PA Capitol Report: Top 10 Stories From Harrisburg Last Week

Here are the Top 10 Stories From Harrisburg last week–

November 2 Election–

— Spotlight PA: Last-Minute Guide To Essential PA Voter Prep For 2021 General Election

— PennLive – John Baer: Election Day Is Looming, What’s A Voter To Do?

— PennLive Guest Essay: If You Care About The Future Of This Country, Vote On Tuesday – Mark Singel

— AP: Spending In PA Supreme Court Race Blows Past $5 Million

— SpotlightPA: Powerful Special Interests Pouring Millions Into PA Supreme Court Race

— MCall – Paul Muschick: Justice For Sale? A $5 Million PA Supreme Court Race Illustrates What’s Wrong With How PA Picks Judges

— PA Cap-Star: Deep-Pocketed Donors Pour Money Into PA Supreme Court Race

— AP: Republican PA Supreme Court Candidate Changes Ad After Complaint From Opponent

— CitizensV Editorial: PA Bar Assn. Should Enforce Ad Rules For Judicial Candidates

— MCall: PA Voters Who Choose Mail-In Ballots Have Different Experiences Depending On Where They Live

— AP: Berks County Botches Spanish-Language Ballot Instructions  [Republican Controlled County]

— WITF: Leaders Call On Berks County To Honor Incorrect Voting Deadline Sent To Spanish-Language Voters In The County

— ReadingE: Berks County Again Gets Wrong Date For Election, This Time In Letter To Poll Workers

— MCall: Delaware County Mailed 670 Flawed Absentee Ballots To Voters With Wrong Addresses [Democrats control the county]

— ErieT: Finding Enough Election Day Poll Workers A Challenge In Erie County

— PA Cap-Star: Latest PA Voter Registration Data Shows A Strong Summer For Republicans

— Inquirer – Will Bunch: A Montgomery County Mom, A ‘Whiteness’ Book, And The Republican Scheme To Rock The 2021 Vote

— Courier: Can Democrats Fend Off Republicans To Keep Control Of Bucks County Government?

— Inquirer: 2 Swing Counties In PA- Erie, Northampton- Could Offer Clues For Future Elections

— ErieT: Wealthy Donors Push Erie County Executive Race Over $1 Million Mark

— PA Cap-Star: Mysterious Texts Discouraging Voters In Harrisburg Mayoral Race

— PA Cap-Star: State Court Judge Grants Requests To Join Lawsuit Against Senate Republican Subpoena, Election ‘Investigation’

The group of challengers who are suing to block subpoenas of voters’ personal information in a Republican-spearheaded investigation of Pennsylvania’s elections has gotten bigger.

— PennLive Guest Essay: A Petition To PA Senate Republicans To Stop Destroying Democracy, Costing PA Voters Money – PA Disinformation Task Force

— PA Cap-Star: Public Still Does Not Know The Cost Of The Republican Fulton County Election Review, Who Paid For It Or Who Authorized It

— ErieT: What Are Possible Outcomes For Ethics Probe Of Republican Cong. Kelly [Kelly Filed Lawsuits To Overturn The Nov. Election]

— PG: Lawmakers Scrutinized For ‘Lavish’ Spending On Resorts, High-End Restaurants And Limousines, Including Republican Cong. Kelly  [Kelly Filed Lawsuits To Overturn The Nov. Election]

— LancasterOnline: A Group Of Notorious White Nationalists Met Secretly In A Lancaster County Barn Last Year.  Why Here?

