WEATHER: Philadelphia, partly cloudy, high of 54; Harrisburg, mostly cloudy, high of 49; Pittsburgh, p.m. rain, high of 49.
NEW FROM CITY & STATE:
* As the lawsuit against the Philly soda tax heads for the PA Supreme Court, a fight is brewing over the city holding back $30M in revenue it claims is a hedge for the planned expansion of subsidized pre-K. Critics say Mayor Jim Kenney is actually building up a cushion ahead of a possible fiscal shortfall.
Make sure Pa.’s congressional maps truly reflect Pa.
In a matter of days, Pennsylvania is going to have new boundaries drawn for its 18 congressional districts. Common Cause believes voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around. Mapmakers from both parties should disclose the data they use to draw district lines. New maps must reflect our modern Pennsylvania, including its racial diversity, to ensure equity and fairness in elections. Click HERE for more.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* Gov. Tom Wolf rejected a Republican redistricting proposal, asserting that the new congressional map is still too gerrymandered, the Inquirer writes.
* Republicans, meanwhile, threatened a lawsuit if resistant Democrats sought to use the PA Supreme Court to unilaterally redraw the state’s political boundaries, the AP reports.
* Ivanka Trump will visit Western PA in yet another effort by national Republicans to boost support for PA-18 GOP candidate Rick Saccone, according to the Post-Gazette.
* Seven Republicans are vying for party support to run for U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan’s soon-to-be-vacated congressional seat, WHYY reports.
* Although he has little power to guide voter preference for lieutenant governor, gubernatorial candidate Paul Mango backed Washington County commissioner Diana Vaughn as his running mate, the Post-Gazette writes.
* York Mayor Michael Helfrich went on a Facebook tirade after a local man was shot while holding a baby, vowing that the assailant would “go straight to hell,” the AP reports.
* State lawmakers are making a controversial, bipartisan push to dismantle key elements of Pennsylvania’s century-old civil service system, according to the Inquirer.
* Philadelphia City Council passed a bill out of committee that would establish “just cause” eviction rules aimed at toughening protections for renters, WHYY writes.
Submit your nominations for City & State PA’s 2018 Above & Beyond Awards: Honoring Women of Public and Civic Mind
Join City & State PA for our inaugural event recognizing 25 exceptional women from the Commonwealth for their accomplishments across various sectors including politics, health care, education, advocacy, business and beyond. Help us shine a light on these powerful women who have distinguished themselves in their respective industries. Nominate your friends and colleagues for this honor! Help us shine a light on these powerful women distinguishing themselves in their respective industries by nominating someone for this honor today!
On Thursday, March 22, join us as we honor these 25 women with a special edition of City & State PA magazine at the awards celebration.
Click here to nominate someone. To nominate more than one person, simply reload this page.
Nomination Deadline: extended to Friday, February 16
* The Daily News’ John Baer explains how and why the Legislature’s supposed drive to cut the size of the House from 203 to 151 members failed so miserably last week.
* LancasterOnline, citing the alarming unanimous finding by US intelligence services that Russia will try to influence this year’s elections, urges voters to contact their legislators to push for purchasing tamper-proof voting machines for all precincts that need them.
* The Citizen once again has Charles Barkley’s Black History Month All-Stars.
* WHYY’s Dick Polman calls President Trump’s infrastructure $200 billion infrastructure plan, part of his budget, a massive bait-and-switch scheme that the president himself doesn’t believe in.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: PA Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky … Barbara Deeley … Bernard Lopez, political consultant and longtime Democratic Committee Person … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday to firstname.lastname@example.org
* Generocity spotlights 10 high-profile job openings in the Philadelphia nonprofit world.
* The first six Philadelphia nonprofits to benefit from partnering with AirBnB were announced, reports Generocity.
9:30 a.m. - the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Streets and Services will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.
10 a.m. - the Pittsburgh City Council Standing Committee will meet. Council Chambers, City-County Building, Pittsburgh.
10 a.m. - Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin will join local economic development leaders and small business owners at the Ben Franklin TechCelerator @Carlisle to discuss how the new PA Business One-Stop Shop can help entrepreneurs and small business owners start, operate, and grow their business. 453 Lincoln St., Carlisle.
1:30 p.m. - Gov. Wolf will join Department of State Acting Secretary Robert Torres to sign House Bill 1175. This bill will enhance penalties on special interests that do not follow the law and increases transparency by requiring all lobbying reports to be filed electronically. Governor’s Reception Room, 225 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg.
2:30 p.m. - Acting Secretary of Health and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine will hold a media availability before the regularly scheduled Medical Marijuana Advisory Board meeting.Health and Welfare Building, 625 Forster St., Conference Room 127, Harrisburg.
2:45 p.m. - Mayor Kenney will deliver remarks at Aspen Challenge Philadelphia, an event featuring Philadelphia high school students working together to propose creative solutions to some of the world’s most difficult issues. Drexel University, Behrakis Grand Hall, 3210 Chestnut St, Philadelphia.
To have your events included in Today’s Sked, please email the information to email@example.com.
KICKER: “Quit being coy.” – Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and House Speaker Mike Turzai in a joint letter accused Gov. Tom Wolf of rejecting Republican redistricting maps as a way to force a Democrat-heavy state Supreme Court to more favorably redraw PA congressional districts. From the Inquirer.