PA Capitol Report: Top 10 Stories From Harrisburg Last Week

Here are the Top 10 Stories From Harrisburg last week–

— PennLive Guest Essay: Redraw PA’s Congressional Voting Districts For Residents, Not Politicians – T.J. Rooney (D) & Alan Novak (R)

In every campaign, there are political winners and losers. We should know. As former chairmen of the state’s Republican and Democratic parties, we’ve been on both sides.  Expect the same this year in the contest to redraw boundaries for Pennsylvania’s 17 congressional districts.

— PG Editorial: Both Parties Play The Dirty Gerrymandering Game

— PA Cap-Star: Senate Panel Proceeds With Election Bill Hearing Despite Dept. Of State Absence

It wasn’t a surprise when the Department of State was a no-show at a Senate hearing to discuss election reform, but that didn’t stop some lawmakers from traveling to Harrisburg on a non-session day to proceed with the meeting anyway.

— AP: Senate Republicans Cut Short Voting Bill Hearing After Wolf Aide’s Snub

— Inquirer: PA Senate Republicans Won’t Hire Contractor For Nov. Election ‘Investigation’ Until A Judge Gives The OK, Aide Says

— Inquirer: Top Republican Sen. Kim Ward Made A Big Claim To Defend The Party’s Election Review – There’s No Evidence For It

— PA League Of Women Voters: Join Lawsuit Against Senate Republicans’ Attempt To Obtain Private Information About Registered Voters

— PennLive: Citing Voter Privacy, Civil Rights Groups Aim To Block Senate Republican Election Subpoena

— CourierT: Bucks County Voters Among Others Joining Fight Against Republican Election ‘Investigation’

— ScrantonT: Man Recorded Stuffing Lackawanna County Ballot Boxes With More Than One Vote

— PennLive – Letter: Republicans Funding Misinformation With Fake Mailers In Lebanon County

— ErieT Guest Essay: PA Has Problems, Election Integrity Isn’t One Of Them

— Inquirer: U.S. Senate Report Singles Out Republican Cong. Scott Perry & State Sen. Doug Mastriano As Key Figures In Trying To Overturn Election Results

An investigation by U.S. Senate Democrats has singled out two Pennsylvania Republicans — U.S. Rep. Scott Perry and State Sen. Doug Mastriano — as key figures who used false and debunked theories to pressure the country’s top law enforcement officials to investigate the state’s 2020 presidential election results.

— NYT: Report Raises Fresh Questions About The Role Of Republican PA Cong. Scott Perry In Trying To Upend Nov. Election

— PennLive – Charles Thompson: Congressional Report Sheds More Light On Role Of Republican Cong. Scott Perry In Undermining Election

— WITF: Report Sheds Light On How PA Republican Lawmakers Helped Pressure DOJ To Investigate False Election Fraud Claims

— YorkD: Perry, Mastriano At Center Of Trump Scheme To Overturn 2020 Election: U.S. Senate Committee

— PA Cap-Star: Report Sheds New Light On PA Republican Lawmakers’ Role To Pressure DOJ Over Election

— YorkD: ‘Subverting Justice’: U.S. Senate Report Shines Light On Republican PA Cong. Scott Perry, State Sen. Doug Mastriano’s Roles In Failed Power Grab

— MCall – Paul Muschick: PA Gave Birth To Our Nation, Now It’s The Land Of Insurrectionists – PA’s Great History Has Been Tarnished

— WESA/WITF: Harrisburg Woman Now Charged With Stealing Speaker  Pelosi’s Laptop In Assault Of U.S. Capitol

— WESA: Sen. Corman Says He Accepts Nov. Election Results, But Wants Audit For Oversight Of Dept. Of State

— PennLive: 11 Of 59 Pennsylvanians Charged In Assault On U.S. Capitol Plead Guilty, Prepare For Sentencings

— YorkDR: Updated Status On 58 Pennsylvania Residents Arrested For Their Role In Assault On U.S. Capitol

— Election Updates – Governor/Congress/Judges

— PA Cap-Star: Your Statewide Voters Guide For The 2021 General Election In PA

— PA Cap-Star: What To Know Before Casting Your Ballot On Nov. 2

— WHYY: A Voter Guide To PA’s 2021 Judicial Elections

— PennLive – John Baer: Why Are So Many Republicans Running For Governor, Will Sen. Corman Join Them?

