News & Brews December 7, 2023

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Pausing in recognition of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and the 2,403 American service members and civilians killed on December 7, 1941. Read more here.

Nat’l Dem group announces first Pa. ’24 spending

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to state legislatures, has announced its first spending rounds in battleground states, and, unsurprisingly, Pa. is on the list. The Hill reports, “The group is investing close to $300,000 in Michigan, Arizona, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. In Michigan, the group is investing $82,000 in the House Caucus, while $70,000 is going to the joint caucus in Arizona. The DLCC is also spending $50,000 and $30,000 in the New Hampshire and Pennsylvania state Houses, respectively. In Wisconsin, the group is spending $24,000 between the Assembly and the Senate, and in North Carolina, $15,000 is being spent on the House.” These figures will undoubtedly rise.

Pa. Supreme Court to consider public access to officials’ personal Facebook posts

The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case on whether public officials’ posts on personal Facebook pages are subject to the state’s Right-to-Know Law. The case stems from posts made by two school board members related to LGBTQ books in schools.

UPenn president under fire for testimony on antisemitism 

Gov. Josh Shapiro is among those criticizing University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill for refusing to say at a congressional committee that calls for genocide against Jews violate Penn’s code of conduct. The Inquirer reports that instead, she said, “It’s a context-dependent decision.” In response, Shapiro said, “If that doesn’t violate the policies of Penn, well, there’s something wrong with the policies of Penn that the board needs to get on, or there’s a failure of leadership from the president, or both.” Magill later tried to backtrack on her comments.

Also on the ’24 campaign front

The trickle of folks announcing their candidacies for state Legislature will undoubtedly become a flood soon, but here are a few of the latest. In Erie County, former Democrat County Chair Jim Wertz plans to challenge incumbent GOP Sen. Dan Laughlin. Across the state in Chester County, Democrat activist Carrie Stare is running for the seat currently held by GOP Rep. Craig Williams.

How much do Pa. judges make? 

New judicial salaries in Pa. will take effect on January 1, 2024 to reflect a cost-of-living adjustment. PoliticsPA reports, “The annual salary of Supreme Court Chief Justice Debra Todd, the top judicial post in Pennsylvania, will be $260,734, while the other justices in the top chamber will receive $253,361…. The annual salary of a judge of the Superior Court shall be $239,059. Jack A. Panella, president judge, shall receive $246,428…. The annual salary of a judge of the Commonwealth Court shall be $239,059. Renee Cohn Jubelirer, president judge, shall receive $246,428.”

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