WEATHER: Philadelphia, scattered thunderstorms, high of 67; Harrisburg, p.m. rain, high of 71; Pittsburgh, a.m. showers, high of 64.


* The Committee of Seventy and Philly 3.0 are suing to neuter the Philadelphia City Commissioners’ power to oversee most elections – but will it work?



* In a shocking twist, a judge dismisses all charges in a pay-to-play case against Chester County businessman Richard Ireland, the Inquirer writes.

* Protesters called for the resignation of indicted DA Seth Williams, writes WHYY.

* Citing fears over pay, Williams’ lawyer asks to be removed as defense counsel for the embattled DA, according to the Inquirer.

* State legislators are again taking up a fizzled effort to expand gambling in PA to help close a budget hole, according to the Post-Gazette.

* Republican Congressman Charlie Dent, who opposed the AHCA, tells his GOP colleagues to focus on winning political strategies over rhetoric, WHYY writes.

* PA Senate Democrats’ computer systems were still offline nearly a month after ransomware attack, the Patriot-News reports.

* Philly Mayor Jim Kenney angrily responds to a threat from Attorney General Jeff Sessions to abandon “sanctuary city” policies or lose DOJ funding, reports WHYY.

* Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto won key labor endorsements in an unusually contested mayoral primary, according to the Post-Gazette.

* City Hall released new statistics on the progress of Philly’s pre-K programs, writes WHYY.

* SEPTA released its capital budget, with most spending earmarked for new vehicles and the expansion of a new fare card system, the Inquirer writes.

* A plan to open a safe-injection site in Philadelphia to combat the opioid crisis is hampered by concerns over legality, WHYY reports.



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* The Times-Tribune hopes the dismissal of the corruption case against Richard Ireland motivates PA legislators to pass campaign finance reform discouraging pay-to-play.

* The Intelligencer thinks a new bill that would give EZ Pass users a 50 percent tax break on their PA Turnpike tolls is a great incentive to keeping drivers on the highway and off local roads.

* WHYY’s Dick Polman writes the obituary for Trumpcare and prognosticates what the president’s devastating failure to close means for the rest of his agenda.

* The Citizen has the latest installment of its Mystery Shopper series, this time taking on the vagaries of the SEPTA Key Card system.

* The Morning Call’s Bill White admires Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski’s ability to publicly ignore the gathering storm over the pay-to-play investigation of his administration.

* The Times-News wants to make sure today’s House Gaming Oversight Committee meeting in Erie hears plenty about the $11 million in casino taxes due to the region.


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9:30 a.m. - the PA Senate Local Government Committee will meet. Room 8 E-A, East Wing, Harrisburg.

10 a.m. - the PA Senate Transportation Committee will meet. Room 8 E-B, East Wing, Harrisburg.

10 a.m. - the PA House Gaming Oversight Committee will meet. Bayfront Convention Center, 1 Sassafrass Pier, Room 120, Erie.

10 a.m. - the Philadelphia City Council Committee of the Whole will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.

10 a.m. - the Pittsburgh City Council will meet. Council Chambers, City-County Building, Pittsburgh.

10 a.m. - Mayor Kenney will meet with students in the school’s Maritime STEM Program and speak about the ongoing projects to expand capacity at the Port of Philadelphia. Mayor’s Reception Room, City Hall, Room 202, Philadelphia.

1 p.m. - the PA Senate will reconvene. Main Capitol, Harrisburg.

1 p.m. - Mayor Kenney will join Southwark School Principal Andrew Lukov to acknowledge Lang Lang International Music Foundation for funding a Piano Lab and music program at this community school. Community schools are funded by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax. 1835 S. 9th St., Philadelphia.

6 p.m. - Mayor Kenney will join Community College of Philadelphia President Dr. Guy Generals to provide welcoming remarks at Pathways to Success Community Forum, an event aimed at connecting skilled immigrants with resources they need to further their education, obtain professional licensing or certification and find suitable employment in the U.S. Community College of Philadelphia, Great Hall, Room S2-19, 1700 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia.


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KICKER: “Mr. Williams does not have the financial ability to retain [me] for trial in this matter.” – Lawyer Michael Diamondstein withdraws as DA Seth Williams’ defense counsel. From the Inquirer.