It was an auspicious beginning to August in the commonwealth. By the end of the week, we had already witnessed:
• PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro do a victory lap as part of a group of state attorneys general that got the Environmental Protection Agency to back down on its plan to delay implementation of new clean air standards;
• and Philadelphia announce that disciplinary complaints against Philly police will be posted online.
Even the bad news – and, to be sure, it is bad – that just six weeks into the 2017-18 budget, the PA Treasury has already had to make a $750 million loan to the General Fund had a bright side. Seeing Treasurer Joe Torsella and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale clearly sound the alarm on the unprecedented need to make a loan so soon and the potential fallout from the Legislature’s continued failure to pass a revenue plan to pay for the budget is a welcome breath of frighteningly fresh air.
Larry Krasner: Not that he needed it, but it’s nice to have. The Democratic nominee for Philadelphia District Attorney received the endorsement of Mayor Jim Kenney.
Lou Barletta: After a slew of reports that he would face off against Democratic US Sen. Bob Casey in 2018, the congressman’s path to the Republican nomination was made significantly smoother by the news that fellow GOP Congressman Mike Kelly would refrain from entering the race.
Lawrence Stengel: the former county judge was named Chief Judge of U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Rob Bowers: Well, that was quick. The independent candidate for Philadelphia City Controller was booted off the ballot a day after delivering his nominating petitions – for photocopying 52 of the 139 pages he submitted.
Philadelphia public defenders: After not receiving one for two decades, they were finally given a raise, to the tune of $7.5 million over the next two years. Just one hitch: The city refuses to pay it, claiming there is no money allocated for the increase.
Enjoyers of adult beverages: The PA Liquor Control Board delivered the cold, hard shot that prices on 422 of the most popular wines and spirits will be increasing by a dollar or more, beginning Aug. 28. Certainly, this kind of thing also happens in states that don’t have a monopoly on liquor sales, right? Right?