WEATHER: Philadelphia: partly cloudy, high of 69; Harrisburg: mostly sunny, high of 73; Pittsburgh: mostly sunny, high of 79.


NEW THIS MORNING:

* Republican Jeff Bartos announced that his U.S. Senate campaign raised nearly $1.2 million in the month since he announced his candidacy, Politics PA reports.

* Pennsylvania’s largest pension fund, PSERS, admitted for the first time that it’s under federal investigation and is probing its own staff due to an error in a December report, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

* The Pennsylvania House passed a bill that could allow past victims of child sex abuse to sue their abusers, the Morning Call reports.

* The state House passed a bill Tuesday to crack down on repeat DUI offenders, PennLive reports.

* Former Allegheny County councilman Charles McCullough, husband to a candidate for state Supreme Court, turned himself in to begin serving a prison term for theft of an elderly client’s trust fund, the Associated Press reports.

* Two Scranton Republicans want state Rep. Marty Flynn (D-113th) thrown off the May 18 special election ballot for the vacant 22nd state Senate District seat for allegedly failing to personally file a financial interest statement, the Citizens’ Voice reports.

* U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said schools can safely reopen for in-person schooling during a visit to the Philadelphia area, WHYY reports.

* U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), the chair of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, met with Pittsburgh-area business leaders Tuesday to pledge support for the region in a planned federal infrastructure bill, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

* Former GOP congressional candidate and conservative commentator Kathy Barnette has joined the 2022 race for U.S. Senate, Politics PA reports.

* Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday honored grocery store employees for serving the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tribune-Review reports.

* U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-6) cautioned about the threat posed by the spotted lanternfly at a press conference in Kennett Square, the Unionville Times reports.

* The Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office held its first online auction of foreclosed properties while several city council members say online auctions should be halted, WHYY reports.

* State officials said Tuesday that they have stepped up outreach to provide vaccines to the state’s most vulnerable elderly and minority residents, the Tribune-Review reports.


EDITORIAL PAGES:

* The Tribune-Review writes that NIMBY-ism should not be allowed to prevent a new mental health clinic from opening in the Pittsburgh area.

* Trudy Rubin writes for the Inquirer that President Biden’s infrastructure plan is key to U.S. competition with China.

* The Post-Gazette writes in support of a proposal by state Rep. Valerie Gaydos (R-Aleppo) to reduce state House seats from 203 to 151.

* Former Philadelphia mayoral staffer Andrew Stober writes that the state should expand automated speed enforcement instead of the use of police radar in an op-ed for the Inquirer.


NATIONAL POLITICS:

* The Biden administration plans to announce a program to cover up to $9,000 in funeral expenses for each American who died of Covid-19, The Washington Post reports.

* Corporate leaders and business groups like the Chamber of Commerce are largely panning President Biden’s infrastructure plan, saying the tax hikes Biden is proposing to pay for it would damage American competitiveness, Politico reports.

* Rep. Matt Gaetz’ relationship with Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector who is awaiting trial on a 33-count indictment alleging financial crimes, stalking, identity theft and sex trafficking of a minor, has become central to the allegations against Gaetz, Politico reports.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Philadelphia Democratic City Committee chair Bob Brady … 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 Senate Appropriations Committee holds a budget hearing for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Senate Chamber, Capitol, Harrisburg.

10 a.m. – The Center For Rural Pennsylvania holds a public hearing via zoom on redefining metropolitan areas and how it could affect Pennsylvania's federal funding. To join, register here.

10 a.m. – The House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee holds an informational meeting on Pennsylvania's forests and forest products. Room 60, East Wing, Capitol, Harrisburg.

10 a.m. – The House Health Committee holds a voting meeting. Room 205, Ryan Office Building, Philadelphia.

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

10 a.m. – Philadelphia City Council’s Joint Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention & Committee on Children and Youth conducts hearings to examine the need for universal access to trauma counseling for Philadelphia’s youth. Council Chambers, City Hall, Philadelphia

12 p.m. – The House Legislative Budget & Finance Committee holds a virtual officers’ meeting to discuss administrative matters.

12:15 p.m. – Gov. Wolf tours a new McKeesport vaccination clinic with Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and discusses vaccine access at a press conference. Bethlehem Baptist Church, 716 Walnut St., McKeesport.

1 p.m. – The Senate Appropriations Committee holds a budget hearing for the Office of the Attorney General. Senate Chamber, Capitol, Harrisburg.

2 p.m. – Department of Education Acting Secretary Noe Ortega and other officials hosts a virtual media briefing to discuss updated health and school guidance in Pennsylvania. 

2 p.m. – Philadelphia City Council’s Committees on Commerce & Economic Development and Public Health & Human Service holds a joint hearing on restaurant capacity requirements. Council Chambers, City Hall, Philadelphia.

3 p.m. – The Senate Appropriations Committee holds a budget hearing for the Office of the Auditor General. Senate Chamber, Capitol, Harrisburg.

Today – The House Appropriations Committee will meet at the call of the chair. Room 140, Main Capitol, Harrisburg.

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


KICKER: “We had people calling crying every day and we didn’t have any answers for them. No one wants to hear ‘Be patient,’ when they are desperate.” Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cerilli Thrasher on the process of getting COVID-19 vaccines to homebound citizens, via the Tribune-Review.