WEATHER: Philadelphia, partly cloudy, high of 88; Harrisburg, sunny, high of 88; Pittsburgh, sunny, high of 88.
NEW FROM CITY&STATE:
* Harrisburg quietly made Philadelphia’s cigarette tax permanent during budget talks, and the state promised to make up the difference for any future revenue declines.
* Ahead of Trump’s nomination, PA’s convention delegates were wooed by Paul Ryan and Donald Trump’s son.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* A judge threw out a defamation suit filed against Attorney General Kathleen Kane by political adversary Frank Fina, the Inquirer reports.
* In Kane’s own criminal case, questions of a conflict of interest were raised after she interviewed the son of a key witness for a job in the AG’s office, writes the Post-Gazette.
* Kane promoted Bruce Castor as first deputy, putting him next in line to lead the AG’s office, just months after she hired him as solicitor general, writes PennLive.
* Meanwhile, Kane’s twin sister Ellen Granahan, who worked in the AG’s office, won a pay equity suit alleging she was paid less than her colleagues, the Inquirer reports.
* US Sen. Pat Toomey said he was closer to giving Donald Trump his full support, according to the Post-Gazette.
* PA GOP Chairman Rob Gleason blasted Republican bigwigs from the Keystone state that skipped out on the convention, writes the Tribune-Review.
* Activists are pressuring Penn State to bar Philly businessman Ira Lubert’s appointment to its board because of his ties to Jerry Sandusky, reports the Post-Gazette.
* PA Turnpike tolls are set to rise 6 percent to cover a budget gap – the ninth straight year of increases, according to the Tribune-Review.
* Airport workers, demanding a $15 minimum wage, shut down traffic at PHL’s Terminal A ahead of the Democratic National Convention, the PhillyVoice reports.
* Philadelphia awarded its firefighters a four-year contract with annual 3.25 percent salary increases, according to the Inquirer.
* Philadelphia City Hall is already hiring dozens of new employees based on presumed revenues from the recently passed soda tax, writes the Inquirer.
* Six refugee families are suing Lancaster’s school district, alleging that they were turned away or given “inferior” education options by officials, Lancaster Online reports.
THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:
* 70 of PA’s 71 delegates voted with an overwhelming majority of Republicans to nominate Donald Trump as their party’s presidential candidate, writes Lancaster Online.
* New polls showed Hillary Clinton’s lead over Trump narrowing, writes FiveThirtyEight.
* Melania Trump’s alleged plagiarism of a Michelle Obama speech turned into an internet firestorm, but no one from the campaign will likely be punished, according to CNN.
Want a chance to get your brand out in front of NY and PA power brokers and the media? City & State is hosting “Cheesesteak vs. Cheesecake: a New York-Philly Food Fight” during the Democratic National Convention. The event, on Tuesday, July 26, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Union League, will be co-hosted by Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who will join a panel of political reporters, food critics and chefs to sample New York and Philadelphia’s most celebrated dishes. Members from NY’s and PA's DNC delegations will be present, as will other high-profile politicos and media figures. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, reach out to David Alpher, firstname.lastname@example.org
* An Inquirer editorial unravels the infuriatingly long list of the ways indicted lobbyist Melonease Shaw stole money from taxpayers.
* Legendary mediator Kenneth Feinberg has a PennLive op-ed explaining his role in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse settlements against Penn State.
* Newsworks’ Dick Polman takes a stroll across the anti-immigration plank of the RNC platform.
* The Post-Gazette has an incisive editorial on why cigars continue to be excluded from tobacco taxes in PA budgets – and what needs to be done to change that.
* The Daily Times warns homeowners in Delaware County – and across PA – that property taxes will continue to rise until the schools fair funding formula takes effect.
* Based on recent bad precedents, the Times-Tribune wants to know how Scranton is going to pay for municipal positions funded by grants – after those grants run out.
* A backroom sweetheart retirement deal for a retiring New Hope-Solebury principal – to the tune of $65k – is the fuel for the Intelligencer’s latest fiery editorial on transparency.
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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 email@example.com
8:07 a.m. - Gov. Wolf will be interviewed on KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway. To listen online, click here.
8:30 a.m. - Gov. Wolf will be interviewed on KQV with PJ Maloney. To listen online, click here.
No events are scheduled for the PA Senate, PA House, Mayor Kenney or Philadelphia City Council.
Want to advertise in First Read?
Contact City & State PA Publisher David Alpher at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
KICKER: “I think it’s refreshing. Everyone wants to say we're missing some of the same old things, the same old people. But did the same old things work for John McCain or Mitt Romney? Did any of that work?” – PA Delegate and Delaware County GOP chair Mike Puppio gives his take on the different tone of this year’s RNC. From City&State PA.