News & Brews March 7, 2023

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How to watch Gov. Shapiro’s budget address

This morning at 11:30, Gov. Josh Shapiro will deliver his 2023-24 budget addressto a joint session of the General Assembly. PennLive previewed the budget address yesterday. The event will be live-streamed here.

Biden to unveil budget in Pa. 

Speaking of budgets, the AP reports that President Biden “will showcase his election-year budget plan this week in must-win Pennsylvania rather than the usual White House setting.” Biden is slated to come to Philly on Thursday for the event. And he “hinted in a Monday speech that tax increases on the wealthy will be at the core of his budget plan, declaring that one provision will targets billionaires.” As the great Thomas Sowell wrote, “Since wealth is the only thing that can cure poverty, you might think that the left would be as obsessed with the creation of wealth as it is with the redistribution of wealth. But you would be wrong.”

16 GOP women lawmakers call on Zabel to resign

Yesterday, 16 Republican female lawmakers, led by Rep. Kristin Marcell (Bucks County), hand-delivered a letter to Democrat Speaker Joanna McClinton, calling on Rep. Mike Zabel to resign. Zabel has been accused of sexual harassment by several women. The letter notes, “Democrats’ silence on this matter shows that they are only concerned with holding onto power and not standing by victims of sexual abuse.” While some individual Democrat lawmakers have called for Zabel’s resignation, Democrat leadership has refused thus far to issue a call.

Norfolk Southern to reimburse Pa. >$7 million 

The AP reports that Norfolk Southern has agreed to pay about $7.4 million to Pennsylvania “to cover the cost of the response and recovery” in the wake of the Feb. 3 train derailment. According to Gov. Shapiro, the company will pay $5 million to reimburse fire departments for damaged or contaminated equipment, $1 million to help business owners and residents in Beaver and Lawrence counties, and nearly $1.4 million to state agencies.

Fetterman reportedly ‘will be back soon’

Sen. John Fetterman’s chief of staff, Adam Jentleson, tweeted that the senator “will be back soon” from his treatment for clinical depression at Walter Reed. PennLive reports that Jentleson “posted three photos on Twitter Monday showing him sitting and speaking with Fetterman” and “wrote that he and Fetterman discussed rail safety legislation and the Farm Bill, as well as other business.”

Senate committees advance nominations

Yesterday, the Senate Law & Justice Committee unanimously advanced Gov. Shapiro’s nomination of Christopher Paris to lead the Pennsylvania State Police. Separately, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously advanced the nomination of Michelle Henry as the state’s Attorney General. PennLive reports, however, that the vote for Henry came “with some politically-charged questions … from Republican members.” These questions were on topics ranging from crime in Philly to cooperation with legislative inquiries.

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