News & Brews September 21, 2023

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Pa. Senate votes to move 2024 primary election date

Yesterday, the state Senate voted 45-2 to move the 2024 primary election date from April 23 to March 19. The AP reports the move “aim[s] to avoid a conflict with the Jewish holiday of Passover and give voters more of a say in deciding presidential nominees.” The measure now heads to the House for consideration.

McCormick expected to announce today

Republican Dave McCormick is expected to announce his candidacy for U.S. Senate today. The AP reports, “McCormick’s aides have sent invites to a ‘special announcement’ by McCormick at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh at 5 p.m. ET.” A campaign between McCormick and incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen Bob Casey “could be one of the nation’s most expensive and closely watched in a year when Democrats have a difficult 2024 Senate map that requires them to defend incumbents in red states — Montana, Ohio and West Virginia — and multiple swing states.”

New addition to the Shapiro administration … AI

In news that will undoubtedly raise questions, state agencies plan to begin using artificial intelligence (AI). The AP reports that Gov. “Shapiro’s administration plans to start a two-year fellowship program to recruit AI experts who can help agencies incorporate it into their operations….” Separately, the Post-Gazette says Shapiro “noted that generative AI should help streamline government services like access to online resources.” What could possibly go wrong….?

Basic Ed Funding Commission to meet again today 

The Basic Education Funding Commission is scheduled to meet again today at 10:00 a.m. in Lancaster. The meeting is part of the commission’s statewide tour to gather testimony on ways to change Pa.’s system of funding public education to comply with the court ruling declaring the current system unconstitutional. Click here for today’s agenda, or click here watch live at 10:00 a.m.

House Dem campaign leader ‘no longer’ with group after unexplained reimbursements

We’ve been following the story of more than $365,000 in reimbursements paid to Trevor Southerland of the Pa. House Democrat Campaign Committee (HDCC). After the recent update that nearly $150,000 of this remained “unaccounted for,” news broke last evening that Southerland is no longer with HDCC. Reporter Stephen Caruso tweeted: “Trevor Southerland, executive director of the House Democratic Campaign Committee, is no longer employed by the group, House Democrats have been told in a meeting this evening….”

Keeping it classy

And finally, it’s always encouraging when our elected officials choose civil discourse over childish insults, isn’t it? Unfortunately, I don’t have a good example of that this morning. What I do have is this statement from our U.S. Senator, John Fetterman.

Keep it classy, Pennsylvania.

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