WEATHER: Philadelphia: rain likely, high of 78; Harrisburg: rain likely, high of 72; Pittsburgh: rain, high of 73.

 

NEW THIS MORNING:

* U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb is considering entering the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race, Politico reports.

* The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will pick the chair of the legislative redistricting commission after lawmakers deadlocked on choosing the chair that will likely cast the tie-breaking vote on drawing new district lines, Spotlight PA reports.

* A Republican judge running for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court emphatically denied any ties to QAnon, even though she did an interview with supporters of the conspiracy theory who also listed her as a featured speaker at an upcoming gathering, The Associated Press reports.

* U.S. Rep. Scott Perry minimized his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and focused on cultural politics, a more populist message and his criticism of corporations during his first town hall in nine months, The Carlisle Sentinel reports.

* Candidates in the state Senate District 48 special election debated gerrymandering at a recent forum since the district itself, which encompasses Lebanon County and parts of Dauphin and York counties, is connected across the Susquehanna River by a narrow sliver of land, ABC Harrisburg reports.

* Former Republican Haverford Township Commissioner George Twardy resigned in 2005 amid a corruption scandal and is now a Democrat in Philadelphia who is running for a Municipal Court judgeship, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

* Expected Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Sean Parnell, a military veteran and former congressional candidate in Pennsylvania, met with Republican leaders in Washington, D.C., last week as he prepares to officially enter the race, Politico reports.

* The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus is pushing legislation to require the universal collection of racial data from traffic stops around the state, the Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports.

* Gov. Tom Wolf’s Transportation Revenue Options Commission and the Department of Transportation are both separately evaluating proposals to place new tolls on state bridges to raise $8 billion, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

* Black motorcyclists rode through neighborhoods in Philadelphia with low voter turnout to urge residents to participate in May’s primary ahead of today’s voter registration deadline, The Philadelphia Tribune reports.

* As the coronavirus spread in 2020, 67% of the state’s big outbreaks were in personal care and assisted living homes with dementia units, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

* U.S. Steel announced that it is canceling a planned $1.5 billion upgrade to facilities in western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh City Paper reports.

* Venues in western Pennsylvania are considering opening seating sections for vaccinated attendees only, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

* Billy Penn explains the pros and cons of the May 18 ballot questions that could amend the state constitution to limit the governor’s power to declare emergencies for longer than 21 days.

* A Pennsylvania man who used his dead mother’s identity to cast a fake vote for Donald Trump in 2020 was sentenced to five years of probation, the AP reports.

 

EDITORIAL PAGES:

* The Erie Times-News has a guest column arguing that lawmakers should pass the Legislative and Congressional Redistricting Act, which would reform the redistricting process to require more transparency and prevent gerrymandering.

* The Post-Gazette writes in support of a bill sponsored by state Reps. Valerie Gaydos and Greg Rothman that would eliminate the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax.

* The Tribune-Review writes that the planned consolidation of six state universities into two campuses is a difficult but necessary step to protect affordable higher education opportunities for state residents.

* The Capital-Starhas an op-ed writing that proposed legislation to allow a two-year reprieve for survivors of sex abuse whose cases fall outside the statute of limitations to sue their abusers is the “gold standard” for child protection laws.

 

NATIONAL POLITICS:

* U.S. Senate Democrats made a major commitment to muscle through House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ethics and voting reform bill, yet many say they have no idea how to pass it and wonder what exactly the end game is for the signature Democratic priority, Politico reports.

* Police officers were among the first front-line workers to gain priority access to coronavirus vaccines, but their vaccination rates are lower than or about the same as those of the general public, The Washington Post reports.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: No birthdays today. … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email their name, job title and upcoming birthday to editor@cityandstatepa.com.

 

TODAY’S SKED:

8 a.m. – The House State Government Committee holds a voting meeting, Room 60, East Wing, state Capitol, Harrisburg.

9 a.m. – The Pennsylvania Athletic Oversight Committee meets, Senate chamber, state Capitol, Harrisburg.

9:30 a.m. – The Philadelphia City Council Committee of the Whole meets, Council chamber, City Hall, Philadelphia.

10 a.m. – State Department of Labor & Industry acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier, state Sen. Art Haywood and restaurant union workers discuss inadequate minimum wages for tipped workers and to support Pennsylvania’s One Fair Wage legislation at a virtual media event.

11 a.m. – The House Commerce Subcommittee on Financial Services and Banking holds a public hearing to discuss proposed legislation on permitting mortgage originators and other employees of a licensee to work from remote locations, Room 205, Ryan Office Building, state Capitol, Harrisburg.

1 p.m. – State Department of Health acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson tours the Bryce Jordan Center vaccination site in Centre County to discuss the importance of vaccinating college students and overcoming vaccine hesitancy, Bryce Jordan Center, 127 Bryce Jordan Center, University Park.

2 p.m. – State Department of Human Services acting Secretary Meg Snead holds a press call to discuss assistance with utility bills available to low-income renters through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

2:30 p.m. – Gov. Tom Wolf will join the Philadelphia Flyers and their mascot Gritty to highlight their “Take Your Shot” campaign, discuss vaccination efforts and encourage all Pennsylvanians to get vaccinated, Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia.

To have your events included in Today’s Sked, please email the information to editor@cityandstatepa.com.

 

KICKER: “It’s not a secret that the Republican Party has at least for the last six, eight, 10 years been moving further and further right, and Judge Twardy always regarded himself as pretty much a centrist. Over time he just started identifying more with the values and the objectives that the Democrats were espousing.” – Attorney George Bochetto on behalf of Judge George Twardy, via the Inquirer