WEATHER: Philadelphia: sunny, high of 64; Harrisburg: sunny, high of 66; Pittsburgh: sunny, high of 70.
FROM CITY & STATE:
* Lawmakers in the state Senate yesterday approved a slate of education bills that could bring an end to a monthslong impasse on funding for state-related universities.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* A bill seeking to protect those who travel to Pennsylvania to get abortions by barring public officials from cooperating with authorities in other states that criminalize the practice advanced yesterday through the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, The Associated Press reports.
* The candidates for Pennsylvania Supreme Court and their allies spent at least $22 million to influence the race’s outcome, with much of that total used to persuade voters that the future of abortion access was on the line, Spotlight PA reports.
* Between 2018 and 2023, Pennsylvania fined Energy Transfer and its subsidiary Sunoco at least $42 million in connection to the construction of Mariner East II, a now completed pipeline that transports natural gas liquids between southeastern Ohio and metro Philadelphia, Spotlight PA reports.
* Pine-Richland, an affluent suburban district serving roughly 4,500 students north of Pittsburgh, is reviewing “Heartstopper” and 13 other books due to a spate of objections over what complainants say was sexually explicit content, WESA reports.
* The Pennridge School District has failed to protect children of color and LGBTQ+ students from harassment, and policies rescinding diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, banning Pride flags and restricting which restrooms transgender people can use have only worsened the discrimination, a federal complaint says, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
* When Gov. Josh Shapiro took office in January, he affirmed a “complete and total zero-tolerance policy toward lobbyists,” but earlier this month, Shapiro named Gregory C. Thall, a longtime government official who now works as a lobbyist, as chair of the $35 billion-asset State Employees’ Retirement System pension plan, the Inquirer reports.
* Lehigh Valley Transportation Study has adopted its multibillion-dollar long-range transportation plan, providing an official roadmap to funding the next 25 years of projects throughout the Lehigh Valley, LehighValleyNews reports.
* A major shortage of cartons is hitting the dairy industry, including in Pennsylvania, which means fewer cartons of milk for schools and their students, WESA reports.
* The state Senate passed a bill yesterday allowing for first-degree felony charges against organized retail theft rings and authorizing a new division of the state attorney general’s office to deal with the issue, PennLive reports.
* State Rep. Brett Miller introduced legislation Tuesday that would take the power away from the Game Commission and give local courts the sole ability to penalize a hunter, LancasterOnline reports.
* The Inquirer has commentary from Harold Jackson, who writes that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris must jointly confront the erosion in Black support before what early assessments signal becomes reality.
* The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has commentary from Ari Mittleman, who writes that Pennsylvania has the moral obligation to lead the nation in forcefully combating antisemitism.
* The Senate yesterday passed legislation to extend funding for federal agencies, sending the bill to avert a government shutdown to Biden’s desk just days before the weekend deadline, The Washington Post reports.
* GOP leaders in Georgia, including Gov. Brian Kemp, are shielding Fani T. Willis from political threats, not so much to protect her as to protect the image of the state, The New York Times reports.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To state Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El … to Bobbi Watt Geer, president & CEO of United Way of Southwestern PA … and to Deana Gamble, associate vice president of communications, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals… Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email their name, job title and upcoming birthday to firstname.lastname@example.org.
10 a.m. – The Basic Education Funding Commission meets, Hearing Room 1, North Office Building, Harrisburg.
10 a.m. – The Independent Regulatory Review Commission meets, 14th floor Conference Room, 333 Market St., Harrisburg.
11 a.m. – Gov. Josh Shapiro and Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Nancy A. Walker will visit the United Association Local 524 Training Facility in Scranton to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, 711 Corey St., Scranton. Watch here.
11 a.m. – Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney joins a ceremonial tree planting to celebrate a $12 million grant award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service to support the Philly Tree Plan, James Rhoads School, 4901 Parrish St., Philadelphia.
1 p.m. – Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt will host a livestream of the 10-sided dice roll event that will kick off the Commonwealth's statewide risk-limiting audit of the 2023 municipal election. Watch here.
1 p.m. – The House Appropriations and Education Committees hold a joint public hearing on the Pennsylvania Education Tour, Lansdale Borough Building, One Vine St., Lansdale.
2 p.m. – The Senate Democratic Policy Committee holds a public hearing discussing artificial intelligence and its impacts, Upper Providence Township Building, 1286 Black Rock Road, Phoenixville.
“Do not take these books from them because you are scandalized about a few paragraphs detailing sexual assault taken entirely out of context.” – Brittany Kindersmith, parent from Pine-Richland School District, via WESA
NEXT STORY: First Read PA – Nov. 15, 2023