Dr. Oz is reportedly considering a GOP run for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. Here is the Playbook.
‘Dr. Oz Prepares To Jump Into Pennsylvania Senate Race’: The Washington Free Beacon reports that “the celebrity physician Dr. Mehmet Oz is preparing to jump into the Pennsylvania Senate race on the Republican side, a move that would shake up contested primary and general election contests.”
‘Senate backs bill to allow guns to be carried without permit’: The Associated Press reports that “Pennsylvania’s state Senate on Tuesday approved two veto-bound firearms bills, including one to allow people to carry a loaded gun openly or concealed, without a permit, and another to punish municipalities that impose firearms ordinances that are stricter than state law.”
‘School districts’ lawsuit over state funding heads to trial’: The Associated Press reports that “a lawsuit that could result in drastic changes to how Pennsylvania funds public education goes to trial Friday in a Harrisburg courtroom, seven years after a handful of the state’s districts first went to court to challenge a system they consider unfair.”
‘Top Pa. House Republican wants to greatly expand lawmakers’ power over the governor, executive branch’: Spotlight PA reports that “the top Republican in the state House wants to give the legislature the ability to block regulations or administrative orders from the executive branch by a majority vote, a proposal that would significantly expand its power and curtail that of the governor.”
‘Sean Parnell’s custody case is in a judge’s hands after testimony that shook the Pa. Senate campaign’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Senate candidate Sean Parnell’s contentious custody case ended Tuesday after three days of grueling testimony and sharp questions that seem certain to follow one of Pennsylvania’s top Republican contenders for the rest of his campaign.”
‘A massive probe of Pa.’s largest pension fund is nearly done, but taxpayers may never know the results’: Spotlight PA reports that “after months of work, prolonged silence from pension fund management, and more than $175,000 in legal bills, a law firm has just about completed its investigation into sweeping problems at the $73 billion, taxpayer-supported public pension plan for educators.”
‘State’s home care program has big problems, advocates say’: The Associated Press reports that “advocates for people with disabilities gathered at the state Capitol on Tuesday to protest what they say is the eroding quality of home care services under Pennsylvania’s new managed care system, problems being accelerated by the pandemic.”
‘PennDOT’s decision to continue pursuing bridge tolling despite federal road money rankles legislators’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “the expected $4 billion increase in federal road and bridge funds over the next five years is raising the rhetoric against the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s proposal to toll nine bridges across the state to pay for their replacement.”
‘U.S. Senate candidate Arkoosh calls for end to fracking in Pennsylvania’: WESA reports that “in 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued 1,017 oil and gas drilling permits for fracking across the state. At a roundtable campaign event on Monday, U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Valerie Arkoosh said fracking and its effects, such as pollution, are accelerating climate change and called for a statewide ban on fracking, starting with new fracking permits.”
‘Lieutenant governor calls on Scranton School District to negotiate fair contract with teachers’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten “call on the Scranton School District to provide a fair contract to teachers.”
‘Lancaster city council President Smith-Wade-El announces his primary challenge of Rep. Mike Sturla’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “Lancaster city council President Ismail Smith-Wade-El on Tuesday officially announced his candidacy for the Pennsylvania House seat that includes the city and is currently held by fellow Democrat Mike Sturla.”
‘Why Pittsburgh Rep. Mike Doyle says Build Back Better must pass’: Pittsburgh City Paper reports that “after months of debating, many lawmakers were relieved when the U.S. House passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on Nov. 5. However, the next few weeks could be challenging for Democrats if they wish to pass the rest of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda. The task is rallying some long-time politicians, including Pittsburgh’s Congressman U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle.”
‘Montco GOP alleges ‘lack of trust’ in election results, but says there’s no evidence of fraud’: WHYY reports that “partisan rancor persists in Pennsylvania over election laws and procedures. Right now, the biggest conflict is in Montgomery County, where ballot counting delays have Republicans alleging a “lack of trust in the results,” while also saying they have no evidence of problems in the vote count and are generally happy with the process.”
‘Chester County GOP calls for audit of 2021 municipal elections’: The Daily Local News reports that “Chester County Republicans are calling for the county to conduct a full forensic audit of the results of the 2021 Municipal Elections, results that have not yet been forthcoming from the county’s Office of Voter Services because of a reported variety of issues involving mail-in ballots.”
‘Pennsylvania anticipates getting about $13 billion for highway, bridge projects over five years after passage of federal infrastructure package’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “the state could get $13 billion in federal highway and bridge money over five years — including $4 billion from the recently passed federal infrastructure package — prompting a trade group official to say the state’s road construction market could jump 20%.”
‘Legislators at work? One in 5 laws enacted in Pa. this year renamed a bridge (or road)’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “a Capital-Star analysis has found that in 2021, renaming laws make up one in five of the 83 bills passed by both chambers of the Republican-controlled General Assembly that Gov. Tom Wolf has signed into law. That’s the highest percentage of naming legislation of any year in the past decade.”
