WEATHER: Philadelphia, partly cloudy, high of 94; Harrisburg, partly cloudy, high of 92; Pittsburgh, partly cloudy, high of 91.

 

NEW FROM CITY&STATE:

* Weeks before the DNC, sources said criminal charges are imminent for ousted Philly stagehands union officers for an overbilling scheme at the city’s convention center.

 

NEW THIS MORNING:

* Kathleen Kane’s former deputy Bruce Beemer has been named Inspector General by Gov. Tom Wolf, reports the Post-Gazette.

* Democratic US Senate candidate Katie McGinty asked Philadelphia to soften its “sanctuary city” policy, shortly after criticizing US Sen. Pat Toomey for a bill to cut federal funds over the issue, the Inquirer reports.

* After the detection of a manufacturing defect crippled a third of Philly’s commuter trains, car builder Hyundai Rotem has stopped taking press calls, writes PlanPhilly.

* Days after the defeat of a bill to enhance legal rights for victims of molestation, a prominent anti-clergy abuse advocate committed suicide, writes the Patriot News.

* Despite continued talks, there is still no consensus from lawmakers about how to pay for PA’s $31.5 billion budget, the Morning Call reports.

* The EPA is threatening to crack down on PA farm pollution, after it determined the state would likely miss its 2025 pollution reduction goals, according to Lancaster Online.

* The growing farm-to-table movement is spurring PA municipalities to revise ordinances regulating beekeeping and chicken coops, writes the Tribune-Review.

 

THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

* An FBI probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server ended with the agency declining to press criminal charges, Politico reports.

* Clinton plans to host a rally bashing Donald Trump over his mishandling of his former gambling empire in Atlantic City, writes the AP.

* A tweet from Trump that some said had anti-Semitic overtones continued to haunt the campaign, drawing the ire of Jewish GOP donors, according to the Washington Post.

 

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Be among the first to explore the all-new cityandstatepa.com, which now features First Read and the latest issue of City & State PA magazine! 

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EDITORIAL PAGES:

 

* A Daily News editorial emphasizes the need, after 18 years of charter schools in PA, for their reform – and is just as emphatic that HB 530 won’t change things for the better.

* The Standard-Speaker wants to avoid a “same time, next year” mentality for the state budget, advocating for PA to adopt a two-year budget cycle like 20 other states.

* The Tribune-Review gives props to the federal ruling that makes it easier for third-party candidates to get on the ballot in PA, and hopes the state acts quickly on it.

* The Daily Times applauds SEPTA for acting quickly and decisively to mothball one-third of all regional rail cars, warning commuters of “a summer of their discontent.”

* Dick Polman uses his Newsworks blog to wonder aloud, “What About Bill?” as he tries to understand what Bill Clinton was thinking when he visited USAG Lynch last week.

* Despite the defeat of HB 2013, the Times-News warns Pennsylvanians to be vigilant against legislators looking to commercialize the state’s 121 parks for private interests.

* An Evening Sun op-ed calls for immigration reform that would help balance the employment climate and improve wages in the face of a growing immigrant workforce.

* The Pocono Record uses some frightening examples from Whitestone Care Center in Stroud Township to call for greater vigilance in protecting and caring for senior citizens.

* A Lancaster Online editorial sums up the mood of PA residents nicely by exhorting Harrisburg to find a way to get the 2016-17 budget funded and passed ASAP.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday at editor@cityandstatepa.com 

 

TODAY’S SKED:

 

No events are scheduled for the PA Senate, PA House, Philadelphia City Council, Gov. Tom Wolf or Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.

 

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Want to advertise in First Read? 

Contact City & State PA Publisher David Alpher at dalpher@cityandstatepa.com for details. 

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KICKER: “Last year at this time nobody was even talking, let alone having a spending plan in place," House Majority Leader Dave Reed finds the silver lining in PA lawmakers’ continuing inability to explain how they’ll pay for the newly passed state budget. From the Morning Call.