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The state budget is late again. What’s next?

Plus, Trump's high court immunity ruling.

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: Colin Deppen

Tuesday, July 2, 2024
Today: Budget update, Trump ruling, new ballot suit, Dauphin's emergency clerk, Loehmann landing, and the most common age in your county.

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Pennsylvania’s budget is late for a second straight year, and as talks continued Monday, top lawmakers were hoping for a quick deal.

But what if it isn't quick? 

Spotlight PA reports: The state government will still function without a spending deal. The commonwealth is obligated to keep paying its employees, make debt payments, and pay for federal programs like Medicaid, among other obligations. Schools, mental health and addiction treatment, and libraries will face a crunch only if the delay continues for weeks.

Read the full report: Pa. missed its budget deadline. What’s next?


“There is a movement around the country in 50 states and we are working day and night to unseat you and unseat Biden.”

A protester to U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) over his support for Israel during an appearance at a Scranton brewery on Monday; in related news: Casey is standing by President Joe Biden after Thursday's debate
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A woman in Berks County shares what local news coverage she wants to read as part of a Spotlight PA study
Berks County residents are extremely frustrated with the diminished capacity of the local newspaper and they are concerned about a lack of access to trustworthy information in their community, according to a groundbreaking study released last week by Spotlight PA.

In response to the findings, Spotlight PA is planning to launch a new regional reporting bureau in Berks County to be supported primarily by people living and working in the region. Read the full story, and then support the effort »

ROCKY WATERS: Join us Thursday, July 18 from 6-7 p.m. ET on Zoom for a live panel on Pennsylvania’s private water industry, how it is regulated, and how communities are affected when service is subpar. Register for the event here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org.

Bear family outing, as seen by Colleen B. Send us photos by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania
A large black bear standing up to eat with young cubs around its legs.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.OFFICIAL ACTS: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled former President Donald Trump has some immunity from prosecution for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. But The Inquirer (paywall) reports: Trump may not be immune from charges tied to his efforts to squeeze lawmakers in battleground states, like Pennsylvania, to overturn their election results, the court said. Presidents do not have authority over state lawmakers.
  • Gov. Shapiro: SCOTUS' Trump immunity ruling has "ushered us into a dangerous new era," via PoliticsPA.
Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.
ACLU LAWSUIT: A new lawsuit accuses Washington County of voter disenfranchisement over its policy on mail ballots with incorrect or missing dates. WESA reports: The 41-page complaint alleges that the county has “deliberately concealed information about which voters had made disqualifying errors on their mail-in ballot envelopes,” preventing voters from correcting those errors by election day.
Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.
VOUCHER VERSUS: Private school vouchers have a chance at making it into this year's state budget in Pennsylvania. ProPublica reports on the conservative friction around the issue in other states, with voucher advocates — backed by billionaires like Pennsylvania's richest person, Jeff Yass — facing intraparty resistance, some of the strongest from rural areas where public schools are key employers and community hubs.
Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.
CLERK CHAOS: A veteran of Dauphin County's Clerk of Courts Office has been appointed its temporary head amid a judicial emergency touched off by a paperwork backlog and several sudden departures late last week. The AP reports Patti Sites took the oath as acting clerk on Monday to lead the office until Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro makes a more permanent appointment, as outlined under state law.
Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.
WORK HISTORY: Timothy Loehmann, the police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, has resigned from a West Virginia department two years after resigning from Tioga borough's in Pennsylvania amid controversy. The West Virginia police chief who recently hired him said he did a background check and "researched everything," adding, "Do they deserve to never work again?"

ON THE DIVIDE: Become a Spotlight PA member and join us July 9 for a members-only event with author Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, whose new book says the urban-rural divide in Pa. is overstated — and doing harm.

FATAL FIREWORKS: An Erie County man was killed in what police say was a fireworks explosion in the garage of his Union City home. Erie Times-News (paywall) reports the man put on a display every year for locals

RIDING HIGH: An 11-year-old dirt bike rider from Haverford has 1.4 million followers on YouTube and earned roughly $100,000 last year in related income, The Inquirer (paywall) reports. The local police are not fans.

COMMON AGE: Pittsburgh-based economist Chris Briem has a map charting the most common age in each Pennsylvania county: "Many tied for youngest at age 19 ... Oldest is Cameron County at 69."

BAR FOR SALE: Pittsburgh’s oldest gay bar is up for sale, QBurgh reports. The family owners say slow business left them with no other option. It's unclear if any potential buyer would keep the bar an LGBTQ space.

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 countedPlease include your first name and last initial.

Yesterday's answer: Albatross
Congrats to our daily winners: Stacy S., Mike B., Eric F., Daniel M., Marty M., Bob C., Becky C., Dave B., Vicki U., Lynne E., Jon W., Barbara F., Jodi R., Wendy A., Karen W., Don H., Jane R., Richard A., William S., Stanley J., Karen K., David T., Perry H., Susan N.-Z., Marla C., Marc G., Timothy A., Jackie S., Annette I., Tom M., Daniel S., William Z., and Ada M.
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