News & Brews June 27, 2024

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Former union president sentenced to 4 years in prison

Yesterday, Brian Burrows, the former president of IBEW Local 98 in Philadelphia, was sentenced to four years in prison for his role in embezzling more than $600,000 from union members. Burrows worked alongside former IBEW leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, whose sentencing is scheduled for next month. The Inquirer reports, “Burrows’ punishment — which also included an order he complete 100 hours of community service and serve three years’ probation upon his release — is the stiffest yet in a case that’s roiled the state’s most politically powerful union, prompted a series of resignations from top leaders, including Dougherty and Burrows, and sent several others to prison. It also could spell trouble for Dougherty….”

‘Capital numbers game’ in state budget

As lawmakers continue to work to try to hammer out a state budget, City & State PA takes a look at the numbers, and issues, at play. From school system funding to educational choice to paid medical and family leave to tax cuts, here are some of the topics circulating in Harrisburg.

Who’s going to get Nikki Haley voters in Pa.? 

A decent number of Republican Pa. voters chose Nikki Haley in the GOP presidential primary in April—even though she had already suspended her campaign. Where will these voters head in November? NBC observes that while many of them “will ultimately come home and support the GOP ticket, others are weighing backing President Joe Biden — or casting another protest vote in November.”

‘Real world implications’ of ‘taxing the wealthy’

In its latest podcast episode, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation takes up “the contentious world of taxing wealth.” On the episode, Senior Policy Analyst and Modeling Manager Garrett Watson looks at “the challenges of implementation, potential long-term consequences for the broader economy, and alternative policy options that could achieve progressivity while maintaining economic growth.” And, he considers whether a progressive tax system is even a good idea, as well as the trade-offs involved.

Telemedicine reform heads to Shapiro’s desk 

Bipartisan legislation that would expand access to telemedicine overwhelmingly passed the Pa. state Senate yesterday, after previously overwhelmingly passing the House. As the Commonwealth Foundation explained, this legislation “expands health insurance in Pennsylvania to cover and reimburse telemedicine services. It aims to make telemedicine more widely accessible and fairly treated under health insurance policies.” The bill now heads to Gov. Shapiro’s desk for his signature.

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