WEATHER: Philadelphia: sunny, high of 39; Harrisburg: sunny, high of 40; Pittsburgh: sunny, high of 36.

NEW THIS MORNING:

* The notion of banning fracking is dividing the Democrats running for president and increasingly dividing Democrats in the presidential battleground state of Pennsylvania, where fracking has vaulted it to the No. 2 natural gas producer behind Texas, the AP reports.

* Two Wolf administration officials made the case for a wage hike during the agency’s annual budget hearing before the House Appropriations Committee. They told the Republican-controlled panel that the Legislature’s lack of movement on the issue has been “frustrating,” the Capital-Star reports.

* President Donald Trump trails his potential Democratic rivals in Pennsylvania and Michigan and leads outright in Wisconsin, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll of the three Rust Belt swing states that cemented the president’s 2016 victory. Trump is within close range of the Democrats in Pennsylvania and Michigan, the survey shows, the Inquirer reports.

* A new study suggests President Trump may benefit from an unexpected source in Pennsylvania: those who typically don’t vote, the Capital-Star reports.

* The Philadelphia soda tax was supposed to provide a revenue stream that would allow for the upgrade and improvement of as many as 200 Parks and Rec facilities in the city via the Rebuild program; it hasn’t worked out like that, reports the Inquirer.

* In a wide-ranging and sometimes contentious half-hour press conference, Allegheny County Democratic Committee chairwoman Eileen Kelly pushed back on criticism of the local party and called for unity in a presidential election year — while settling some scores of her own, WESA reports.

* For years, Pennsylvania’s Corrections Department has been grappling with a growing issue: having to dedicate a lot of its budget to caring for aging inmates. At a state House hearing on the department’s budget Thursday, officials recommended certain elderly prisoners be set free, WITF 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 Patriot-News’ John Baer believes that when it comes to Pennsylvania politics, we should be addicted to hope.


 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: … 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 PA Senate Democratic Policy Committee will meet. University of Pennsylvania, Fagin Hall, 418 Curie Boulevard, Philadelphia.

10 a.m. - the PA House Joint Legislative Air And Water Pollution Control And Conservation Committee will meet. Strand Theatre 110 W. Blaine St. McAdoo.

10 a.m. - the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Licenses and Inspections will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.

11 a.m. - the PA House Aging & Older Adult Services Committee will meet. New Hope Eagle Fire Company, 46 Sugan Rd., New Hope.

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

KICKER: “Tell us why it’s okay to have a $7.25 minimum wage when we know increasing it to $12 would benefit 2 million Pennsylvanians.” – Pennsylvania Labor & Industry Secretary Gerard Oleksiak. From the Capital-Star.