Welcome to our truncated (but still incredibly entertaining) holiday weekend edition of the weekly wrap. United Airlines dominated the news and every social media channel on earth this week as they “re-accommodated” a passenger after his flight was oversold.
In related news, after re-accommodating an air strip in Syria and a cave network in Afghanistan, the Trump Administration is sending signals that if North Korea doesn’t calm down, it may also be in line for some re-accommodating.
One of Governor Tom Wolf’s signature wish list items, a hike in the state minimum wage, hit a little turbulence this week as the state’s independent fiscal experts threw a little shade at it. According to the wonks in that department, a hike in the wage could cost up to 54,000 jobs in Pennsylvania. Wolf, in turn, pointed to surrounding states’ efforts as proof that the sky did not fall when they raised their minimum wage rates.
Meanwhile, the same fiscal experts also affirmed that Wolf’s revenue estimates for his proposed budget are well within reason. So, Wolf went 1 for 2 with the fiscal office this week, which puts you in the Hall of Fame if you are playing baseball.
Because we are contractually obligated to provide you with at least one news blip per year from the State Treasurer, we bring you the news this week that the fine folks in that inscrutable operation have announced they will begin using passive investments to save the state some loot. If this all sounds like Greek to you, we assure you that you are not alone. But hey, five million bucks is five million bucks.
Now that the State House has passed a trimmed down version of the governor’s proposed state budget, the plan has plopped down in the State Senate, where the timeless debate over spending vs. taxes will begin in earnest. If this is news to you, you obviously just moved here. Welcome to Pennsylvania.
New York State has put this kibosh on a proposed 97-mile natural gas pipeline that would have supplied the Empire State with some of our yummy and nutritious natural gas. Hey New Yok, don’t come crying to us when your energy needs outpace your voracious demands. Maybe you can power your state with clean-burning rhetoric.
Reminding us all that the fight against addiction is still a combination of treatment and interdiction, Attorney general Josh Shapiro this week announced that his office has blown up a pretty large heroin ring in the Commonwealth, seizing 15,000 bricks of heroin. We are certainly not experts in the field, but 15,000 bricks sounds like a boatload.
The State System of Higher Education this week continued to sound warning bells about what could happen because of chronic underfunding. The options are not pretty. The system is slated for a 2% increase over last year’s funding levels, which will scarcely make a dent in the overall needs of our fourteen state colleges and universities.
A plan to change the State Constitution to allow Philadelphia to assess property taxes at different rates may have hit a major snag this week, as the powerful Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia tossed the idea into the Delaware River. No word yet on whether or not this will slow down the train in Harrisburg.
If you are a doctor who is interested in prescribing medicinal marijuana, you may want to check out the draft regulations that the state Department of Health released this week. After all, what good is legalizing medical cannabis if nobody prescribes it?
Not content to allow Netflix to dominate the online streaming video market, Comcast this week announced it will dip its sizeable toes into that stream very soon. This is a shrewd move for the cable giant, as our younger generation spends approximately 23 hours of each day online.
When Dale Earnhardt Jr. climbs behind the wheel of the #88 car at Pocono Raceway in June, his whip will be decked out in Philadelphia Eagles colors and logo, we learned this week. It must be a tiny bit awkward for Earnhardt, a rabid Washington Redskins fan, to be driving the Eagles car. Fly, Dale, fly!
Which provides us a nice little Segway into this week’s announcement that NASCAR Xfinity Series will once again take over the streets of Philadelphia on May 9th. Who knows, you may even see that green-and-black #88 on Broad Street!
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment this week, we take you to Ohio where an 8-year-old boy learned to drive by watching YouTube videos before swiping his sleeping dad’s car and driving to McDonald’s for a cheeseburger. We admit to having a Micky D’s cheeseburger craving every now and then, but this kid just took it to a whole new level.
That’s what passes for news around here as we wrap up another week at Triad World Headquarters. 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