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September 22nd Playbook

The Pennsylvania General Assembly extended Gov. Tom Wolf’s emergency disaster declaration in response to the damage from Hurricane Ida. Here is the Playbook. 

‘Pa. redistricting panel rolls back new policy to count incarcerated people in home districts, not state prisons’: Spotlight PA reports that “thousands of people will be excluded from a new redistricting policy that counts state prisoners in their home communities rather than in corrections facilities, rolling back part of a major change that shifts political power away from predominantly white, rural districts.”

‘Justices ponder victim rights amendment that’s been in limbo’: The Associated Press reports that “questions about the legality and practical effect of a victims’ rights amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution that has been in limbo for almost two years dominated oral arguments in the state Supreme Court on Tuesday.”

‘What to know about Pennsylvania Republicans’ ‘forensic audit’ of the 2020 election’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “lots of questions about how the partisan probe will work remain unanswered. Here’s what we know — and don’t know — about it.”

‘Pa. state Democratic lawmaker quietly stripped of committee leadership, Capitol access’: Spotlight PA reports that “State Rep. Kevin Boyle has been stripped of his committee chairmanship and had his access to the Capitol limited in a rare move by Democratic leadership in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Spotlight PA has learned.”

‘Pa. lawmakers extend emergency declaration in response to damage from Hurricane Ida’: PennLive reports that “the Pennsylvania General Assembly exercised its new muscle on Tuesday by approving a resolution extending Gov. Tom Wolf’s Aug. 31 emergency disaster declaration in response to the after-effects of the remnants of Hurricane Ida.”

‘House Republicans punt on school masks vote after returning early to address it’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “nine amendments were tabled that would have blocked or amended Wolf’s order; a procedural challenge is ongoing.”

‘‘Care can’t wait’: Sen. Bob Casey Jr. fights for more money for home care aides’: PennLive reports that “U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. is sponsoring legislation that he said would create more jobs for home health care aides and boost their pay. Casey, D-Pa., is pushing a bill (”The Better Care, Better Jobs Act”) as part of President Joe Biden’s economic recovery package.”

‘Those who aid or encourage suicide would face stiffer penalties under Pa. bill going to governor’: PennLive reports that “Shawn’s Law is on its way to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk. The legislation would strengthen the penalties against those convicted of aiding or encouraging a suicide.”

‘Pennsylvania senator wants to give you more say in picking the next president’: PennLive reports that “one state senator has launched a new effort to try to give Pennsylvania voters a little more say in the presidential candidate nominating process through a bill that would move Pennsylvania’s current presidential year primary date from the fourth Tuesday in April to the third Tuesday in March.”

‘Official: Pennsylvania ‘well prepared’ for vaccine boosters’: The Associated Press reports that “Pennsylvania’s network of vaccine providers is ready to deliver booster shots of the coronavirus vaccine as soon as federal authorities sign off, the state’s top health official said Tuesday.”

‘PennDOT to hold public comment period for long-range transportation, freight movement plans’: PennLive reports that “the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) on Tuesday announced the launch of a public comment period for the draft 2045 Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and Freight Movement Plan (FMP). The plans are available for review through Oct. 19.”

‘False Voter Fraud Claims, COVID And Heavy Workloads Contribute To Pennsylvania’s Poll Worker Shortage’: WESA reports that “Pennsylvania is facing a shortage of people willing to staff polling places on Election Day. False claims of voter fraud during the 2020 election is one of the major reasons.”

‘Environmental groups push Pa. to raise oil and gas bonds to cover full cost of well cleanup’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “state and national environmental groups are petitioning Pennsylvania’s environmental rule-making board to start requiring oil and gas companies to set aside enough money to plug their wells when they are tapped out.”

‘Grossman chosen as new Philadelphia Parking Authority board chair’: KYW Newsradio reports that “the Philadelphia Parking Authority has a new board chair for the first time in 20 years. Beth Grossman, who was the 2017 Republican District Attorney candidate, won the job at Tuesday’s board meeting. She is the first woman to chair the board.”

‘Philadelphia’s soda tax added jobs thanks to increased funding for child care, a new study says’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Philadelphia’s tax on sugary beverages likely created 800 to 1,350 jobs in the city before the pandemic, in part by increasing funding for child-care services that freed up parents in low-income families to enter the labor force, a new study found.”

‘Philly Republican folk hero Al Schmidt is shaking up politics as usual at the PPA’: WHYY reports that “the Philly election official who went against his party and became a national folk hero when he defended the integrity of the 2020 presidential election wants to shake up politics as usual at the Philadelphia Parking Authority.”

‘Allegheny County Council Committee Takes Next Step Toward Releasing Federal COVID Relief Funds’: WESA reports that “the Allegheny County Council Committee on Budget and Finance on Tuesday night discussed how to spend a portion of the county’s $380 million in American Rescue Plan funding.” 

