WEATHER: Philadelphia: mostly sunny, high of 49; Harrisburg: partly cloudy, high of 50; Pittsburgh: mostly cloudy, high of 47.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday signed into law two budget-related bills that call for no tax increases or major cuts but will carry state government operations through the remainder of the 2020-21 fiscal year. The $11 billion spending package was approved by the General Assembly on Friday that plugs a multibillion-dollar pandemic-related deficit with one-time revenue sources. They include about $1.3 billion in coronavirus relief aid along with $2 billion from the federal government for enhanced medical and social service program payments and $531 million in transfers from special state funds to balance the books, PennLive reports.
* An attempt by Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled legislature to audit the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election failed Monday when a bipartisan panel rejected it, citing its redundancy. The state Legislative Budget and Finance Committee voted 2-1 against the audit, which was requested by the House last week. The two Democrats on the panel voted against the measure, with one Republican in favor and another absent from the meeting, Spotlight PA reports.
* With the measure’s defeat, the task of reviewing the 2020 election would fall to the House State Government Committee. Unlike the LBFC, the committee is weighted in the Republican majority’s favor, the Capital-Star reports.
* As county boards of elections convened for what is normally little more than sleepy formality, the impact of the president’s push to undermine public trust in the integrity of the vote repeatedly surfaced. In at least three of the state’s most populous counties – Montgomery, Allegheny and Luzerne – boards split their votes along party lines. And in several others, speakers at public meetings urged officials to reject the results, echoing baseless conspiracy theories of widespread fraud and malfunctioning voting machines that Trump has propagated. Still, the vast majority of certification votes – including those in Philadelphia, Bucks and Chester Counties – proceeded Monday with unanimous, bipartisan support, the Inquirer reports.
* In the most 2020 thing to happen this week, Health Secretary Rachel Levine ordered on-premises alcohol sales at bars and restaurants to shut down at 5 p.m. – on Thanksgiving eve, one of the busiest nights of the year for the service industry – in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus. The edicts are set to expire at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. Sales of cocktails to go will still be allowed, the Inquirer reports.
* Wolf’s Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps, whose name harkened back to FDR’s New Deal-era programs and aimed to have a mix of paid and volunteer staff at the ready for an anticipated surge in coronavirus cases this fall, drew the interest of thousands of people. But it has faced a number of financial and logistical hurdles that, so far, have kept it from becoming a reality, is readying for a Spring 2021 launch, PennLive reports.
* The Citizens’ Voice lauds state legislators for approving a bill that will take a significant step toward rural economic development at little cost to consumers or taxpayers – and which should pay huge dividends for the state economy.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Kirk Dorn, Senior Director, Ceisler Media … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday to firstname.lastname@example.org
10 a.m. - the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Law and Government will meet. This meeting will be held remotely using Microsoft® Teams. This remote session may be viewed on Xfinity Channel 64, Fios Channel 40 or http://phlcouncil.com/watch-city-council/
3:30 p.m. - Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney will deliver remarks at the official Rebuild ribbon cutting at Moss Playground. 5700 Torresdale Ave., Philadelphia.
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KICKER: “Nothing stopped it despite an avalanche of lawsuits and lies.” – Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt. From the Inquirer.