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WEATHER: Philadelphia, sunny, high of 65; Harrisburg, sunny, high of 66; Pittsburgh, sunny, high of 72.

 

NEW THIS MORNING:

* Several political actors told the Philadelphia Inquirer that they had been questioned by the FBI regarding a 2011 payment South Philly state Senator Larry Farnese made to Bard College. Agents asked about $6,000 that was allegedly paid to send a committeewoman’s daughter on a semester abroad in exchange for political support: http://goo.gl/Txydor

* A politically charged resolution, sponsored by Republicans, that would raise the mandatory retirement age for judges through a ballot question, is likely headed to court after questions were raised about its legality, according to an AP report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: http://goo.gl/VPUVlZ  

* A report from the Auditor General revealed that two state programs designed to help low-income seniors access medication were rife with shoddy oversight and no-bid contracts. PennLive reports the programs are worth nearly $200 million annually:http://goo.gl/9tTlhE  

* Philly.com reported that hundreds of protestors marched on Philadelphia’s City Hall, demanding a higher minimum wage and an end to police brutality, echoing similar protests across the U.S.: http://goo.gl/61PzNS

* The Tribune-Review covered a conference on state pension reform, where speakers suggested tossing out a rule that allows actuaries in Harrisburg to assume, unrealistically, that the funds would recieve 9 percent annual returns: http://goo.gl/p6jsGD  

* Gov Wolf signed a bill requiring more transparency in the state’s contract negotiations with its public employee labor unions, according to the AP: http://goo.gl/CrR7ib

 

THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

* Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders squared off in yet another aggressive, televised debate, this time in Brooklyn. From the AP: http://goo.gl/UBurTw

* Donald Trump made bizarre comments in Pittsburgh, seeming to imply that he wanted to resurrect late Penn State coach Joe Paterno, according to PennLive: http://goo.gl/euiXAd  

* A plurality of Harrisburg’s Democratic lawmakers backed Hillary Clinton in the upcoming PA primary: http://goo.gl/jubWdu  

 

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We won $15 at UPMC, and we aren’t done!

Hospital workers won a huge victory for Pittsburgh – the largest wage raise from a private employer in the country. UPMC executives said it wasn’t possible, but we proved that by standing together we win.

We can’t stop there. It’s for UPMC to stop its unlawful anti-union campaign and respect our union rights. Stand with us on April 14th for our rights, our families and our city.

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EDITORIAL PAGES:

* In his Newsworks column, Dick Polman expresses wonderment - in a good way - that Pennsylvania legislators have passed a bipartisan bill legalizing medical marijuana, which Gov. Wolf is expected to sign into law on Sunday: http://goo.gl/7jnojr      

* Andy Koenig, senior policy adviser at Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, writes in an Inquirer op-ed about how Tax Freedom Day - the date on the calendar when the average American has earned enough to pay his tax bill for the year - will continue to show up later and later, unless real tax reform is enacted:http://goo.gl/QhkKT4

* In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s conference call with the Inquirer editorial board, the paper’s Trudy Rubin tries to imaging what the foreign policy priorities of a Clinton administration would look like: http://goo.gl/tTkRtU    

* A Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial posits that, after reviewing his apearance in the city this week, Donald Trump is not human as much as he is chatbot - an artificial construct designed to have interaction with humans: http://goo.gl/yVaYt1      

* New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, in an op-ed reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, writes that if we really want to punish welfare cheats, we have to start with the biggest ones of all: corporations who avoid paying their taxes through loopholes and subterfuge: http://goo.gl/9O4qgP   

 

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Want to be the first to subscribe to City & State PA’s new glossy magazine?  Just send an email to David Alpher atpublisher@cityandstatepa.com and get the details!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Alan Butkovitz, Philadelphia City Controller … and to Mason Lane, chief of staff to state Rep. Brian Sims … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday ateditor@cityandstatepa.com

 

TODAY’S SKED:

10 a.m. – Philadelphia City Council Special Committee on Criminal Justice Reform will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.

10:35 a.m. - Mayor Kenney, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, Director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs Miriam Enriquez and Chief Business Officer of the Philadelphia Union Tim McDermott will officially kick off the registration period for the Philadelphia International Unity, a soccer tournament in the style of the FIFA World Cup featuring 32 teams - each representing a different nation - competing in pool play games across the City. City Hall North Apron, Philadelphia.

2:15 p.m. - Mayor Kenney will welcome the Evzones, the Greek Presidential Guard, to Philadelphia at the official start to the Greek Independence Day Parade. City Hall North Apron, Philadelphia.

 

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City & State’s ELECTION PREVIEW

Coming up in our inaugural issue: We look at the key races impacting Pennsylvania, including the Democratic primary battles for Attorney General, the 2nd Congressional District and the Senate, as well as pivotal state contests. Ad deadline is Monday, April 18. To advertise, contact David Alpher at dalpher@cityandstatepa.com  

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KICKER: "Sen. [Larry] Farnese had arranged for the daughter of a member of the committee to have a scholarship to study abroad in a foreign country, and we infer that there had been an anonymous complaint that was done because of the election." - Philly Ward Leader Greg Harvey pieces together why the FBI is looking into Farnese’s 2011 campaign fund making a $6,000 payment to Bard College. From The Inqurier