Sunday, October 24, 2021

PA Capitol News: Top 10 Stories From Harrisburg Last Week

Because In Politics Everything Is Connected To Everything Else--

-- November 2 Election

-- Inquirer: Republican National Committee Chair: ‘Freedom Will Win’ In PA Judicial Elections Next Month

-- Inquirer: PA Bar Assn. Criticizes TV Ad By Republican PA Supreme Court Candidate Kevin Brobson 

-- Spotlight PA: Things To Know About Nov. 2 Election - Deadlines, Mail-In Ballots, More

-- WITF: What You Need To Know About Postage For Mail-In Ballots

-- TribLive: Voting By Mail? Time To Drop Off Your Ballot In Person, PA Officials Warn

-- MCall: Berks County Voters Received Spanish Instructions For Mail-In Ballots With Wrong Election Date

-- TribLive Editorial: Ballot Drop Boxes Make Voting Easier

-- MCall: Voter Register By County In Pennsylvania

-- Governor’s Race

-- AP: AG Shapiro Reports $10 Million In Campaign Cash For Gubernatorial Run

-- ErieT: AG Shapiro Tells Erie Crowd He’s Ready For ‘Next Big Fight’ As Governor

-- TribLive: Shapiro Makes Campaign Stop In Greensburg

-- CentreDT: Governor Hopeful Josh Shapiro Makes Centre County Campaign Stop

-- CentreDT: Shapiro On How He’d See Elections Are Safe, Secure

-- LancasterOnline - Brad Bumsted: Sen. Corman Pitches Gubernatorial Bid To PA’s Congressional Republicans

-- Inquirer: Republican PA Sen. Mastriano Waiting For A Financial Sign From God About Running For Governor

-- PA Cap-Star: Republican Senator Vowed Transparency, But Negotiations For Election Probe Are Private

The Republican state senator leading the Pennsylvania election investigation promised a transparent process, but negotiations with potential vendors are happening behind closed doors.

-- AP: Republicans Use Voters To Push Election Restrictions, Including In PA

-- PennLive - Jan Murphy: PA House Democratic Leader Says Voting Rights Bill Tops Her Wish List

-- PennLive - Jan Murphy: Pink Pig Returns To Capitol Steps To Protest Republican Election Review

-- Sen. Dush: Court Filing Opposes Lawsuit Challenging Republican Subpoenas To Obtain Personal Information Of Voters

-- PA Cap-Star: Senate Republicans Respond To Lawsuit Challenging Republican Subpoenas To Obtain Personal Information Of Voters

-- PennLive: Republican Group Behind Billboard Message ‘No More ‘Audits’’

-- Sen. Corman Criticizes Dept. Of State For Alleged Bias In Promoting Private Election Grants Before Nov. Election

-- MCall: Court Allows Lawsuit To Decertify Northampton County Voting Machines To Move Forward

-- AP: Texas Republican Pays Bounty For Illegal Republican Voting To Liberal Democratic Poll Watcher In Luzerne County

-- LancasterOnline: Federal Judge Keeps Ephrata Man Charged With Assaulting U.S. Capitol Locked Up As A Continued Danger

-- PennLive: Guilty Plea Offers Made To 2 Lycoming County Residents Charged In Assault On U.S. Capitol

-- CourierT: Doomsday, Guns, Jesus Christ: Inside The Ultra-Right Rod Of Iron Freedom Fighters Festival

-- WESA: Global Leaders Gather In Pittsburgh This Week To Discuss The Rise In Extremist Hate, Find Solutions

-- AP: Three Years After Pittsburgh Synagogue Attack, Trial Still Ahead In America’s Deadliest Antisemitic Attack

-- AP: State College, Other College Towns To Challenge Results Of U.S. Census

-- PennLive: New Joe Biden Highway In Scranton Defaced By Vulgar Graffiti: ‘We Can Do Better’

-- MCall - Paul Muschick: Why English Should Not Be, And Never Should Have Been, Allentown’s Official Language

-- Harrisburg Political Potpourri

-- PA Cap-Star: Building A Ticket That Matches PA’s Diversity Could Pose Challenge For Democrats In 2022

-- Williamsport Sun Editorial: Transparency In Gifts Given To Lawmakers Needs To Be Addressed More Urgently 

-- Carlisle Sentinel: Republican Cong. Perry Named In Subpoena At Center Of Bannon’s Contempt Battle On Overthrow Of Nov. Election Results 

-- ErieT: U.S. House Ethics Panel Continues Probe Of Republican Cong. Kelly Over Wife’s Stock Purchases [Kelly filed multiple lawsuits trying to overturn the November election]

-- ErieT: New Ethics Complaint Against Republican Cong. Mike Kelly Cites ‘Luxury Trips, Transportation, Dining’  