— WPost: Chief Federal Judge Says ‘The Rioters Were Not Mere Protesters’ That Assaulted U.S. Capitol On Jan. 6

— CourierT: Bucks County YWCA Honors Fmr PA Elections Chief Kathy Boockvar Over Objections Of Lawmakers

— Harrisburg Potpourri–

— WESA/AP: PA Lawmakers Are Allowed To Accept Unlimited Gifts From Lobbyists, A New Bill Would Change That

— Gov. Wolf Urges General Assembly To Adopt Comprehensive Gift Ban

— MCall – Paul Muschick: Don’t Be Tricked Into Believing PA Lawmakers Are Finally Giving Up Their Treats

— LancasterOnline Editorial: State Lawmakers Spend Taxpayer Dollars On Legal Fees To Advance Their Own Interests

— AltoonaM Editorial: Time To Rein In ‘Clubby’ Culture Of Harrisburg

— Inquirer: Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Parnell Tries To Squelch Negative TV Ads, Rivals Make That An Issue Too

— ErieT: What Are Possible Outcomes For Ethics Probe Of Republican Cong. Kelly [Kelly Filed Lawsuits To Overturn The Nov. Election]

— PG: Lawmakers Scrutinized For ‘Lavish’ Spending On Resorts, High-End Restaurants And Limousines, Including Republican Cong. Kelly  [Kelly Filed Lawsuits To Overturn The Nov. Election]

— ErieT: Republican PA Cong. Thompson Released From Hospital After Positive COVID Test

— MCall: House Passes Bill To Deny Unemployment Benefits Who Discourage Their Own Hiring

— MCall – Paul Muschick: How Wolf Engineered A Way To Raise The Minimum Wage For Some PA Workers

— PennLive: Lawmakers Push Again To Change Probation System, But Can They Get It Done?

— ScrantonT Editorial: Case For Merit Selection Of Judges

— MCall: Lawmakers Give Alcohol-Serving Restaurants Boost On Outdoor Seating, But Future Of Cocktails-To-Go Is Unclear

— AP: House Moves Bill To Add More Seniors To Prescription Drug Program

— MCall – Ford Turner: Overdose Deaths, Suicides In PA Would Get Scrutiny From ‘Review Teams’ Under Lehigh Valley Lawmaker’s Bill

— Spotlight PA: PA On Brink Of Regulating Substance Abuse Recovery Homes For First Time

— Inquirer: PA Uses Taxpayer Money To Fund Anti-Abortion Organization

— MCall – Ford Turner: Lawmakers Advance Bill Intended To Boost PA Breweries

— PA Cap-Star: A Q/A With Common Cause Pennsylvania’s Khalif Ali

— WITF: State University System Merger Plan Is On Track, Needs Funding To Keep Going

— PG: Faculty At 2 State Universities Being Merged Receive Layoff Notices

— PennLive – Jan Murphy: Faculty Job Cuts On The Horizon At 2 PA State Universities

— TribLive – Deb Erdley: Western PA Colleges Struggle With Declining Enrollment

— Inquirer: PA School Employees Fund Chief Counsel Steps Down As Board Approves Contested Lawyer Fees

— Inquirer: As Federal Probes Grind On, PA State Treasurer Holds Off Paying PA School Pension Fund’s Defense Lawyers

— PennLive – Jan Murphy: PA Lottery Awards ‘Humongous’ 10-Year Contracts To Modernize Its Business

— PennLive – Jan Murphy: After Winning $600 Million Contract, PA Lottery’s Longtime Partner Says It’s Selling  Its Lottery Business To Another Firm

— MCall: Here Are PA Billionaires Who Would Pay Biden’s Wealth Tax

— TribLive: Federal Prosecutor Nominated To Become U.S. Attorney In Pittsburgh

— CentreDT: Plans For Fmr Prison Near Philipsburg To Become ICE Facility Face Legal Challenge

— AP: University Of Pittsburgh Issues Inclusive Language Guide

— PA Cap-Star: Clock Is Ticking For Lawmakers To Draw PA’s Legislative Maps

Pennsylvania’s redistricting will begin in earnest this week, after lawmakers approved the population data that will decide the shape of 203 state House and 50 state Senate districts.

But an interlocking set of statutory and constitutional deadlines will make these five officials’ task — drawing a new, legal, fair map that follows court precedent in a transparent fashion — even more challenging.

