Written by John Cole, Managing Editor and PoliticsPA Staff

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona visited the Lehigh Valley on Tuesday, while Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey split on the infrastructure bill. Here is the Playbook. 

 

Casey, Toomey Split on Infrastructure Bill: Sen. Bob Casey Casey voted in favor of the $1 trillion bill and lauded its passage as a “vital… investment in American communities” that is “long overdue,” while Sen. Pat Toomey voted against the bill and said it is “‘too expensive, too expansive, and too unpaid for.”

‘Pennsylvania county asks senator to stop seeking vote audit’: The Associated Press reports that Tioga County commissioners “on Tuesday accused a state senator of creating “unnecessary chaos” in pushing for a detailed review of how the county collected and counted votes in former President Donald Trump’s reelection defeat last year.”

‘Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf says employees in state health care facilities must get vaccinated or tested; Republicans call it ‘coercion’’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday said employees in state health care facilities and high-risk congregate care facilities will have to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by Sept. 7, and those who are not will face weekly testing.”

‘What renters in Pa. need to know about available relief, the new eviction ban’: Spotlight PA reports on what Pennsylvania renters need to know “about available relief” and the “new eviction ban.”

‘It’s time to end stigma of community college, students tell US education secretary during visit to Northampton Community College’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona “was in Northampton County on Tuesday to promote President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, which calls in part for increasing federal subsidies to help students pay for college.” Cardona participated in a roundtable discussion with Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) and Pennsylvania Education Secretary Noe Ortega.

‘Sens. to propose ‘opt-out’ for mask mandates’: The Times Observer reports that state Sens. Doug Mastriano and Judy Ward’s “proposal forthcoming in the General Assembly would give parents — rather than health experts, school districts or the state — the ability to make that decision for their children.”

‘Nearly $19 billion for bridges, roads and more: Here’s what Pa. could get in Senate infrastructure bill’: PennLive reports that “the infrastructure bill, if approved in its current form, would direct nearly $19 billion to Pennsylvania, and possibly more. Here’s a look at where the money would be spent.”

‘US Sen Casey pushes to update river infrastructure in new bill’: The Beaver County Times reports that Sen. Bob Casey “has requested that $21.5 million in congressionally directed spending be added to the 2022 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill for the Upper Ohio Navigation System Project. The plan would modernize and update the capacity of the three oldest lock chambers on the Ohio River.”

‘The US Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure improvement bill; here’s what’s in it for Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “the U.S. Senate voted 69-30 Tuesday to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill to improve the nation’s roads, bridges and public transportation systems. This $1 trillion proposal, which now goes to the House of Representatives for a vote, would funnel billions of dollars into Pennsylvania for infrastructural improvements.”

‘Regional Leaders Say The Infrastructure Bill Is, Mostly, A Win For Western Pennsylvania’: WESA reports that “the more than 2,000-page bill still needs final approval from the House of Representatives, but the Senate action won guarded praise from agency leaders and advocates in Western Pennsylvania.”

‘Where labor law and public health clash: Unions differ on COVID-19 vaccine mandates’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “labor law may be bumping up against public health policy in the face of a highly contagious virus and vaccines aimed at preventing its spread.”

‘Rally outside Pennycuick’s office urges help for small business’: Montgomery Media reports that “advocacy group We the People — Action” organized a rally outside of the Gilbertsville office of state Rep. Tracy Pennycuick that “aimed at urging Pennycuick to take action in Harrisburg to release the $7 billion in unspent federal American Rescue Plan funding to help small businesses, like Orbit, and working families.”

Stollsteimer Endorses Lamb for Senate: The Delaware Valley Journal reports that Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer endorsed Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny) for U.S. Senate. 

‘Philly expected to require businesses check vaccination status or mandate masks indoors’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Philadelphia officials are expected to impose new coronavirus restrictions Wednesday, with a mandate that businesses either require masks for everyone or verify that all staff and customers are fully vaccinated, according to the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association.”

‘Vaccinations required for Philadelphia City Council, staff’: KYW Newsradio reports that “Philadelphia City Council will require COVID-19 vaccinations for councilmembers and staff by mid-September.”

‘Philly’s largest union for city workers says it won’t oppose a vaccine mandate’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Philadelphia’s largest union for city workers won’t object if Mayor Jim Kenney requires municipal employees be vaccinated.”

