News & Brews May 16, 2024

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Ed funding, tax cuts on table in budget talks

Spotlight PA reports, “More than a month out from the June 30 budget deadline, top Pennsylvania lawmakers are beginning a new round of negotiations with few specific points of agreement.” Among the main issues of debate are 1) expanding educational opportunity, which House Democrat leaders oppose, and 2) higher spending wanted by Gov. Shapiro and House Democrats vs. bipartisan tax cuts passed by the GOP-controlled state Senate.

Pa. Turnpike toll highest per mile in the U.S. 

Well, this news won’t surprise anyone who’s paid tolls on the Pa. Turnpike. According to a new LendingTree report, the turnpike has the most expensive toll per mile in the country. ABC27 reports, “The survey also ranked fees on interstate bridges and tunnels, non-interstate toll roads and non-interstate bridges and tunnels. Pennsylvania ranked in the top 10 in those three categories as well.”

Dem candidate’s comms director’s other role raises ethical concerns

Democrat state treasurer nominee Erin McClelland was recently mentioned in a United Press International news story on the anti-Israel student protests. But it turns out the story was written by a journalist—Chris Benson—who is also the volunteer communications director for McClelland’s campaign. Benson and McClelland claim there’s no conflict of interest. But the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of conduct disagrees. and Al Tompkins a retired faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, noted, “You can’t on one hand be involved in the political process and on the other hand be reporting about it…. That’s not the role of a journalist. That’s the role of an advocate.”

Pa. ‘might be the key to the whole election’

The Wall Street Journal reports that as President Biden struggles in the sunbelt and western states, he is focusing intensely on three states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. And per one Democrat official, “Pennsylvania, which has the most Electoral College votes among the three, might be the key to the whole election.” And the Biden campaign is “putting campaign aides in locations where they haven’t previously invested … are enlisting volunteers to knock on doors, and are setting up shop far earlier in the year than in past presidential cycles.”

Former GOP Lt. Gov. candidate sentenced to probation

Former Republican lieutenant governor candidate Clarice Schillinger was sentenced yesterday to 12 months probation after pleading no contest to supplying minors with alcohol at a party in her home last year. Bucks County Court of Common Pleas Judge Stephen Corr told her, “Mrs. Schillinger I hope you have learned a lesson from this. You are no longer going to be the fun mom.”

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