News & Brews June 28, 2024

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State budget will not be done by June 30

We’re not quite at the traditional June 30 state budget deadline, but the Center Square reports that “Senate leadership confirmed the state’s annual spending plan will be turned in late. Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman, R-Indiana, said Thursday before adjourning session that the upper chamber would not return to Harrisburg until Monday – one day after the budget is due on Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk.” That said, both Pittman and Democrat Minority Leader Jay Costa (Allegheny County) seem optimistic that work is progressing.

Shapiro’s wish for regulated skill games not going well 

Spotlight PA reports that Gov. Josh Shapiro wanted to regulate skill games as a part of this year’s state budget, but “talks aren’t going well.” The store relates, “At the center of the dispute are skill games, untaxed and unregulated devices that resemble slot machines and can be found in bars, restaurants, and convenience stores across the commonwealth…. But the effort appears to be veering off track as lawmakers get caught between the powerful skill games and casino interests, which have spent millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions over the years.”

McCormick rolls out ‘pro-family’ agenda

The Inquirer reports that speaking to Delaware County Republicans recently, GOP U.S. Senate Nominee Dave McCormick “sought to present himself as a commonsense, pro-family Republican who could successfully champion myriad policies from child care to social media.” Among the proposals he’s pitching are $15,000 tax credits for fertility treatment, including IVF, federal tax credits for donations to school choice scholarship organizations, and a social media ban for children under the age of 16.

Pa. legislature included in nat’l GOP $38M effort

I often share how national groups on the Left are targeting Pennsylvania, but the Right also has its sights set on free-market wins in the commonwealth. The Delaware Valley Journal reports that the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), which focuses on electing Republicans to state legislatures, is including Pa. in a planned $38 million effort “to protect GOP-held legislative chambers and to flip the blue majorities—like the Pennsylvania House—to red.” The DVJournal explains, “Nationwide, Republicans hold more state legislatures than Democrats at 57 to 41. That’s smaller than it used to be. In 2018, the GOP controlled 65 legislative bodies. In 2016, the number was 68.”

Shapiro rallies for Biden at debate-watching party 

Gov. Shapiro addressed a crowd of Biden-supporters at a debate-watching party last night, telling them there is a ‘clear choice’ for president. Of course, Shapiro’s own reputation as a national rising star is related to whether he can help Biden carry Pa. Meanwhile, lots of Democrats are terrified after the president’s performance last evening, with one operative saying in POLITICO, “Biden is toast.”

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