‘Pittsburgh partners with German city to develop sustainable agriculture policies’: Pittsburgh City Paper reports that “the city of Pittsburgh is hoping to create a new sustainable agriculture program, and is partnering with a German city that has some experience with urban farming.”

‘Peduto administration’s Majestic Lane to work at Allegheny Conference’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Majestic Lane, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s deputy chief of staff and chief equity officer, “is headed to Allegheny Conference on Community Development.”

‘Local Democrats praise Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure deal’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “top local Democratic elected officials and a union leader praised President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan that passed the U.S. Senate on Tuesday and called it a crucial turning point for the nation, state, region, and city.”

‘Luzerne County Council appoints seven to manager search committee’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Luzerne County’s search for a new manager will now commence because council appointed a seven-member citizen committee that must seek and recommend applicants.”

‘Litigation filed over timing of Luzerne County DA race’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “litigation over the timing of Luzerne County’s district attorney election was filed Tuesday in the county Court of Common Pleas.”

‘Carlisle council, commission approve plan for truth and reconciliation work’: The Carlisle Sentinel reports that “Carlisle’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission will embark on the next step of its work after it and the borough council approved the commission’s mission statement, bylaws, and plan at a meeting last week.”

‘Reading approves a public art policy’: The Reading Eagle reports that Reading City Council voted 6-0 “at its meeting Monday night to adopt a new public art policy.”

TD Bank and The African American Chamber of Commerce host a viewing session and live panel discussion titled “Philly, Where Do We Go From Here?”: On Wednesday morning, ​​The African-American Chamber of Commerce, along with Executive Leader Sponsor TD Bank, are hosting a viewing session of #BuildingBackBlack, A National Convening of Mayors, and a live panel discussion titled “Philly, Where Do We Go From Here?.” The National Convening of Mayors will feature Black Mayors from around the U.S. to discuss the challenges and successes that Black-owned businesses in their communities face. This full-length production will air on ALL 6abc streaming platforms starting August 1, 2021 through August 31, 2021, in celebration of National Black Business Month.”

Bartos Releases 2nd Digital Ad Highlighting Statewide Bus Tour: Jeff Bartos, a Montgomery County real estate developer who was the GOP Lt. Governor nominee in 2018 and is seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, released a new 30 second digital ad that highlights Bartos’ recently completed 67 county bus tour. He also released an ad last week touting his statewide tour. 

Sofranko and Steber Endorse Barletta for Governor: Jim Thorpe Borough Mayor Michael Sofranko and former Carbon County GOP Chairman Joe Steber have endorsed former Congressman Lou Barletta for Governor. 

Richter Talks to Pennsylvania Kitchen Table Politics Podcast: The Pennsylvania Kitchen Table Politics Podcast talks with John Richter about “how voter sentiment changed across” Northeast PA between 2016 to 2020 and “shares war stories from virtual grassroots organizing and planning a “car rally.”

 

Harrisburg & DC   
AP: Pennsylvania county asks senator to stop seeking vote audit
AP: Wolf tells 25K state health, prison workers: vaccine or test
AP: Nursing home overhaul bill proposes more funding for staffing, increased oversight
Spotlight PA: What renters in Pa. need to know about available relief, the new eviction ban
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: State hospital, prison employees must be vaccinated or face weekly COVID tests under new policy 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Tioga County calls on Sen. Mastriano to stop ‘unnecessary chaos’ of forensic investigation 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: U.S. Senate OKs $1.2T bipartisan infrastructure bill; Pa.’s Casey, Toomey split on vote 
Patriot News: Nearly $19 billion for bridges, roads and more: Here’s what Pa. could get in Senate infrastructure bill
Patriot News: Pa. state workers in health care and ‘high risk’ settings must be vaccinated or tested
Patriot News: COVID-19 hospitalizations accelerating in Pa.
Patriot News: COVID-19 rages again: Here’s the good and the bad for Pa.
Post-Gazette: Gov. Wolf says state health care workers in ‘high risk’ settings must be vaccinated or tested
City & State PA: Wolf announces ‘vaccine or test’ requirement for some state workers
Morning Call: Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf says employees in state health care facilities must get vaccinated or tested; Republicans call it ‘coercion’
Inquirer: Pa. to require health, congregate workers to get the coronavirus vaccine or be tested weekly
Pittsburgh Business Times: Wolf makes vaccinations required for health workers at state facilities
KDKA: Health Department Sending 2nd Vaccine Dose Text Reminders To Wrong People 
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Reports Over 2,000 New Daily Cases For First Time Since May
StateImpactPA: Energy Transfer fined $140K for construction violations along Beaver County pipeline
The Hill: Pennsylvania state health, prison workers ordered to get vaccinated or be tested
KYW Newsradio: Wolf: State health care workers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested weekly
CNN: The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip 

