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Wartime Israeli bond buy roils PA treasurer's race

Plus, tough budget talk from Gov. Shapiro.

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Thursday, February 15, 2024
Today: Bond backlash, budget talk, dementia department, flat funding, Kensington plan, and a pirate radio crackdown. This is PA Post.

Days after Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel, Republican State Treasurer Stacy Garrity purchased an additional $20 million in Israel Bonds, billing the official act as a show of support for "our greatest ally in the Middle East."

Protests at the Capitol followed, resulting in dozens of arrests. Now, the decision is factoring into Garrity's reelection campaign, with would-be Democratic challengers questioning her motives and the wisdom of adding to the state's sizable Israel Bond holdings in a risk-filled time of war.

Read Spotlight PA's full report: Treasurer Stacy Garrity’s decision to invest more Pa. money in Israel Bonds draws protest, Dem opposition.


"Our campaign team was able to produce over 2,000 signatures to get on the primary ballot and have filed before the deadline. There is a minor issue with our petitions and we are filing an appeal."

—"MAGA" Republican Brandi Tomasetti, who planned to challenge Dave McCormick in the GOP’s U.S. Senate primary, on the rejection of her nominating petitions, the same needed to secure a ballot spot
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Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.BUDGET BEEF: Budget hearings begin next week in Harrisburg, and top Republicans are announcing their displeasure with Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro's $48 billion spending plan. In Allegheny County on Wednesday, Shapiro "came out swinging," per TribLIVE.

Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.DEMENTIA DIVISION: Among Shapiro's budget asks: $1.9 million for an Alzheimer’s disease and dementia division within the state's Department of Aging, via WHTM. It would be a first in a state experts say is woefully unprepared for a projected surge in new cases
Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.
COUNTY CRITICS: Shapiro's plan falls short on a key source of funding for mental health services, some county officials say. The governor wants another $20 million boost for the relevant line item, but WESA reports officials say it isn't enough after years of stagnant funding

Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.PAID LEAVE: An estimated 66 percent of Pennsylvania workers don’t have access to paid family leave benefits. WHYY reports a coalition of women is working to change that, and Democrats are expected to introduce bills in the state House and Senate next month.

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.PHASED APPROACH: Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker promised to clean up Kensington's infamous drug markets. Her police commissioner told The Inquirer (paywall) this week that stricter enforcement of drug crimes could begin in April with a “phased approach.”
PIRATE RADIO: A "pirate radio station" in Hazleton has been fined $40,000 by federal regulators for broadcasting without a license.

STEWART SHOW: Following his celebrated return to The Daily Show this week, Jon Stewart will be performing in York next month.

A.I. MAJOR: The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia will be the first Ivy League school to offer a degree in artificial intelligence, via WHYY.

RUTTER'S RUN: Opponents plan to appeal a stormwater runoff permit for a Rutter’s gas station next to a Huntingdon County wetland, per WPSU.

NEW DAYS: DuBois' Community Days celebration is off this year, following a key fundraiser's corruption arrest, but an alternative is in the works.
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