WEATHER: Philadelphia, mostly sunny, high of 40; Harrisburg, mostly sunny, high of 36; Pittsburgh, partly sunny, high of 27.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* Chaka Fattah co-conspirators Karen Nicholas and Robert Brand were both sentenced to several years in federal prison, writes the Inquirer.
* Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is locked in a bitter war with critics of his sanctuary city policies for the Steel City, according to the Post-Gazette.
* The state GOP has demanded an apology – and money for court costs – over Jill Stein’s failed recount effort, the Inquirer writes.
* Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski is set to sue his own City Council after it unanimously voted to override his 2017 budget, the Morning Call reports.
* As Philadelphia prepares to spend money from a soda tax, beverage lobbyists anxiously await an end-of-the-year court ruling that could bar the levy, Billy Penn writes.
* The CFO of the Philadelphia School District publicly fretted about potential shortfalls in education funding under a Trump presidency, WHYY reports.
* Health care advocates are planning a string of protests across PA to forestall a repeal of Obamacare, LancasterOnline reports.
* PA’s gas tax will rise 8 cents in the New Year, writes WHYY.
* Tolls on the PA Turnpike are also set to rise in 2017, to cover a lingering deficit at the agency, the Patriot News reports.
* Philadelphia has begun using high-tech aerial lasers to detect vacant and structurally deficient buildings, according to the Inquirer.
* A NEPA trial of a police officer who shot a mentally ill man to death moved forward, despite attempts by the local township to dismiss the case, the Times-Tribune writes.
Be a part of City & State PA’s inaugural 40 Under 40 celebration!
Each year, City & State Pennsylvania honors 40 talented individuals under the age of 40 who work in Pennsylvania government, politics and advocacy.
Please join us, keynote speaker Doug Oliver, PECO director of communications, and supporting sponsor Cozen O’Connor in offering our congratulations to the PA Rising Stars Class of 2016 for outstanding work in their respective fields.
Thursday, Dec. 15, 11:30-1:30 p.m. at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.
To purchase tickets, click here.
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215-490-9314 ext 3001
* LancasterOnline rightly mocks PA legislators’ backdoor method of giving themselves raises each year through cost-of-living adjustments – instead of performance.
* The Daily News pushes back hard against Toll Brothers’ plans to destroy Jewelers’ Row, and against a Philadelphia government that has allowed this kind of architectural pillaging to occur via its laughably inadequate preservation budget.
* The Daily News’ editorial page editor, Sandra Shea, has a refreshingly frank explanation of how the editorial endorsement sausage gets made.
* WHYY’s DIck Polman has six questions about Russia’s successful campaign to get Trump elected, including whether the GOP is patriotic enough to investigate it.
* The Post-Gazette wants to know what’s the deal with the Penguins’ continued delays over developing the crucial 28-acre site of the former Civic Arena.
* The Daily Times has the cold, hard numbers on Erie’s opioid crisis in 2016, and sees hope in some of the programs that have been created to fight back.
* The Times-Tribune is troubled by the secrecy behind a deal to sell the Scranton-Dunmore sewer system, and the deal’s unknown ramifications for taxpayers.
* The Intelligencer wants the Northampton supervisors to vote to approve a study that would determine the feasibility of turning an unused rail line into a trail.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Philadelphia City Councilman Derek Green … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday at firstname.lastname@example.org
10 a.m. - Pittsburgh City Council Standing Committee will meet. Council Chambers, City-County Building, Pittsburgh.
11 a.m. - Budget Secretary Randy Albright will provide the mid-year budget briefing for the General Assembly. Governor’s Reception Room, Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg.
11:15 a.m. - Gov. Wolf will continue his Schools That Teach Tour. Melrose Elementary School, 2041 Berryhill St., Harrisburg.
To have your events included in Today’s Sked, please email information to email@example.com.
KICKER: "In all my time as mayor, I've never once thought about doing legal action against City Council, but they don't leave me much choice. The budget is being used as a political bargaining chip." – Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, on preparing to sue city council over their repeated rejection of his budget. From the Morning Call.