 

Philadelphia 
KYW Newsradio: New Philadelphia COVID-19 mandates could include masking, vaccination requirements
KYW Newsradio: Vaccinations required for Philadelphia City Council, staff
Inquirer: Philly expected to require businesses check vaccination status or mandate masks indoors 
Inquirer: Philly’s largest union for city workers says it won’t oppose a vaccine mandate 
Billy Penn: Philly City Council announces ‘vaccine or test’ mandate for all employees
Philadelphia Tribune: City judge issues order halting some lockout evictions
Philly Voice: Pennsylvania enacts a ‘vaccine or test’ requirement for some state workers

 

SEPA
Montgomery Media: Rally outside Pennycuick’s office urges help for small business 
Montgomery Media: Montgomery County officials ‘keeping a close eye’ on COVID-19 increases and masking rules in county facilities 
Montgomery Media: Montgomery County records 562 new coronavirus cases over 7 days
Delaware Valley Journal: Delco D.A. Jack Stollsteimer Endorses Conor Lamb for Senate 
Delaware Valley Journal: Could Hyde Amendment Cause Problems for Casey?
Delaware Valley Journal: PA Stands to Gain Billions Through Federal Infrastructure Bill
Bucks County Courier Times: Face masks making a return in some Bucks County buildings
Bucks County Courier Times: PA, Bucks officials urge those facing eviction to apply for help
WHYY Newsworks: Southeast Pa. counties lead in solving ‘maddening’ lapse in eviction protections
Bucks Local News: Bucks County COVID cases continue to rise amid mitigation debates
Delco Daily Times: Crime down 21% in Chester so far this year, mayor says 

 

Pittsburgh 
WESA: Regional Leaders Say The Infrastructure Bill Is, Mostly, A Win For Western Pennsylvania 
WESA: County Executive Rich Fitzgerald Says No Mask Mandate At This Time, Despite Increased COVID-19 Spread 
WESA: Pittsburgh Public Schools Proposes Delayed Start To Address Bus Driver Shortage 
Post-Gazette: Independents begin their long-shot journeys to be Pittsburgh’s next mayor
Post-Gazette: Peduto administration’s Majestic Lane to work at Allegheny Conference 
Post-Gazette: AHN requires employees to get COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 30
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh Public Schools to delay first day by 2 weeks to mend busing issues
Post-Gazette: Where labor law and public health clash: Unions differ on COVID-19 vaccine mandates
KDKA: Highmark Health, AHN To Require COVID-19 Vaccinations For Employees
KDKA: Nazi Salute Flashed After Fox Chapel School Board Votes To Require Masks 
Tribune Review: Highmark, AHN step up covid vaccination requirements for employees
City Paper: Pittsburgh partners with German city to develop sustainable agriculture policies
WTAE: Pittsburgh’s Chief Equity Officer to step down

 

SWPA 
Beaver County Times: US Sen Casey pushes to update river infrastructure in new bill
Beaver County Times: Pa. set to get billions of dollars under the infrastructure bill: Here’s where it would go
Observer-Reporter: Fayette County moves into substantial spread level
Observer-Reporter: U.S. Department of Education approves Pa’s ARP ESSER plan, distributes funds
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Somerset adds incentive program to attract caseworkers for CYS
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: New state employees must get COVID jab under plan announced by Wolf
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Somerset adds incentive program to attract caseworkers for CYS
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: State agriculture chief urges rural Pa. residents to get COVID-19 shots
Altoona Mirror: Council reassures ice cream vendors

 

