News & Brews February 26, 2024

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Pa. is most important swing state for Biden, Trump

The Inquirer reminds us that former President “Trump won … [Pennsylvania] by 44,000 votes in 2016, roughly the capacity of Citizens Bank Park [in Philly]. Biden took it in 2020 by about 80,000 — just under the population of Upper Darby.” With Pa. once again the nation’s most important swing state—and with November likely to be a Trump-Biden rematch—the Inky gives its opinion on what it would take for Trump or Biden to win the state this year. Hint: Turnout in Philly could be one of the key factors.

McCormick v. Casey: Expensive, traditional race ahead?

PennLive reports that while this year’s U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Bob Casey and Republican challenger Dave McCormick will likely “shatter spending records,” it will also likely be much more typical than the 2022 campaign between the unique personalities of Democrat U.S. Sen. John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz. Per one analyst, McCormick’s and Casey’s “approach to politics is perhaps more traditional. It’ll be biting, but it won’t necessarily have the same type of rancor that we might have seen last time around.” We’ll see!

‘A surge of parents seeking child-centered schooling alternatives in Philly’

The74 notes that one of the first so-called “microschools opened just outside of Philadelphia in 1978.” Now, 46 years later, “The birthplace of American liberty has also emerged as a pioneering community for embracing greater independence & freedom in young people’s learning.” And beyond microschools, Philly has also seen a “growth of other alternative education models that embrace different learning philosophies while placing children first. A diverse, dynamic ecosystem of decentralized education options enables families to find the learning environment that best meets their distinct needs and preferences.”

Lawmakers eye bigger corporate welfare handouts to film industry

Pointing to states like Georgia that offer uncapped tax credits to the film industry to lure production, Pa. state lawmakers and film industry folks are hoping to increase Pennsylvania’s handouts to big (and small) screen productions. (Notably, Georgia lawmakers are actually considering capping the state’s film tax credit, which reportedly “cost[s] Georgia taxpayers about $1 billion a year in lost tax revenue” and is “by far the most expensive in the state’s arsenal of tax incentives.”

Watch today’s budget hearings

The House Appropriations Committee will hear from the Department of Insurance this morning 10:00 a.m. (watch here) and from the Department of Labor & Industry this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. (watch here).

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