WEATHER: Philadelphia: light rain, high of 51; Harrisburg: showers, high of 49; Pittsburgh: light rain, high of 48.

NEW THIS MORNING:

* Come April, when Pennsylvania voters cast votes in the state’s pivotal primary, the official tally may not be known on Election Night, some officials said. Some election officials said they’re concerned it may take days for the count to be complete. That’s because, under the newly overhauled state elections law, county officials can begin counting mail-in ballots only after polls close on election day, PennLive reports.

* The state Supreme Court on Monday said it will appoint a special master to investigate whether the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has a conflict in its continued handling of appeals in the case of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Inquirer reports.

* Fee hikes dominated budget talks Monday as the head of Pennsylvania’s environmental watchdog agency defended a modest budget hike that would bring more regulators onto the state payroll. But Republican members of the House Appropriations Committee told Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell that the proposed fee increases, for dumping in landfills and drilling for natural gas, are just a stealth tax hike, the Capital-Star reports.

* As 2020 presidential candidates court voters in early states, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey has introduced legislation to make polling places more accessible to voters across the country, addressing a concern among many voters with disabilities, WESA reports.

* U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb has weighed in on legislation from U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that would ban fracking, and is asking his House colleagues to vote against the bill. Lamb’s comments came soon after Republican challenger Sean Parnell tweeted that the Democratic Party and former Vice President Joe Biden (who Lamb endorsed) support bans, WESA reports.

* At least six candidates are seeking election to the 198th state House District seat, which soon will be vacated by state Rep. Rosita Youngblood, D-Philadelphia. And one of them already has gotten a full-throated endorsement from Youngblood, the first African-American woman ever elected to a leadership position in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the Capital-Star reports.

* When she was a member of Philadelphia City Council, Blondell Reynolds Brown said she would not enroll in the city’s Deferred Retirement Option Plan. Now, having retired from Council and joined the city’s register of Wills row office, she has submitted an application to join the program, the Inquirer reports.

* The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a dispute over a Philadelphia Catholic agency that won’t place foster children with same-sex couples, the AP reports.

* State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, has stepped down as chairman of Allegheny County’s Democratic Committee and thrown his support to two candidates the county party passed on endorsing two weeks ago, the Ca[pital-Star reports.

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The Public Record & Sid Booker invite you to 

Meet the Candidates!

Join the Philadelphia Public Record and Philadelphia legend Sid Booker on Friday, March 27, to welcome the campaigns for the presidential, congressional and statewide races on the April 28 primary ballot as they meet potential constituents!

The event, featuring assorted beverages and light appetizers, will be held at:

The legendary Sid Booker’s Club LaPointe, 4600 North Broad Street, Philadelphia on Friday, March 27, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Admission is complimentary for the general public. 

RSVP Here: https://tinyurl.com/pprprimary2020

For sponsorship opportunities and for candidates and consultants interested in participating, contact Melissa Barrett, Director of Sales, 

215-755-2000, ext.5; mbarrett@phillyrecord.com

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EDITORIAL PAGES:

* The Inquirer has an op-ed by former City of Philadelphia Inspector General Amy Kurland, who argues for making the position permanent.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: … Belated birthday wishes to John Cordisco, John F. Cordisco, chairman of the Bucks County Democratic Committee (2/17) … 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:

9:30 a.m. - the PA House Commerce Committee will meet. Nittany Lion Inn, Ballroom C, 200 W. Park Avenue, State College.

9:30 a.m. - the PA Hosue Health Committee will meet. Room 205, Ryan Office Building, Harrisburg.

10 a.m. - the PA Senate Appropriations Committee will meet. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building, Harrisburg.

10 a.m. - the PA House Appropriations Committee will meet. Room 140, Main Capitol, Harrisburg.

10 a.m. - the Pittsburgh City Council will meet. Council Chambers, City-County Building, Pittsburgh.

10 a.m. - the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Fiscal Stability and Intergovernmental Cooperation will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.

11:30 a.m. - Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney will join SEPTA and Penn Medicine at the ribbon-cutting to celebrate the renaming of University City station to Penn Medicine Station. This naming rights agreement generates new revenue for SEPTA’s operations. Penn Medicine Station (formerly known at University City Station), 3149 Convention Blvd., Philadelphia.

1 p.m. - the Philadelphia City Council Committee on the Environment will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.

1 p.m. - the PA Senate Appropriations Committee will meet. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building, Harrisburg.

1:30 p.m. - the Pittsburgh City Council Post Agenda will meet. Council Chambers, City-County Building, Pittsburgh.

3 p.m. - the PA Senate Appropriations Committee will meet. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building, Harrisburg.

4 p.m. - the PA House Democratic Policy Committee will meet. United Lutheran Seminary, The Brossman Center, 7301 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia.

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

KICKER: “I believe our voters will find that delay intolerable.” – Lancaster County Elections director Randall Wenger. From PennLive.