PA Capitol Report: Top 10 Stories From Harrisburg Last Week

Here are the Top 10 Stories From Harrisburg last week–

— WITF: Communities Of Color Want To Be ‘Stewards,’ Not ‘Victims’ Of PA Redistricting Plans

Touting census data that shows a strong uptick in Pennsylvania’s non-White population, representatives from some of Pennsylvania’s communities of color say new political boundaries should give them a chance for stronger representation in Harrisburg.

— PA Cap-Star: PA Redistricting Commission Hears Testimony On Racial Gerrymandering

— Gov. Wolf’s PA Redistricting Advisory Council Invites Public To Comment On Congressional Redistricting

— PA Cap-Star: Wolf’s Congressional Redistricting Listening Tour To Begin Next Week

— WESA: How Will Allegheny County’s Council Districts Be Reapportioned?

— PennLive Guest Essay: It’s Time To Make Redistricting Independent Of Political Influence – Mark Singel

— Inquirer Editorial: Public Input Crucial In Philly’s Redistricting Plan

— PG Editorial: Listen Up Republicans: Pittsburgh Benefits From Contested Elections

— Inquirer: Republican Lawsuits Over PA’s Mail Voting Law Have Some Democrats Quietly Worried

Democrats had hoped courts would quickly throw out Republican challenges to Pennsylvania’s mail-in voting law, but the cases have instead been combined and continue to move forward. The national and state Democratic Party organizations asked Friday to join the litigation in defense of Act 77.

— PA Cap-Star: National, State Democrats Attempt To Intervene In Lawsuit Over PA’s Mail-In Voting Law

— AG Shapiro: Requests Court Strike Down Subpoenas For Private Voter Information By Senate Republicans

— Inquirer: PA Residents ‘Outraged, Frustrated, And Scared,’ Ask Authorities To Protect Their Data From Republican Election Review

— ScrantonT Editorial: Republican PA Senators Have Already Wasted More Than $1 Million In Taxpayer Money On False Election Claims

— Williamsport Sun Editorial: We Don’t Need An Election Audit; We Need Change

— Spotlight PA: Republicans Want To Use Personal Voter Data To Root Out Fraud, PA Already Uses A More Secure System

— CourierT: Mock Ballot Box Left In Bristol Borough, Bucks County, But County Says It Wasn’t An Attempt At Voter Fraud

— Inquirer: West Chester Man Pleads Guilty To Charges Related To Assault On U.S. Capitol

— MCall – Bill White: Zombie Apocalypse Overruns PA Republican Party

— ScrantonT Editorial: No ‘Executive Privilege’ On Insurrection

— AP: Case Against Accused Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooter Plods On

— TribLive: Confederate Attire Draws Ire For Westmoreland H.S. Homecoming Event

— WITF: Overriding Mayor’s Veto, Chambersburg Council Adopts LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Ordinance

— PG: Global Summit Positions Pittsburgh As Leader In Anti-Hate Movement

— PG Editorial: Eradicate Hate Global Summit In Pittsburgh Has Lofty Goals

— PG Editorial: FBI Calls On Citizens To Report Hate Crimes

— Governor’s Race

— AG: Shapiro Declares Candidacy For Governor, Blasts Republicans

— PG: AG Josh Shapiro Launches Gubernatorial Campaign: ‘I’ve Got Things Done’

— NYT: In PA’s Governor’s Race, Josh Shapiro Focuses On Voting Rights

— PA Cap-Star: AG Josh Shapiro Will Seek Democratic Nod For Governor In 2022

— PA Cap-Star: The Democratic Establishment Is Behind Shapiro For Governor, Will PA Follow?

— Inquirer: How Josh Shapiro Locked Down Democratic Nomination For Governor Without Even Announcing He Would Run

— WHYY: For Josh Shapiro, The Only Dem Candidate For PA Governor, It’s All Going According To Plan

— PA Cap-Star: Shapiro: ‘Not A Chance’ He Resigns As Attorney General Amid Run For Governor

— Inquirer: Josh Shapiro Has Short List Of Potential Picks For Running Mate

–WBTimes: Republican Cong. Meuser Passes On Run For PA Governor

— PA Cap-Star: Q/A With Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Jason Monn, The Everyman

— November 3 Election

— Spotlight PA: Guide To PA’s 2021 Supreme Court Election And Other Appellate Judicial Races

— PennLive – John Baer: PA Judicial Elections Are Back, But Voters Shouldn’t Snooze On Them

— PG – Salena Zito: Does Erie County Executive Race Offer Preview Of Coming Elections?

