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Lawmakers ask Biden for new Chesapeake Bay funds in 2023 budget proposal | Thursday Morning Coffee

In the bipartisan letter, lawmakers warned that without “additional federal resources,” it will be impossible for states to meet their pollution reduction levels by the 2025 deadline

March 24, 2022 6:30 am

Bird and marsh grass along the Chesapeake Bay. (Image via the Virginia Office of Natural Resources).

Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Associate Editor Cassie Miller here, filling in for John for the remainder of the week.

In a letter to President Joe Biden this week, 18 members of Congress, including U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., asked the Biden administration to create a new Chesapeake Resilient Farms Initiative (CRFI) in its 2023 budget proposal.

The lawmakers argue that creating a new CRFI would help Bay States – those within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed – continue pollution reduction efforts in the agriculture and forestry industries in the hope of meeting their “critical” 2025 deadline.

“As farmers continue to face challenging economic conditions, additional focus by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is vital to accelerating conservation efforts in the Bay,” the letter said. “A newly created CRFI would target financial and technical assistance by focusing on the most effective basins for pollution reduction and prioritizing cost-effective practices that improve water quality, sequester greenhouse gas emissions and improve on-farm resiliency.”

The Susquehanna River flows from New York to the Chesapeake Bay (Chesapeake Bay Foundation graphic).

In the bipartisan letter, lawmakers warned that without “additional federal resources,” it will be impossible for states to meet their pollution reduction levels by the 2025 deadline.

“We know USDA conservation programs are effective when deployed at scale,” the letter said. “But without additional federal resources – for both practice implementation and technical assistance — we will not be able to reduce pollution levels consistent with the most recent Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.”

Mehmet Oz speaks at a March 15 press conference in Harrisburg (Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

Our Stuff. 

Senior Reporter Stephen Caruso takes a look at how a Pennsylvania teacher pension fund is fueling a feud between GOP Senate hopefuls Mehmet Oz and David McCormick.

Our partners at The Philadelphia Tribune  report that a plan to address Philadelphia School District’s aging buildings is underway.

ICYMI

When paper tickets disappeared from toll booth plazas along the Pennsylvania Turnpike in June 2020, so did any visual record of toll rates at the toll road’s entrance and exit junctions, Cassie Miller reports.

Four of the leading Republican gubernatorial candidates have signed a letter to “the Pennsylvania press” laying out conditions for them to participate in a primary election debate this year, Stephen Caruso reports.

Lawmakers in the state Senate have unveiled a bipartisan plan to prevent abuse within the state’s legal guardianship systemMarley Parish reports.

From our partners at the Philadelphia Gay News: Philly orgs celebrate Trans Day of Visibility with in-person and virtual events

On our Commentary Page this morning: The Conversation’s Denise M. Bostdorff writes: We can better understand Biden’s response to Ukraine by looking at how Truman responded to problems in Greece just after the end of World War II

This protected bike lane in Boston is buffered by a lane of parked cars, which separates cyclists from traffic. (Photo by Adam Coppola taken under contract for PeopleForBikes, released into the public domain via WikiMedia Commons.)

Elsewhere.

From the Lebanon Daily News: Lebanon Bicycle Recycle is wheeling out their grand opening by helping the community

Via PennLive: A Harrisburg-based group of missionaries have received more than $630,000 in donations to distribute to refugees through its Ukraine Crisis Fund.

Quakertown and Philadelphia have pushed back start times for high school students. Will Lehigh Valley schools follow? The Morning Call has the story. 

Planned Parenthood Keystone receives $7.5M donation from MacKenzie Scott, the Inquirer reports.

International students are driving an admissions bump at Temple University and other Philly schools, the Inquirer reports.

From the Centre Daily Times: How a Centre County nonprofit offers those leaving incarceration a path forward

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day.

(Image via @david248c/Instagram)

WolfWatch

Gov. Tom Wolf will visit Bethlehem’s Fred B. Rooney Building at 11 a.m. to “discuss his plan for American Rescue Plan funds and call on the General Assembly to act in supporting older Pennsylvanians and individuals with disabilities through property tax rebates to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

At 1:30 p.m., Wolf will visit Bridesburg Recreation Center in Philadelphia to “discuss his plan for American Rescue Plan funds and call on the General Assembly to act to support small businesses to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Heavy Rotation

For all the indie and alt-rockers out there, here’s The Band Played Just For Me” by Scottish singer/songwriter and frontman for the Fratellis, Jon Fratelli.

And now you’re up to date.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.

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