Note: First Read will return Tuesday, May 30.

WEATHER: Philadelphia, partly cloudy, high of 76; Harrisburg, partly cloudy, high of 74; Pittsburgh, a.m. rain, high of 68.



* A Philadelphia City Council vote on authorizing the $500 million Rebuild program was delayed yet again as a labor inclusion agreement continues to be a sticking point.

* A profile of SEPTA police chief Tom Nestel shows how the affable cop has transformed the department inside and out. (Yesterday’s edition of First Read contained an incorrect link for this story.)



* Day two of the Tartaglione-Matos embezzlement trial is marked by defense lawyers’ finger-pointing – specifically at other political players in Philly’s Kensington neighborhood, the Inquirer writes.
* Inside Elections updated its partisan electoral odds for Pennsylvania’s major elected offices.

* Philly CIty Council President Darrell Clarke continues his silence on the abrupt firing of the head of the Philadelphia Veterans Advisory Commission – which his office oversees, according to the Inquirer.

* Lawmakers offered alternatives to a budget proposal from Gov. Tom Wolf that would levy a flat fee on townships receiving automatic state trooper coverage, WHYY reports.

* A House committee again savaged Wolf’s plan to merge the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation & Parole, according to the Post-Gazette.

* A Philadelphia City Council bill would ban sidewalk feather signs and “flailing arm” tube men, WHYY writes

* Council also mulled bills to cover IVF procedures for nonunion city workers and increase the mandatory warning period ahead of evictions.

* A new Pew report tracked a nearly 60 percent drop in refugee resettlements in Pennsylvania, LancasterOnline reports.

* The Philadelphia School Reform Commission approved a $3 billion education budget, according to the Inquirer.

* Pike County costs for the lengthy trial of cop killer Eric Frein are about to top $500,000, the Times-Tribune writes.

* A jury awarded a $96 million settlement to a survivor of a deadly 2013 building collapse in Philadelphia, according to WHYY.



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To use First Read’s power and reach, email David Alpher or call 215-490-9314, ext. 3001.




* The Daily News comes out strongly against the state providing any kind of subsidies or tax breaks to the struggling nuclear power industry.

* The Times-Tribune has plenty of “Godfather” comparisons for the PA Senate’s heavy-handed effort to fix the state budget by wringing more revenue out of casinos.

* WHYY’s Dick Polman puts the disturbing assault of a journalist by Montana congressional candidate Greg Gianforte into the context of “life in Trumplandia.”

* The Citizen has an op-ed by a longtime committee person who makes the argument for blowing up Philadelphia’s current ward system for the sake of democracy.

* LancasterOnline uses a local painting company’s unusual offer of $5,000 interest-free loans to employees looking to buy a home to illustrate the affordable housing crisis in Lancaster County.  

* The Post-Gazette has the pros and cons of having Port Authority police check for proof of fare payment on Pittsburgh transit, including fears it is a way to find undocumented immigrants.



City & State is growing – and hiring!

Are you versed in local politics and policy?  Interested in joining a small and agile team of digital, print and live event professionals?

City and State PA is looking to add a sales and marketing expert to our Philadelphia-based office.  If you know your way around local and state government, understand how multi-platform messaging works and are interested in a flexible work environment, this could be your golden opportunity.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY: US Rep. Scott Perry (5/27) … Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortés (5/28) … PA Rep. FRank Dermody (5/29) … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday at



* Generocity has a recap of the issues discussed at this week’s landmark “On the Table” event, which brought Philadelphians together at more than 300 conversations about the city and what it needs.

* DREAM Philadelphia, which connects low-income youth with mentors and enrichment programs, won the second NRG Give competition, including a $100,000 prize, writes Generocity.

* NonProfit Pro explores what to do when being a fundraiser is no longer fun.

* On June 2, a seminar, “Funder Briefing: Stepping Up Pennsylvania,” will be held at Gov. Wolf’s Philadelphia offices beginning at 9 a.m. For more information, click here.



10 a.m. - Mayor Kenney will join Police Commissioner Richard Ross as they honor the graduates of Recruit Class #380. The members of this class will go on to serve in the Philadelphia Police Department, SEPTA Transit Police and Bristol Township Police Department. Temple University, Performing Arts Center, 1837 N. Broad St., Philadelphia.

10:15 a.m. - Gov. Wolf will will announce PennDOT District 1 projects. Crawford County Maintenance Unit, 18492 Smock Highway, Meadville.

12:30 p.m. - Gov. Wolf will sign the REAL ID bill. Harrisburg International Airport, Security Area, 1 Terminal Dr., Harrisburg.


To have your events included in Today’s Sked, please email information to


KICKER: “This is not the Main Line. We’re not talking about Bryn Mawr, folks...We’re talking about a dirt-poor, primarily Hispanic, community that had a need for addiction treatment.” – Defense lawyer Bill DeStefano, in the trial of Renee Tartaglione and Carlos Matos, political players who allegedly embezzled money from a mental health they operated. From the Inquirer.