WEATHER: Philadelphia: sunny, high of 72; Harrisburg: sunny, high of 74; Pittsburgh: sunny, high of 71.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* The state Supreme Court last week ordered officials to throw out “naked ballots” – mail ballots that arrive without inner “secrecy envelopes.” Pennsylvania uses a two-envelope mail ballot system: A completed ballot goes into a “secrecy envelope” that has no identifying information, and then into a larger mailing envelope that the voter signs. It’s unclear how many naked ballots there will be, because this is the first year any Pennsylvania voter can vote by mail – but Philadelphia’s top elections official warned Monday that the court’s ruling “is going to cause electoral chaos,” the Inquirer reports.
* Pennsylvania’s senior United States senator, Democrat Bob Casey, has already said he opposes naming a replacement for late Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the next presidential election. While he has publicly mourned Ginsburg’s death, Pennsylvania’s other senator, Republican Pat Toomey, has not made a public statement about how the late justice’s replacement should be chosen, the Capital-Star reports.
* Pennsylvania is suspending payments for new claims to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, known by its acronym PUA, while the state deals with a spike in suspected fraudulent claims, WHYY reports.
* One of the most competitive congressional elections in the country is a Central Pennsylvania contest that looks and sounds an awful lot like the presidential race. The race for Pennsylvania’s 10th District pits moderate Democrat Eugene DePasquale against conservative incumbent Scott Perry in an election that could go either way in a region that has slowly but surely become more of a battleground, the Inquirer reports.
* The Capital-Star offers up its voting guide to the November election.
* Legislation is moving through the state Senate that would increase the penalties on those convicted of child pornography in cases when the victim is 10 years old or younger or known by their abuser, resulting in more jail time. The bill, unanimously approved on Monday the Senate Judiciary Committee, also would establish a 16-member child sexual abuse prevention task force that would craft recommendations to protect children within the child welfare system as well as recommend long-term strategies and education about child sexual abuse and prevention, PennLive reports.
* Gov. Tom Wolf will go through with a veto of a bill that would give school districts the sole ability to make decisions on sports, including whether and how many spectators to allow, he said Monday. Both chambers of the GOP-controlled General Assembly approved the bill by veto-proof two-thirds majorities, and lawmakers were expected to hold votes to attempt to override Wolf’s veto, WHYY reports.
* After playing a critical role in getting Donald Trump elected in 2016, third parties could play a lesser role in the 2020 campaign in Pennsylvania and other battleground states, the AP reports.
* The Citizens’ Voice sees last week’s three rulings by the state Supreme Court on election voting as an overwhelming victory for democracy.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: state Rep. Robert Matzie … Scott Wallace, founder of the Wallace Global Fund and co-founder of Kennedy Democrats … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday to email@example.com
9:30 a.m. - the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Rules will meet. This remote hearing may be viewed on Xfinity Channel 64, Fios Channel 40 or http://phlcouncil.com/watch-city-council/.
10 a.m. - Governor Tom Wolf will discuss the Wolf Administration’s efforts to ensure that personal protective equipment (PPE) is available and plentiful in Pennsylvania. Americhem, 1401 Aip Dr #100, Middletown.
10 a.m. - the Pittsburgh City Council will meet. Council Chambers, City-County Building, Pittsburgh.
10 a.m. - the PA Senate Judiciary Committee will meet. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building, Harrisburg.
11 a.m. - Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf will join Philabundance staff and Philadelphia leaders for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the grand opening of the Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK). Philabundance Community Kitchen, 2224 N. 10th St., Philadelphia.
11 a.m. - the PA Senate Health & Human Services Committee will meet. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building, Harrisburg.
1 p.m. - Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney will join Acting Managing Director Tumar Alexander and Health Commissioner Dr. Farley to provide an update on the City's response to the COVID-19 coronavirus in Philadelphia. These updates will continue to be live-streamed to the public via the Department of Public Health’s Twitter (@PHLPublicHealth) and Facebook accounts, and broadcast on PHLGovTV, Comcast channels 64 and 1164, and Verizon channels 40 and 41.
1 p.m. - the Pittsburgh City Council Post Agenda will meet. Council Chambers, City-County Building, Pittsburgh.
1 p.m. - the PA Senate will reconvene. Main Capitol, Harrisburg.
1 p.m. - the PA House Commerce Committee will meet. Room 205, Ryan Office Building, Harrisburg.
1 p.m. - the PA House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee will meet. Room G50, Irvis Office Building, Harrisburg.
2 p.m. - the PA House Democratic Policy Committee will meet. Room G50, Irvis Office Building, Harrisburg.
2:30 p.m. - Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine will announce the launch of the COVID Alert PA app, which uses Bluetooth technology to let a person know that they have been exposed to COVID-19 without compromising their identity or location. Following the launch event, representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and technology experts from MIT will be available via a Skype call to answer technical questions relating to the COVID Alert PA app. If you are a reporter interested in joining the call, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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KICKER: “While everyone is talking about the significance of extending the mail-ballot deadline, it is the naked ballot ruling that is going to cause electoral chaos.” – Lisa Deeley, chair of the Philadelphia city commissioners. From the Inquirer.