Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers. Reminding us that it's never too early to start planning ahead, our friends at Stateline.org take a look at the legislative sessions soon to commence across this great land of ours and reach an inescapable conclusion:With control of general assemblies up for grabs -- including Pennsylvania, this year also marks the largest class of freshman governors in recent memory.And some of the most visible members of the Class of 2010, Stateline notes, are among the most vulnerable. Polls show thatRepublicans Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, Rick Scott of Florida, Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania and Paul LePage of Maine are in tight races with or trailing their likely Democratic opponents.Democrats have far fewer seats to defend, but they could lose the governor s offices in Arkansas, Connecticut and Illinois, Stateline reports.Here's how Stateline describes the topography for Corbett going into the New Year. It should be familiar turf for even the most casual student of state politics:"Only 36 percent of of Pennsylvania voters approve of the job Republican Gov. Tom Corbett is doing, according to a December survey. The governor gets low marks for his handling of almost every major issue. A crowd of Democrats, led by U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, is fighting to take on Corbett this November. The governor has had trouble getting his agenda through a legislature controlled by his own party, with the exception of a transportation package approved late last year. He has also been criticized for being slow to bring criminal charges in the Penn State sex abuse scandal when he was attorney general."In Pennsylvania, all 203 members of the state House and half the 50-member state Senate will run in new legislative districts . New House seats in Allentown and York, along with a new state Senate seat in Monroe County, will be in contention this year., for a winter session that could include a new effort to privatize liquor sales -- in some form or another -- and an attempt to wrestle down the cost of public employee pensions.Lawmakers and Corbett also face an estimated .4 billion budget deficit for the fiscal year that starts on July 1. Among the measures under consideration to close are it are the proposed auctioning off of utility customers who haven't chosen an alternative electrical provider. Such a move could raise an estimated 0 million or more.The rest of the day's news starts now.Legal pot in Pa? A spokesman for Gov. Tom Corbett says , our Capitol colleague Robert J. Vickers writes., The Post-Gazette reports. And, no, it does not include a 'No White Robes After Sept. 1' provision, but perhaps it should.Former state , The Citizens-Voice reports. This week, the Luzerne County pol was found unfit to stand trial on federal corruption charges., The Morning Calll reports.PoliticsPAreports that state Now that would be interesting.Keystone Politics tunes into the You Say It's Your Birthday Dept.Best wishes go out this morning to our old pal, National Journal reporter Alex Roarty, and fellow Northwestern alum Amanda Palleschi, herself a former PennLive reporter. Congrats, you two. Have a great day.Heavy Rotation.Here's one that popped up in on the ride in this morning. it's Babybird and "You're Gorgeous."Thursday's Gratuitous Hockey Link.In a great original six match-up, .
And now you're up to date. See you all back here in a bit.
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