News & Brews January 24, 2024

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Poll: Biden, Casey ahead in Pa. 

A new poll released yesterday by Susquehanna Polling and Research shows President Joe Biden with a 7.5 point lead (46.8% to 39.3%) over former President Donald Trump in Pa. Meanwhile, incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Bob Casey leads Republican David McCormick by 3.8 percentage points (45.9% to 42.1%). The poll surveyed 745 registered Pa. voters. PennLive describes the poll as a “new, too-early-to-mean-much poll.”

On charter schools, lawmakers need to learn math

Spotlight PA reports on new efforts to reform Pennsylvania’s charter school law. Unfortunately, the story parrots a persistent myth: “Tuition for these [charter] students is almost entirely funded by the public school districts in which they live. In conversations with Spotlight PA, key lawmakers on both sides of the aisle acknowledged that this arrangement leads to financial losses for districts, which can’t reduce costs enough to offset charter tuition.” In reality, as the Commonwealth Foundation notes, “Pennsylvania charter schools receive less funding per student, as school districts keep around 25% of funding for students who attend charter schools….” So school districts keep about 25% of the funding for a student they’re no longer educating, and somehow that’s a financial loss? Math is hard

Former state senator settles defamation suit with the Inquirer

The Delaware Valley Journal reports that former state Sen. Daylin Leach, who lost a Democrat primary in 2020 following allegations of sexual harassment, has settled a defamation lawsuit with the Philadelphia Inquirer, which he accused of publishing false stories about him. Per Leach, “The Philadelphia Inquirer posted an unprecedented Page B-1, above-the-fold retraction for false stories they wrote about me as part of the resolution of my defamation suit. Justice takes time, but it’s certainly worth it.” Leach has denied sexually harassing anyone, but conceded telling inappropriate jokes.

Op-Ed: Outmigration and gov’t overspending are catching up to Pa. 

Commonwealth Foundation Policy Analyst Andrew Holman writes in the Morning Call that “young, working-age adults” are leaving Pa. for better jobs and opportunity. “I have seen this trend firsthand. Since graduating from Temple University in 2021, I have watched countless friends and classmates move to states like North Carolina and Florida for well-paying jobs and affordable living. While this is great for my friends and the states they are moving to, it is bad for Pennsylvania.” These “[s]hifting demographics are negatively impacting the state’s finances…. To address these long-term problems, the governor and lawmakers must begin by controlling government spending growth to ease and eventually eliminate the deficit.”

Op-Ed: ‘RGGI is a bad deal for Pennsylvanians’

Keystone Contractors Association Executive Director Jon O’Brien writes that if Pa. joins the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), we can expect a “domino effect” of higher utility bills, lost jobs, and a huge drop in economic productivity. He also explains that “RGGI isn’t necessary. Pennsylvania had already cut emissions by 40 percent between 2007 and 2019 — all without RGGI. While reducing emissions, Pennsylvania also increased energy production. And what caused the significant decline in emissions for Pennsylvania? Natural gas, that’s what.”

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