July 8, 2022
The U.S. job market is apparently unaware that there is a recession coming as it added another 372,000 jobs last month, keeping the jobless rate steady at 3.6%. If you think you know a thing or two about cable television, we urge you to check out the coverage from this morning, where Fox News anchors characterized the job numbers as unexpectedly great news, while four CNN guests went on at length about why the jobs report was bad for Joe Biden.
A new report came out this week that predicted the race for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania will be one of the most expensive in history. So, yay for us, we guess. Get used to seeing or hearing John Fetterman and Dr. Oz on your televisions, smart phones, laptops, and radios four hundred million times this summer.
We have a budget, people! Eight days tardy, but chock full of goodies for seemingly everyone. Tax cuts for corporations, historic investments in public schools, affordable housing loot, scads of money for law enforcement, even larger scads of money for clean water projects and everything in between. The final product sailed through the state senate this afternoon and might be signed into law before the sun sets on June 38th.
Students at the University of Pittsburgh breathed a rather large sigh of relief when the General Assembly finally approved that university’s appropriation after more than a little controversy. Hail to Pitt, indeed. Until, you know, next year.
And the aforementioned cut in the state’s corporate net income tax is a historic one, hailed by both sides of the aisle. The tax rate will drop continually until it hits 4.99%, or when a future legislature is staring at a deficit and decides to freeze it, whichever comes first.
Pennsylvania is now officially a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, fulfilling one of Governor Wolf’s major bucket list items. Pack that in with historic education funding, tax cuts and a $5 billion balance in the rainy-day fund, and the governor can rightly say he checked a lot of boxes in his Last Dance.
The General Assembly also sent the governor a bill to ban so-called nuisance fireworks, which according to our dogs, are pretty much any fireworks at all. It was only a few short years ago that the General Assembly legalized pretty much any firework on God’s green earth, so this was a pretty abrupt “oops, our bad” moment.
The General Assembly nibbled at some election reforms as well, most notably including big money for county election offices, while banning outside cash like Zuckerbucks, Bezos Bucks, and Koch Cash. Notably absent was a ban on Musk Moolah which was an oversight, we are sure.
Lawmakers also pledged to take a look at the state’s Right to Know law this summer and make a few changes when they return in the fall. The big question always seems to be what is truly a legitimate request and who is just clogging up the system by being a Nebby Debbie about everything. Delicate balance there.
Before decamping to their respective legislative districts, lawmakers today passed a constitutional amendment to pave the wave for an abortion ban in Pennsylvania. The Senate passed the measure earlier today, and the House is expected to follow suit as we are typing this report. If you happen to be tuning in to PCN today, you will see that all fireworks have indeed not been banned. Some are going off on Commonwealth Avenue this very moment.
The state PUC this week also gave the green light to Philadelphia Gas Works to return about $12 million to their ratepayers. Welcome to a little Christmas in July, PGW customers.
In public health news this week, COVID is back and badder than ever. Subvariant Omicron Delta Zeta B52 (or something like that) is circulating, so we suggest getting vaxxed. And also, we weren’t huge fans of the masks, but we did enjoy us the social distancing thing.
In weird news that is probably not relevant to anything in particular, the director of the U.S. Secret Service stepped down this week to become an executive at… Snapchat? Really, that’s a thing? From protecting the most powerful person on earth to Snapchat? Well, we suppose it is certainly less stressful.
It was with sadness that we marked the passing of two of our friends this week. First, former CBS News anchor Robb Hanrahan left us too soon. We recall fondly the days of he and the late, great Tony May on the set of Face the State. Our sincere condolences to Robb’s family.
We also said goodbye this week to a giant in the Pennsylvania labor movement, our friend Bobby Heenan. His imprint on the building trades is an indelible one.
For all the budget-related coverage we can muster, please be sure to check back often to the Triad Socials for our steely-eyed analysis of this year’s final product. It is free, so what do you have to lose?
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we were tempted to go with the whole secret service to Snapchat thing, but instead we take you to Denver, where an unsuspecting couple looked outside to find that the Stanley Cup was sitting in their driveway, mistakenly delivered to the wrong address. Considering the places that the Stanley Cup usually goes during the summer (involved in things that are unprintable), this was probably the safest it’s been since June.
That’s what passes for news around here as we put a bow on the budget season and shut everything down until… no, just kidding. We never stop working around here. Check back next week and watch us struggle to fill this space with anything of worth! Until then, from all of us at Team Triad, have a great weekend!