News & Brews June 13, 2023

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A budget conversation with Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman

Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman (Armstrong, Indiana, Jefferson, and Westmoreland counties) spoke with reporters yesterday about the issues top on the list as lawmakers negotiate the state budget. Among these issues are education funding, corporate net income tax reduction, the minimum wage, and more. “We have to … be honest with taxpayers,” Pittman said. He cautioned against spending money now only to have to turn around later and ask for tax increases.

Op-Ed: Unions shouldn’t be above the law

Our president and CEO, Matt Brouillette, looks at the recent Supreme Court ruling that said unions can be held accountable for intentionally destroying employers’ property. Matt writes this is another example of (finally) requiring unions to play by the same rules as everyone else. But there’s still one glaring area where this is not the case.

Behind Montco’s change from red to blue

As Montgomery County went from a longtime Republican county to a “largely Democrat” one, many said the cause “was a population shift as people moved from Philadelphia and kept their party affiliation.” But the Delaware Valley Journal says that per one former county commissioner, the shift “can be traced back to a single scandal.” Specifically, “the 2011 arrest of Board of Commissioners Chairman James R. Matthews on charges of perjury and false swearing to a grand jury.”

PLCB still targeting businesses for COVID violations

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board—whose history of boondoggles is legendary—is still seeking retribution against businesses for violating former Gov. Wolf’s COVID rules. Yep. The LNP reports that while those restrictions are “gone,” for the PLCB, “they are not forgotten.” Helping spearhead the retribution is PLCB Board Member—and Wolf’s former chief of staff—Mary Isenhour.

Op-Ed: How to rebuild I-95 … quickly 

National Review’s John Fund suggests in the Wall Street Journal that in rebuilding I-95 following the weekend collapse, Pa. should look to how California rebuilt I-10 following the 1994 Northridge earthquake. “Gov. Pete Wilson was told it would take 26 months to repair the bridges and reopen I-10. Mr. Wilson issued emergency orders to cut red tape, but his moves went far beyond the usual changes … and enabled the freeway to open to its normal heavy traffic in only 84 days.” The key, Fund writes, was incentives. Wilson “told contractors their bids had to specify when work would be finished, and that they would incur a daily penalty of $200,000 if they were late.”

House lawmakers form ‘Meet in the Middle’ caucus

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers plans to hold a press conference this morning at 9:30 a.m. to highlight the new “Meet in the Middle” caucus. Leading the effort are GOP Reps. Jill Cooper (Westmoreland County) and Jamie Flick (Lycoming and Union counties) and Democrat Reps. Patty Kim (Dauphin and Cumberland counties) and Stephen Kinsey (Philadelphia). Here’s our idea for their first bipartisan goal: Rescue kids from failing schools by letting education dollars follow the child. Watch the 9:30 a.m. press conference here.

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