News & Brews January 18, 2023

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Josh Shapiro becomes Pennsylvania’s 48th governor

Yesterday, Gov. Josh Shapiro took the oath of office as our state’s chief executive. In his remarks, he reiterated several of his campaign themes while promising to be a governor to all Pennsylvanians. The AP reported, “On stage with Shapiro were just over a dozen people he invited — including survivors of child sexual abuse, parents of children killed by gun violence and the widows of two state troopers killed in the line of duty — who aides say symbolize his accomplishments as attorney general and his bipartisan policy aims as governor.” Read Shapiro’s inaugural remarks here.

Is D.C. next for Shapiro? 

Welp, that didn’t take long. The Inquirer predicts that Shapiro’s ambitions lie beyond the governorship. And “many expect [him] to become a future candidate for president.” First, though, he’ll have to avoid “pitfalls,” which could include losing “some of his luster if he’s dragged into a Harrisburg political snarl, if he struggles to deliver on his promises, or if a recession plunges the economy downward….”

Q&A with Gov. Shapiro

City & State PA landed an interview with Gov. Shapiro, where topics included his transition team, the battle over the House majority, his approach to using executive power, and his desired legacy. Shapiro talked a lot about working together and finding common ground across the political aisle.

Rep. Austin Davis becomes Pa. Lt. Gov. 

Yesterday, Rep. Austin Davis, “the son of a hairdresser and a bus driver, made Pennsylvania history … becoming the state’s first Black lieutenant governor,” PennLive reported. In his inaugural remarks, Davis pledged, “I have a message for every parent working the night shift to give their child a fair shot, every small town kid looking for a path to make a better life for themself or anyone who feels forgotten … I say to you that you are not alone, that I hear you and understand your concerns because I lived them, and as your lieutenant governor, I will be your champion.”

Pa. House ‘working group’ meets … can it make progress?

Yesterday, the bipartisan working group of six House members met to begin working on a path forward for House operations. Speaker Mark Rozzi announced the working group last week after lawmakers were unable even to pass the rules necessary for the House to function. Rozzi said the working group is “going to see where it goes. I think they’re willing to sit down and talk about how we move forward right now.” Exactly how long it might take remains to be seen.

Who has Shapiro’s ear? 

PennLive compiled an “early and unofficial directory” of the men and women just outside the spotlight whom … the governor will be relying upon or working with most closely as the new administration gets up and running.” Some names, like Lt. Gov. Austin Davis, are familiar, while others tend to stay behind the scenes.

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