PA Capitol Report: Top 10 Stories From Harrisburg Last Week

Here are the Top 10 Stories From Harrisburg last week–

— WHYY: Wolf Creates New Redistricting Oversight Panel Ahead Of Fraught Map-Drawing Process

Pennsylvania’s governor issued an executive order Monday creating a new panel of experts to advise him on passing a new congressional map next year.  Tom Wolf, a Democrat, says he’s trying to add a new layer of “fairness and transparency” to the politically fraught redistricting process.

— Gov. Wolf: Forms Redistricting Advisory Council To Help Evaluate Fairness In Upcoming Congressional Redistricting Map

— WESA: What Does 2020 Census Mean For Allegheny County Congressional Representation?

— Inquirer: Rural PA Counties Saw Big Loss Of Population In 2020 Census, Impacts Funding, Political Clout

— AP: Senate Republicans Vote For Subpoena Seeking Personal Information On Voters In November Election

The Republican-controlled Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee held a party-line vote to issue a subpoena for detailed state election records, including the names of who voted in last year’s presidential election, their birth date, address, driver’s license number, and the last four digits of their Social Security number.

Pennsylvania law prohibits the public release of a voter’s driver’s license number and Social Security number, and Senate Democrats said they will go to court within days to contend that the demand violates the separation of powers and the authority of lawmakers.

— WHYY: Election Security Experts: PA Republicans Trying To Play ‘Russian Roulette’ With Voters’ Personal Information

— TribLive Editorial: A Senate Committee’s Intrusive Subpoenas Betray Bedrock Values

— ReadingE: PA Lawmakers Shouldn’t Be Snooping On Voters

— Gov. Wolf: Bad Faith Republicans’ Actions Undermine Election Integrity And Duties Of The Senate

— Spotlight PA: Senate Republicans Move To Collect Private Voter Information In Controversial Review Of Nov. Election

— PA Cap-Star: PA Senate Republicans Subpoenas Nov. Election Voters’ Social Security Numbers

— PG: Senate Republicans Seek Access To 7 Million PA Voters’ Personal Information

— Gov. Wolf: Condemns Senate Republican Actions To Undermine Election Security, Waste Taxpayer Money

— AG Shapiro: My Office Will Do Everything Without Our Power To Protect Voters’ Personal Data

— Senate Democrats: To Take Legal Action Against Overreaching Republican Subpoena And Corrupt Election Investigation

— AP: PA Senate Democrats Sue Republicans Over Election ‘Investigation’

— AP: Wolf Pulls Secretary Of State Nomination, Slams Senate Republicans Over Election ‘Investigation’

— PA Cap-Star: Wolf Pulls Secretary Of State Nomination Amid Legislative Election Review Fight

— Sen. Corman: Statement On Recall Of Secretary Of State Nomination – ‘We Are Under No Obligation To Honor That Request’

— AP: Bipartisan Election Bill Introduced In Pennsylvania

— PA Cap-Star Guest Essay: End The Grandstanding, Lawmakers Need To Get Serious About Protecting The Vote

— ScrantonT Editorial: Republican Senate Committee Shouldn’t Get Private Data Of Individuals

— AP: 2 More Pennsylvanians Charged In Jan. 6 Assault On U.S. Capitol

Two central Pennsylvania men were arrested Monday and accused of participating in the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this year as they attempted to stop Congress from certifying the presidential election results.  The mob was driven by false accusations of election fraud.

— YorkDR: 57 Pennsylvania Residents Arrested For Involvement In Assault On U.S. Capitol

— WITF: FBI Data: Hate Crimes In Pennsylvania Hit 14-Year High In 2020

— CourierT: Report Points To Militia Roots Of Group Calling For Protests Outside Central Bucks School Meeting

— YorkDR: Central York School Board Declines To Reverse Policy On Banning Anti-Racist Curriculum

— LancasterOnline: This 23-Year-Old Hopes To Direct Lancaster Republicans Back To Traditional Conservative Values, Away From Election Lies

–TribLive: Unvaccinated People Account For 94% Of New COVID Cases In PA; 97% Of Deaths Were In People Who Were Unvaccinated

             97 percent of COVID deaths in Pennsylvania were among unvaccinated people. Unvaccinated individuals are eight times more likely to die of the virus.  94 percent of COVID cases were in unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated people.

