WEATHER: Philadelphia, scattered thunderstorms, high of 71; Harrisburg, scattered thunderstorms, high of 69; Pittsburgh, mostly cloudy, high of 69.
* Legal scholars weigh in on the likelihood of a conviction in state Sen Larry Farnese’s bribery case, and if the unusual case could lead to the “criminalization of politics” in PA.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* Pennsylvania will allow sales of wine in grocery stores and other takeout locations after an abrupt shift in the legislature, the Morning Call reports.
* Stating that Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney had won enough votes to pass his soda tax, Council member Cindy Bass dropped an alternative plan to raise property taxes, the Inquirer reports.
* Frank Fina, a prosecutor whose feud with Attorney General Kathleen Kane is central to the “Porngate” scandal, quietly left the Philly DA office, writes Philadelphia Magazine.
* Shell has committed billions to construct a shale gas “cracking” plant in Western PA, greased by $60 million annually in tax breaks, reports WTAE-TV.
* The state Human Relations Commission is said to be running a “skeleton crew” staff after budget cuts and the removal of its problematic director, the Daily News reports.
* Over 100 students and teachers from Erie’s school district rallied in Harrisburg for more funding. The district faces millions in deficits, according to the Erie Times-News.
* State Rep. Rick Saccone is pushing a bill to dump “ghost teachers” — school employees out on union leave, the Morning Call reports.
* A bill to require medical professionals to take educational courses on the dangers of opioids sailed through Harrisburg, writes the Post-Gazette.
* Chaka Fattah’s former chief of staff, Maisha Leek, took the stand at the Congressman’s corruption trial, but had little to say, according to the Inquirer.
THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:
* After wins in California, New Jersey, and New Mexico, Hillary Clinton effectively claimed the Democratic nomination for president, the New York Times reports.
* Sen. Pat Toomey decried Donald Trump’s “racist” comments about Mexican and Muslim judges, but said he’d likely still support the billionaire, writes the Post-Gazette.
* Bernie Sanders said he would stay in the race despite Clinton’s status as the presumed party candidate, ABC News reports.
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* Democratic State Rep. Dan Frankel has an op-ed in PennLive calling for passage of the Fairness Act, which would protect the rights of LGBT people in the state.
* The Morning Call’s Bill White says that passage of a fair funding bill for schools is a good start, but it’s just the first step toward fixing an inherently flawed state tax system.
* In his Newsworks blog, Dick Polman congratulates Hillary Clinton on becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee, and ruminates on a Sanders exit.
* An Inquirer editorial wants to know: Whatever happened to Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, who appears to have ethically lost his way.
* In an Inquirer op-ed, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank has trouble understanding how the GOP establishment is just now realizing Trump is a racist.
* The Post-Gazette editorial board applauds President Obama for supporting France’s new leadership role in the Middle East peace process.
* An Intelligencer editorial points out that regardless of who wins in November and what happens with the state budget, PA residents’ taxes will almost certainly be going up.
* WaPo columnist Richard Cohen compares Paul Ryan to Republican Sen. Robert A. Taft, who was legendary for his principles, and finds Ryan … lacking in that category.
* A Daily Times editorial thinks it’s a safe bet that online gambling will be a big part of state budget negotiations, and that the budget will be late once again in passing.
* A Beaver County Times editorial welcomes the news that Shell will bring an ethane cracker plant to the county, and welcomes hoped-for transparency in the process.
* The Evening Sun calls on the PA legislature to repeal its 2003 repeal of a law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets while riding.
* The York Dispatch adds its voice to the ever-growing chorus rising against the criminally light sentence given to Stanford University rapist Brock Turner last week.
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9 a.m. - The Joint Capitol Preservation Committee will meet. Room 116, Forum Bldg., Harrisburg.
9:30 a.m. – The PA Senate State Government Committee will meet. Senate Majority Caucus Room, Harrisburg.
9:30 a.m. - The PA House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee will meet. Room B31, Main Capitol, Harrisburg.
9:30 a.m. - The PA House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will meet. Room 205, Ryan Office, Harrisburg.
9:30 a.m. - The PA House Committees on Game & Fisheries and Recreational Development will meet. Room 60, East Wing, Harrisburg.
10 a.m. - Philadelphia City Council Committee on Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.
11 a.m. - The PA Senate will reconvene.
11 a.m. - The PA House will reconvene.
12 p.m. - Philadelphia City Council Committee on Labor and Public Service will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.
2 p.m. - Philadelphia City Council Committee of the Whole will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.
12:45 p.m. – Gov. Wolf and Villanova Basketball Coach Jay Wright will hold an “It’s On Us PA” press conference to give an update on the campaign. “It’s On Us PA” is a statewide campaign that invites everyone to play a role in ending sexual assault. Governor’s Reception Room, Harrisburg.
4:15 p.m. - Mayor Kenney will participate in the Eastern Lofts Ribbon Cutting. The project will serve as a model for equitable development in the neighborhood. 3002 Cecil B. Moore Ave., Philadelphia.
7 p.m. - Mayor Kenney will help announce the launch of a new mobile dental clinic as part of the Every Tooth Counts Campaign. 1750 North Front St., Philadelphia.
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KICKER: "If the governor is sincere about not signing onetime gimmicks, he won't sign this.” — State liquor store union chief Wendell Young, a staunch opponent of alcohol reforms, on the bill to bring the “gimmick” of wine sales to grocery stores to PA. From the Morning Call.