News: Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will be banned from flying flags off his second floor Capitol balcony under a provision tucked into the proposed Pa. state budget. Fetterman has used the perch for both Pride and marijuana legalization banners.…
And remember, it always, ALWAYS, comes down to the process!…
(H/t to @elizhardison who always tolerates me dragging her into things)
If you want to know more about the budget proper, which lawmakers are debating today, check here:…
In less interesting but more meaningful code bill/budget news, the Fiscal Code also includes a provision to expand the use of waste coal burning under the state's alternative energy portfolio.…
Overall, the Q today is — will this budget thread the needle of keeping enough middle of the road lawmakers, R and D, happy enough that it has the votes to pass.
Rn, progressives and liberals think the budget doesn't help people, and fiscal conservatives see that its accounting isn't as honest as it appears.
Lawmakers were just told NOT to report to the House floor unless notified otherwise. That is odd.
I just watched a Republican House member leave the building with all his stuff.
Per House GOP sources, the issue is at least one, possibly two positive COVID cases among caucus. It might be among staff, not lawmakers. Members are being informed withour staff present.
When the House isn't in session, the PA plays a local rock station. They go from Train to ACDC, and I can't tell if that makes me feel old or young.
Rep. Tim Hennessey, R-Chester, said he's been staring at his dark screen for the last few hours, so he took a walk in the rotunda. Said his understanding is that leadership is trying to contact trace as we speak for exposure today.
NEWS: Pa. House lawmakers have been instructured to fill out proxy votes, file them with the House clerk, and leave the building due to a COVID outbreak today in the chamber.
Here'a a recap of the rules that allow for this:…
I missed this in the hallway, but...

The Pa. House passed the budget 104-97. Republicans, joined by a smattering of veteran or retiring Democrats, voted yes. Conservative Republicans and the bulk of Democrats voted no.…
"It's a crisis man, accept it!" says state Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-Chester, in likely his last ever floor speech as he opposes the state's compromise budget for lack of education funding.
"I can summarize with one story, and then I'll shut up," Dinniman adds.
What did today look like? I did my best to summarize it, from COVID to budget to John Fetterman's flags here:…

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More from @StephenJ_Caruso

20 Nov
NEWS: The fifth member of the Pa. General Assembly, Rep. Jim Gregory, R-Blair, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release. He was last in the Capitol on Nov. 10 for House leadership elections, within the 14 day window.…
The House will conducting temperature checks today and for the near future before entering the chamber because of Gregory's diagnosis, according to Mike Straub, House Speaker Bryan Cutler's spokesperson.
The positive test and extra precautions come as House lawmakers must finish Pennsylvania's state budget, and as cases spike across Pennsylvania.
Read 8 tweets
19 Nov
News: Pa. House Republicans are caucusing a budget deal today that includes $35 billion in combined state and federal spending, a 2.2 percent cut from last year. Via @PennCapitalStar
The budget will use a remaining $1 billion of stimulus funds to back fill employment costs for police, corrections officers, and Department of Health employees. Lawmakers and interest groups had previously eyed those funds for everything from school vouchers to rental aid.
The budget will also transfer $531 million out of numerous out-of-budget funds that support everything from recycling to medical marijuana to the state's judicial computer system.
Read 30 tweets
18 Nov
I really can't recommend @benpontz's piece enough to understand the dynamics at play in Harrisburg right now.…
This is the crux of his argument, that Wolf shouldn't be shocked that a coequal branch of government would rage, rage, against the dying of their powers. Image
We can argue for hours about WHY the legislature was sidelined -- whether through willful neglect or by its own actions -- but without an effective legislature, democracy's don't seem to work super well either. Issues aren't addressed, and rhetoric gets heated.
Read 4 tweets
10 Nov
Morning everyone. I am on the Pennsylvania state Capitol today. You may have see reports about Pa. GOP state lawmakers pushing for a legislative election audit. I will be in the digging into this today.
Rep. Eric Nelson, R-Westmoreland, said he is attending the presser. "I have a large section of constituents who are very concerned, be that misinformation or legitimate." He said a "bipartisan investigation" would clarify those concerns.
By my count, 19 lawmakers (some showed after photo) are here. All conservative Republicans. They are asking for the legislature to have oversight of the election results.
Read 24 tweets
8 Nov
Nipsey Hussle must be proud of the number of times people passing a Trump protest have slowed down their cars to start blasting "FDT" out the window.
At three times within an hour today
Now four.
Read 4 tweets
8 Nov
Trump supporters from all over, state lawmakers and armed militia members gathered at the Pennsylvania Capitol to rally for Trump Saturday, while ignoring the projection of a Biden win.… ImageImageImageImage
.@letsgomathias was also at the event, and noticed even more far-right messages and signage then I did. Here is his report from Harrisburg.…
And @BrettSholtis has some delightful scene as well, including interviewing the inevitable protesters who brings a ram's horn to blow through.…
Read 4 tweets

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