News & Brews February 5, 2024

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Report: Study behind $1.6B corporate welfare handout was flawed

A new report from the Ohio River Valley Institute (ORVI) finds that a study used to help support $1.6 billion in corporate welfare handouts to the Shell plant in Beaver County was flawed. explains: Per ORVI, one study “used ‘methodology that is not appropriate for long-term economic forecasting’ and mischaracterized the type of plant that Shell was building, which ‘potentially led to unrealistically high estimates of economic benefits.’ The study also used a 40-year timeline to assess the project’s benefits, which ‘implausibly assumes no global market shifts, no consumer attitude shifts around single-use plastics, no political and regulatory changes, and no need to re-invest capital for upkeep or modifications to the facility for four decades.’”

Previewing Gov. Shapiro’s budget address

Tomorrow, Gov. Shapiro is scheduled to deliver his annual budget address. In addition to K-12 education spending, Spotlight PA reports that “[p]roposals to restructure Pennsylvania’s higher education system and boost public transit funding are expected to be centerpieces,” while the speech will also “confirm Shapiro’s priorities on a raft of other issues, from the question of whether he’ll keep supporting politically contentious school choice vouchers, to how hard he’ll push for a minimum wage hike, to his feelings on restoring a sidelined home-repair program.” Republican Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman (Armstrong, Indiana, Jefferson, and Westmoreland counties) noted it seems “there will be a vast number of areas where Gov. Shapiro will propose increasing spending,” and Pittman said Republicans “are committed to making sure the final cost of the budget respects taxpayers.”

Philly Dems (selectively) ousted for breaking ranks

The Inquirer reports that the Philadelphia Democratic Party is making good on its threat to oust committee members who endorsed Working Families Party candidates—sort of. Who gets ousted and who doesn’t is apparently dictated by Democrat ward leaders, and it seems only about 20 of the more than 100 committee members who broke ranks are being shown the exit door. It also seems one ward leader in particular is keen on removing any opposition.

Focus groups talk abortion, Trump with Pa. women voters

NBC News shares some results from focus groups held in Pa. with female voters who supported former President Trump in 2020 but who also are pro-abortion. “Despite labeling abortion as a top issue facing women in America,” the story notes, “most of the women who participated in the two focus groups said they’d back Trump in a rematch against President Joe Biden, explaining that other issues are more important to their vote…. For many of the women, abortion isn’t a top issue that will decide their vote in the 2024 general election, even among those who vocally criticized the court for overturning … abortion protections.”

House meeting today on recreational marijuana

The House Health Subcommittee on Health Care will hold an informational meeting this morning at 10:00 a.m. on recreational marijuana. The meeting will be live streamed here, or click on the button below.

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