News & Brews March 4, 2024

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Amid national crisis, illegal immigration rises as Pa. issue 

PennLive reports that the crisis at our southern border is prompting political activity in Pa. Last week, two Republican state senators proposed “imposing a 10% fee on money that undocumented immigrants send back to their home country through money transfer agents…. Last year, Mexican migrants alone sent home roughly $58.5 billion to relatives – an increase of 13.4%.” Per one of the bill’s sponsors, “This fee would ensure some of that money is used to provide property tax relief rather than going to support the economy of a foreign nation.” Immigration is likely to be a major campaign issue in this year’s elections. Indeed, “A Gallup poll released last week found that Americans consider immigration the country’s single most important problem for the first time since 2019.”

Dem state lawmaker proposes banning gas lawnmowers

Hold on to your lawnmower. On Thursday, Democrat state Rep. Melissa Shusterman (Chester County) announced her plan to introduce legislation that would ban gas-powered lawnmowers—and, for that matter, all gas-powered garden tools—in Pennsylvania. In her memo asking for co-sponsors, she writes, “I am introducing a resolution to establish a Zero Emissions Lawn Care Task Force. The task force would develop a plan to phase out gas-powered lawn and garden equipment in Pennsylvania.” You know how the Left claims they don’t want to ban things, only ‘regulate’ them? Well…

Gov. Shapiro’s tips for President Biden … sort of

The Washington Post interviewed Gov. Josh Shapiro on the topic of how President Biden can win the “crucial swing state” of Pa. this year. Shapiro, of course, has his own presidential ambitions. And the interview reads more like a practice run for his future presidential bid than a tutorial for Biden, but there are a few suggestions for the president.

Education spending’s big rise in Pa. 

The Center Square reports on a Reason Foundation analysis of  “education spending trends and their correlating academic growth” between 2002 and 2020. In Pennsylvania, “After adjusting for inflation, education revenue – two-thirds of which comes from local taxes – climbed 49.1% during the two decades, the sixth highest in the nation. Employee benefit spending ballooned by 173.6%, ranking third, while costs for instruction and support services grew roughly 34%, ranking ninth and 18th, respectively. … During the same time, reading and math test scores for fourth and eighth graders had single-digit percentage growth, falling in the middle of the pack nationally.”

Watch today’s budget hearings

The House Appropriations Committee will hear from the Department of Transportation this morning 10:00 a.m. (watch here) and from the State Police this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. (watch here).

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