PA Capitol Report: Top 10 Stories From Harrisburg Last Week

Here are the Top 10 Stories From Harrisburg last week–

— Flurry Of Constitutional Amendments

— ABC27: Naked Power Grab?  PA Republican-Controlled Legislature Increasingly Pushing Constitutional Amendments To Get Their Way

— PA Cap-Star Guest Essay: PA Republicans Attack On Executive Power Is An Undemocratic Attack On Our System Of Democracy – By Patrick Beaty

— AP: Wolf Signals Readiness For Congressional District Map Talks

Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday released the priorities for drawing Pennsylvania’s new congressional districts given to him by the panel he picked, signaling that he is ready to start discussions with Republicans who control the Legislature.

— Gov. Wolf: PA Redistricting Advisory Council Issues Redistricting Principles

— PA Cap-Star: Wolf Calls For Compact, Proportional Congressional Districts Maps, Wants To See The Legislature’s Notes

— Williamsport Sun Editorial Recap State Still Lacks Transparent, Nonpartisan Redistricting

— November 2 Election

— PG/AP: Republican Commonwealth Court Judge Drew Crompton [And Former Aid To Republican Sen. Scarnati]  Concedes After Recount

— WHYY: Democrats Flipped Commonwealth Court Seat, Republican Concedes

— MCall: Lehigh County’s Vote Count Remains In Limbo As Judge Considers Challenge To Mail-In Ballots

— Governor’s Race

— WHYY: State Lawmaker Hasn’t Become Governor In 70 Years, Republican Sen. Corman Hopes To Be The Exception

— PG: Republican Sen. Corman Says He Can Work With Both Parties If He’s Elected Governor

— LancasterOnline/The Caucus: How Republican Sen. Corman’s Lifetime In PA Politics Led Him To The 2022 Governor’s Race 

— Election ‘Reform’

— TribLive: Process Of Pending Republican Election Audit Remains Shrouded In Secrecy

An Iowa-based firm that has never conducted an election review will delve into a forensic audit of Pennsylvania’s contentious 2020 general election results and this year’s May primary. How it intends to determine election integrity remains shrouded in secrecy.

— AP: Questions Remain About Senate Republican Election ‘Investigation’

— Inquirer: Confusion, Uncertainty, Conflict: What’s Happening In The Right Over PA’s Election System

— PennLive/TNS: Fight Over PA’s Election System Is Full Of Confusion, Conflict

— WilliamsportS: Stage Set For Lawmaker-Wolf Election Law Parley

— YorkDR: Company Heading PA Election ‘Audit’ Vows To Protect Voters’ Information

— ErieT Guest Essay: PA Republican Election Probe An Unnecessary And Wasteful Fool’s Errand – Rep. Bizzarro

— TribLive Editorial: Why Is $270,000 Republican Contract On The Election Audit Going To Be Redacted?

— WPost: Federal Judge Orders 2 Lawyers Involved In Republican Challenges To PA, Other Nov. 2020 Election Results To Pay $187,000 To Deter Others From Filing Frivolous Lawsuits

— ABC27: Legislators From 39 States [Including PA] Sign Letter Outlining Possible Reversal Of ‘Corrupted’ 2020 Election [Republican PA Sen. Mastriano]

— MCall: Lancaster County Man Pleads Guilty To Charges Related To Assault On U.S. Capitol

— MCall: Luzerne County Man Gets 60 Days In Jail For Charges Related To Jan. 6 Assault On U.S. Capitol

— PennLive: Defense Wants One Charge Dropped Against Woman Accused Of Taking Pelosi’s Laptop During Assault On U.S. Capitol

— Inquirer: Racial Slur Discovered At Delaware County Elementary School

— Inquirer: One University Of Pennsylvania Benefactor Says He’s Pulling Donations Because Of National Anthem Protests

— Inquirer: Tension And Political Movement That Rose PA’s School Board Elections Might Be Here To Stay

— The Center Square Guest Essay: In Pennsylvania, Civic Engagement Is A Critical Challenge

— Inquirer – Rebuilding Philly: Using COVID As A Moment To Reboot Our Sense Of Empathy In Civil Discourse

— Harrisburg Potpourri

— ErieT: PA Lawmakers On Break: Here’s What The Legislature Didn’t Do Before Thanksgiving

— TribLive Editorial: Demand Your Money’s Worth From Elected Officials [Automatic PA Payraises]

— WESA: Head Of State Ethics Commission Says ‘The Time Is Right’ To Enact Restrictions On Gifts To Lawmakers

— PA Cap-Star: Republican Candidate For U.S. Senate Sean Parnell Loses Highly Publicized Custody Battle For Children

— AP: Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Sean Parnell Suspends His Campaign After Losing Custody Battle

— PG: Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Parnell Drops Out Of Senate Race