‘In Johnstown, Pa. officials look to stem tide of overdoses’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “Pennsylvania’s top drug and alcohol officials traveled to Cambria County Tuesday to meet with stakeholders and county officials about the increase in overdose deaths across the commonwealth.”
‘Juror in Johnny Doc, Henon trial tests positive for COVID-19’: KYW Newsradio reports that “the federal corruption trial of Philadelphia City Councilmember Bobby Henon and labor leader John Dougherty was temporarily halted Tuesday morning because one of the jurors tested positive for COVID-19.”
‘State senator introduces resolution to oust Schuylkill County commissioner’: WFMZ reports that “the Pennsylvania Senate will consider a resolution to remove an embattled Schuylkill County commissioner from office. Sen. David Argall, who represents Schuylkill and Berks counties, introduced the resolution Tuesday to oust Commissioner George Halcovage.”
‘Residents urge Allegheny County Council to revisit, pass fracking ban’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “with an ordinance to ban fracking in county parks awaiting committee approval, Allegheny County residents voiced their support and urged county council members to revisit the legislation.”
‘Gayle Manchin, wife of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, visits Lackawanna, Johnson colleges’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin will eventually agree on Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, a federal official who knows both predicted Tuesday. Gayle Manchin, the federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, is married to the senator from West Virginia and Biden nominated her to her $163,000-a-year post in March.”
‘Amtrak gets record boost in federal aid, with funding to improve Philadelphia service’: KYW Newsradio reports that “Amtrak is set to receive its most significant expansion in history, thanks to the new $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill which passed in the House on Friday. The funding, which in total comes out to $66 billion, will now allow the railroad company to start repair and replacement projects across the nation’s passenger rail network, including routes serving Philadelphia.”
‘Sen. Comitta backs bills to combat sex assaults on campuses’: The Daily Local News reports that “a package of four bills aimed at strengthening protections for students and preventing and combating sexual assault on college campuses has been introduced in the Pennsylvania legislature, state Senator Carolyn Comitta said.”
‘Lansdale talking 2022 budget for new environmental commission’: Montgomery Media reports that “a new volunteer board could have a budget of its own as the calendar flips to 2022. The borough council started talks last week on whether and how much to fund the town’s new Environmental Advisory Commission.”
‘Transgender student, 14, says she was verbally, physically assaulted at Pa. school: ‘It’s not a she’’: PennLive reports that “a 14-year-old transgender student says she was the subject of an ugly and violent verbal and physical assault that is prompting calls for change at a Pa. school.”
‘‘Raw’ data on Pa. deaths from pneumonia, influenza is off-limits to news media, state court says’: PennLive reports that “the Pennsylvania Department of Health doesn’t have to give a news media group its “raw” data on deaths from influenza and pneumonia in the state for 2019 and 2020, a Commonwealth Court panel ruled Tuesday.”
‘Vote by Wilkes-Barre City Council releases American Rescue Plan funds’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “City Council’s vote Tuesday made available $5.6 million in American Rescue Plan funding for residents, businesses and social service agencies under programs introduced months ago by Mayor George Brown.”
‘Shapiro visits Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services to discuss opioid funding’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “State Attorney General Josh Shapiro Tuesday met with leaders of the Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services to discuss how $1 billion headed to the state for opioid treatment could be used here, as well as impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Pennsylvanians with substance use disorder.”
‘Pa. nears 32,000 COVID-19 deaths’: PennLive reports that “Pennsylvania registered 77 new COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, raising its pandemic toll to 31,992. As of Sunday, Pennsylvania, the fifth-largest state based on population, also had the fifth-highest number of deaths, according to tracking by Reuters.”
Paul Muschick: How $1 trillion infrastructure bill could help Pennsylvania drivers avoid a steep tax hike
Lisa Scheller: Lehigh Valley’s Susan Wild among House members abusing proxy voting rule
Howard Cohen: Trump ties could work against Pa. Republicans in the next election
Tauhid Chappell: Philly voters overwhelmingly want to legalize marijuana. Harrisburg should listen.
Will Bunch: Pa. GOP searches for a Youngkin (or 2) of its own
John L. Micek: Bill upping penalty for fleeing on foot will just fill jails, lawyers warn | Tuesday Morning Coffee
Gary Blumenthal: Here’s how to solve Pa.’s intellectual disability funding crisis
Dom Giordano: As Anniversary of Danny Faulkner’s Death Approaches, Police Urge Public to Remember
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Gov. Wolf’s voting error shouldn’t get a pass. Neither should the Big Lie.
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Helping Pittsburgh be a place of belonging
Trudy Rubin: Infrastructure bill offers U.S. the chance to catch up with China and the developed world
Christine Flowers: SNL’s Insufferable Elitism A Laugh-Free Floperoo
Pete Whitney: Welcome home, veterans!
Chris Freind: Election 2021 – harbinger for GOP earthquake in 2022?
Bruce Ledewitz: No, this isn’t Facebook’s ‘Big Tobacco’ moment
Gene Therapy: Oh deer. Maddening tales of sleep disruption.