WEATHER: Philadelphia: a.m. fog, p.m. sun, high of 71; Harrisburg: a.m. fog, p.m. sun, high of 77; Pittsburgh: mostly sunny, high of 80.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* Negotiations between the Republican-led legislature and Gov. Tom Wolf to let counties begin opening mail ballots in Pennsylvania before Election Day appeared to collapse Wednesday, setting up a potential nightmare scenario that some fear could leave the state counting millions of ballots for days after Nov. 3, Spotlight PA reports.
* Another lawsuit filed Thursday challenged Pennsylvania’s court-ordered extension of the deadline to receive mail-in ballots in the presidential election, as a new legal fight brewed over the Trump campaign’s videotaping of people dropping off multiple ballots in Philadelphia, the AP reports.
* Spotlight PA examines how Amy Coney Barrett could play a key role in the new lawsuit filed to block the state’s mail-in ballot extension if she becomes a Supreme Court Justice.
* President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden both dropped references to Pennsylvania during their second and final debate Thursday night. The commonwealth – which many political analysts say is crucial to win for both Trump and Biden – was among the most talked–about states during the roughly 95-minute debate, with references to Pennsylvania’s working-class families, fracking and the economy, WITF reports.
* Pennsylvania plans to offer $20 million in relief to the state’s beleaguered hospitality industry, the governor announced Thursday, days after vetoing Republican legislation that would have loosened restrictions on bars and restaurants. The state also intends to waive liquor license fees in 2021 for more than 16,000 restaurants and bars, clubs, caterers and hotels, the AP reports.
* The General Assembly has passed a bipartisan bill that makes it even easier for certain Pennsylvanians to have their criminal records automatically sealed from the public, including landlords and most employers. Starting in July, the courts, in tandem with state police, began sealing millions of criminal charges under Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate law, including convictions for most nonviolent misdemeanors, such as drunk driving, shoplifting and prostitution, WHYY reports.
* The Greater Philly chapter of the Anti-Defamation League would really appreciate it if U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District, would disavow the baseless, dangerous, racist, anti-Semitic conspiracy troll farm otherwise known a QAnon. And Perry, for reasons that defy all logic, absolutely cannot bring himself to do it, leaving ADL officials disappointed, but not entirely surprised, the Capital-Star reports.
* A former SEPTA police officer is facing multiple assault charges for allegedly bashing two people with a baton during protests of racial injustice and police violence in May. Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner on Thursday announced the charges against former SEPTA police Sgt. Matthew Sinkiewicz, who was fired in mid-July, WHYY reports.
* Mayor Jim Kenney’s first direct veto of City Council legislation – over a bill establishing more restrictive zoning rules for the Society Hill neighborhood – has been reversed by the chamber. Council overrode the veto despite objections from critics, including Kenney, who said the regulations set the city back on efforts to increase the supply of affordable housing and reduce the use of private cars in Center City, WHYY reports.
* With the Philadelphia School District gearing up for a late November return to in-person learning for some students, the school board heard details Thursday about building readiness – and got an earful about the proposed reopening plan, the Inquirer reports.
* The Inquirer explains why now, as COVID-19 cases rise, it is not the time for Philadelphia City Council to drop the ball on eviction protections.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: … Derek Beyer, Web Content Writer for the Office of Open Data & Digital Transformation in Philadelphia … state Rep. Mike Carroll (10/25) … 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 People with Disabilities and Special Needs will meet. This remote hearing may be viewed on Xfinity Channel 64, Fios Channel 40 or http://phlcouncil.com/watch-city-council/
To have your events included in Today’s Sked, please email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
KICKER: “A lot of people dislike a lot of things in this country, some people don’t like certain vegetables or what have you. But it’s very dangerous for the government … to determine what is okay to like and what is not okay to like.” – U.S. Rep. Scott Perry fails to denounce the virulently anti-American and anti-common sense conspiracy cult QAnon. From the Capital-Star.