NEPA
Times-Tribune: Local Democrats praise Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure deal 
Times-Tribune: New COVID-19 deaths recorded in Lackawanna, Monroe
The Times Leader: Luzerne County Council appoints seven to manager search committee
The Times Leader: Litigation filed over timing of Luzerne County DA race
The Times Leader: 51 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County Tuesday; 2,076 statewide
Citizens Voice: Council, DA sue elections board over November ballot 
Citizens Voice: County council appoints manager search committee 
Citizens Voice: More than 50 new COVID-19 cases added to county’s total 

 

South Central 
Times Observer: Sens. to propose ‘opt-out’ for mask mandates
Carlisle Sentinel: Carlisle council, commission approve plan for truth and reconciliation work
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 37 new cases of COVID-19 reported Monday for Cumberland County
York Daily Record: Here’s what you need to know as students head back to York County schools
York Dispatch: York County sees highest COVID-19 case increase since May
York Dispatch: Sign of the COVID delta times? York Co. school district reinstates mask mandate

 

Lehigh Valley      
Morning Call: It’s time to end stigma of community college, students tell US education secretary during visit to Northampton Community College
Morning Call: The US Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure improvement bill; here’s what’s in it for Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley
Morning Call: PennEast was suing 70 property owners to get land to build its natural gas pipeline. This week it suddenly stopped, citing regulatory and legal hurdles
Morning Call: Donation of children’s books promoting racial identity riles parents in Northampton Area School District
Morning Call: Pennsylvania coronavirus update: Lehigh County in highest transmission tier, state adds 2,076 cases
WFMZ: US education secretary, Rep. Wild hold roundtable discussion at NCC
WFMZ: What would $1T infrastructure bill mean for the Lehigh Valley?
WFMZ: Gov. Wolf: Employees at state-run health care, congregate care facilities must get vaccinated or get tested
WFMZ: Berks to require masks be worn in all county buildings 
WFMZ: Reading council sets process for public short-term art
Reading Eagle: Berks officials reinstate mask mandate in county facilities
Reading Eagle: Reading approves a public art policy
Reading Eagle: Berks County COVID hospitalizations triple in 3 days
Express Times: U.S. education secretary in Bethlehem area tour commits to in-person school (PHOTOS)
Express Times: Gov. Wolf: 25K state workers will need to choose the COVID vaccine or weekly testing

 

North by Northwest
Centre Daily Times: Why not all COG municipalities are in favor of pushing Penn State to take action on COVID vaccines
Erie Times-News: Pa. set to get billions of dollars under the infrastructure bill: Here’s where it would go
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Williamsport city workers begin to leave condemned City Hall for temporary offices

 

Opinion  
Bridget M. Kosierowski: Nurses care for us; it’s time we stand up for them 
Eugene DePasquale: Declaring independence from misinformation and lies
Katherine Gilmore Richardson: An innovative approach to helping Philly kids process trauma 
David Clohessy and Jillian Ruck: Victims of child sex abuse continue to be denied justice in Pennsylvania
Marc Stier and Eugene Henninger-Voss: On the Pa. school funding lawsuit: Don’t change the subject
John L. Micek: New report drives home racial disparities in pandemic nursing home deaths | Wednesday Coffee
York Dispatch Editorial Board: Reject call for election subpoenas
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: No one in Lancaster County or Harrisburg seems to leading our fight against the delta variant
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: No vaccine, no service at couple’s North Side pub and restaurant
Shari Wilson: My friend carries a Glock and it’s OK with me — but Pa.’s latest gun bill is not 
Tony Norman: Love means always having to say you’re sorry
Melissa Miranda: Community health centers are needed more than ever for the medically vulnerable and underserved
Abraham Gutman: 30 minutes on Tuesday that proved American politics are not a foregone conclusion 
Aaron Joseph: We are still living with Jim Crow
Inga Saffron: How South Street’s new plaza became another heat island 
Gaurab Basu: Amid devastating climate report and heat waves coming our way, we need courage 
Lydia Kulina-Washburn: Walnut Street Is For The Dogs  
Chris Smith: There is no equity when everyone is not equal
Sarah Miller and Shaheer Naveed: How to Get Low-Cost (And Free) Mental Health Services in Philadelphia

August 11th, 2021 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Playbook, Top Stories | 3 Comments


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