‘Burgess, Lavelle aim to require affordable housing impact statements for developers in Pittsburgh’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “along with addressing traffic congestion, adhering to historic designation restrictions and providing assurances not to block any views, developers also could be required to submit affordable housing impact statements when seeking the city’s approval, according to a new ordinance proposed by Councilmen Ricky Burgess and Daniel Lavelle.”

‘Pittsburgh introduces $2M proposal to reduce Mt. Washington landslides’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday introduced legislation that would allocate $2 million to a project designed to mitigate landslides at Mt. Washington, where several have occurred in recent years.”

‘Major personnel expansion proposed for Pittsburgh Citizens Police Review Board’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “The Pittsburgh Citizens Police Review Board could grow with a proposal expand the staff from six to more than 20, plus add satellite offices in several Pittsburgh neighborhoods.”

‘Scranton council tables mayor’s ordinance to decriminalize fentanyl test strips’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “Scranton City Council on Tuesday questioned whether the city should pass legislation submitted by Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti to decriminalize fentanyl test strips.”

‘Cumberland County climate plan maps out pollution reduction for next three decades’: The Carlisle Sentinel reports that “Cumberland County is asking for public feedback on the county’s Climate Action Plan, which outlines potentially large reductions in the county’s output of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, conditional upon progress at the state and federal levels.”

‘Law firm takes step toward suing Lancaster County over unpaid bills from former District Attorney’s lawsuit’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “a Philadelphia law firm that represented Lancaster County’s former prosecutor in a lawsuit against the county commissioners recently took a step toward suing the county to recoup unpaid legal bills.”

‘Mail-in ballots, drop boxes near their return to Northampton County’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “mail-in ballot drop boxes will make their return to Northampton County early next month as the local election cycle enters its final leg.”

‘Local officials call out CenturyLink over extended outages’: The Carlisle Sentinel reports that “a local state representative and two state senators are asking the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to convene an investigation into the recent weeklong extended telephone service outage and ongoing maintenance issues experienced by customers of CenturyLink.”

‘Pitt staff members launch unionization drive’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “union organizers at Pitt have launched a campaign to unionize staff members at all five of the university’s campuses, according to the Pitt Staff Union website, which went public on Tuesday.”

‘Preliminary West Chester budget includes ‘modest’ tax increases’: The Daily Local News reports that West Chester “Borough Manager Mike Perrone provided a preliminary budget to council, at last week’s meeting, with what he said were a “modest” 4 percent property tax increase and sewer rate increase of 6.5 percent. The property tax increase for 2021 was 6 percent.”

‘WPIAL Won’t Require Officials To Be Vaccinated For Playoffs’: KDKA reports that “WPIAL officials will not be required to be vaccinated for playoffs.”

‘Pa. Health Dept: More than 4,939 new COVID cases; 2,386 hospitalized’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 4,939 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to more than 1.38 million cases of the virus.”

Ben Sanchez: Constitutional amendments are better determined during high voter turnout elections 
Paul Muschick: Here’s what Pennsylvania should be working on, instead of fighting mask and vaccine mandates
Flora Cardoni and Michael E. Mann: How Pennsylvania can lead in reducing carbon emissions
Jon Geeting: A Luxury Philly Can’t Afford
York Dispatch Editorial Board: When is a ban not a ban? (Attention: Jeff Piccola and the Central York school board)
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Pennsylvania could see billions in federal aid for infrastructure
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Accountability for Nassar case
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: It’s not safe or helpful to take ivermectin for COVID-19. If you want to stay healthy, please get vaccinated.
Morning Call: ‘Looking forward to welcoming our new neighbors’: Reaction to Afghans settling in the Lehigh Valley
L. Stambaugh: Navy veteran: Scott Wagner’s billboards denigrating Biden ‘shameful propaganda’
Joyce M. Davis: It’s not just Black students in Pennsylvania who need more teachers of color | Social Views
Tony Norman: A war, a drone and a demand for justice
Lisa Haver: As Philly school board continues to silence parents, City Council stays quiet, too 
Will Bunch Newsletter: In Central York, kids rose up to save books on MLK, Rosa Parks from their parents 
Cassie Miller: Pa. vaccine providers ready to administer COVID boosters, Beam says | Wednesday Morning Coffee 
Cassie Miller: Presque Isle celebrates 100 years, announces net-zero initiatives | Tuesday Morning Coffee
David Lapp: Back to School Review: Five Days of Education Policy in Pennsylvania 
Dr. Jessica Chen: Women need physicians trained in how to perform safe abortions that could save their lives 
John Weaver: Despite the chaos of U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan, the world still needs American leadership 
Gene Therapy: Some sharp regrets amid COVID confusion
Chris Freind: America’s most taxing issue is keeping rates low
Trudy Rubin: Biden’s principled U.N. speech painfully contradicted by facts on the ground 
Andrea Custis and Sanul Corrielus: It’s past time to make critical investments in public health for communities of color
Allen Hornblum: City owes apology to families of Black men abused by notorious Penn doctor 
Dick Polman: Wise words from George W. Bush that Republicans will ignore

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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