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The milk company snub shaping Shapiro's budget

Plus, today's key mail ballot deadline.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Today: Lesson learned, inflation hangover, Parker priority, stipend surge, Biden returns, and Mike Pence's new gig. Thanks for checking in.

A failed attempt to lure dairy brand Fairlife to Pennsylvania last year is now shaping Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro's economic strategy. 

Spotlight PA reports his latest budget plan earmarks hundreds of millions of dollars to prepare commercial and industrial sites for new owners, recruit new businesses, and fund agriculture grants.

This comes after Fairlife chose New York for its $650 million investment and stakeholders noted the challenges with Pennsylvania's permitting process, a lack of construction-ready sites, and supply concerns.

Read the full report: Gov. Josh Shapiro’s 2024 budget pitch draws on lessons from curdled Fairlife bid.

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"The 'Little Scandinavia' pilot project at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) Chester represents a groundbreaking shift towards a more humane, rehabilitative prison system."

State Rep. Ben Waxman (D., Philadelphia) calling for the continuation and expansion of an experimental prison program in Pennsylvania



BROKEN PRIMARIES: Join us Friday from 6-7 p.m. ET on Zoom for a Spotlight PA members-only event with Nick Troiano, author of The Primary Solution, a new book on how our partisan primaries are fueling the political divide in America and what we can do about it. Sponsored by Ballot PA.

Become a Spotlight PA member here and you'll be automatically registered for the event.
Tree swallows at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, via Elliott C. Have a Pennsylvania photo to share? Send it to us by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania
Two birds overlapping in the air over a body of water.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.CONSUMER SENTIMENT: The median hourly wage in Pennsylvania jumped 20% from $16.50 in 2020 to $19.85 in 2023, but The New York Times' Talmon Joseph Smith found lingering pandemic-era insecurity and frustration as companies continue to hike prices. “Trying to make yourself happy is difficult,” one Altoona native lamented.
  • Big minimum wage hike sought by Pa. Dems, via WESA.
Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.
SERVICE CUT: Philly Mayor Cherelle Parker wants a $900,000 cut in city funding for a group that provides clean syringes to people who use drugs. The Democrat believes money for syringe exchanges should come from other sources, but state funding is out of the question, and a Prevention Point representative says losing city dollars could impact its ability to render services, The Inquirer (paywall) reports.
Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.
SHORT MONEY: Pennsylvania's student teacher stipend program opened last week and was immediately flooded by demand. Capital-Star reports the program offering up to $15,000 per student teacher had more than 3,500 applications within three hours of opening, but it only has enough funding for roughly 600 to 700 applicants

Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.
BIDEN STOPS: President Joe Biden has three economy-focused appearances in Pennsylvania this week — starting with Scranton today — in what NBC News calls counterprogramming set against former President Donald Trump's trial in New York City this week. Biden is making stops in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh too.

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.
ELECTION BRIEFS: A racist on-air joke made by WGAL-TV anchor-turned-congressional candidate Janelle Stelson has resurfaced in the Democratic primary for U.S. Rep. Scott Perry's (R., Pa.) seat; and George W. Bush and Harlan Crow will host a Texas fundraiser for GOP Pennsylvania U.S. Senate hopeful Dave McCormick today.
DEADLINE DAY: Today is the last day to request a mail ballot for the April 23 primary in Pennsylvania. Here's a guide to using it. Some 876,000 mail ballots had been requested here as of Monday. With primary day overlapping with passover, Jewish leaders are encouraging the option

PROFESSOR PENCE: Former Vice President Mike Pence has taken a teaching job at Pennsylvania's Grove City College. Pence is officially  a "visiting fellow" at the conservative Christian school.

SPIN ZONE: This Saturday is Record Store Day, and Philly's WXPN is marking the occasion with a 10-track, vinyl compilation of live performances by local bands. Philly Voice has a list of the shops where you can get a copy.

HIDDEN ART: Next time you're at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, take a closer look at Marcel Duchamp's Étant donnés, a sculpture with "an eerie three-dimensional scene inside," per @FarFarrAway.

JELLYROLL VS. JELLY ROLL: Pennsylvania band Jellyroll is suing country star Jelly Roll for trademark infringement. Us Weekly reports the Philly-area band has held a trademark for their name since 2010.
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