News & Brews July 9, 2024

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The latest issue in the state budget 

Spotlight PA reports that as lawmakers continue to negotiate a budget deal, the new issue that’s become a point of contention is “picking which data to use to determine the schools most in need of supplementary money.” Some lawmakers are expressing concerns over using data that’s self-reported by school districts and would rather rely more fully on U.S. Census data. Here’s another idea: let the money follow the child to the school of their choosing.

Op-Ed: ‘The broken budget process’

With the state budget more than one week overdue, Pa. House Republican Appropriations Chair Seth Grove writes in Broad + Liberty that the current “budget impasse can largely be attributed to an absentee Governor and House Democrats beginning the budget process late.” Grove offers a better way to approach each new fiscal year: zero-based budgeting, which “requires agencies to justify their spending from the bottom up — not just increase their prior year’s budget spending by default.”

Union wants convicted labor leader to pay up

The Inquirer reports that IBEW Local 98 wants its former leader, John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, as well as the union’s former president, Brian Burrows, “to reimburse it for more than $1.5 million in legal expenses it says it incurred during the federal investigation that led to their convictions on embezzlement charges last year.” For their part, Dougherty and Burrows “maintain they shouldn’t be stuck with the bill — at least not by themselves.” Johnny Doc’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

Who could replace Biden? (Shapiro mentioned) 

While many pundits say Gov. Shapiro shouldn’t aim for the White House until 2028 (although it appears he’s been aiming for it since about Kindergarten), he still makes POLITICO’s short list of options for who could potentially replace President Biden on the ballot should it come to that (which, the story says, is a “longshot. scenario”). Notably, the story also states that whoever wins Pa. “will likely win the White House.”

Philly radio host resigns after Biden interview

From The Guardian: “The Philadelphia radio host who conducted the first interview with Joe Biden following the president’s woeful 27 June debate performance has resigned from her job after she admitted she asked the president a handful of questions supplied by his aides.” Per WURD radio, the host “violated the station’s editorial independence by accepting questions supplied by Biden’s team.”

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