News & Brews June 5, 2024

Get News & Brews in your inbox each day: Subscribe here!

Pa. House GOP calls for tax cuts

At a news conference yesterday, Pa. House Republicans called on their Democrat counterparts to join them in passing the recent bipartisan tax cuts approved (with a veto-proof majority) by the state Senate. The legislation would reduce the state’s personal income tax rate from 3.o7% to 2.8% and eliminate the gross receipts tax on electricity. The House version of the Senate’s plan is being proposed by state Reps. Tim O’Neal (Washington County) and Josh Kail (Beaver and Washington counties).

House committee votes for billions in new spending

Yesterday, the House Education Committee voted 14-11—along party lines—in favor of recommendations by Democrats on the Basic Education Funding Commission to increase education spending by almost $6 billion, at a cost of about $2,000 per family. The legislation would also slash funding for thousands of students in Pennsylvania’s public cyber charter schools. Meanwhile, Democrats on the committee continue to fight against giving children in failing traditional public schools the opportunity to attend a better school.

Lawmakers say officials convicted of a crime should resign

Two Democrat state lawmakers from Philadelphia are proposing an amendment to our state constitution that would require elected officials who are convicted of a crime to resign. The Inquirer, which ties the effort to former President Trump’s recent conviction, also notes that “Pennsylvania — and Philadelphia in particular — have historically been hotbeds for corruption, with numerous elected officials facing criminal convictions for misusing their office.” As this is a proposed constitutional amendment, it would need to pass both chambers of the Legislature in two consecutive sessions and then be approved by voters.

After Biden’s pitch, Trump courts Black Philly voters

Last week, the Biden-Harris campaign came to Philly to launch a Black voter outreach. Well, last night, it was Republicans’ turn. POLITICO reports that two Trump surrogates were in the city to try “to persuade the racially mixed, largely Black audience on why more Black voters would benefit from abandoning the Democratic Party.” The event “was part of a broader effort by Trump and his allies to make inroads with Black voters in major urban centers and chip away at the support for President Joe Biden.”

Editorial: Pa. should embrace fracking-produced lithium

Following the recent discovery of massive amounts of lithium in Pennsylvania’s fracking water—enough to meet up to 40% of U.S. demand—the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial Board writes that Pa. should embrace and leverage the discovery. “For the fore­see­able fu­ture, the United States will need nat­u­ral gas derived from fracking, while we will also need increasing amounts of lithium. Ex­tracting the second from the waste created by the first is the best way to serve both needs…. America can’t tran­si­tion­ from fos­sil fu­els without costs. We can min­i­miz­e the costs that are borne by the nat­u­ral world, so as many fu­ture gen­er­a­tions as pos­si­ble can en­joy it. Right now, we need lith­ium — the lithium right be­neath our feet — to take the next right step.”

Sign up to get News & Brews in your inbox