WEATHER: Philadelphia, sunny, high of 81; Harrisburg, sunny, high of 82; Pittsburgh, sunny, high of 86.
NEW FROM CITY & STATE:
* When questioned by City & State PA about his #MeToo-style sexual harassment and abuse allegations, Montgomery County GOP chair candidate Tom Ellis abruptly dropped out of the contest via a vitriolic letter condemning his political rivals.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* Americans for Prosperity, a conservative PAC funded by the Koch brothers, has turned its guns on Republican U.S. Senate candidate Lou Barletta over his vote in favor of a federal spending bill, the Inquirer reports.
* Congressmen Conor Lamb and Keith Rothfus, who are locked in a battle for the redrawn 17th Congressional district, cast opposing votes in a controversial rollback of Dodd-Frank banking regulations, according to the Tribune-Review.
* Some say support for Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney could be fading in the neighborhoods around his childhood home in working-class South Philly over his tax hikes and progressive stance on criminal justice issues, the Inquirer writes.
* Powerful Allegheny County Republican chair D. Raja is reportedly mulling a state Senate run in Sen. Guy Reschenthaler’s old district, the Post-Gazette reports.
* If elected in November, Malcolm Kenyatta, the Democratic favorite to win in the state’s 181st House District, would become the first openly gay lawmaker of color in Harrisburg, WHYY writes.
* An investigation into Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s business partner, so-called New York “taxi king” Evgeny Freidman, sprawled into Philadelphia – Freidman had invested in dozens of cab medallions locally, according to the Inquirer.
* A Trump administration proposal could strip $13.5 million from the PA chapter of Planned Parenthood, the Post-Gazette reports.
* The state Senate passed a bill that would close a loophole allowing criminals that defraud the government or nonprofits to skip paying back their ill-gotten gains, the Morning Call writes.
* Legislators are pushing to reboot PlanCon – a state reimbursement program that supports the construction of new school buildings, the Inquirer writes.
* A suit aiming to curb transgender bathroom access in a PA public school is headed to federal court and could have far-reaching implications for the hot-button political issue, according to the Morning Call.
* The Morning Call’s Bill White warns that as long as any redistricting bill has to go through PA Rep. Daryl Metcalfe’s State Government Committee, its existence and viability will be in doubt; for good measure, White also fact-checks Metcalfe’s “Orwellian” publication from the committee, misleadingly called “Transparent Times.”
* The Times-Tribune lauds PA Sen. President Pro Tempore for pushing legislation that would open up the state’s primaries to all voters.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: retired US Rep. Charlie Dent … PA Rep. Karen Boback … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday to email@example.com
* Generocity profiles Stoneleigh Foundation Fellow Kee Tobar, who is using her fellowship to work with homeless LGBTQ youth.
* Nominations for the third annual SustainPHL Awards, which honor sustainable efforts across the Philadelphia region, are now open for the August event, writes Generocity.
* Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mahoning Valley and Western Pennsylvania donated more than $100,000 to local programs, including a $50,000 grant to the United Way, writes WKBN-27.
9:30 a.m. - the PA House Tourism & Recreational Development Committee will meet. Room B31, Main Capitol, Harrisburg.
10 a.m. - the PA House will reconvene. Main Capitol, Harrisburg.
1 p.m. - Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin will be joined by local leaders for a walking tour of downtown Lewistown, Mifflin County. Secretary Davin will visit and discuss several projects supported through DCED’s Keystone Communities program, including a recent approval of $50,000 to support façade improvements in the core downtown district. Tour will begin at the Historic Mifflin County Courthouse, 1 W. Market St., Lewistown.
2 p.m. - Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne will participate in the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank Senior Hunger Roundtable. Legislators, health care professionals, stakeholders, program participants, and seniors will join in working to bring awareness to and finding solutions for seniors struggling with hunger and access to healthful, nutritional foods. Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, 3908 Corey Road, Harrisburg.
2:30 p.m. - Gov. Wolf will host a roundtable discussion to hear feedback from nurses about safe staffing ratios and workforce development for health care and nursing. Community College of Allegheny County, Byers Hall, 808 Ridge Ave., Pittsburgh.
3:30 p.m. - the Philadelphia City Council Committee on the Environment will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.
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KICKER: “Be certain that Miss Havey is steeped in the pettiness that has brought our party to this point.” – Former MontCo GOP chair candidate Tom Ellis laid into rival candidate Liz Havey, who jumped into the contest just as sexual harassment allegations against Ellis resurfaced. From City & State PA.