— CourierT: Number Of LGBTQ+ Voters Growing, What It Means In November Election

— PennLive: Here’s What You Need To Know About PA Mail-In Ballots

— MCall: Berks County Voters Beware: Mail-In Ballots Require Extra Postage

— MCall – Paul Muschhick: PA Mail Voting Surprise: Some Ballots Require Extra Postage

— ErieT: Postage Not Required For Erie County Mail-In Ballot Return Envelopes

— Dept. Of State: Deadline To Register For Nov. 2 Election Is Oct. 18

— PG: Down-Ballot Success Leads To Broader Success, Pittsburgh Officials Of Both Political Parties Say

— PA Cap-Star: Gun Safety Group Everytown Launches $200,000 Campaign In Erie County Sheriff Race

— MCall: First Lady Jill Biden Visits Allentown For Chat With Latinos, Preschoolers

— Spotlight PA: PA Lawmakers Spend Millions Of Taxpayer Dollars On Private Lawyers, But Often Don’t Reveal Why

— Spotlight PA: PA Lawmakers Hand Out Millions In Public Contracts To Law Firms That Fill Their Campaign Coffers

The Pennsylvania legislature spent nearly $10 million during the past two years on private lawyers but routinely shielded the purpose of those expenses, hiding which lawmakers and their staff required representation — and why, according to a new investigation.

— Spotlight PA: Full List Of Millions Paid To Outside Law Firms By PA Lawmakers

— ScrantonT Editorial: No Defense For Secret Legal Bills By PA Lawmakers

— PG Editorial: Time To Rein In Quid Pro Quo Culture Of Harrisburg  [Legal Expenses, Contracts]

— PA Cap-Star Editorial Cartoon: What The PA Legislature Wants You To Know About Its Legal Fees

— Harrisburg Political Potpourri

— PA Cap-Star: PA Republicans Unveil Lobbying Reform Package, But No Gift Ban [But No Campaign Reform]

— PennLive Letter: Without A Ban On Gifts, Legislature Is Failing Us

— Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery) Announced He Will Not Run For Reelection And Retire At The End Of His Term In 2023

— PennLive – Jan Murphy: Rep. Patty Kim Explores Run For Democratic Lt. Gov. Nomination

— WESA: Of Candidates Hoping To Replace Toomey In U.S. Senate, Who Has Most Financial Support From PA Voters?

— AP: Cash Flows To PA U.S. Senate Candidate Rivals Of MAGA-Endorsed Candidate

— PG: Big Money Pouring Into Campaigns For U.S. Senate In PA

— MCall: PA U.S. Senate Candidates Filed Their Latest Fundraising Reports; Who’s Getting The Most, Spending Their Own Millions?

— Inquirer: Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Sean Parnell Lost Bid For Sweeping Gag Order Against His Estranged Wife

— PA Cap-Star: Democrat Val Arkoosh Vying For PA’s Open U.S. Senate Seat, Prioritizing Women In The Workforce

— WESA: State Continues To Fight Fraud In Beleaguered Unemployment System

— Inquirer: Two PA State Treasurers Agree, PA School Employees Pension Fund Is Suppressing Information

— PG: Federal Officials Concur With PennDOT’s Options To Address Funding Shortfall

— PG: Turnpike Ready To Profit From Excess Broadband Space In Eastern PA

— PennLive Guest Essay: The Emergency Declaration Has Ended, But The Opioid Addiction Crisis Continues

— CitizensV Editorial: Prepare Now To Fully Legalize Pot

— AP: U.S. Supreme Court Won’t Hear Dispute Over Supervised Drug Injection Sites

— CourierT: Inside Look At Work Of Bucks County Probation And Parole Officers

— Inquirer Guest Essay: PA Is The Only State That Doesn’t Fund Public Defenders, That Needs To Change

— MCall: Lehigh Valley Residents Spent $10 Million On Liquor So Far This Year, Neighboring Counties Spent More

— PA Cap-Star: New State Police Deputy Commissioner Makes History Again As First Black Woman To Serve In Role

— PA Cap-Star: Philly Attorney Continues To Challenge Statewide Anti-Bias Rule

— Altoona Mirror Editorial: Why Should Men Be Given A Free Pass On Causing Abortions?