— New Susquehanna Poll: Barletta- 27%; Scott Martin- 6%; Jason Richey & Joe Gale- 1% [McSwain, Ciarocchi, Gerow, Zama, Laughlin at 0%]

— Inquirer: Abortion A Key Issue For PA Democrats And It Could Supercharge 2022 Midterms

— Inquirer: Here’s Where Candidates For PA Senate, Governor Stand On Texas Abortion Ban

— Inquirer: Republican Carla Sands Putting $3 Million Into Her PA U.S. Senate Race

— Inquirer: Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Sean Parnell Seeking Gag Order Against His Wife, Attorney As Their Dispute Spills Into The Campaign

— YorkDR: Democrat DePasquale Says He’s Moving Closer To A Rematch Against Republican Cong. Scott Perry

— Harrisburg Political Potpourri–

— PA Cap-Star: PA Republican Lawmakers Have Been Busy, But Did They Get Anything Done?

— PennLive – Jan Murphy: House Republican Leaders Defend Start Of Fall Legislative Session

— York Daily Record: Republican Fight Between Sen. Mastriano And Leadership Part Of A Bigger 2022 Struggle In The Party

— PA Cap-Star: Report Shows Risk For Dems Losing Blue-Collar Voters In PA

— TribLive: Westmoreland Democrats Prepare For Last Stand As Republicans Seek Full Government Takeover In County

— PennLive: Democratic Rep. Chris Rabb Creates Bill Requiring Men To Get Vasectomies By Age 40 In Response To Anti-Abortion Bills

— PA Cap-Star: Abortion Rights Supporters Rally In Harrisburg, Across PA To Protect Roe v. Wade

— PennLive – Jan Murphy: Republican Rep. Dowling Injured In One Vehicle Accident

— MCall: Ex-Congressional Candidate Ends Lawsuit Against Morning Call On Misconduct Allegation

— Inquirer: John Dougherty And Union Local 98 Remain Political Forces, Will His Trial Change That?

— Gov. Wolf: Announces State Prison Population Reaches 20-Year Low

— PA Gaming Control Board: Report On Casino Industry Diversity Released

— PennLive – Jan Murphy: House Panels Examine Higher Education Funding With An Eye Toward Change

— PG: Rep. Nelson Wants Pitt, Penn State, Temple State Subsidies Shifted To Vouchers For Students

— WPSU: Penn State Students Hold Protest Demanding Better Support For Victims Of Sexual Assault

— CentreDT: Penn State Creates New Center For Racial Justice

— LancasterOnline: Are Lancaster County Schools ‘Indoctrinating’ Children With Critical Race Theory?  Educators, Experts Say No

— ErieT: Erie-Area Schools Scramble To Substitute For Foods Not Available

— Inquirer: PA School Employees Pension Fund Seeks To Gag Board Members Over Leaks To Media

— TribLive Editorial: PA School Employees Pension Board Shouldn’t Gag Members

— ScrantonT Editorial: PA School Employees Pension Leaders Forfeit All Public Trust

— WITF: People Living With HIV Ask For ‘Dehumanizing’ State Laws To Be Taken Off The Books

— WESA: Agencies Serving People With Disabilities Call For More Funds To Pay Staff: ‘We’re Beginning To See The Collapse Of The System’

— WITF: PA Teams Up With 3 Other States To Share Gun Crime Information

— WHYY: Historic Gun Violence Sparks Call For More Policing Along Philly’s Commercial Corridors

— WHYY: Afghan Arrivals Resume In Philadelphia After 3-Week Pause

— AP: Pittsburgh Graduate Students Fell Short In Union Bid

— COVID Update: PennLive: Lifting School Mask Mandate Unlikely To Happen In October: Gov. Wolf

When Gov. Tom Wolf rolled out the state’s school mask mandate last month, he suggested he’d re-evaluate the order in early October.  “I’m not sure that’s going to happen in October,” Wolf said during a COVID-19 vaccine clinic event at the Hamilton Health Center in Harrisburg.

— YorkD: More PA Children Are Being Hospitalized For COVID Than Ever, But Why?

— ErieT: Erie County’s COVID Cases Among Children Rise From Previous Week

— ScrantonT: COVID Deaths Rise Sharply In NE PA, PA As Cases Surge Continues

— AP: COVID Cases, Hospitalizations Rise Among Vaccinated In PA

— Spotlight PA: Many PA School Districts Passing Up Free COVID Testing Even After A Rise In Cases

— PA Cap-Star: PA Republican Cong. Reschenthaler Protests DOJ Effort To Help Protect School Board Members From Threats Over Masks

— MCall: Lehigh Valley School Board Meetings ‘Go Off The Rails,’ Bringing Fears Over Safety Of Elected Officials

— ErieT: Warren County School District Sued To Strengthen Mask Policy

— ErieT: Judge Temporarily Halts Warren County School District’s Optional Mask Policy

— ErieT: Warren County School Board Rescinds Optional Mask Policy, Adopts State Order

— TribLive: Allegheny County Had 90 COVID-Related Deaths In September

— PG: Allegheny County, Local Health Officials Warn About Vaccine Misinformation, Rise In COVID Deaths, Hospitalizations

