News & Brews August 29, 2023

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Pa. Senate to convene tomorrow on unfinished budget

The state Senate is scheduled to convene tomorrow to work on the final pieces of the unfinished state budget. The Post-Gazette notes, “Lawmakers typically do not come to Harrisburg during a stretch of two-plus months beginning in early July. Should the Senate take a roll call floor vote on Wednesday, it will be the first time that has happened in August since 2016.” Separately, a Senate committee will meet tomorrow to consider moving up Pa.’s presidential primary date to as early as March 19.

Op-Ed: ‘The Pennsylvania school choice stakes’

Susquehanna International Group Managing Director and Co-Founder Jeff Yass explains in the Wall Street Journal why Democrats and union leaders oppose a proposed school choice program that is “only 0.2% of the state budget” in Pennsylvania. “Lifeline Scholarships are the canary in the coal mine, in Pennsylvania and nationally,” Yass writes. If unions allow school choice, “parents desperate for a taste of freedom will rush to enroll their children in better schools….” And, “If the unions allow even one of their financially supported Democrats to buck the antichild orthodoxy and do the right thing for their desperate constituents, other Democrats will surely follow, in Pennsylvania, in other states and in Congress.”

Shapiro’s NH keynote address could preview 2028

As Gov. Shapiro prepares to keynote the New Hampshire Democrat Party Convention next month, the Post-Gazette observes that his rising star could be heading toward the 2028 presidential races. One former Democrat operative observed, “Having risen from the state house all the way to the governor’s mansion at just 50 years old … Mr. Shapiro’s political career has been as close to flawless as it comes. Headlining major party events in New Hampshire is only going to increase the expectation of a national campaign in 2028.”

A Pa. Supreme Court primer

Politics PA shares an at-a-glance guide to Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court—from how justices ascend to the court, the current partisan makeup, and electoral process to the court’s powers, justices’ mandatory retirement age, and more.

College credit no longer required for state troopers

Yesterday, Gov. Shapiro announced that the Pennsylvania State Police will no longer require college credit as a condition for becoming a state trooper. Previously, “those wishing to become state troopers had to have 60 college credits – some of which could be waived with previous law enforcement or military experience – in order to enter the academy,” PennLive reports. Now, “applicants will still need a high school diploma or equivalent, be between the ages of 21 and 40 at the time they start the academy, and be able to pass a rigorous background check and physical and mental examinations.

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