WEATHER: Philadelphia: partly cloudy, high of 44; Harrisburg: mostly cloudy, high of 27; Pittsburgh: cloudy, high of 43.

 

NEW THIS MORNING:

* Gov. Wolf on Monday again proposed an extraction tax on the natural gas industry to provide up to $3 billion in revenue to fund efforts to boost the state’s economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Morning Call reports.

* The state Republican Committee will hold a meeting Wednesday evening to discuss the party’s future post-Trump and if it will respond to U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey’s vote for impeachment, the Post-Gazette reports.

* The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied three petitions for review of Pennsylvania’s 2020 election, including one brought by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler) challenging the constitutionality of mail-in balloting, the Citizens’ Voice, via PennLive, reports.

* The state’s Department of Community and Economic Development got a round of tough questioning about business closures and the state’s waiver program during the coronavirus outbreak efforts at a budget hearing Monday, the Post-Gazette reports.

* The sealed records of how former State Rep. Leslie Acosta was charged and convicted with embezzling thousands from a Philly mental health nonprofit, giving it to Renee Tartaglione while in office and running for reelection are being sought in a lawsuit filed by Spotlight PA, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and LancasterOnline. Acosta ran unopposed and was reelected after pleading guilty as her case was unreported until September 2016, SpotlightPA reports. She resigned in January 2017.

* State Rep. Marty Flynn (D-Lackawanna) announced on Twitter that he will run for the position of state senator representing Lackawanna County, whose incumbent, state Sen. John Blake, is reportedly stepping down to join the office of U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright on March 8, Politics PA reports. A special election for the seat has yet to be scheduled. 
 

EDITORIAL PAGES:

* The Inquirer critiques the lack of transparency regarding Philadelphia City Council’s $18 million budget – the only city budget that goes without an annual public budget hearing.

* The Times Herald has an op-ed from Lowman S. Henry calling for accountability from Gov. Wolf for state nursing home deaths from coronavirus.

* The Tribune-Review has an editorial in support of plans to charge higher fees to fund the state’s Bureau of Dog Law.

 

NATIONAL POLITICS:

* Democrats are scrambling to piece together a backup plan that could save their minimum wage hike from getting tossed out of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package and win over moderates wary of the proposal, Politico reports.

* Dozens of migrant teens boarded vans for the trip down a dusty Texas road to a former man camp for oil field workers, the first migrant child facility opened under the Biden administration, The Washington Post reports.
 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: No birthdays today. 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 state House Education Committee will meet. Room G50, Irvis Office, State Capitol, Harrisburg.

11:30 a.m. - The state Senate Labor & Industry Committee will meet. 

2 p.m. – The House Democratic Policy Committee will meet. Room 60, State Capitol, Harrisburg.

4:30 p.m. – Philadelphia City Councilmember Derek Green will hold “Financing Philadelphia’s Future,” the first in a series of public meetings presented by the Philadelphia Public Bank Coalition. Join on Zoom.

 

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

 

KICKER: “As someone who has spent 30 years trying to attract people and businesses to the state of Pennsylvania, to hear you say your department ‘allowed’ businesses to stay in business is offensive. We live in a free state and a free country. This isn’t Cuba where the government ‘allows’ businesses to stay open. You didn’t do businesses any favors.”  – Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland) via the Post-Gazette.