PoliticsPA Written by Keegan Gibson, Guest Contributor February 22, 2017
2021 could be Pennsylvania’s most momentous redraw in a generation. GOP majorities are at historic highs, but a proposal to shrink the legislature could shake up the map. Democrats hold the trump card, but Republicans have the power to change the rules. PoliticsPA spoke with more than two dozen sources with knowledge of the upcoming reapportionment fight including lawmakers, consultants, reformers and more. Some were granted anonymity.
Pennsylvania’s next state-level redistricting is four years away, but the hands have already been dealt. A durable majority on the Pa. Supreme Court gives Democrats the trump card: the tie-breaking vote on the panel that draws state House and Senate maps. For the first time since 1990 Democrats will have the advantage during the redraw, which for state House and Senate districts is called reapportionment instead of redistricting. At the same time, Republicans have the ability to change the process. Amendments to the Pennsylvania state constitution can pass on a party-line vote in the legislature and aren’t subject to a governor’s veto – just a voter referendum.
Post Gazette By Angela Couloumbis and Kristen A. Graham / Harrisburg Bureau February 23, 2017 6:34 PM
Revenue generated by Philadelphia's new tax on sweetened beverages tax is beating projections, Philadelphia officials said Thursday. But those returns still will have to grow substantially to meet targets for the year, they added. In January, Philadelphia collected $5.7 million from the 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax, well above estimates as the program ramps up, said city finance director Rob Dubow. "In our quarterly report, we had $2.3 million," he said. "We knew there would be some growing pains and people had stocked up before the tax had going into effect, so we thought that the first month would be low." Pepsi salesman Chris Lemon said that success for the city has comes at a cost for those in the industry. Showing city officials his pay stubs for January, Lemon said, in his 10 years selling soda, he has never seen them so low. "Last week, I got $382. The week prior to that, I got $220," he said. "The week prior to that $261." Mayor Jim Kenney said he's highly skeptical that sales in Philadelphia are down as much as distributors claim.
By Elizabeth Behrman and Molly Born / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette February 24, 2017 12:00 AM
The briefings are free and open to the public, but we ask that you please RSVP.
Forum #3 – Philadelphia Thursday, March 2, 2017 – Penn Center for Educational Leadership, University of Pennsylvania, 3440 Market Street (5th Floor), Philadelphia, PA 19104
Forum #4 – Indiana University of Pennsylvania Tuesday, March 14, 2017 – 1011 South Drive (Stouffer Hall), Indiana, PA 15705
Forum #5 – Lehigh Valley Tuesday, March 28, 2017 – Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit #21, 4210 Independence Drive, Schnecksville, PA 18078
Plan to join public education leaders for networking and learning at the 2017 NSBA Annual Conference, March 25-27 in Denver, CO. General registration is now open at https://www.nsba.org/conference/registration. A conference schedule, including pre-conference workshops, is available on the NSBA website.