PA Capitol Report: Top 10 Stories From Harrisburg Last Week

Here are the Top 10 Stories From Harrisburg last week–

1. WITF: Census Data Drop Puts PA Lawmakers Closer To Drawing State’s New Political Voting District Boundaries

State lawmakers will soon be able to start redrawing Pennsylvania’s political boundaries now that the U.S. Census Bureau has released detailed computerized data from last year’s population count.

— ErieT: What Do Latest Figures Mean For Legislative And Congressional Seats In PA?

— AP: Philly, Suburbs Drive Pennsylvania’s Population Growth

— PennLive: 44 PA Counties Lost People In Past Decade, Which Counties Gained The Most

2. AP: Republican Tioga County Asks Sen. Mastriano To Stop Seeking Nov. Vote Audit

A Republican-majority county board in rural northern Pennsylvania on Tuesday accused a state senator of creating “unnecessary chaos” in pushing for a detailed review of how the county collected and counted votes in former President Donald Trump’s reelection defeat last year.

3. PA Cap-Star: Top Senate Leader Announces All Expenses Will Be Publicly Available Online Next Month

All PA Senate expenses will be available online starting Sept. 1, the chamber’s top official announced Wednesday.

— Spotlight PA: Theft Charges Brought Down State Lawmakers, But Reimbursement System Was Ripe For Abuse

4. WESA: Cong. Conor Lamb Enters Crowded Democratic Primary For U.S. Senate

In a race that he says may shape the fate of democracy — and will almost certainly offer clues to the future of the Democratic Party — Congressman Conor Lamb formally launched his bid to replace Pat Toomey in the U.S. Senate today.

— Inquirer: Biden’s Infrastructure Bill Gave Us A Preview Of PA’s 2022 U.S. Senate Race

— PG: Democratic Primary For U.S. Senate May Be Won Outside Philadelphia And Pittsburgh

5. PA Cap-Star: More Than Half Of PA Counties Seeing Substantial, High Rates Of Community Spread Of COVID

Thirty-six of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties have reached rates of substantial or high community spread of COVID-19, according to updated Department of Health data released Wednesday.

— MCall: PA Crosses Into High Community Transmission Level With Increasing COVID Cases, 1,042 Hospitalized

— PA Cap-Star: With $370 Million In COVID Relief To Spend, Wolf Looking At Vaccine Incentives

— WITF: Wolf Nudges Executive Branch Employees To Get Vaccinated, But Nixes A School Mask Mandate

— WHYY: Philly Mandates Masks Or Vaccine Proof For Businesses

— WHYY: Philly Mandates Health Care And Higher-Ed Workers, Students Get Vaccinated By Mid-October

— AP: Court Tosses Ruling Against PA COVID Restrictions

6. PennLive: Here’s What PA Could Get In Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

The U.S. Senate has approved a bill directing $1 trillion toward highways, bridges, expanding broadband and a host of other areas, and the measure could deliver billions of dollars to the Keystone State.

— PA Sen. Bob Casey: Delivers Key Infrastructure Wins For PA In Bipartisan Senate Bill

— WESA: Regional Leaders Say Senate Infrastructure Bill Is, Mostly A Win For Western PA

7. PG: Under Proposed Plan To Replace Gasoline Tax With Mileage Fee, Truckers Could save 33%  But Care Would Pay 3 Times More

It’s only an idea for now, but Pennsylvania’s proposed switch from a fuel tax to a miles-driven fee to help generate more money for transportation could be a boon for the trucking industry and a big hit in the wallet for drivers of passenger vehicles.

8. Inquirer: Thousands Of Kindergartners Didn’t Show Up For School Last Year, What It Means For School Year To Come

COVID-19 caused widespread disruption last school year, moving millions of children’s education online for all or part of the year. It also meant thousands of parents unable to navigate child care, work, and the rigors of remote school did not or could not enroll their children in early childhood programs last year. Kindergarten, which is not compulsory in either Pennsylvania or New Jersey, was particularly affected.

9. Inquirer: For PA Public School Employees Pension Fund, A Great Investment – Except For The Founder’s Arrest

Investment experts at Pennsylvania’s biggest pension plan told the fund’s board last week that it had only a month to decide whether to put money into a promising financial fund run by Florida-based DigitalBridge Inc.  The trouble is, two weeks before Grossman’s Aug. 6 report, DigitalBridge’s founder was arrested on federal charges of acting as a secret lobbyist for a Middle Eastern country.

10. Spotlight PA: What Renters In PA Need To Know About Available Relief, New Eviction Ban

It’s been a nerve-racking few weeks for many Pennsylvania tenants, after the expiration of a federal freeze on evictions, a failed effort by House Democrats to extend it, and then — in a surprise reversal from the Biden administration — a new, targeted ban.

— PA Cap-Star: Philly Judge Issues Order Halting Some Lockout Evictions

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