The U.S House this week passed a measure that will cut $15 billion in unspent money from the federal budget. There was quite a bit of pearl-clutching going on, which we found to be
odd considering the federal budget deficit for the year is around $800 billion, so $15 billion is pretty much a rounding error in that context.
As the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Ruler Kim Jong Un approaches, Trump this week floated the idea that Kim might one day visit the White House. The Secret Service will have a devil of a time keeping Dennis Rodman from jumping over the White House fence.
Trump today suggested it might be time to allow Russia back into the G-7, making it the G-8 once again, presumably because Russia hasn’t forcibly annexed any sovereign nations in the past few days.
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey this week had a rather public break with Trump over tariffs, which we can only guess will result in Sen. Bob Casey having lunch with Trump sometime very soon.
There will be no property tax hike in Philadelphia this year (and probably next year as well), as City Council agreed on a budget without Mayor Jim Kenney’s centerpiece revenue
generator. This development did not make the mayor very happy, as one might guess.
While there will be no property tax increase, there will be a new construction tax levied to fund affordable housing in the city. While this was good news in the fight for affordable housing, the plan was absolutely lambasted by a certain electrician who maintains that the tax will cause construction to grind to a halt.
Kenney did, however, have some good news, as the courts sided with him over Philly’s sanctuary city status, something he and President Trump have tangled over since Day One. Something tells us this saga is far from over as we remind everyone that it is now 2018 and there are these things called “elections” happening this fall.
Pennsylvania will no longer ask for the salary histories of potential employees, as Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order banning the practice this week. Wolf’s efforts to bring about pay equity for women were met with applause from advocacy groups and grumbles of “election-year politics” by his opponents. Because, again, 2018.
The General Assembly began moving a bill that would change how legislative and congressional seats are drawn every 10 years, and the whole process has already devolved into a shouting match between some reformers and other reformers. From that we can gather, the former reformers are sell-outs and the latter reformers are purists. Got it?
Pennsylvania school students will now have to pass a civics exam much like those taken by immigrants applying for citizenship before they can graduate high school. We would be fine if they could just name all fifty states without consulting Google.
For the first time since the Reconstruction, Pennsylvania lawmakers and the governor seem to all be singing happy songs about the impending state budget. Of course, it is also June 8, so don’t pop the champagne corks just yet.
A plan to provide free college tuition in the state was formally introduced this week. We like it when folks go boldly around here, there is not enough of that for our money. Speaking of money, the price tag is a cool billion to start, so there is plenty of work yet to do. That’s not pocket change, for sure.
Former Gov. Ed Rendell was on the TV tubes this week, floating the idea that outgoing Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz could make a run for president in 2020. It would seem that Mr. Schultz probably has a wallet that is conducive to such an endeavor. Hey, we like coffee, so why not?
There was plenty of chatter this week about a bill to repeal the Philadelphia soda tax, and as such, we would like to share this Shameless Client Video of ShopRite honcho Jeff Brown. You may be inclined to believe this tax is only hurting “big soda.” And you would be incorrect.
In another Shameless Client Plug, the plan to rehab the First Bank of the U.S. in Philly will get a $1 million jump-start from University of Pennsylvania professor Jeremy Siegel. We thank you, professor!
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment this week, we take you to Canada, where the peafowl are in pretty foul mood (sorry; we had to.) Feral peacocks have begun attacking luxury cars in one swanky neighborhood because they are mistaking their reflection for other feral peacocks. This all sounds like a bad Hitchcock remake.
That’s what passes for news around here on a lovely Friday at Triad World Headquarters. Make sure to join us again next week as we give you all the news you didn’t have and probably didn’t even know you wanted. From all your friends 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