News & Brews January 24, 2023

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Shapiro’s secrecy on inaugural donors shows ‘gap’ in law

The AP reports that Gov. Josh Shapiro’s refusal to disclose who funded his inaugural festivities “has exposed the gap in state law that lets governors in Pennsylvania escape the kind of transparency that is sometimes required elsewhere.” While some cities and states require such disclosures, Pennsylvania does not. This means “millions of dollars can be given secretly by donors who seek favorable treatment under state regulations, have contracts before state government or who rely on state government for subsidies.”

Rozzi’s ‘listening tour’ to make first stop in Pittsburgh

Instead of organizing his chamber, holding votes on House rules, and getting to work. House Speaker Mark Rozzi is going on tour. His ‘listening tour’ on how to get to work will make its first stop tomorrow. City & State PA reports that the session will take place at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business and “will include a public comment period at the end.”

GOP lawmakers to hold budget talk with IFO today 

As the House remains out of session, Republican House Appropriations Committee Chair Seth Grove (York County) will host a roundtable discussion this morning at 9:00 a.m. on “budgetary matters” with Independent Fiscal Office Executive Director Matthew Knittle. Lawmakers would typically be working now, but House Speaker Mark Rozzi has still not organized his chamber for work, leaving lawmakers waiting. The discussion will be live-streamed here.

School choice rally draws crowd to Capitol

Students, parents, and school choice advocates gathered at the Capitol yesterday for a rally as part of National School Choice Week. “Filling the Capitol Rotunda marble staircase and railing around it,” PennLive reports, “students from around the state who attend charter, cyber and private schools as well as are homeschooled rallied to urge state policymakers to recognize the value of having a choice when it comes to their education.”

One GOP holdout as lawmakers try to return to work

In an attempt to return to work despite House Speaker Mark Rozzi’s delay, 100 of 101 GOP House lawmakers signed onto a letter directing the Clerk of the House “to provide public notice” that the House will be in session. Rep. Aaron Bernstine (Lawrence and Butler counties) posted on Facebook that no Democrats signed the letter. He also identified the one Republican who refused to sign as Rep. Tom Mehaffie of Dauphin County.

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