— PennLive: COVID Cases Are Spiking In These PA ZIP Codes This Week

— YorkDR: WellSpan Health Official Calls Recent COVID Surge ‘Completely Avoidable’

— TribLive: Longer Waits Reported At Western PA Hospitals Due To COVID: ‘This Is The Worst I’ve Seen’

— PG: PA Community Hospitals Feeling Heat From Rising COVID Cases, Staffing Issues

— PG: Allegheny County Executive Warns Unvaccinated Will Be ‘Isolated From Society,’ Considers Employee Requirement

— PennLive: More PA Theaters, Concert Venues Require COVID Vaccines To Get In: ‘The Right Move To Help Protect Everyone’

— PG: Where Employers Are Requiring COVID Vaccines, Some Workers Weigh Hesitancy Against Their Paycheck

— LancasterOnline: Biggest Senior-Living Communities In Lancaster County Order All Staff To Be Vaccinated

— WITF: As Vaccination Mandate Looms, PA Health Systems Push Employees To Get On Board

— PG: PIAA Recommends COVID Vaccine For All Athletes, Requires It For Officials At Post-Season Games

— TribLive: Feds Seize 2 Shipments Of Fake COVID Vaccination Cards In Pittsburgh

— WESA: PA Business Groups Reserve Judgment On Biden Vaccine Mandate

— PG: Unwelcome Guest Returns To Pittsburgh-Area Colleges – COVID

— TribLive: Breakthrough COVID Cases Jump In Allegheny County

— PA Cap-Star: Community College Hardest Hit By Pandemic Enrollment Declines

— PennLive: Doctors Wary Of ‘Twin-Demic’ Of Overlapping COVID And Flu Surges

— PG Editorial: Doctors Spreading Misinformation On COVID Vaccines Violate Their Oath

— Auditor General: DCED COVID Business Waiver Program Flawed, Urges Transparency, Accountability Reforms  [This program ended May 8, 2020]

— MCall: Grocery Shortages? Here’s Why Some Items Are Getting Tough To Find

— MCall: PA Reports COVID Infections Up 34 percent In School Age Children Last Week

The seven-day moving average of newly reported cases was 4,534 cases per day — the highest rate since April 20. The average has increased 27 percent from a week ago, and is up 127 percent over the last 30 days.

Infections among children age four or under increased from 845 for the week ending Sep. 9 to 1,057 for the week ending Sep. 14, a 25 percent increase. Infections in children age 5-18 increased from 5,371 in the previous week to 7,215 in the current week, a 34.3 percent increase.

Together, 28 percent of all cases recorded in Pennsylvania last week were in children compared with 24 percent the previous week. Children make up 20.4 percent of the state’s population.

— PG: Beaver County District Closes 2 Schools After ‘Unimaginable Number; Of COVID Cases

— WESA: Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital Adds Tent To Increase Emergency Care Capacity

— ErieT: Erie County Sees Rise In COVID Cases Among Children

— WHYY: Relaxed COVID Measures May Be Causing An Unseasonal Surge In Another Virus

— CourierT: Bucks County School Districts Seeing Spike In COVID Cases

— WHYY: Another Philadelphia School Temporarily Closed Due To COVID, 4 So Far

— WITF: Northern York Middle, High Schools Halt In-Person Learning Due To COVID Cases

— MCall: Bethlehem Elementary School Closing Temporarily Due To COVID Outbreak

— AP: Thousands Of PA Students Request Mask Exemptions

— MCall: Lehigh Valley Officials React To PIAA Concerns Over Teams Using COVID Cancellations To Duck Opponents

— ScrantonT Editorial: School Boards Shouldn’t Compromise On Safety

— WITF: House Republicans Ask Obscure Committee Whether School Mask Order Should Be Issued As A Regulation Which Takes 2 Years To Adopt

Republicans in the House Health Committee are challenging the Pennsylvania health department’s order that requires children to wear face coverings at schools to decrease the spread of COVID-19. The GOP-majority health committee passed a motion Tuesday to have the Joint Committee on Documents review Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam’s order to determine whether it should be issued as a regulation which take two years to adopt.

