First Read

First Read PA - Nov. 14, 2023

Gainey unveils 2024 budget in Pittsburgh … House moves on stricter gun laws amid calls for Senate action … Delco Democrats must appoint a Republican to help them run 2024 election … and more

WEATHER: Philadelphia: sunny, high of 54; Harrisburg: sunny, high of 54; Pittsburgh: sunny, high of 56.


* The race for Pennsylvania attorney general is ramping up, with more candidacy and endorsement announcements dropping each week. This week, the Republican Attorneys General Association endorsed Dave Sunday for attorney general.


* In his second state of the city address, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey painted an optimistic view of the city’s future, touting his administration’s plans for public safety and infrastructure. The speech also marked the presentation of his 2024 budget proposal, which calls for continued investment in the city’s infrastructure, WESA reports. 

* Sara Innamorato’s victory showed progressives have been successful in consolidating power across Allegheny County, not just among the Democrat electorate or in the city. But he also noted there is a significant group of suburban voters who are more comfortable with Joe Rockey, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

* A Pennsylvania House panel is expected to consider bills intended to prevent children and teens from accessing firearms as advocates for stricter gun laws call on the state Senate to take up legislation, Spotlight PA reports.  

* State lawmakers yesterday advanced a measure to keep students in their schools while officials and parents work out disputes over whether they reside in a given district, The Associated Press reports. 

* An agent assigned to the state Attorney General’s Allentown office was charged yesterday with possessing child pornography, authorities said, LehighValleyNews reports.

* Democrats won big in Delaware County last week – and they’ve already turned their attention to 2024. All five members of Delaware County Council are Democrats, but they must select a Republican to serve with them on the county’s Board of Elections, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. 

* Philadelphia’s share of the statewide Democratic vote once again continued to slide downward, driven primarily by substantial gains in generally wealthier suburban areas across the state, the Inquirer reports. 

* Because of a calendar quirk and the Mummer’s parade, for the first 36 hours of 2024, Philadelphia won’t quite have a chief executive, Billy Penn reports. 

* Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Executive Director Robert Lombardi told the Pennsylvania Athletic Oversight Committee yesterday that he hopes the legislature will pass a bill aimed at preventing harassment of referees at games, the Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports. 

* After vote totals from provisional ballots were added to the unofficial vote count yesterday, Dauphin County Commissioner candidate Justin Douglas appeared to have an insurmountable lead over Republican incumbent Chad Saylor for the third and final seat on the board, PennLive reports. 


* The Philadelphia Inquirer has a column from Kyle Sammin, who writes that if Republicans in the city want to maintain any semblance of a party at all, they must get back to the basics of electoral politics, running good candidates in all races.

* The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes that the Ohio vote creates more than one reason for Pennsylvania legislators to actively consider all of the moving pieces of marijuana and the law and figure out where to go from here.


* President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping of China will try to defuse a year of bubbling tensions tomorrow at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, The New York Times reports. 

* In an effort to avert a government shutdown Saturday, House Speaker Mike Johnson has opted to expedite his stopgap funding proposal for floor consideration today after it became clear Republicans could not pass it through their narrow and divisive ranks, The Washington Post reports. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Urban Affairs Coalition President and CEO Sharmain Matlock-Turner … to Erika Brunelle, assistant director of government affairs at PSEA … to Lynette T. Stevenson, founder of DALS Credit Solutions … to Leslie Short, founder and CEO of The Cavu Group … and to Patricia Blumenauer, vice president of operations and data, Philadelphia Works… Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email their name, job title and upcoming birthday to


9 a.m. – The House Game & Fisheries Committee meets, Room 523 Irvis Office Building, Harrisburg. Watch here.

9 a.m. – The House State Government Committee meets, Room 205, Ryan Office Building. Watch here.

9:15 a.m. – The House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee meets, Room 515, Irvis Office. Watch here.

9:30 a.m. – The House Judiciary Committee meets, Room 140, Main Capitol. Watch here.

9:30 a.m. – The House Transportation Committee meets, Room 60, East Wing. Watch here. 

10 a.m. – The Senate Education Committee meets, Room 8E-A, East Wing. Watch here.

10 a.m. – The House Consumer Protection, Technology & Utilities Committee meets, Room G50, Irvis Office. Watch here.

10 a.m. – The House Housing & Community Development and Local Government Committees hold a joint information meeting on Community Associations Institute, Room 523, Irvis Office. Watch here.

10 a.m. – The House Labor & Industry Committee holds a public hearing on child labor, Room B31, Main Capitol. Watch here.

10 a.m. – Philadelphia City Council Committee on Public Safety meets virtually. Watch here. 

10 a.m. – Pittsburgh City Council Standing Committee meets, Council Chambers. 

10 a.m. – Philadelphia City Council Committee on Law and Government meets virtually. Watch here. 

10:30 a.m. – The Senate Transportation Committee meets, Room 461, Main Capitol. 

11 a.m. – Gov. Josh Shapiro and Labor & Industry Secretary Nancy A. Walker will join local leaders, union workers, and apprentices to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, Steamfitters Local 449, 230 Wise Road, Harmony. Watch here. 

11:30 a.m. – The Senate Judiciary Committee meets, Room 8E-B, East Wing. Watch here.

12 p.m. – The Senate State Government Committee meets, Room 8E-A, East Wing. Watch here.

12:30 p.m. – Shapiro and Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Rick Siger join Pittsburgh economic development leaders and elected officials to announce new investments in Astrobotic Technology – the Pittsburgh-based company that is leading America back to the moon, Moonshot Museum, 1016 N. Lincoln Ave., Pittsburgh. Watch here. 

1 p.m. – Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Jason Kavulich joins state leaders and program staff to commemorate 40 years since the passage of legislation that created the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly Program, Main Rotunda. 

Off the Floor – The Senate Appropriations Committee meets, Rules Committee Conference Room. 

Off the Floor – The Senate Rules & Executive Nominations Committee meets, Rules Committee Conference Room. 

Call of Chair – The House Appropriations meets, Room 140, Main Capitol. Watch here.

Call of Chair – The House Children & Youth Committee meets, Room 523, Irvis Office. Watch here.


“We ain't out here pointing fingers … We go out there and do the work.” – Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, via WESA

NEXT STORY: First Read PA – Nov. 13, 2023