WEATHER: Philadelphia, cloudy, high of 57; Harrisburg, cloudy, high of 60; Pittsburgh, scattered thunderstorms, high of 64.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* A study of police departments statewide found a backlog of nearly 2,000 rape kits in which evidence samples were taken, but never tested, writes the Associated Press.
* A bill to legalize ridesharing services, like Uber and Lyft, in the state’s largest city could be headed to a vote as early as next week, PlanPhilly reports.
* Three Philadelphia City Council members came out against Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposed soda tax during a raucous downtown protest staged by local bottlers and Teamsters, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
* The REACH Foundation, a coalition of private- and charter-school interests, staged a rally in the capitol calling for educational vouchers and the expansion of a tax credit program that benefits privately run schools, ABC 27 reports.
* Philadelphia City Council members Helen Gym and Cindy Bass renewed a call for District Attorney Seth Williams to dismiss three former state prosecutors in his office tied to the “Porngate” scandal, Newsworks reports.
* A coalition of good government groups in Philadelphia is making a renewed push to eliminate Philadelphia’s election board. A haven for political patronage, it is the only board of its kind elected by voters, instead of appointment, in PA, writes the Inquirer.
* A new report on the Pittsburgh region predicts a shortage of 80,000 workers in coming years, as a greying population outpaces birth rates and millennials moving into the region, writes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
* Gov. Tom Wolf appointed energy advisor David Sweet to the Public Utilities Commission, the board that oversees water, power and transit companies, according to the Tribune-Review.
THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:
* Residents of John Kasich’s hometown, McKees Rocks, PA, expressed disappointment at the Ohio governor’s departure from the Republican presidential primary yesterday, the Trib reports.
* In a recording obtained by Politico, Arizona Sen. John McCain says having Donald Trump at the top of the Republican ticket will damage his re-election efforts.
* Meanwhile, Trump is attempting to reassure the Republican establishment that he is not, in fact, a toxic commodity for the party, the New York Times writes.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to advertise in the issue? Email David Alpher at email@example.com.
* Washington Post op-ed columnist George Will writes about the return to profitability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored enterprises – federally chartered but privately owned – that guarantee 80 percent of all mortgages in the U.S., and how the federal government has used that turnaround to make a cash grab for the two.
* An Inquirer editorial worries that the Supreme Court case of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell – to determine whether or not to overturn his conviction on corruption charges – could negatively impact the ability of federal investigators to go after politicians and political insiders who break the law by soliciting and accepting bribes.
* Now that he has become the presumptive Republican nominee for president, it is up to Donald Trump to figure out how to unify the GOP before the election, according to an Inquirer editorial.
* The PennLive editorial board wonders why, with so many more pressing issues – like underfunded schools, a looming budget and a pension crisis – Republican state lawmakers are once again wasting time pushing a bill that would allow schools to post “In God We Trust” if they so desire.
* The Post-Gazette editorial board writes that the state Public Utilities Commission went way overboard by handing down an $11.3 million fine to Uber – and is sending the wrong signal to businesses by doing so.
* In his Newsworks blog, Dick Polman marvels at how and why the Party of Lincoln has become the Party of Trump.
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10 a.m. – Philadelphia City Council will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.
10 a.m. - The PA Senate Democratic Policy Committee will hold a meeting. H.O. Hirt Auditorium, Blasco Library, 160 E. Front St., Erie.
10:30 a.m. – Mayor Kenney will join DNC CEO Rev. Leah Daughtry at the groundbreaking of a garden that will provide rehab patients with a safe outdoor space to recover as well as promote physical activity to combat childhood obesity. The Health & Wellness Garden is a legacy project by the Democratic National Convention sponsored by Credit Union National Association and the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Karabots Pediatric Care Center, 4865 Market St., Philadelphia.
11 a.m. - Gov. Wolf will hold a roundtable with state and local elected officials, law enforcement, health professionals and advocates to discuss Pennsylvania’s opioid crisis. Bedford County Library, 240 South Wood Street, Bedford.
2:45 p.m. – Gov. Wolf will hold a roundtable with state and local elected officials, law enforcement, health professionals and advocates to discuss Pennsylvania’s opioid crisis. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Homewood Location, Meeting Room 1, 7101 Hamilton Ave., Pittsburgh.
4 p.m. – Mayor Kenney and Councilwoman Helen Gym will tour facilities and speak with participants in Philadelphia City Rowing, a nonprofit program that empowers youth through the sport of rowing. The program is free to any Philadelphia public or charter school student. Lloyd Hall, 1 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia.
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KICKER: “Nothing about today was a surprise. The soda industry paid a lot of people to come in from New Jersey to make it seem like this opposition was driven by the people and not millionaires” – Mayoral spokesperson Lauren Hitt reacts to teamsters shutting down Broad Street in Philadelphia with soda-hauling big rigs to show their opposition to the mayor’s proposed soda tax, from the Inquirer.
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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.