noon, Josh Shapiro will be sworn in as Pennsylvania’s next governor. HIs inauguration will be live-streamed here. The Inquirer reports that among other things, “In his first remarks, he’s expected to discuss his goals for his first term as Pennsylvania’s governor.”
Public school enrollment down, but spending up
The Delaware Valley Journal reports that from the fall of 2019 to the fall of 2020, public school enrollment in Pa. fell about 5%. Meanwhile, per-pupil spending rose to almost $20,000 in the 2020-21 academic year. Among the reasons: “The number of employees working at public schools rose by nearly 9 percent. The state added about 20,000 employees over that period and saw a 40 percent growth among administrators.”
Pa.’s corporate net income tax rate begins decline
On January 1, our super-high corporate net income tax rate fell from 9.99% to 8.99%, the beginning of a planned descent that will “gradually lower the rate by half a percentage point each year until it reaches 4.99% in 2031.” Incoming Gov. Josh Shapiro, among others, has advocated for accelerating this timeline.
Op-Ed: Shapiro can learn from Wolf’s mistakes
Commonwealth Foundation Senior Vice President Nathan Benefield writes that while Gov. Wolf’s time in office was marked by “intense conflict with the legislature” and “the abuse of power,” Shapiro can learn from Wolf’s mistakes and instead “collaborate with the legislature to find agreement and enact policies that benefit Pennsylvania families, businesses, and students.”
‘Dear Shapiro’: Two former govs give advice
Former Pa. Governors Tom Ridge and Ed Rendell penned an open letter to Josh Shapiro in the Erie Times-News. Calling themselves “two old guys who have had the privilege of being in the shoes you’re about to fill,” they tell Shapiro he’s “about to embark on the best political job in America!” Among the tips they offer: “Always stay true to yourself and trust your instincts, which have gotten you to this day. Invite input from those you trust, listen to those with an opposing point of view, but ultimately make the decision you think is right.”