— Gov. Wolf: 70% Of Pennsylvanians Aged 18 And Older Are Fully Vaccinated

Gov. Tom Wolf announced 70 percent of Pennsylvanians aged 18 and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As of October 13, Pennsylvania vaccine providers have administered 13,135,136 COVID-19 vaccines. The Commonwealth ranks 7th nationally in first doses administered.

— Gov. Wolf: Highlights Grant Program To Support Community Outreach On COVID Vaccination

— WHYY: PA School Boards Assn. Leaves National Group After It Asks Biden For Help With COVID-Related Threats Against School Officials

— CitizensV: Lake-Lehman H.S. Stadium Hosts Anti-Mask Rally Attended By Hundreds

— YorkD: Central York Teacher Threatened To Shoot School Officials Over COVID Protocols

— CourierT: PA Health Dept. Pushes Back On Lawmaker’s Charge They’re Threatening Kids

— MCall: Fewer People Masking And Social Distancing In Lehigh Valley

— WBTimes Editorial: It’s Time To See Both Sides Of The Mask Debate

— MCall: COVID Vaccine Boosters Outpacing First, Second Shots In Lehigh Valley

— WITF: Available ICU Hospital Beds In PA Dip To Lowest Point Since Start Of Pandemic

— WilliamsportS: Geisinger COVID Intakes Are At Concerning Levels

— ErieT: COVID Cases Spike Among Erie County Children As Halloween Nears

— ErieT: Erie County Considers COVID Mask Mandate Due To Rising Hospitalizations

— ErieT: Erie County’s 2nd COVID Surge Finds More Children, Teens, Fewer Older People

— ErieT: Erie County’s Weekly COVID Cases Decline For First Time In 14 Weeks

— WPSU: Mount Nittany Medical Center Sees ‘Unprecedented’ Strain On Hospital Bed Capacity Due To COVID

— PA Cap-Star: State Prison Guards’ Lawsuit Against Wolf Over Vaccination Policy Thrown Out

— TribLive: COVID Death Of Veteran Jeannette EMS Paramedic Declared To Be In ‘Line Of Duty’

— WESA: 26% Of COVID Hospitalizations In PA Are Breakthrough Cases, But Don’t Panic

— PennLive – Charles Thompson: Penn State To Require Proof Of Vaccination Of Faculty, Staff At University Park

— TribLive: Local Colleges Played On During Pandemic Despite Millions Of Dollars In Loses

— TribLive: Half Of Firms In Pittsburgh Region Don’t Require COVID Vaccines; Some Using Incentives

— TribLive: Western PA Hospitals: We Won’t Deny Organ Transplants To Patients Who Refuse COVID Vaccine

— TribLive: Nursing Homes Fall Short Of Vaccination Mandates For Staff

— MCall – Ford Turner: PA Lawmakers Locked In Partisan Battle Over Release Of Disease Data Shielded By 1955 Law

— Inquirer: Bucks County Dad Angered By COVID School Closures Gave $500,000 To School Board Candidates, Critics Say It’s Fueling ‘Toxic’ Politics

— TribLive: PA State Universities’ Enrollment Drops To Lowest Point Since 1986

Enrollment declined 5.4% across Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities this fall, slipping to 88,651 — a low not seen in 35 years.  Officials were anticipating a slight decline in enrollment, but nothing prepared them for the totals the universities reported after three weeks of classes. Enrollment has not been this low since 1986.

— Inquirer: PA State-Owned Universities To Seek 15% – $274 Million Increase In State Funding

— PA Cap-Star: PA State University System Approves $550 Million Request For State Funding

— TribLive: PA Western University Name Adopted For Merged State-Owned Campuses

— TribLive Editorial: Is PennWest State University Name Really An Exciting Decision?

— ScrantonT Editorial: Enrollment Drops At State Universities, Pressure Increases

— PA Cap-Star: Philly Summit Addresses Link Between Gun Violence, Living Conditions, Natural Environment

The summit comes as research shows how major improvements in community habitat, living conditions and natural environment reduces violence substantially.

— WITF: Background Checks For Gun Purchases Fall After Three Quarters Of Record Requests

— TribLive Editorial: Responsible Gun Ownership Means Following Rules

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