WEATHER: Philadelphia: mostly cloudy with some rain, high of 67; Harrisburg: cloudy, high of 65; Pittsburgh: mostly cloudy, high of 66.

 

NEW THIS MORNING:

* The Pennsylvania Department of Health has directed all vaccine providers in the state to “pause” the administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine until at least April 20 following reports that six people who received it developed blood clots, Spotlight PA reports.

* Pennsylvania cyber charters, despite being already equipped for remote learning, are expected to receive an additional $152 million from the American Rescue Plan, the Penn Capital-Star reports.

* U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey shared concerns that “weird spikes” and Bitcoin are warning signs for the health of the national economy in an interview with Bloomberg.

* Pennsylvania got a C-minus for infrastructure according to a state-by-state breakdown released by the White House, the Penn Capital-Star reports.

* Fundraising in the race for an opening seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is proceeding at an “anemic” rate, with one of the four candidates having raised zero dollars, the Legal Intelligencer reports.

* Central Pennsylvania counties are seeing an uptick in participation in municipal elections from voters using mail-in ballots, CBS Harrisburg reports

* The Bucks County prosecutor who gained national attention after he was caught delivering food for DoorDash while on the clock is stepping down from his position, LevittownNow reports.

* A new Pew report shows that Philadelphia’s average unemployment rate in 2020 of 12.2 percent was one of the highest of any big city in the nation, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

* State Rep. Darisha Parker (D-198th) recently hosted a virtual forum on how the African-American community can economically benefit from cannabis legalization, the Philadelphia Tribune reports.

* Dr. Kevin Baumlin, the chief of emergency and urgent care services at Pennsylvania Hospital, recently released a campaign video announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Senate race, Politics PA reports.

* Two proposed constitutional amendments to limit the governor’s power to make disaster emergencies on the ballot in May represent the culmination of a “pandemic power struggle that has raged for a year between Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor and its Republican-led Legislature,” the AP reports.

* The state Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a legal challenge to an ordinance passed by the Pittsburgh City Council in 2015 forbidding landlords in the city from discriminating against tenants who use Section 8 vouchers, WESA reports.

* State Rep. Marty Flynn’s candidacy for state Senate is facing a legal challenge brought by Republicans who allege Flynn submitted incomplete ethics forms, Fox 56 WOLF reports.

* Lawsuits filed by Pennsylvania Republicans challenging the results of the 2020 election cost the state millions of dollars, WITF reports.


 

EDITORIAL PAGES:

* The Morning Call has an op-ed opposing proposed legislation by state Rep. Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster) to require counties to create their own health departments.

* Pennsylvania Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller writes in an op-ed for the Penn-Capital Star that Gov. Tom Wolf’s authority to declare a disaster helped feed the state’s needy families during coronavirus.

* The Post-Gazette writes that the Pittsburgh land bank after seven years is an “abysmal failure” with no one in charge and no committed funding source.

* The Tribune-Review writes that western Pennsylvania airports are seeing renewed interest from travelers as coronavirus restrictions begin to lift.

 

NATIONAL POLITICS:

* President Joe Biden has decided to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 20 years after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon launched the country into its longest war, The New York Times reports.

* Federal health agencies’ recommended pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine won’t have a “significant impact” on the Biden administration’s vaccination plan, the White House said today, Politico reports

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Philadelphia City Councilmember At-Large Allan Domb … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday to editor@cityandstatepa.com

 

TODAY’S SKED:

10 a.m. – The Philadelphia City Council’s Committee on Education holds a hearing to explore the benefits of the School District of Philadelphia mandating conflict resolution training at all curriculum levels. Council Chambers, City Hall, Philadelphia.

10 a.m. – The House Labor & Industry Committee holds a public hearing on the current status of the unemployment compensation system provided by the Department of Labor & Industry. Room 205, Ryan Office, Capitol, Harrisburg.

10 a.m. – The Pittsburgh City Council’s Standing Committee meets. Council Chambers, City-County Building, Pittsburgh.

1 p.m. – The Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee holds a public hearing on the state’s economy and the reliability of our energy infrastructure. Veritas Medical Solutions, 160 Cassell Rd., Harleysville.

1:30 p.m. – The Pittsburgh City Council’s Committee on Hearings holds a hearing on a citizens’ petition to move money from the military budget and invest in social programs and human needs. Council Chambers, City-County Building, Pittsburgh.

To have your events included in Today’s Sked, please email the information to editor@cityandstatepa.com.

 

KICKER: “At some point, we are going to legalize marijuana but the question is how are we as African Americans going to get a piece of the pie, because a lot of the rules and regulations as they stand, right now, if you have any other drug-related offenses, you cannot be eligible.” Courtney Richardson, founder of The Ivy Investor, as quoted by the Philadelphia Tribune.