WEATHER: Philadelphia: a.m. showers, high of 78; Harrisburg: scattered thunderstorms, high of 80; Pittsburgh: a.m. rain, high of 82.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* After enduring more than two months of the coronavirus pandemic, and with state revenues continuing to tank, Pennsylvania has yet to spend a dime of $3.9 billion in discretionary federal stimulus dollars intended to aid in the relief effort, Spotlight PA reports.
* Pennsylvania nursing homes, small businesses and counties would be among the biggest recipients of some of the federal stimulus money under a plan that the House Appropriations Committee is expected to consider on Thursday morning. The plan proposes to distribute two-thirds of the state’s $3.9 billion allotment of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, money, PennLive reports.
* State House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said he and other House members were shocked to learn that Republican Rep. Andrew Lewis found out he tested positive for COVID-19 on May 20 and they only learned about it on Wednesday, PennLive reports.
* Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden offered high praise for Pennsylvania’s chief executive on Wednesday, saying Gov. Tom Wolf’s phased plan for easing coronavirus restrictions is “the kind of thing we should be doing nationally,” the PA Post reports.
* Professional sports can resume in Pennsylvania where the governor’s stay-at-home order to stem the spread of the coronavirus is no longer in force, but without spectators, Wolf’s administration said Wednesday, the AP reports.
* Sources say that a congressman caught in the 1970s Abscam sting is now at the heart of a Philly election fraud probe, the Inquirer reports.
* Philadelphia voters will get to decide in the June 2 primary election whether the city should create a Department of Labor. Such a department would enforce the city’s growing slate of worker protection laws — such as the Fair Workweek scheduling law for retail and fast-food workers — handle sexual harassment and discrimination claims from city workers, and manage contract negotiations with municipal unions, the Inquirer reports.
* Philadelphia City Council members on Wednesday criticized members of Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration for what they saw as a lack of partnership between the city and the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, a group formed to address the disproportionate impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the African American community in Philadelphia, the Inquirer reports.
* Wolf said Wednesday during a press briefing on the latest coronavirus developments that he would be “supportive” of an effort in Montgomery County to extend the mail-in ballot deadline for the upcoming primary election to June 9, the Capital-Star reports.
* Ahead of Tuesday’s primary, the Inquirer offers a primer on voting in the age of coronavirus.
* The Inquirer has a pro/con debate over whether other states should join Pennsylvania in ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: … Gregory Heller, Senior Vice President of Community Investment, PHDC … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday to email@example.com
11 a.m. - the PA House will reconvene. Main Capitol, Harrisburg.
11 a.m. - the PA Senate will reconvene. Main Capitol, Harrisburg.
1 p.m. - Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney will join Health Commissioner Dr. Farley, Managing Director Brian Abernathy, and other officials to provide an update on the City’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus in Philadelphia. Updates will be provided virtually. The 1:00 p.m. press briefings will be offered on the virtual platform Zoom on weekdays, Monday through Friday. Virtual press conferences allow safe social distancing as advised by the CDC and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Members of the media will be able to ask questions through Zoom during the Q&A portion of the briefing.
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KICKER: “It’s not like there’s a Yelp for political consultants.” – David Thornburgh, president of the nonpartisan good-government group Committee of Seventy. From the Inquirer.