— AP: Republican Field In PA’s U.S. Senate Race Heads For Reshuffle

— PG: With Parnell Exit, U.S. Senate Race An ‘Open Event’ For Republicans

— City & State: Update On Candidates Running For PA’s U.S. Senate Seat In 2022

— PG: PA Cong. Thompson Pushing To Put Regulations On Cryptocurrencies

— Inquirer: PA Republican Cong. Scott Perry To Lead Far-Right Faction In Congress

— PA Cap-Star: Activist Announces Run Against Rep. Anthony DeLuca, 20-term Western PA Democratic Lawmaker

— The Center Square: Report: PA Middle Of The Road For Fiscal Transparency

— WESA: 200,000 Pennsylvanians Who Collected Unemployment Surprised, Upset By Overpayment Notices

— PA Cap-Star: Sen. Flynn Wants Reform To Prevent Uncollected Turnpike Tolls

— PennLive – John Baer: Toll The I-83 South Bridge?  How About No?

— PennLive – Jan Murphy: State University Leader Says Addressing PA’s Talent Gap Requires Bigger Investment In Higher Ed

— PennLive: PA Students Carry One Of The Heaviest Debt Loads In The Country

— AP: Penn State’s Football Coach Agrees To $75 Million, 10-Year Extension

— MCall – Ford Turner: PA Still Without Unified Drug Crisis Strategy As Overdose Deaths Soar [Republican General Assembly Ended PA’s Opioid Emergency Declaration On Aug. 25]

— Inquirer: Overdoses Rise During The Holidays, This Year Could Be Especially Tough

— ErieT: Senators Laughlin, Street Propose Bipartisan Home-Grown For Medical Marijuana Patients Legislation

— TribLive: As Westmoreland Casino Marks A Year In Business, Local Leaders Say It Provides More Than A Place To Gamble

— MCall: First Berks County Casino Will Open In December

— PennLive: Christmas Trees Arrives In Capitol Rotunda

— PA Cap-Star: Giving Back And Speaking Up: Meet The Philadelphia LGBTQ Bar Association

— PennLive Guest Essay: Voters Must Wise Up To The Harms Of Government Spending – Commonwealth Foundation

— TribLive Editorial: [Republican] Westmoreland County Commissioners Need To Rein In Spending

— CourierT: PA COVID Cases Jump 18% Before Thanksgiving

New coronavirus cases continue to increase in Pennsylvania as the busy holiday season approaches, prompting new reminders from the state Department of Health.

— TribLive: Wolf Administration Expected To Ask PA Supreme Court To Let School Mask Policy In Place Until Litigation Resolved

— TribLive: Norwin Schools In Westmoreland Go Back To Mandatory Masking Policy

— TribLive: Franklin Regional School District Bans Using Schools For COVID Vaccination Clinics

— TribLive Editorial: Franklin Regional School District’s Vaccine Clinic Ban Seems Disingenuous

— ScrantonT: Where Vaccination Rates Are Higher, Fewer Die From COVID

— ScrantonT: Latest COVID Surge Shows No End In Sight

— MCall: COVID Hospitalizations The Same As Last Thanksgiving, But Where They’re Occurring Is Shifting

— ErieT: COVID Cases Well Above 2020 Levels In Erie County

— TribLive: Breakthrough Cases Make Up 38% Of Allegheny County’s COVID Cases

— PG: Allegheny County: COVID Numbers Not Expected To Improve Soon

— TribLive: Excela Chief Doctor: Westmoreland Could Be On Edge Of Another COVID Surge

— LancasterOnline: Patients On Ventilators Due To COVID Hit 2021-High In Lancaster County

— ErieT: In Erie County, Too Many COVID Cases For Contact Tracing

— ErieT: Go Inside An Erie Hospital’s COVID Units

— ReadingE: COVID Hospitalizations Continue To Spiral Upward In Berks, PA

— Inquirer: Some States Know A Lot About Vaccinated People Who Got COVID, PA Doesn’t

— PennLive: Number Of Pennsylvanians Vaccinated Against COVID Drops By A Million Overnight Due To CDC Data Correction

— WESA: PA’s Count Of Fully Vaccinated Adults Drops By 500,000

— PennLive: Defying A COVID Vaccination Mandate May Get You A Different Jab: $50 – $100 Testing Bills

— WITF: Judge Tosses Lawsuit From Geisinger Employees Seeking To Disregard COVID Policy

— PennLive: 35 Unvaccinated Geisinger Employees ‘Voluntarily Resign’ By Refusing To Submit To COVID Testing

— Inquirer: Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia Videos On COVID Reach Millionaires, But Will They Persuade?

— Inquirer Guest Essay: Less Than 5% Of Kids Aged 5-11 In Philly Have Their First COVID Shot

— WHYY: Montgomery County Is Offering Employees A $150 Incentive To Get Fully Vaccinated

— TribLive: Pittsburgh Transit Driver Files Race Discrimination Suit Over Black Lives Matter Masks

— Inquirer: Flu Is Spreading Around The Philly Region, The Holidays Could Help It Take Off

— PG Editorial: Helping To Solve The State’s Nursing Shortage

New COVID Variant – Omicron

— WPost: New York Governor Declares COVID Emergency, Omicron Variant: ‘It’s Coming’ [Republican General Assembly Ended PA’s COVID Emergency Declaration On June 15]

— PennLive/TNS: Omicron COVID Variant Might Already Be In U.S., Dr. Fauci Says

— AP: Australia Confirms 2 Omicron Cases As Travel Curbs Tighten

— NYT: New COVID Variant Puts Nations On Alert

— WPost: As Variant Is Detected Around World, Travel Bans May Be Too Late, Experts Say

— NPR: How Vaccine Makers Plan To Address New COVID Omicron Variant

— AP: World Races To Contain New COVID Threat, The Omicron Variant

— The Guardian: What Do We Know About The New ‘Worst Ever’ COVID Variant?

— NYT: New ‘Variant Of Concern’ Fuels Global Fear Of Another Virus Surge

— Financial Times: Oil Prices Drop More Than 10% As COVID Variant Threatens Blow To Demand

— Reuters: Europe And Asia, Alarmed By New COVID Variant, Tighten Borders

— NYT: New COVID Variant Alert From South Africa Prompts Rush To Halt Flights

— AP: Stocks Sink On New COVID Varient, Dow Loses 905 Points

— Inquirer: 7 Takeaways From First Week Of PA’s Landmark School Funding Trial

The first week of trial in the landmark case challenging Pennsylvania’s school funding system featured both personal accounts of the impact of insufficient funding and expert testimony on how state aid is doled out to districts, leaving wide gaps between the state’s poorest and wealthiest communities.

— PA Cap-Star: State Police Camp Cadet Develops Self-Esteem, Discipline, Teamwork In Youth

— ABC27: PA Courts Launch Online Toolkit To Help Students Learn About State Judicial Court System

— ScrantonT Editorial: General Assembly – Reconcile Charter School Tuition Costs

— Inquirer: As Philadelphia Records 500th Homicide, Mayor Takes Aim At The State: ‘They Don’t Care’

As Philadelphia approached a record number of homicides, Mayor Jim Kenney on Wednesday said the city is doing what it can to slow the bloodshed but is stymied by state law that keeps the city from enforcing stricter gun laws. “There are people making money selling these guns, making these guns,” he said, “and the legislature, they don’t care about people getting killed.”

— WITF Smart Talk: Number Of Murders Spiked In 2020-21

— PennLive – Charles Thompson: York County DA Pledges Review Of Ex-Cop’s Crime Spree That Ended In Children’s Deaths

— YorkDR: Criminal Complaint: York Regional Police Chief Put Stop To Emergency PFA Against Fmr Cop Who Killed His Daughters, Friend & Himself

— Inquirer: Amish Ironworks In Chester County Promotes Bullet Barrier As A Hedge Against Civil Disorder

— Inquirer Guest Essay: A Retreat For Philadelphia Children Impacted By Gun Violence Laid Bare A City In Crisis

— Inquirer Column: Without Help, Philly Kids Who Lost Family To Gun Violence Will ‘Self Destruct’

— WHYY: New Coalition Rises To Broker A Ceasefire In Philly

— Inquirer Guest Essay: Amid Spike In Shootings, Legislators Giving Us The Kinds Of Gun Laws We Don’t Need

— PennLive Guest Essay: Using Guns For Self-Gratification Undermines 2nd Amendment

— Inquirer Editorial: Rittenhouse Acquittal A Lesson About Laws Allowing More Guns To Be Carried In Public

— PG Editorial: With Guns, Safety Always Must Come First

— CitizensV Editorial: Expedite Ghost Gun Rule

— ScrantonT Editorial: Make Safety Integral To Gun Culture

— PA Economy

— Spotlight PA: Staffing Crisis At PA Child Care Centers Upending Family Routines, Slowing Economic Recovery

— Spotlight PA: PA’s Child Care And Staffing Crisis, By The Numbers

— Inquirer: These 2 Small Businesses Survived The Pandemic, Here’s How They Did It

— Inquirer: Philly Teens Entering Workforce In Droves, Filling Holiday Gaps Amid Ongoing Labor Shortage

— Inquirer: Philly Hotel Workers Begin Strike For Better Wages, Working Conditions

— TribLive Guest Essay: ‘Shop Small’ Takes On New Meaning This Year – Gene Barr, PA Chamber

— TribLive: UPMC On Pace For Record-Breaking Revenue In 2021

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