— WITF: Redistricting Groups Hope To Set Examples For Lawmakers With Publicly-Sourced Maps

— AP: Panel OKs Data For Redrawing Legislative, Congressional District Maps

— Spotlight PA: Despite Transparency Vows, Must Of PA’s Redistricting Still Takes Place Behind Closed Doors

— WITF: State Redistricting Panel Now On Deadline To Draft Its First Voting Districts Map

— CentreDT: Wolf’s Redistricting Council To Hold Listening Session In Centre County Nov. 1

— ErieT: Wolf’s Redistricting Council Holding ‘Listening Session’ In Erie Wednesday

— Gov. Wolf’s Redistricting Advisory Council To Hold Listening Session In Scranton Nov. 4

— PA Cap-Star: Committee Of 70 Has Oversight Plan For Philadelphia’s Redistricting Efforts

— WBTimes Guest Essay: National Solutions To Gerrymandering Are Legal, Necessary

New Franklin & Marshall Political Poll finds–

— 55% oppose Republican “investigation” of 2020 election, 42% support

— 64% favor masks in public schools

— 56% favor employers requiring COVID vaccinations of employees

— 51% favor businesses requiring proof of vaccinations from customers

— 60% favor legalization of recreational marijuana, up from March

— 54% favor more laws to regulate gun ownership

— Gov. Wolf’s approval rating 42%, about the same

— 30% believe state is headed in right direction, down from 37% in August

— 20% believe politicians biggest problem facing PA, 10% unemployment

— U.S. Senate race – Democrats: Fetterman 27%, Lamb 17%

— U.S. Senate race – Republicans: Parnell 10%, Barnette 6%, Bartos 6%

— President Biden’s approval rating 32%, down from 44% in August

Climate Change

— 76% believe they are very or fairly well informed on causes of global warming

— 82% believe they are very or fairly well informed on consequences of global warming

— 76% believe they are very or fairly well informed on ways to reduce global warming

Click Here for topline results.

— TribLive – Deb Erdley: F&M Poll: Economy, Mistrust Of Government, COVID Continue To Drive Voters’ Decisions

— PennLive: Republicans On House Committee Vote To Take Health Secretary To Court Over School Mask Order

The House Health Committee is appealing a decision by a bipartisan panel that upheld the statewide mask order for Pennsylvania schools and child care centers.

The Health Committee on Tuesday voted to 15-10 along party lines to challenge the Joint Committee on Documents’ decision. In a 7-4 vote last week, the Joint Committee determined Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam did not violate the law by issuing her order to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

— TribLive: Republican Rep. Nelson, Parents File Lawsuit Against 4 Westmoreland School Districts Over Mask Mandate

— Inquirer: Has Wearing Masks Made The Difference COVID Numbers In SE PA? Health Officials Believe It Has

— PennLive: F&M Poll: Most PA Voters Support Masks In Schools

— Inquirer: Pennsbury’s School Board President Received Threats Of Death And Rape, She’s Not Alone

— ErieT: COVID Surge Forces Meadville Hospital To Use Trailer As ER Waiting Area

— CourierT: COVID Cases In Bucks County Schools Showing Downward Trend

— Inquirer: How The Mask Fight Continues To Play Out In PA Schools

— PennLive: Lycoming County School District Parents Fight Mask Mandate, Worry Vaccine Requirement Will Follow

— WESA: Parents Sue State Officials, UPMC Because They Can’t Get Mask Exemption For Kids

— PennLive: After Suffering Rare COVID Disorder, Bishop McDevitt Field Hockey Player Rebounds For Strong Season

— Inquirer Rebuilding Philly: Fixing The Digital Divide Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does

— Inquirer: Restaurant Revitalization Fund Was Underfunded And Oversubscribed

— Inquirer: Penn Students Face Penalties For Failure To Comply With COVID Rules

— PG: 98% Meet Carnegie Mellon Mandate To Get Vaccinated

— CourierT: Hospitals Mandated Employees To Get COVID Vaccines, How Many Complied?

— ErieT: Some Erie County Vaccine Providers Wasted More Than 50% Of Their Doses

— Worker Shortages-

— MCall: ‘A Crisis Situation’: Lehigh Valley School Districts Grapple With Substitute Teacher Shortage

Lehigh Valley teachers were already stretched thin, but a substitute teacher shortage is adding even more to their plates.

