WEATHER: Philadelphia, mostly cloudy, high of 88; Harrisburg, thunderstorms, high of 85; Pittsburgh, thunderstorms, high of 89.

 

NEW THIS MORNING:

* Haggling over the last few hundred million in spending for PA’s budget appears to have stalled the process just days away from the deadline, writes the Post-Gazette.

* Convicted ex-Congressman Chaka Fattah and his co-defendants could stand to lose assets like their homes, cars or boats through civil asset forfeiture, Newsworks reports.

* Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is in hot water after revelations that he spent at least $300,000 renovating a wing of his office, according to the Post-Gazette.

* A bill in Harrisburg would extend the same benefits to Philly firefighters that EMTs currently enjoy – namely, full pay and benefits while out on disability, writes the Inquirer.

* The Transco gas pipeline won approval from a majority of landholders in Lancaster County, bringing it that much closer to PA’s biggest city, writes Lancaster Online.

 

FROM THE WEEKEND:

* Imprisoned abortion doc Kermit Gosnell is suing the Philly DA and the Daily News, alleging both parties violated his right to a fair trial, writes the Inquirer.

* PA Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, chair of a committee mulling a controversial sex abuse bill, recused himself because his law firm has worked for the Archdiocese, writes PennLive.

* For reasons that are currently unclear, the Attorney General’s office waited nearly two years to report $1.77 million in cash seized from a drug bust, writes the Morning Call.

* County officials are pushing to have Philadelphia send the wage tax it collects from suburban workers back to their home municipalities, according to the Inquirer.

* The union representing faculty at PA’s state colleges inched closer a strike vote over stalled contract negotiations, writes the AP.

* A new three-month time limit on adults claiming food stamps has resulted in 10,000 Pennsylvanians losing those benefits, according to the Post-Gazette

* The number of parents opting their children out of state school tests doubled this year, according to the AP.

* Yet another report showed that most school districts in PA are raising property taxes to close budget gaps, reports the Tribune-Review.

 

 

THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

* A slew of PA Republican pols are resigning their delegate spots or avoiding the RNC altogether to avoid association with Donald Trump, according to the Morning Call.

* Several new polls show Hillary Clinton with a double digit lead over Donald Trump, according the New York Times.

* Supporters of Bernie Sanders acknowledged that they had secured four protest spaces in Philadelphia’s FDR Park, writes the Inquirer.

 

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Be among the first to explore the all-new cityandstatepa.com, which now features First Read and the latest issue of City & State PA magazine! In the June issue, out next week: the PA school funding crisis, DNC art program, HB 1947 and more.

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EDITORIAL PAGES:

 

* In the wake of the PA Senate’s rejection of a House-approved pension-reform bill, the Intelligencer hopes that serious, bicameral legislation on the issue will happen soon. 

* In the Morning Call, Bill White draws upon a famous Monty Python sketch to properly cast the PA Senate as “weak-kneed political time-servers” for trying to gut HB 1947.

* The Inquirer editorial board is cautiously optimistic that the civil tone in Harrisburg will translate into a relatively responsible, on-time budget this year.

* Mayor Kenney touts the myriad of reasons Philadelphians should stay in town for the Democratic National Convention, in an Inquirer op-ed.

* A Daily News op-ed uses eye-opening statistics, including that it has been a decade since PA’s minimum wage was last raised, to call for an increase to $10.10 an hour.

* The Tribune-Review’s Brad Bumsted tries to put the Chaka Fattah conviction into context as part of the state’s long, dishonorable tradition of political corruption.

* The Allegheny County Council’s vote to participate in a land bank organized by two municipalities bodes well for future countywide cooperation, writes the Post-Gazette. 

* The Observer-Reporter – as well as parents, administrators and legal experts – wants to know why the Central Greene School District is thinking of implementing a “pay-to-learn” fee for students.

* The Daily Times tells a tale of two school districts to illustrate the desperate need for a true fair funding formula for PA public schools.

* Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright has failed his constituents by approving a controversial Keystone Sanitary Landfill sewer line carrying leachates, writes the Times-Tribune.

 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY: … District Coordinator Sarah Rabot (PA Rep. Brian Sims) Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday at editor@cityandstatepa.com 

 

TODAY’S SKED:

10 a.m. - The PA Senate Transportation Committee will meet. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building, Harrisburg.

10 a.m. - The PA House Judiciary Committee will meet. Room 140, Main Capitol, Harrisburg.

10:30 a.m. - The PA House Finance Committee will meet. Room B31, Main Capitol, Harrisburg.

11 a.m. - The PA House will reconvene.

11 a.m. - The PA Senate Judiciary Committee will meet. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building, Harrisburg.

11:30 a.m. - The PA Senate Public Health & Welfare Committee will meet. Room 461, Main Capitol, Harrisburg.

2 p.m. - Mayor Kenney, the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Philadelphia Style Magazine and the Wawa Welcome America! Team will officially kick off the Wawa Welcome America! Festival with a dedication of Meg Saligman’s newly restored mural, “Our Flag Unfurled.” 500 North Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia.

3 p.m. - Mayor Kenney, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Managing Director Michael DiBerardinis, Assistant District Executive at PennDOT Chuck Davies, John Chin of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, and other officials will make an announcement regarding the Vine Street Expressway. 10th Street Plaza, West Side of 10th Street as it Crosses Vine Street Expressway, Philadelphia.

 

 

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Want to advertise in First Read? 

Contact City & State PA Publisher David Alpher at dalpher@cityandstatepa.com for details. 

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KICKER: “This administration is about collaboration, and does this office look collaborative?” – Peduto spokesman Kevin Acklin points out flaws in the 19th-century architecture of Pittsburgh’s City-County Building that led to a controversial $300,000 renovation. From the Post-Gazette