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WEATHER: Philadelphia, partly cloudy, high of 62; Harrisburg, partly cloudy, high of 65; Pittsburgh, cloudy, high of 64.
NEW FROM CITY&STATE:
* Mayor Jim Kenney expects a slow first month for Philly soda tax revenues, citing high rates of noncompliance and retailers stockpiling pre-tax beverages for sale. A spokesperson also said industry efforts to kill the tax had caused delays in the expansion of pre-K and municipal building projects funded by the levy.
* City&State PA profiles DA Candidate Teresa Carr Deni, a long-serving judge running on a blend of policy changes that range from promoting criminal justice reforms to reducing the office’s reliance on civil asset forfeiture for funding its budget.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* State Sen. John Eichelberger dialed back comments he made about urban students flunking out of college while denying racial undertones that sparked an outcry, the Patriot News writes.
* After a raft of state legislation targeting Philadelphia, Mayor Kenney and other city political leaders tell Harrisburg to “leave us alone,” WHYY reports.
* A state House bill would require prescription drug manufacturers to reveal the wholesale prices of pharmaceuticals, LancasterOnline reports.
* During state budget hearings, Republicans questioned Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposals to hike PA’s minimum wage and enact a gas severance tax, according to the Inquirer.
* Since President Trump’s election, deportations have accelerated at a Berks County immigration detention center, WHYY reports.
* PA labor leaders, including some who expressed support for Trump’s policies, expressed anxieties that the president would push for anti-union policies, the Inquirer writes.
* A Temple News report finds that the university has all but abandoned a controversial stadium project that drew protests and a critiques from Philadelphia Mayor Kenney.
* Following Gov. Wolf’s proposal to levy a fee on rural townships that receive free state trooper coverage, the Patriot News released a database showing how much each municipality pays for police services.
* A state advisory panel described budget cuts to PA’s Department of Environmental Protection had reached “unsustainable” levels, the Patriot News reports.
* Following a federal lawsuit, a Western PA school district has agreed to remove a granite Ten Commandments sculpture and pay a fine, the AP writes.
* A Billy Penn report tries to determine if Philadelphia has reached “peak millennial.”
The Fels Institute of Government: your path to public service
With such a dynamic public landscape, how do you make your mark? At the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government, students train to tackle the problems of the public sector while developing pathways to a career in public service. Fels Master of Public Administration programs provide a versatile toolkit for public leadership and management, while graduate-level Certificate programs hone skills in specialized public sector fields. Start down your path to service at our next Virtual Info Session on February 28 at 6 p.m.
* In an Inquirer op-ed, Gov. Tom Wolf said his budget proposal offers a “new way forward” for Pennsylvanians.
* The Citizens’ Voice expresses its outrage over a recent Commonwealth Court ruling that whistleblower protection doesn’t apply to the state judiciary.
* The Intelligencer argues that the impetus to raise the state’s minimum wage should instead be redirected to educating and training people so they can earn better pay.
* WHYY’s DIck Polman thinks that Congressional Democrats should be more appreciative of US Sen. John McCain’s vocal opposition to President Trump, since it provides cover and a template for others in the GOP who wish to do the same.
* The Times-News is understandably supportive of US Sen. Bob Casey’s proposed “Erie Bill,” which would provide funding and tax incentives to support new and existing businesses.
* LancasterOnline delves into the thorny issue of how police and school districts can and can’t protect kids from cyberbullying.
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9:15 a.m. - The PA House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee will meet. Room G50, Irvis Office, 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 Standing Committee will meet. Council Chambers, City-County Building, Pittsburgh.
11 a.m. - Mayor Kenney will participate in the Party for the Market fundraiser for Reading Terminal Market. 51 N. 12th St., Philadelphia.
1 p.m. - Mayor Kenney, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health David Jones, Congressman Dwight Evans, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System Ralph Muller and individuals who benefitted from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will speak about the immediate and long term devastating effects repealing the ACA would have on Philadelphia. Health and Literacy Center, 1700 S. Broad St., Philadelphia.
1 p.m. - The PA Senate Appropriations Committee will meet. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building, Harrisburg.
1:30 p.m. - Gov. Wolf will announce statewide senior community center grants and discuss 2017-2018 budget initiatives to help seniors.
3 p.m. - The PA Senate Appropriations Committee will meet. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building, Harrisburg.
4:30 p.m. - Mayor Kenney will provide remarks as the 2017 Picasso Project Award Recipients are honored. An Initiative of Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY), the Picasso Project provides funds to support innovative arts projects at 15 Philadelphia public schools. Mayor’s Reception Room, City Hall, Room 202, Philadelphia.
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KICKER: “On the law enforcement side, everybody is clapping and waving the flag and banging the chest because Donald Trump is president. He says all these great things, but when he sits at the table, it’s a whole different story.” – Philly FOP chief John McNesby on Trump. From the Inquirer.
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