News & Brews April 4, 2024

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Pollster questions polls on Trump v. Biden in Pa. 

Jim Lee, the head of Susquehanna Polling & Research (SP&R), has an op-ed in RealClear Pennsylvania on why he thinks President Biden has “the edge” over former President Trump in Pennsylvania, even though “[s]everal national pollsters have concluded that Donald Trump is leading in Pennsylvania over Joe Biden.” And, “The RealClear Polling average as of April 3 shows Trump with a 0.6% edge in the Keystone State.” SP&R’s latest poll, however, has Biden leading Trump in Pa. 50-45. (Historically, SP&R’s poll predicted an overall narrow Clinton lead in 2016. And in 2020, Lee said, “I can’t call it. If the turnout is going to be what I think, Trump wins it.”) Of course, with any polls this early on, the usual caveat of “many things can change” applies.

McCormick raises >$6M in Q1

PennLive reports that GOP U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick raised $6.2 million in the first quarter of 2024, which includes $1M in self-funding. This comes on the heels of $6.4 million (including $1 million in self-funding) that McCormick raised in the 4th quarter of 2023. That same quarter, incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Casey raised $3.6 million. The story notes, “On Wednesday, the Casey campaign said it was not ready to release fundraising figures” for Q1 2024.

Lawmakers still lack details on Shapiro’s higher ed plan 

The Post-Gazette reports, “An extended wait for details on Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposal to unite state-owned universities and public community colleges under a single organization has unsettled lawmakers, but the administration says things are on track.” However, “on track” is apparently open to interpretation. “On March 5, a top Education Department official said draft legislation on the concept would be ready ‘within the next month or so.’ But an emailed statement from the administration late Tuesday made it clear the timetable has been pushed back.” And now the draft is “expected … by the end of April.” Meanwhile, lawmakers—who are being asked to embrace the proposal—have been able to gather little info on what’s actually in it.

Op-Ed: Pa. is headed toward a healthcare crisis

Curt Schroder of the Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform, Nicole Stallings of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, and Martin Raniowski of the Pennsylvania Medical Society explain how the recently changed Pa. rule allowing trial lawyers to shop around for courts most likely to award nuclear verdicts (i.e. $10 million or more) “threatens to dissuade physicians from practicing here, worsen maternity care deserts, and reduce vital services, particularly in rural communities.”

Op-Ed: How lawmakers write themselves rules … and loopholes

It’s illegal to use taxpayer resources for political purposes. This is common knowledge. But in ethics rules that lawmakers write and approve for themselves, lawmakers have shielded themselves from accountability on this and other ethics violations—provided it’s just before an election. Hmmm. Our president and CEO, Matt Brouillette, has an op-ed in Broad + Liberty explaining.

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