— Inquirer: Where Have All The Substitute Teachers Gone?  Fewer Philly-Area Educators Are Taking The Risk

— Inquirer: Bonuses To Be Offered Substitute Teachers, Nurses Working In Philly Schools Amid Shortage

— ErieT: Labor Crunch Means Erie School District Teachers Who Resign Must Wait Up To 2 Months To Leave

— Inquirer Guest Essay: Introducing Rebuilding Philly, A Series On Creating A More Equitable City In The Wake Of COVID

— CourierT: With Plenty Of Emergency Rental Relief Available, Why Are Some Predicting An Eviction Crisis?

— WESA: Allegheny County President Judge Asks PA Supreme Court To Extend Eviction Protections

— TribLive: Giant Eagle Holds Hiring Event To Fill More Than 1,000 Jobs In Pittsburgh Area

— WESA: PA Workers Least Likely In U.S. To Quit Their Jobs In August

— TribLive: What Can Be Done About Police Officer Shortage In PA

— PG: Poll: COVID Still Keeping Fan Away From Pittsburgh Sports Venues

— PG: Silver Lining To Pandemic In PA: Booming Real Estate  Sales In Rural Areas

— YorkD: PA Republicans Among Those Blocking Red Flag Gun Laws Despite Bipartisan Support

In recent months, Lee Wagner, a Marine Corps veteran and suicide intervention specialist, has pushed Pennsylvania state lawmakers to pass a bipartisan-backed extreme risk protection order bill.

So-called red flag laws temporarily remove firearms from those who may be a harm to themselves or others, and they are lauded by public health experts, law enforcement officials and gun safety advocates. At least eight other states also are considering red flag bills.

— MCall – Ford Turner: Gov. Wolf, Democrats Attack Republican Bill To Allow Concealed Carrying Of Guns Without A License

— AP: PA Senate OKs Bill To Criminalize The ‘Legal And Constitutional Right To Run From Law Enforcement’

— Gov. Wolf: Continues To Call On Legislature For Meaningful Action To Address Gun Violence

— The Center Square: Republican Senator Introduces Bill To Expand Castle Doctrine Self-Defense Gun Law

— WHYY: New Facility Opens In SW Philly To Help Prevent Gun Violence, Care For Victims

— WHYY: Hidden Costs Of Gun Violence: Health Care Aftermath And Who Pays

— WHYY: Hidden Costs Of Gun Violence: Mental Health And Financial Stress

— WHYY: Hidden Costs Of Gun Violence: Seeking Wellness In The Aftermath

— WHYY: What Happens When A Victim Of Gun Violence Is Blamed For Their Own Death?

— PA Cap-Star Guest Essay: I’m A PA Student, I Shouldn’t Have To Worry About Being Shot, But I Do. Everyday

— Inquirer: Philly To Pay $2.5 Million To Walter Wallace, Jr’s Family To Settle Claims Over His Killing By Police

— AP: NJ, PA Collaborate In Ghost Gun Case

— MCall: More Than 300 Survivors Of ‘Kids For Cash’ Scandal Tell Horror Stories In Civil Case Against Luzerne County Judges

The judge who heard testimony from over 300 plaintiffs in a weeks-long civil damages hearing against former Luzerne County judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan called it “incredible, remarkable and very disturbing.”

— ScrantonT: Judge: Testimony In ‘Kids For Cash’ Damages Hearing ‘Disturbing’

— ScrantonT Editorial: Case For Merit Selection Of Judges

— MCall: ACLU Suing Montgomery County, Saying They Have Been Illegally Jailing People Without Hearings

— TribLive: Fayette County Priest Pleads ‘No Contest’ To Sexually Assaulting Altar Boy

— MCall: Monroe County Priest Charged With Attempted Assault, Inappropriate Contact With A Minor

TAP HERE for all articles in November 1 EXPRESS Update