Morning Headlines: Christie Skips Trooper Funeral for Trump

It's the third police funeral Christie has missed since December.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his budget at the Statehouse, Tuesday, February 16, 2016, in Trenton, N.J. Tuesday's budget address comes nearly a week after Christie ended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Good morning Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know this morning.

Chris Christie is being criticized after he skipped a state trooper’s funeral on Monday to campaign with Donald Trump.

The New York Daily News reports that the funeral of Sean Cullen, 31, was the third police funeral Christie has missed since December; he’s been on the campaign trail most of the time. This miss, though, drew sharp rebukes. “We are focused on honoring our fallen brother today, and quite frankly we did not expect someone who has consistently shown disdain for law enforcement to pay his respects to the Cullen and state police family,” said Christopher Burgos, president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association. “It’s a choice that symbolizes how he feels about the State of New Jersey,” added Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, a Democrat. “It isn’t even his campaign.” Christie did tweet an acknowledgment of Cullen’s funeral, but it was a tough day even on the trail: At a joint appearance, Trump made a joke about Christie being an absentee governor. Ouch.

The Pennsylvania House took a step closer on Monday to passing a medical marijuana bill.

The House didn’t actually pass the bill itself, AP reports. Instead, it overwhelmingly passed an amendment governing how medical marijuana would work in Pennsylvania: There could only be 25 growers — and all growing would be done at secure, indoor locations — and 50 dispensaries allowed. Patients would be allowed to use the drug in pills, oils and liquids, but smokable forms of cannabis would not be allowed. Pot brownies? Dispensaries couldn’t sell them, but patients would be allowed to make them. If the bill passes in its current vote, it goes back to the Senate, which voted 40-7 in May to approve a similar approach.

The state’s budget impasse is putting the hurt on Pennsylvania’s film industry.

That industry is driven by state tax credits, KYW reports, but the tax credits aren’t currently available. “Filmmakers are very aware of who has tax credits all over the country and all over the world, and they make their financial decisions based on where they’re able to finance their projects,” says Sharon Pinkenson, director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office Executive. “Therefore, Philadelphia and Pennsylvania were overlooked by filmmakers, because there was no point in wasting their time.” She added: “It has an enormous effect, and a lot of people lose their businesses over it.”

A Philadelphia parent just paid $380 to have coffee with Mayor Jim Kenney

The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that the coffee date was auctioned off this weekend by the Friends of Chester Arthur, which supports the Chester A. Arthur Elementary School at 20th and Catherine streets. Kenney said he’s willing to make similar dates for other community schools — and the beverages aren’t limited to coffee. “I would have a beer,” he said. “But that’s what young parents are doing these days, they have a coffee.”

Harry Gross, the longtime financial columnist for the Daily News, has died at age 92.

Gross started a radio call-in show that ran for more than 20 years; he began writing for the Daily News in 1981 and kept going until late last year, the Inquirer reports. “Harry has been a trusted force in our region for a very long time,” Daily News editor Michael Days said. “And all of that knowledge, all of that caring deeply about the financial concerns of his audience, came wrapped in one of the best human beings you will ever meet.” The funeral is Wednesday.

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