— Rep. Rapp: Republicans On House Health Committee Issue Regulatory Review Act Challenge To Health Secretary’s School Mask Mandate

— PennLive: House Panel Seeks Ruling On Health Secretary’s Authority To Issue School Mask Order

— PennLive – Jan Murphy: Advocates: Mask-Wearing Is Not Child Abuse, And Saying So Minimizes Real Problems

— WHYY: Philly Schools Consider Bringing In National Guard To Help With Bus Driver Shortage

— WPSU: State College Council Votes To Require Masks Inside Businesses, Offices

— TribLive: Allegheny County Council Votes Down Mask Mandate

— PennLive – John Baer: COVID Is Our Common Enemy, But We’re Battling Each Other Instead Of Fighting It

— Harrisburg Potpourri–

— Spotlight PA: General Assembly Needs To Act On Nearly 100 Expiring COVID Waivers Or Health Care Staffing Shortages Will Get Worse

— PennLive – Jan Murphy: House To Vote On Extending Rule Allowing Members To Participate Remotely; Senate Is Not

— AP: Fmr Federal Prosecutor Bill McSwain Announces Run For Republican Gubernatorial Nomination

— PA Cap-Star: Q/A With Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Joe Gale – RINO Hunter

— ErieT Guest Essay: Can Sen. Laughlin Lead New (Old) Style Republicans From Bellwether Erie County

— Dept. Of Labor & Industry: PA Unemployment Rate Down Slight In August To 6.4 Percent

— AP: PA’s Labor Force Shrank, Payrolls Flat In August

— Inquirer: PA School Employees Pension Board Votes Against Staff Investment Advice Again

— PA Cap-Star Guest Essay: Did PA Supreme Court Justice David Wecht Herald The Death Of God?

— Inquirer: Plan To Require More Staff In PA Nursing Homes Draws Industry Criticism At Senate Hearing

— Gov. Wolf: Proposed Charter School Regulations To Benefit Students, Taxpayers

— PA Cap-Star: Report Finds 2 Million Pennsylvanians Struggle With Food Insecurity During The Pandemic

— AP: Free Rides Take $104 Million Toll On PA Turnpike Revenue

— LancasterOnline: Motorists In PA Cited Over 10,000 Times For Illegally Passing School Buses Since 2016

— Gov. Wolf: Announces Departure Of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel To Private Sector; George Little Named Acting Secretary

–AP: PA To Start Rationing Dozens Of Varieties Of Booze Starting Today

Pennsylvania’s state-run liquor system will begin rationing sales of a few dozen products on Friday in response to what it describes as supply shortages beyond its control.

— PennLive: Here’s A List Of 43 Bottles Of Booze Being Rationed By LCB

— MCall – Ford Turner: PA Prepares To Fight Deadly Overdose Crisis Without A Disaster Declaration Republicans Failed To Extend

As state leaders prepare to fight a bad-as-ever drug overdose crisis without a disaster declaration, Pennsylvania family doctors want to make clear the fight shouldn’t include sharing people’s prescription records with insurance companies.

— Reading E: Berks DA Issues Public Health Advisory After 70 Overdoses In 1 Weekend

— Inquirer: Philly Blocks Besieged By Shootings Have Long Endured Poverty, Blight, Systemic Racism

In Philadelphia, the epidemic of gun violence has been intensely concentrated in just a handful of neighborhoods and several dozen blocks, according to an Inquirer analysis. These shootings have left behind a breathtaking level of fear and trauma among a fraction of the city’s residents, nearly all of whom are Black and brown.

— ReadingE: Reading Mayor Calls For The Community’s Help In Wake Of Gun Violence

TAP HERE for all articles in September 20 EXPRESS Update