— Inquirer: Delta May Be Loosening Its Grip On Philly Region, But COVID And Flu Pose Dual Threat For Winter

— AP: COVID Cases, Hospitalizations Rise Among Vaccinated In PA

— PA Cap-Star: These Legislative Districts Have Highest, Lowest COVID Vaccination Rates

— PG: Rural, Republican Western PA Legislative Districts Lag Behind In Vaccinations, Data Shows

— ErieT: Erie Health Official: Vaccine Rate Might Need To Top 85% Or 90% [57% Of Eligible Residents Now Vaccinated]

— TribLive: Slippery Rock U. President Will Get Tattoo If More Students Get COVID Vaccine

— PG Editorial: Case For Vaccine Mandates Keeps Getting Stronger

— AP: House OKs Bill To Make More Pandemic Data Publicly Available

— TribLive Editorial: COVID Data Should Be Public And Protected

— PennLive: COVID Vaccination Of PA Nursing Home Workers Remains Woefully Low, Will A Mandate Cause Too Many To Quit?

— PennLive: Nursing Home Group Says PA Homes Might Have To Turn People Away Due To Lack Of Staff

— WHYY: With Over 45,000 Philadelphians Waiting For Rent Relief, The City Is Running Out Of Money

— MCall: Lehigh Valley Companies Paying Big Sign-On Bonuses To Attract Workers

— WLVR: Worker Shortage Hits Home Again As PennDOT Seeks Hundreds Of Workers To Run Snow Plows

— PennLive: Central PA Restaurants Hit With ‘Worse Staffing’ Issues Even After Extra Unemployment Benefits Ended

— Inquirer: Weed Legalization Proposal Coming From Central PA Republican, West Philly Democrat

A Republican state senator from central Pennsylvania and a Democratic state representative from West Philadelphia are teaming up on a bill to make Pennsylvania the 19th state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults.

— PennLive – Jan Murphy: Republican Sen. Regan Says It’s Time To Legalize Recreational Marijuana In PA: ‘It’s Inevitable’

— TribLive Guest Essay: The Right Way To Legalize Adult-Use Marijuana – Sen. Regan

— LancasterOnline: Beer Distributors Forced To Adapt 5 Years After PA Law Change Transformed Booze Sales

Things looked grim five years ago for Pennsylvania’s beer distributors.  Newly approved Act 39 allowed beer sales at grocery and convenience stores, ending beer distributors’ decades-long near monopoly on beer sales. Apart from six-packs bought at a bar, the independent retailers selling cases and kegs had long been the only place to buy beer to go in Pennsylvania.

— PA Cap-Star: PA Hit Liquor Sales Record In 2020-21

— Gov. Wolf: Announces Nearly $2 Million In Grants To Promote PA Beers And Wines

— Gov. Wolf: $12 Million+ In Grant Funding to Improve Outcomes In Recovery From Substance Use Disorders

— PA Consumer Advocate: Heating With Natural Gas Will Cost Residential Consumers About 20% More This Winter; No Impact On PA Consumers Of PennEast Pipeline Cancellation

On October 4, Interim Acting PA Consumer Advocate Christine Maloni Hoover told the Senate Community Development and Environmental Committees residential consumers heating with natural gas will see a 20 percent increase or so in their heating bills this winter, if current natural gas prices hold.

— TribLive: Natural Gas Prices Surge, Meaning Higher Heating Bills Likely Coming For Customers

— MCall: Brace For Sticker Shock Lehigh Valley: Surging Natural Gas Prices Could Put A Dent In Your Wallet This Winter

— WSJ: Natural Gas Shortage Sets Off Scramble Ahead Of Winter

— WSJ: Winter Is Coming, Will The U.S. Run Out Of Natural Gas This Winter?

— TribLive: Western PA Oil Companies Not Happy With 80% Increase In Price Of Home Heating Oil

— WESA: There Will Be Millions More In Funds To Help Pennsylvanians Who Need Heating Assistance This Winter [Applications Open Oct. 18]

— Attorney General Josh Shapiro: Charges Mariner East Pipeline With 48 Counts Of Environmental Crimes In 11 Counties

On October 5, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, in conjunction with the 45th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, announced the Office of Attorney General’s Environmental Crimes Section has charged Energy Transfer, L.P. (Energy Transfer), the corporate successor to Sunoco Pipeline L.P., with 46 counts of environmental crimes for their conduct during the construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline.

Two additional counts were added, after the Grand Jury had concluded, bringing the total to 48 counts in 11 counties, based on a criminal referral from Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection.

— Sen. Comitta: Calls For Halt To Mariner East Pipeline Construction In Light Of Criminal Charges By Attorney General 

— Sen. Comitta: Calls For Hearings On The Failure Of Pennsylvania To Invest In Clean Energy Infrastructure

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