WEATHER: Philadelphia, rain, high of 56; Harrisburg, showers, high of 58; Pittsburgh, morning showers, high of 67.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* Gov. Tom Wolf, Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto and closely allied Allegheny county executive Rich Fitzgerald jointly asked the state’s Public Utility Commission to reverse a record-breaking $11 million fine against ridesharing service Uber, saying it would damage the state’s tech industry, according to the Tribune-Review.
* An analysis by the Patriot News revealed that state hiring actually doubled during Gov. Wolf’s self-imposed “hiring freeze” during last year’s budget impasse.
* Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney rejected a request from Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson to reverse the city’s “Sanctuary City” status, which bars local law enforcement from coordinating with federal immigration officials, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
* Nearly half of PA’s municipalities and eight counties rely solely on the state police for law enforcement, at an annual cost to the state of more than a half-billion dollars, according to a report from WHYY.
* Overtime requests are up at the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, the city’s chief social service provider, as the agency struggles to fill vacancies and comply with child-abuse reporting law introduced after the Jerry Sandusky molestation scandal, writes the Inquirer.
* The city of Harrisburg has launched an effort to demolish dozens of blighted homes that dot impoverished neighborhoods around the state capital as part of a crime-fighting strategy that will also see the installation of brighter LED streetlights, reports Fox 43.
THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:
* Struggling Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz abruptly dropped out of the race after a crushing primary defeat in Indiana to presumptive nominee Donald Trump, the New York Times reports.
* Democrat Bernie Sanders picked up another win in Indiana over frontrunner Hillary Clinton, but the win is probably too little too late to swing the national delegate count in the Vermont senator’s favor, writes Indiana Public media.
* Meanwhile, Clinton has already begun pumping campaign money into key swing states, hoping to cripple Trump’s chances in the general election before it even begins, Politico reports.
TEN TITANS: The next issue of City & State PA magazine will feature profiles of the most powerful behind-the-scenes players in Keystone State politics, detailing their influence and connections. If you have suggestions for who should be on the list, email Editor Greg Salisbury at email@example.com. Want to advertise in the issue? Email David Alpher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Joshua Vincent, executive director and CEO of the Center for the Study of Economics, writes in an Inquirer op-ed that while the sugary drink tax is a good idea, to avoid it falling disproportionately on lower-income residents, Philadelphia should be working harder to make taxable land values part of its funding equation.
* George Bezanis, a social studies teacher at Central High School and the school’s Philadelphia Federation of Teachers representative, has an op-ed in today’s Daily News that lays out his concerns over the sugary drink tax, which include: how the Kenney administration will find and pay for qualified pre-K teachers; why the spending plan doesn’t extend to Philly schools; and what happens in the event of a legal challenge to the tax.
* A Daily News editorial uses the impending trial of Congressman Chaka Fattah – for illegally funneling money from nonprofits he established to repay an off-the-books loan in 2007 – as an object lesson in why the mix of politicians and their nonprofits can be a toxic one.
* Sister Simone Campbell, founder of Nuns on the Bus and executive director of Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, examines the impact of Pope Francis’ calls for Catholics to get more involved in making things better by, among other things, voting for change – and what that means for this year’s election.
* Jill E. Family, a professor of law and the director of the Law and Government Institute at Widener University Commonwealth Law School, has an op-ed in PennLive about the stakes in the recent Supreme Court battle between a group of states led by Texas and the Obama administration over immigration policy.
* In his Newsworks blog, Dick Polman lauds Michael Bloomberg for taking on the confounding trend of colleges and universities bending over backward to create “safe spaces” for their students in order to “protect” them from microaggressions and other harmful words and thoughts they might run into – instead of taking up their responsibility of in loco parentis by preparing those students for the real world.
* Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan uses two recent Russian flyovers of American battleships to write about the history of Russia’s recent aggressive stance contra the U.S. in a Tribune-Review op-ed.
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Judge Jack Panella of Superior Court … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday at firstname.lastname@example.org
9:15 a.m. - The PA House Committee on Consumer Affairs will meet. Room 140, Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg.
12 p.m. - Mayor Kenney will attend the annual Living Flame Police & Fire Memorial Service honoring police and firefighters that have lost their lives in the line of duty. Franklin Square, 6th and Race Streets, Philadelphia.
1 p.m. – Gov. Wolf will be joined by members of his cabinet, local officials, law enforcement, health care professionals and stakeholders at a panel to discuss local and statewide efforts to lead the nation in combating the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemic in Pennsylvania. Governor’s Residence, 2035 N. Front St., Harrisburg.
7 p.m. – Mayor Kenney will be at Philly Startup Leaders Entrepreneur Expo, the largest event of Philly Tech Week, to meet with representatives from over 75 exhibiting startups to see what is happening in the Philly startup scene.
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KICKER: “I’m really focused on moving into the general election and I think that’s where we have to be, because we’re going to have a tough campaign against a candidate who will literally say or do anything” – Hillary Clinton reflects on the departure of Ted Cruz from the Republican primary, all but paving the way for a faceoff against Trump, from the Times.
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First Read is the morning email newsletter from City & State, covering politics and government in Pennsylvania. © 2016 City and State PA, LLC.