News & Brews February 1, 2024

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Lawmakers urge Shapiro to support Texas on illegal immigration 

City & State PA reports that yesterday, “more than 40 state representatives in the Pennsylvania House wrote to Gov. Josh Shapiro and Attorney General Michelle Henry, encouraging both to offer ‘vital support’ to Texas, writing that all states have ‘an obligation to fight this [illegal immigration] crisis to safeguard our communities and uphold the rule of law.’” Also yesterday, Senate Republican leaders “said they plan to introduce a resolution showing support for [Texas Gov.] Abbott’s immigration policies, while also calling on Shapiro to support the Texas governor.” Shapiro’s spokesperson said, “Governor Shapiro has been clear that our country needs a secure border and Congress needs to pass comprehensive reform to fix our broken immigration system.”

Some notable voter registration numbers

The voter registration gap between Democrats and Republicans in Pa. continues to close, albeit slowly. The latest voter registration data released by the Pa. Department of State show Republican registration in Pa. is above 40% for the first time since 2007. Meanwhile, Democrat registration is below 45% for the first time since the Department of State began tracking the info. Part of this may be due to lifetime Democrats who have already been voting Republican for several cycles and are now changing their registrations to match. And part may also be due to purging old data from the voter rolls. Still, the figures are somewhat notable.

Only 2 Pa. colleges rank high on free-speech report

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) has released Spotlight on Speech Codes 2024, which evaluated 489 colleges and universities nationwide to identify “policies that infringe on free speech.” Reporting on the study, the Center Square notes, “Of 31 Pennsylvania schools included in the report, only two earned a green light rating – PennWest Edinboro and Shippensburg University. Gettysburg College and West Chester University were downgraded from yellow to red, making a total of ten state schools in that category, and the remaining 19 earned yellow light ratings.”

(Another) poll: Biden, Trump statistically tied; Casey ahead

PennLive reports that a new Franklin & Marshall College poll of registered voters in Pa. shows President Biden leading former President Trump 43% to 42%—within the margin of error. Meanwhile, the poll shows Democrat U.S. Sen. Bob Casey leading Republican David McCormick 47% to 35%. The poll surveyed registered voters, which is less ideal than surveying likely voters. And, of course, it’s early. So, for now, any poll results should be taken with a grain (or huge heaps) of salt.

Op-Ed: Shapiro’s budget better be ‘competitive as hell’

The Commonwealth Foundation’s Nathan Benefield writes in RealClear Pennsylvania that although Gov. Shapiro claims to be “competitive as hell,” our state “is losing.” If Shapiro “wants Pennsylvania to become ‘competitive as hell,’” Nate writes, “he must revisit, in his February budget address, three campaign promises that he sidelined in his first year: reducing taxes, reducing regulations, and enacting lifeline scholarships.”

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