-- PG: Ethics Probe Of Republican Cong. Kelly Ratchets Up 

--  ErieT: Republican Cong. Thompson Tests Positive For COVID, Hospitalized

-- WESA: PA Democratic Cong. Mike Doyle Retiring From Congress

-- AP: Democratic Cong. Doyle, Dean Of PA Congressional Delegation, To Retire

-- WESA: Rep. Summer Lee Announces Bid To Fill Cong. Doyle’s Congressional Seat

-- WITF: Fetterman Continues To Dominate Fundraising For U.S. Senate Race

-- Gov. Wolf: PA Redistricting Advisory Council Postpones Listening Session In Scranton

-- WESA/AP: PA Senate Committee Moves To Overhaul Probation System

-- WESA: Wolf Targets ‘Corrosive’ Sexual Violence At Colleges, Universities With Package Of Bills

--MCall - Ford Turner: PA Senate Panel Advances Republican Bill Requiring Schools To Post Course Information Online

-- Spotlight PA: Here’s How PA’s School Pension Fund Keeps Its Communications Secret From The Public

-- Inquirer Guest Essay: It’s Time For Lawmakers To Enact A Retirement Savings Plan For PA Workers - State Treasurer Stacy Garrity

-- MCall - Ford Turner: Lawmakers Rip Lack Of Data On Drug Abuse Treatment As Newspaper Tallies 3,415 Violations At Facilities

-- PA Cap-Star: Can Magic Mushrooms Help Fight Mental Illness?  A Bipartisan Group Of Lawmakers Think So

-- TribLive: Mandatory Masking In Schools - A Nuisance, But No Big Deal For Most Students

Parents have been at the forefront of urging school administrators to take a stand against the state’s September mandate requiring mask-wearing in K-12 schools.

Meanwhile, objections from students have been rare. And school administrators responsible for enforcing mask-wearing have reported little to no issues from students.

-- WITF: Inside Hershey Middle School Where Everyone Wears Masks, And It’s Not Really An Issue

-- AP: Commonwealth Court Takes Up School Mask Challenge

-- AP: Documents Panel Upholds School Mask Order After House Republicans Sought Review

-- PG: Lawsuit Filed Against State Officials, UPMC Over Refusals To Grant School Mask Exemptions

-- MCall - Paul Muschick: Lehigh Valley Cheerleading Competition Ended By Anti-Maskers

-- MCall: Lehigh Valley Basketball Coach Resigns Over District’s Mask Policy

-- Inquirer Guest Essay: Keeping Kids At Home When Schools Are Closed Due To COVID Is Causing Medical Problems, Urges Flu Shots - Sen. Scott Martin

-- YorkDR: Two-Thirds Of PA Counties See Decrease In Cases, See Which Ones

-- PennLive: Pittsburgh Man Whose Father, Brother Were Found Dead At Home With COVID Also Has The Virus

-- ErieT: Erie Hospitals Seeing More Breakthrough COVID Patients

-- TribLive: Doctors Share Patients’ Excuses For COVID Vaccine Refusal

-- Gov. Wolf: PA Is Ready For COVID Vaccines For Children Ages 5-11

-- WPSU: Penn State Announces Harrisburg, 5 More Campuses Where Employees Must Be Fully Vaccinated By Dec. 8

-- PG Editorial: Hopes And Realities For Children And COVID Vaccine

-- PG Editorial: YouTube Finally Takes Aim At Anti-Vaxxers

-- PG Editorial: Vaccinate Before Organ Transplants

-- WHYY: Just 1 In 10 Philly Cops Reported Their Vaccination Status

-- PennLive - Jan Murphy: PA Student Loan Forgiveness Program For Nurses To Open Up In January

-- Spotlight PA: Why $1 Billion In Rent Relief Isn’t Keeping Some PA Tenants Safe From Eviction

-- WHYY: Philly Gets Another $35 Million For Rental Assistance, But It’s Far From Enough

-- PG: Road Traffic Returning To Pre-Pandemic Levels

-- TribLive: Murrysville Couple Charged With Bilking CARES Act Of $220,000

-- WPost: Rachel Levine, Openly Transgender Health Official, To Be Sworn In As Four-Star Admiral

-- Gov. Wolf: Acts To Protect Workers, Calls On Legislature To Improve Wages And Paid Sick Leave

The governor is directing DCED to verify a business receiving an offer of assistance provides its workers paid sick leave and pays no less than the minimum wage for state employees before making a financial incentive offer. The $13.50 minimum wage for state employees and contractors will reach $15 on July 1, 2024, under an executive order the governor signed in 2018.

