WEATHER: Philadelphia: sunny, high of 81; Harrisburg: sunny, high of 80; Pittsburgh: mostly sunny, high of 79.

 

NEW THIS MORNING:

* A federal judge on Tuesday denied Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration’s request for a stay on a federal court decision that found some of the governor’s COVID-19 pandemic restrictions to be unconstitutional. The Wolf Administration sought the stay while appealing U.S. Western District Judge William Stickman IV’s order that was issued last week that ruled the governor’s closure of nonessential business, a stay-at-home order and an order to limit gathering sizes were unconstitutional, PennLive reports.

* Republican leaders in the General Assembly on Tuesday asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to stay its ruling in a recent election law case, the first stage of what they hope will be an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election, the Capital-Star reports.

* Pennsylvania lawmakers this year likely will be spared the grief that often accompanies the annual automatic pay raise that state law authorizes them to receive: Legislation is on its way to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk that would not only freeze lawmakers’ salaries at their current level through 2021 but judges and top executive branch officials as well, PennLive reports.

* The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 200,000 on Tuesday – reaching what was once the upper limit of some estimates for the pandemic’s impact on Americans. Some experts now warn that the toll could nearly double again by the end of 2020, NPR reports.

* U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey said Tuesday that he is on board with the Senate considering President Donald Trump’s forthcoming nominee to the Supreme Court right away, despite having endorsed waiting eight months until after the 2016 election to fill a vacancy under President Barack Obama, the AP reports.

* Legislation to loosen Gov. Tom Wolf’s pandemic restrictions on Pennsylvania’s bars and restaurants easily passed the GOP-controlled Senate 43 to 6 – the bill would end the requirement that customers buy food in order to purchase alcohol and permit patrons to be served drinks at the bar. It also would permit taverns and restaurants to operate at 50% capacity, or more if they can meet state and federal social distancing standards or erect appropriate barriers, and make it easier for restaurants to adapt adjacent outside areas to serve customers, the AP reports.

* Lawmakers are still in charge of drawing Pennsylvania’s political maps, but good-government advocates say a bill making its way through the state Senate would check the most egregious gerrymandering practices and boost public transparency when the process begins again next year, Spotlight PA reports.

* In a rare show of bipartisanship amid election year and pandemic-driven rancor, a plan to fix Pennsylvania’s troubled rental assistance program has moved forward in the Legislature, the Capital-Star reports.

* By a 49-0 vote, the Senate on Tuesday passed legislation that rebrands the state’s “Steer Clear” law enacted in 2017 to the “Move Over” law. It would assign points to a motorist’s license as well as doubles the current fines for those found failing to move over to a non-adjacent lane when approaching an emergency response area, or if that’s not possible, slowing to at least 20 mph below the speed limit, PennLive reports.

* Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced via Zoom from his home that he was self-isolating for two weeks after being exposed to someone who tested positive for coronavirus. Kenney said he was tested and came back negative but will remain in quarantine the full 14 days regardless, WHYY reports.

* Pennsylvania's new coronavirus exposure notification app became available in app stores Tuesday could soon be compatible with those of three neighboring states, including New York. The release is part of Pennsylvania's effort to more quickly break chains of transmission by using the technology to notify people who may have been exposed, the AP reports.

* WHYY offers up its guide to voting in the November election.

 

EDITORIAL PAGES:

* The Inquirer calls on Congress to act immediately to ensure that the 2020 Census is extended to provide the most accurate count possible.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday to editor@cityandstatepa.com

 

TODAY’S SKED:

9 a.m. - the PA House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee will meet. Room G50, Irvis Office Building, Harrisburg.

9 a.m. - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Joe DeFelice will join the Erie Downtown Development Corporation for an Opportunity Zones tour followed by a roundtable discussion. 417 State Street, Erie. 

9:30 a.m. - the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Fiscal Stability and Intergovernmental Cooperation will meet. This remote hearing may be viewed on Xfinity Channel 64, Fios Channel 40 or http://phlcouncil.com/watch-city-council/.

10 a.m. - the Pittsburgh City Council Standing Committee will meet. Council Chambers, City-County Building, Pittsburgh.

11 a.m. - Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller will hold a press call to discuss August enrollment data and remind Pennsylvanians that public assistance programs are available to families and individuals who have lost jobs, income and health insurance as a result of the COVID-19 public-health emergency. To RSVP, contact Brandon Cwalina at bcwalina@pa.gov.

1:30 p.m. - the Pittsburgh City Council Committee on Hearings will meet. Council Chambers, City-County Building, Pittsburgh.

2:30 p.m. - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Joe DeFelice will discuss economic development with city and county elected officials at the City of Warren Municipal Building. 318 West Third Avenue, Warren.

3 p.m. - the PA House Democratic Policy Committee will meet. Room G50, Irvis Office Building, Harrisburg.

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

 

KICKER: “When Pennsylvania residents are making sacrifices and struggling just to put food on their table, it is no time for public officials to be taking a raise.” – state Rep. Frank Ryan. From PennLive.