During a wide-ranging interview about how he intends help shape the Democratic national platform this July, Bernie Sanders also told a reporter that he will vote for Hillary Clinton in
November. Sanders then reportedly threw up in a trashcan and punched his cat.
The financial markets reeled this morning after Great Britain’s masses voted to leave the European Union, clearing up once and for all what “Brexit” actually means. Brexit is apparently a term for making a pound weigh a helluva lot less than a pound. Hold on to your 401(K)’s folks.
Of course, the historic vote was immediately compared to our own Presidential election by breathless commentators and candidates, because really, isn’t anything that happens in the world ultimately all about us?
It was a big week for firearms in the state and nation, as our State Supreme Court upheld a decision to throw out a state law that allowed groups (O.K., maybe it was just one group) to sue municipalities over gun ordinances.
About eight seconds later, Allentown announced it would reinstate two gun ordinances it previously repealed out of fear that the NRA would sue the daylights out of the city. Cause, meet effect.
While Congressional Democrats waged a sit-in the House chamber to try and force a vote on two gun control measures, several southeastern PA House Democrats temporarily threw the PA House into chaos while a bill that would ban people on the no-fly list from owning guns was thrown into the House Rules Committee. This committee is also known as the House Committee from Which Many Bills Never Return.
Meanwhile, the House this week also positioned a bill that would expand gaming in Pennsylvania by, among other things, legalizing online gaming. Proponents of the legislation had to first fight off an attempt to allow every bar and restaurant in the Commonwealth to have video gaming machines, finally putting that silly idea to bed after weeks of speculation.
The gaming bill is part of a revenue package that House and Senate leaders are working to cobble together for this year’s state budget. Also on the table now is a plan that would re-instate the Commonwealth’s gross receipts tax on natural gas, which was repealed in 2000 when the state was loaded with cash and had no idea what to do with all of it. We are clearly afflicted with a much different problem in 2016.
For his part, Governor Wolf this week said he is focused on a balanced budget. Man alive, that is awfully non-confrontational. What a difference a year makes.
Apparently, the governor is also as hands-on and unassuming as he is often portrayed. We found out this week that he often makes his own phone calls, and some bureaucrats have hung up on him, unable to comprehend that it is actually him on the other end of the phone. Obviously, these folks believe this is the government equivalent of the “Is your refrigerator running?” prank call.
At this time of year, some lawmakers like to point to pre-K programs as being worthy of more state investment, and this week we found out why. It appears as though preschool teachers in our fine state are making an average of $28,000 a year. So yeah, if pre-K is so darned important, maybe we should pay the teachers enough that they don’t qualify for food stamps.
The entire House and Senate gathered in the capitol rotunda with Governor Wolf to announce there will be a special legislative session this fall focused on combating the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania. Special Sessions, for the uninformed, often turn out to be not all that special (anyone remember the one on property tax elimination?), but we have a feeling this one might be different.
The Liquor Control Board announced this week it will begin taking online liquor orders from bars, restaurants and casinos on a 24/7 basis, eschewing the fax machine method. With that, we officially move into the 20th century.
A plan is afoot in the state capitol that will allow private developers to partner with the state to bring hotels, water parks and all manner of fun stuff to our state parks. Conservationists are not amused, we can assure you. The Wolf camp seems to be open to the idea at this point, so look for more of that famous Harrisburg bipartisan compromise soon.
Automated work zone enforcement is closer to becoming a reality in Pennsylvania, as lawmakers look to put a lid on another Pennsylvania epidemic: idiots who speed though work zones.
The recent announcement that Royal Dutch Shell will build an ethane cracker plant in Monaca, Beaver County, is breathing new life into some struggling trade unions, we learned this week. It takes lots and lots of heavy machinery and competent people to operate them to build one of these things, it turns out.
Our Shameless Client Plug this week goes out to our friends at SEIU Healthcare PA, who welcomed Matt Yarnell as their new President while bidding a fond farewell to Neal Bisno. Bisno is off the Washington, D.C., where he becomes Executive Vice-President of SEIU’s International Union. Congrats and best wishes to all.
A non-client plug goes out this week to our good friends at Harrisburg Beer Week, who this week dropped a $40,000 donation on Harrisburg River Rescue. They drank many beers for a damned good cause.
In our We Can’t Make This Up section, we take you back to Scary Old England, where this chap named Adam was quite shocked to learn that his vote to leave the European Union actually counted, and that it actually, you know, happened. This is why we often preach about the importance of an educated electorate.
That’s what passes for news around here from your favorite governmental relations team! Check in with us next week when we will learn if we have an on-time budget. Clock strikes midnight on Thursday! From all of us at Triad, have a great weekend!
The Triadvocate is a publication of Triad Strategies, LLC, a bipartisan lobbying, public affairs, strategic communications, grassroots advocacy, issue management consulting firm located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh