PA Capitol Report: Top 10 Stories From Harrisburg Last Week

Here are the Top 10 Stories From Harrisburg last week–

— PA Cap-Star: PA Grapples With Competing Redistricting Priorities: ‘It’s A Rubik’s Cube’

Pennsylvania politicians must redraw 17 congressional districts, and 253 legislative seats by the end of the coming fall to match population shifts.  But differing priorities, from as simple a goal as compact districts to as vague as keeping communities together, show the complexity inherent to evenly fitting Pennsylvania’s 67 counties and 13 million residents into thoughtful and representative districts.

— WPSU: Reaction To PA Redistricting Committee Decision To County Inmates In Home Counties Splits Along Party Lines

— PG Editorial: PA Reapportionment Board Made Right Decision On How To Count Prisoners

— ReadingE: Berks Resident’s Redrawn Legislative Voting Districts Map Wins An Award

— PA Cap-Star: PA Senate Committee Launches Election Investigation, Beginning With 2020 Guidance

A Pennsylvania Senate committee launched an investigation into the state’s two most recent elections on Thursday, beginning with guidance issued by the Department of State the night before Election Day.  Sen. Cris Dush, R-Jefferson, chair of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, said the review is not a recount. Instead, it is the first in a series of public meetings aimed to evaluate Pennsylvania’s Election Code and restore confidence in the electoral process, he said.

— AP: Senate Republicans Start Election ‘Investigation’ In Pennsylvania

— AP: Republicans Aim To Advance Election ‘Investigation’ With Subpoenas

— WITF: Senate’s Latest Election Probe Got Off To A Contentious Start, Subpoenas Could Be Coming Soon

— PA Cap-Star: Top Senate Republican Calls For Subpoenas For Dept. Of State In Nov. Election Probe

— PA Cap-Star: Democrats, Republican Lawmakers In PA, Elsewhere Push Back Against Partisan Election Reviews

— LancasterOnline: PA Republican Push For Voter Signature Matching Requires Money, Training To Implement

— John Baer: Regular Folks Get To Tell Their Stories Of Voter Fraud To PA Senate, Imagine What We’ll Hear

— YorkDR: Who They Are: 54 Pennsylvanians Arrested For Their Involvement In Jan. 6 Assault On U.S. Capitol

— PG Guest Essay: PA Republicans Should Reject Election ‘Audit’ – Jim Greenwood & Murray Dickman

— PG Editorial: Republican Lawmakers File Lawsuit Over Mail-In Voting Law They Approved – A Lawsuit Built On Hypocrisy

— WITF: Federal Judge Orders Attorneys Who Pushed Election Fraud Lie To Pay Sanctions To PA And Other Defendants

A federal judge is determining the cost of sanctions for two attorneys ?whose lawsuit contained baseless claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.  Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed the motion in May ?to recover legal fees from Gary Fielder and Ernest Walker. Shapiro says the two lawyers attacked how Pennsylvania’s election was conducted and attempted to undermine faith in the results.

— YorkDR: PA Lawmakers Plan Early Return To Capitol To Fight Against School Mask Mandate

The House of Representatives will now return to the State Capitol the week of September 20, a couple weeks ahead of schedule, to respond to the burgeoning fight over the Wolf administration’s school mask mandate.  They had been scheduled to return a week later.

— AP: Some Schools Defy Mask Mandate, House Plans To Come Back To Harrisburg To Mount Legislative Response

–Spotlight PA: PA School Mask Legal Challenge Backed By Republican Group That Challenged 2020 Election Results

— TribLive: Gov. Wolf, Teachers Say Kids Are Cool With Masks: ‘It Feels Like An Adult Problem’

— TribLive: What Families Should Know As Pediatric COVID Cases Climb In PA

— PennLive: List Of 12 PA High School Football Cancellations, Postponements Due To COVID

— WESA: Allegheny County Health Officials See A Dramatic Increase In COVID Cases Among Kids

— PennLive: UPMC Cites ‘Truly Alarming’ Number Of Young, Healthy Often Unvaccinated People Stricken With COVID

— YorkD: Pandemonium At York County School Board Meeting As Parents Refuse Masks – Video

— MCall: Northampton Teacher Dies After Battle With COVID

— AP: PA Targeting Doctors Over Blanket School Mask Exemptions

— TribLive Editorial: School Districts Are Responsible For The Health Of Their Students

— Inquirer: LaSalle University Moves To Remote Instruction Due To Jump In COVID Cases

— PG: PA Reports Highest Single-Day Tally Of New COVID Cases Since April

— MCall: Lehigh Valley Hospitals Again Filling Up With COVID Patients

— MCall: New Castle Councilwoman On A Mission To Tell People To Get Vaccinated After Her Own COVID Bout: ‘I’d Be Dead Today’

— AP: New CDC Study Finds Unvaccinated 11 Times More Likely To Die Of COVID

— PennLive: List Of PA ZIP Codes Where COVID Cases Are Spiking

— PA Cap-Star: Here’s What [Republican] PA Lawmakers Aren’t Coming Back Early To Fix

There’s always been a performative aspect to our politics. If you’re an elected official who wants to keep your job, it’s often as important to be seen doing something about The Big Problems as it is to actually do something about them.

— PA Cap-Star: Our Autumn Of Discontent: 3 PA Politics Storylines To Tack This Fall

— MCall: 5 Years After Grace Parker Murder, PA Lawmaker Seek Stronger Child Protection System

— PG: Pittsburgh Proposes $9 Million, 4-Year Gun Violence Intervention Program As Shootings Increase

— Potpourri Of State Political News–

— PA Cap-Star: Longtime Republican Activist Charlie Gerow Thinks He’s The Man To Beat For PA Governor

— City & State: Republican Lou Barletta’s Seeking A Political Comeback As PA Governor

Pro Football Player, Coach Mike Ditka Endorses Jason Richey For Republican Nomination For PA Governor

— WHYY: Many Of PA’s Republican Gubernatorial Hopefuls See Texas Abortion Law As A Blueprint

— MCall: Sen. Browne Injured In Motorcycle Crash, After Motorcycle Crash In 2015 He Was Charged With His Third DUI

— MCall: Speed, Impairment Not Suspected In Sen. Browne’s Motorcycle Crash

— AP: Publisher To Reissue Republican Sen. Mastriano’s Book Correcting Factual Errors

— PA Cap-Star: Republican Lawmakers Pushing Ban On Transgender Athletes, Ignoring Gender Inequities In Home Districts?

— Inquirer: Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Sean Parnell’s Wife Sought Protective Orders Against Him

— AP: Republican U.S. Senate Race In PA Takes Personal Turn

— Inquirer: Fmr. Gov. Rendell Targeting The ‘Treason Caucus’ In Congress– Cong. Scott Perry, Jeff Van Drew

— ErieT: U.S. House Committee Investigating PA Cong. Kelly For Possible Ethics Infraction For Insider Stock Buying

— PA Cap-Star: Pennsylvania Borrowed $721 Million From Feds For State Unemployment Compensation Benefits

Ten states that struggled to pay the mounting costs of rising unemployment compensation claims during the COVID-19 pandemic will face yet another challenge starting this week: interest accruing on federal loans they relied on to cover payments to the unemployed.  Pennsylvania borrowed $721 million.

— MCall – Ford Turner: PA Takes No Action On Rule-Breaking Drug/Alcohol Treatment Centers As Drug Crisis Heads Toward ‘Record-Breaking’ Year

With Pennsylvania facing a “record-breaking” year that could end with more than 5,400 overdose deaths, top lawmakers are pushing legislation to promote “whole-person health care” and taking no action on the state’s problem-riddled drug abuse treatment centers.

— ErieT: Fmr. Gov. Tom Ridge Recalls Tragedies Of 9/11, But Also The Compassion

Former Gov. Tom Ridge on Thursday shared his memories of 9/11 in a 20th anniversary video message that also promotes a national renewal of the empathy, unity and service above self he said were so prevalent 20 years ago.  It was Ridge’s first public appearance since suffering a stroke in June.

— ABC27: Remembering 9/11: Gov. Ridge’s Administration Recalls The Day And New Opportunities That Came

— WESA: Fmr State Police Commission Paul Evanko On Responding To Events Of 9/11

— PennLive Guest Essay: What It Was Like To Meet The Devastated Families Of Flight 93 Heroes – David La Torre

— StateImpactPA – Rachel McDevitt: 20 Years After Flight 93 Crashed, The Living Memorial Faces Both Old And New Threats

— StateImpactPA: Flight 93 Crashed Among Coal Mines, Treating The Water There Was No Ordinary Project

— AltoonaM: Cyclist Logs 1,300 Mile Journey Along 9/11 Trail

— AP: 9/11: As The Decades Pass, The Act Of Remembering Evolves  [Shanksville, PA]

— Inquirer Editorial: 20 Years After 9/11, Reflecting On Grief, Justice And Vengeance

— Inquirer: In Tiny Shanksville Where United Flight 93 Crashed, 9/11 Is ‘Part Of Who We Are’

— TribLive: The Day The School Shook: 20 Years Later, Fmr Shanksville Area Students Recall 9/11

— TribLive: Teachers Rely On Flight 93 Memorial, Personal Experiences To Teach About 9/11

— YorkDR: The Evolution Of The Flight 93 National Memorial

— CentreDT: Chambersburg Native Last American Soldier Out Of Afghanistan

Eerie green-tinged photographs released last week by the Department of Defense show the commander of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division stepping off Afghan soil and onto a C-17 transport plane. Chambersburg native Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue was the last American soldier to leave Afghanistan. Donahue is the nephew of Pat and Joe Dorfmeister of Altoona and spent summers and holidays in the area.

— WHYY: 8,500+ Afghans Have Arrived In Philadelphia, Where They All End Up Is Still Up In The Air

— ErieT: Refugees, Immigrants Offset Population Slide, Make Erie More Diverse

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