Did you know Spotlight PA is a nonprofit? Learn more about our nonpartisan journalism »
Skip to main content
Main content

Bill targets dark money spending on elections

Plus, Pittsburgh challenges more tax-exempt UPMC properties.

The logo of PA Post, a free daily newsletter delivering the top news from across Pennsylvania every day.

A daily newsletter by The logo of Spotlight PA, an independent, nonpartisan newsroom producing investigative journalism for Pennsylvania.
Your Postmaster: Spotlight PA Staff

Thursday, March 28, 2024
Today: Dark money, skill games, tax exempt, train collision, election news, crypto suit, Philly librarians, and the effort to make Kisses the official candy.
The Pennsylvania House is advancing modest campaign finance reforms during an election year that will likely see a torrent of hard-to-trace political spending flood the state.

One bill would require legislative candidates to more frequently disclose which people and groups donate to their campaigns, while another would require so-called “dark money” organizations to disclose when they spend money to influence the outcome of Pennsylvania elections. 

Collectively, the bills would make small changes to the state’s notoriously lax campaign finance laws, which put no limit on the amount of money donors can give candidates and political committees.

Read Spotlight PA’s full report: ‘Dark money’ groups would be forced to disclose how they spend on Pa.’s elections under advancing bill

"These aren’t little furry pets."

Eloise Clark, a resident of the West Oakland neighborhood in Pittsburgh, on a rat infestation some are blaming on Pitt students

Our popular 'Now Serving the Truth' aprons!

Don't go another dinner without showing your support of the truth and facts over nonsense. SHOP THE SALE NOW >

TRUSTING ELECTIONS: Join us Tuesday, April 2, at 6 p.m. ET on Zoom for a live panel Q&A with Al Schmidt, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of State, on creating trust in our election system and combatting misinformation. Register here and submit questions here or to events@spotlightpa.org

Spring training at Core Creek Park in Langhorne, via Yoma U. Send us your photos by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania
Spring training at Core Creek Park in Langhorne
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.ELECTION DEADLINE: A new federal law says states must certify their slate of presidential electoral votes by Dec. 11, and Votebeat reports election officials and policy advocates here are concerned about Pennsylvania meeting that deadline. One potential obstacle? Recount petitions.

Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.

SKILL SUIT: The owner of a 7-Eleven franchise is suing Philadelphia City Council over its vote to ban unregulated, slot-like skill games that have proliferated in convenience stores, The Inquirer (paywall) reports. The bill's sponsor claims the games attract crime and are a nuisance, while a major skill games manufacturer that organized the lawsuit says they help small businesses survive. 

  • RELATED: Shapiro wants to tax skill games. He must first navigate Pa.’s wealthy, warring gambling interests, via Spotlight PA,
Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.

EXEMPT CHALLENGES: Pittsburgh city government will target the tax-exempt status of more than 100 properties, many of which are owned by UPMC, TribLIVE reports. As PublicSource details, city leaders have for years tried to get Pittsburgh's major "eds and meds" nonprofits — which don't pay property taxes — to contribute more cash to the tax rolls

Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.NTSB REPORT: In a preliminary report, the National Transportation Safety Board says the collision of three Norfolk Southern trains in the Lehigh Valley injured seven crew members and caused roughly $2.5 million in damage, per LehighValleyNews.com. The AP reports that the crash highlights the limitations of an automated braking system designed to prevent such incidents. 

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.ELECTION ROUNDUP: In 2024 election news: The Forward Party wants to run candidates for attorney general and treasurer, the latter of whom is endorsed by Andrew Yang; Dave McCormick has launched his first U.S. Senate ad; and the Democratic Party is opening 14 campaign offices to get their party's candidate elected.

OFFICIAL CANDY: The state House passed a bill to make Hershey’s Kisses Pennsylvania's official candy over the objections of lawmakers who said the nod is unfair to other companies, per ABC27.

CRYPTO SUIT: In a new lawsuit, an environmental group claims a northeast Pennsylvania Bitcoin mine is polluting local communities, Reuters reports. 

LACKING LIBRARIANS: The School District of Philadelphia employs just four full-time certified librarians for 218 schools, according to Axios.

‘MOST LIKELY’: A passenger rail study prepared by PennDOT lays out the five “most likely” corridors to restore service from the Lehigh Valley to destinations like New York and Philadelphia. 

GROUNDHOG BAE: Congrats to Punxsutawney Phil and his wife Phyllis, who recently welcomed two pups. Free name suggestions: Spring and Winter.
Unscramble and send your answer to scrambler@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag. Answers submitted by 5:30 p.m. on issue date will be counted.

Yesterday's answer: Jubilation

Congrats to our daily winners: Stacy S., Vicki U., Pat E., Tom M., John P., Bruce B., Jody A., Ada M., John A., Robert C., Mike B., Gabrielle G., Judith D., Jon W., Daniel M., Theresa T., Maureen G., David T., Starr B., Don H., Kimberly D., Jane E., Connie A.-O., Richard A., Christina M., Jodi R., Ted W., Karen W., Alan B., Nancy S., Natalie B., Deborah W., Susan N.-Z., Lynne E., Beth H., John C., Millie M., Malachy M., Janet S., Fran C., David W., Adrien M., Patricia M., Marie B., Wendy A., Jeffrey R., Bill Z., Leslie B., Stanley J., Joe B., Sharon B., and Lex M.
Like PA Post? Share it with a friend.

Love PA Post? Support it with a tax-deductible gift.

Forwarded this newsletter? Subscribe here.
Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan & nonprofit newsroom producing investigative and public-service journalism that holds the powerful to account and drives positive change in Pennsylvania.

For sponsorship inquiries, email membership@spotlightpa.org.

Copyright © Spotlight PA, All rights reserved.

Spotlight PA
PO Box 11728
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728


You're receiving this email because you subscribed to PA Post, a daily newsletter by Spotlight PA.

This email was sent to: <<Email Address>>

Receiving too many emails from Spotlight PA?

To change your newsletter subscriptions and frequency, you can update your preferences.

To stop receiving fundraising messages, you can update your preferences and select "Opt out of Fundraising."

To stop receiving ALL EMAILS from Spotlight PA, including all of our investigations and newsletters, you can completely unsubscribe here.