News & Brews June 25, 2024

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Possible compromises on taxes, permitting, & more … but not ed spending

As budget talks continue, Spotlight PA reports, “Leaders in the split legislature say there are potential compromises on … key topics, including overhauling the state’s permitting process, making college cheaper, and creating new tax breaks. But deciding how much money to spend on K-12 education remains an obstacle to closing a deal.” Democrats want a multi-billion dollar increase in education spending, with no accountability for results. Republicans, meanwhile, want less of a growth in spending combined with educational options for kids in low-performing schools.

Nat’l group pushing counties to sue oil companies aims for Pa. 

Broad + Liberty’s Todd Shepherd reports that a national “nonprofit trying to persuade local governments to sue ‘Big Oil’ producers for damages allegedly caused by climate change has been making steady advances to Chester and Delaware counties….” In March, Bucks County filed such a lawsuit. And the Center for Climate Integrity seemingly wants to build on that success elsewhere in Pa.

Presser today on supporting Pa.’s oil & natural gas

Lawmakers and natural gas/oil industry advocates will gather at the Capitol today to host a “Natural Gas & Oil Day” to highlight the industry’s critical importance to the commonwealth. At a news conference at 10:00 a.m., they will “discuss the more than $2.7 billion in Impact Fee tax funding for Pennsylvania communities and the important role natural gas plays in baseload power for the electric grid.” See the list of speakers and watch the livestream at 10:00 a.m. here.

‘Where 3rd-party candidates could spoil 2024’

POLITICO maps out third-party presidential candidate efforts by state, highlighting that in key swing states—Pennsylvania, of course, included—a third-party candidate on the ballot could make the difference. “In both 2016 and 2020, the vote shares for all the minor parties and write-ins were greater than the margins of victory.” So far, one third-party candidate is on the ballot in Pa., one has petitions that are currently being processed, and two are still working to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot.

‘A rural Pa. town reckons with population loss’

The Washington Post profiles Sheffield, Pa. in Warren County (not too far from Erie) as an example of rural population loss in the state and the future of small-town America. “Across rural Pennsylvania,” the Post notes, “there is a deepening sense of fear about the future as population loss accelerates. The sharp decline has put the state at the forefront of a national discussion on the viability of the small towns that have long been a pillar of American culture.” The decline “is affecting where students attend school, how long residents have to wait for an ambulance and whether they can quickly see a doctor.” And, “The decline of small-town life is expected to be a looming topic in the presidential election….”

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