-- MCall/AP: Wolf Says He’ll Require Companies Getting Money From State To Raise Minimum Wage, Offer Paid Sick Leave

-- ErieT: Wolf: PA Employers Will Have To Pay $13.50/Hour If They Get State Incentives

-- Sen. Kim Ward: Responds To Wolf Administration’s Workplace Initiatives

-- PG: University of Pittsburgh Faculty Vote To Unionize In Landslide Election

-- Dept. Of Labor & Industry: PA Unemployment Falls To 6.2% In September From 6.4% In August

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point over the month to 6.2 percent in September. The U.S. rate fell four-tenths of a percentage point from its August level to 4.8 percent. 

The Commonwealth's unemployment rate was 0.9 percentage points below its September 2020 level and the national rate declined 3.0 points over the year.

-- AP: PA’s Jobless Rate, Labor Force, Payrolls Drop

-- Inquirer: PA Workers Contributing To ‘The Great Resignation’

--  The Economist: Servicing And Repairing Electric Cars Requires New Skills

-- PA Gaming Control Board: Reports $415 Million In September Gaming Revenue, Up From $408 Million In August

The Gaming Control Board reported  total gaming and fantasy contests revenue generated in the Commonwealth during September 2021 was $415,671,773, up from $408 million from August.

-- TribLive: PA Casino Revenues Top $415 Million In September

-- CitizensV: Sports Betting Surges In September

-- MCall: Lehigh Valley School Districts Struggle To Feed Children Because Of Supply Chain Shortages

Since the beginning of the school year, Parkland School District has struggled to provide hungry students with heaping hot meals.  That’s because three food vendors have canceled contracts since July, said Lori Seier, Parkland’s food service director. 

One of the vendors decided to stop delivering food the week before the school year started, breaking a contract that was supposed to go through the end of September.

-- CourierT: Schools Face Food Delays Amid Shortages: ‘We Are Definitely Struggling’

-- AP: Disruptions To Schooling Fall Hardest On Vulnerable Students

-- PennLive: PA School Board Races Mirror National Partisan Clashes

-- PennLive - John Baer: School Board Races Are The Tinderboxes Of Today’s Partisan Politics, They Shouldn’t Be

-- WHYY: Wolf Administration Ramps Up Efforts To Recruit School Bus Drivers

-- ErieT: Erie School District Hikes Pay For Substitute Teachers By 110%

-- WESA: Pittsburgh Public School Enrollment Dropped 20,000 Students: Where Did The Kindergarteners Go?

-- MCall - Ford Turner: Private Charter Schools Blast Proposed State Accountability Rules

-- PA Cap-Star: PA Supreme Court Allows Lawsuits Over Local Gun Ordinance To Move Forward

 Gun owners do not have to violate a local gun law to have legal standing to challenge its constitutionality in court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.  

The 4-3 decision from the high court allowed a challenge to five gun laws — adopted as early as 1821 and as late as 2009 — on the books in Harrisburg to proceed, ending a six-year court fight between the capital city and a statewide gun rights group.

-- Inquirer: Philly Police Commissioners Says Tactics Slowing Gun Violence In Some Neighborhoods

-- KYW: At Least 3 People Shot, Killed In Philly Thursday Night

-- LancasterOnline: Armed Bystander Shoots Park City Shooter

-- AP: Park City Mall In Lancaster Evacuated After Gunfire

-- CourierT: Doomsday, Guns, Jesus Christ: Inside The Ultra-Right Rod Of Iron Freedom Fighters Festival

-- AP: Philly Train Riders Held Up Phones As Woman Was Raped, Police Say

-- Inquirer: Delaware County DA: Narrative Of Riders Filming Train Rape In Philadelphia Is False

-- PA Now Accepting Applications For Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP); Know Your Energy Options

On October 18, Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Meg Snead today joined Public Utility Commission Chair Gladys Brown Dutrieuille to announce the start of the annual Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) application process for the 2021-22 season.

-- WHYY: Eligible Families Can Now Apply For Up To $1.500 In Aid To Pay For Heating Bills

-- U.S. EIA Forecasts Winter Heating Fuel Costs To Increase Significantly: Heating Oil By 43%, Natural Gas By 30%, Electricity By 6%

-- USA Today: What To Know About Hikes In Natural Gas Prices; Why Your Heating Bill Could Skyrocket This Winter

-- AP: Energy Crunch Hits Global Recovery As Winter Approaches

-- Reuters: Coal Prices Surge; Power Squeeze Hits China’s Economy, Global Supply

-- WITF: U.S. Coal Production Up Sharply After Hitting 50-Year Low Last Year

-- WSJ: Behind The Energy Crisis: Fossil Fuel Investment Drops, And Renewables Aren’t Ready

-- LegalPlanet: What The Current Fossil Fuel Energy Crisis Means For Climate And Clean Energy Policy 

-- TribLive: Gasoline Prices In Western PA Hit Highest Price Since 2014

-- ErieT: Why Gasoline Prices Are Their Highest In Years And What It Means For PA Drivers

[Posted: October 24, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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