WEATHER: Philadelphia, sunny, high of 88; Harrisburg, sunny, high of 86; Pittsburgh, partly cloudy, high of 86.



* Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke blasted Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposal for a 3-cent soda tax as “ridiculous,” saying it would never pass, writes the Philadelphia Inquirer.

* Gov. Tom Wolf said the tone of this year’s budget negotiations has been “very different” from last year — in a good way, WITF reports.

* The state house voted in favor of distributing future increases in education dollars through a funding formula that accounts for poverty and population density, the Post-Gazette reports.

* As the Fattah trial grinds on, former friend and political operative Greg Naylor testified that the Congressman was directly involved in the theft of federal funds, writes Newsworks.

* Councilman Allan Domb and Mayor Kenney jointly introduced a plan to sell off delinquent business taxes to third-party collection agencies, writes the Inquirer.

* Gov. Wolf signed a bill to expand the use of ignition locks as a punishment for first-time DUI charges, writes the Tribune-Review.

* Former deputy city commissioner Tracey Gordon was fined $2,000 for participating in political activity while working for former commissioner Stephanie Singer, the Inquirer reports.

* Executive pay rose nationally, according to a new study, with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts topping the list in PA, according to the Morning Call.

* Carl Buchholz, a Philadelphia lawyer and prominent Republican political fundraiser, passed away at 51, writes the Inquirer.



* A new State Department investigation said Hillary Clinton broke government rules through the use of her infamous private email server, Reuters reports.

* Donald Trump fired his national political director just six weeks into the job, Yahoo News reports.

* The New York Times traces out Trump’s increasingly frequent invocation of conspiracy theories in his campaign rhetoric.



Be among the first to explore the all-new, which now features First Read and the latest issue of City & State PA magazine!




* Proving that he has yet to lose his capacity for outrage on the subject, Newsworks’ Dick Polman is dumbfounded and disgusted by Trump’s revival of Vince Foster death theories.

* Gene Policinski, CEO of the Newseum Institute, weighs in via a Tribune-Review editorial on Facebook’s self-inflicted curating wounds on its “Trending Topics” section.

* An Inquirer editorial voices cautious optimism for the Kenney administration’s homeless outreach plan.

* Inquirer columnist Trudy Rubin applauds the US for finally taking off the blinders on Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and warns it is past time to do the same about Turkey and its president.

* An op-ed by George Will, appearing in the Intelligencer, provides a concise breakdown of why the British vote on leaving the EU is such a tossup.

* A PennLive editorial is adamant that Patrick Reese, the Kathleen Kane staffer convicted of spying on office emails, be shown the door immediately – preferably followed out by Kane.

* The Post-Gazette editorial board wants to know what it will take to make ChildLine – which, an auditor general’s report revealed, missed almost 22 percent of incoming calls last year – part of the child abuse solution and not part of the problem.

* A Post-Gazette editorial cogently questions the viability of the G-7, considering that the group is trying to enact global economic policy without either China or Russia present.



Want to subscribe to City & State PA’s monthly magazine? Just send an email to David Alpher at and get the details!



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



9 a.m. - Philadelphia City Council Committee on Appropriations will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.

10 a.m. - Philadelphia City Council will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.

10 a.m. - The PA House Education Committee will meet. Room G50, Irvis Office Building, Harrisburg.

11:30 a.m. - Mayor Kenney will give remarks about Philadelphia’s distinction as a World Heritage City for World Heritage Day. Mayor’s Reception Room, City Hall Room 202, Philadelphia.



Want to advertise in First Read?

Contact City & State PA Publisher David Alpher at for details.



KICKER: “If it does create the revenue and we pass it, is the administration not going to do the programs because it wasn't a sugary tax? I'd think not.” Council President Clarke lays out the futility of Mayor Kenney’s resistance to a competing tax plan to fund a vaunted universal pre-K program — From the Inquirer.