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September 29th Playbook

The Senate Education Committee approved a bill that would make wearing a mask at school optional in the state. Here is the Playbook. 


‘Mask opt-out bill for students clears Senate committee’: The Associated Press reports that “a bill that would allow parents in Pennsylvania to exempt their children from wearing a mask at school cleared a state Senate committee on Tuesday as Republican lawmakers started making good on their pledge to counter the governor’s statewide mask mandate.”

‘Bill would give parents front-row seat to what students are being taught in Pa. schools’: PennLive reports that “parents of public school students would be able to access the contents of a school curriculum, textbook titles and lesson plans with a few clicks on a computer keyboard under legislation that is advancing in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.”

‘Pennsylvania eyes $500M from feds for environmental program’: The Associated Press reports that “a state Senate committee in Pennsylvania approved legislation Tuesday to use federal coronavirus relief aid to revive a long-running program designed to help clean up waterways, fix up parks and preserve open space.”

‘Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers advance bill to increase number of poll watchers and let them cross county lines’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “a Republican-dominated Senate committee on Tuesday advanced a measure to increase to three the number of poll watchers political candidates can use in election precincts and also allow them to come from anywhere in the state.”

‘New records reveal the cost of Pa.’s failure to clarify rules around addiction treatment and marijuana’: Spotlight PA reports that “the Wolf administration’s failure to clarify rules around addiction treatment and medical marijuana had far-reaching and serious consequences, new records show.”

‘U.S. Secretaries of State and Commerce to visit Pittsburgh this week’: WTAE reports that “Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo are set to visit Pittsburgh this week.”

‘House Dems unveil plan to legalize adult-use marijuana’: City & State PA reports that “two Democrats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Tuesday unveiled a new plan to legalize marijuana for recreational use, citing the proposal’s potential to bring in new revenue while also righting wrongs in the state’s criminal justice system.”

‘‘Yinz vs Youse’; Pa. lawmakers step up to the plate to fight food insecurity’: PennLive reports that “the oft-divided Republicans and Democrats in Pennsylvania’s Senate and House of Representatives put aside their differences on Tuesday to stand united in the fight against food insecurity at a charity softball game.”

‘Pa. Sen. Doug Mastriano: What we know about his fight with fellow Republicans’: USA Today reports on state Sen. Doug Mastriano and “his battles” with fellow Republicans in Pennsylvania. 

‘VIDEO: Sen. Doug Mastriano discusses Pa. bill to allow mask opt out in schools’: The Erie Times-News reports that “Sen. Doug Mastriano on Sept. 28, 2021, discussed a GOP bill to allow students to opt out of mask wearing in schools.”

‘Bob Casey faces inflection point on abortion’: The National Journal reports that “the self-described “pro-life” Democrat hasn’t decided how he’ll vote on a House-approved bill to protect abortion rights.”

‘Fracking bans are not being embraced by some Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania’: The National Journal reports on how fracking is being discussed by the Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania. 

‘Leading Democratic group to launch $1.7 million ad blitz to push early voting in Virginia and Pennsylvania’: CNN reports that “the advertising blitz by Priorities USA, shared first with CNN, is aimed at encouraging voters to cast early ballots in person in Pennsylvania and Virginia.”

‘City officials are investigating an alleged assault on Pa. State Rep. Kevin Boyle in a Philly jail’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “city officials are investigating an alleged jail assault on State Rep. Kevin Boyle, who was arrested Friday on charges of harassment and violating a protection-from-abuse order, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office said Tuesday. She declined further comment.”

‘He, she or they? Pa. university equity officer says students could be punished for misusing a person’s pronouns’: PennLive reports that “a Pa. university is having a debate over gender pronouns and free speech.”

‘Pa. Health Dept: More than 5,400 new COVID-19 cases; more than 2,700 hospitalized’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 5,429 new cases  of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 1.42 million since the start of the pandemic.”

‘Philly Haitians, members of City Council slam Biden’s border policies’: WHYY reports that “more than 50 people protested outside of Philadelphia City Hall on Tuesday, decrying the treatment of Haitians at the U.S. southern border under the administration of President Joe Biden.”

‘PA Charter Schools Grow in Popularity as Wolf Seeks to Clamp Down’: The Delaware Valley Journal reports that “a new charter school report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools shows Pennsylvania charter schools growing more popular just as Gov. Tom Wolf (D) seeks to apply major constraints outside the purview of the General Assembly.”

‘Rep. Mike Doyle proposes bill to boost solar-energy manufacturing in America’: Pittsburgh City Paper reports that “to promote the Country’s progress towards renewable energy, Pittsburgh’s U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Forest Hills) announced on Sept. 27 the introduction of the Solar Supply Chain Act, which invests in making the nation a large manufacturer of solar components.”

‘Allegheny County Council Votes To Unlock $100M In COVID Relief’: WESA reports that “on Tuesday, Allegheny County Council voted 14-0 to approve County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s proposal for using $99.75 million of the funding this year, with the rest of the money to be spent in the next two years.”

‘Luzerne County Election Board member resigns’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “the volunteer five-citizen Luzerne County Election Board has a Republican vacancy because vice chairwoman Missy Thomas resigned.”

‘Get the vaccination,’ small-town mayor told daughter before dying of COVID-19’: The York Dispatch reports that “Leroy “Cork” Shildt III, 73, of Mt. Holly Springs in Cumberland County died from complications with COVID-19 Sept. 26, 2021.”

‘These legislative districts in Lancaster County have some of the most, least vaccinated people in Pa.’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports on “the vaccination rates (including children) by population in each legislative district, per the Department of Health, as of Sept. 24.”

‘Pittsburgh Council taking another look at improving city pensions’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “pension benefits could increase for hundreds of city employees — that’s if City Council can rally support from the administration and create a blueprint to fund the plan.”

‘Activists Say Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water Authority Should Address Concerns About Lead, Water Costs’: WESA reports that “a group of advocates are calling on a local water authority to create a program to assist low-income customers who need help paying their bills, and to fully replace lead service lines in the communities it serves that suffer from higher rates of lead poisoning.”

‘Pittsburgh Officials Amenable To ‘Significant’ Parking Requirements Changes’: WESA reports that “on Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Planning Commission approved a rule change that could limit the location of drive-thrus, and allow restaurants to build fewer parking spaces. It also streamlines the city’s definition of a restaurant.”

‘Pittsburgh council adopts ban on declawing cats’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “Pittsburgh City Council Tuesday approved legislation that would ban the surgery used to declaw cats from being performed in the city.”

‘Health care, education industries help suburbs grow, but outlying counties are left behind’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “recent census figures show a sharp divide between fast-growing townships in suburban Pittsburgh and shrinking communities in more rural areas and former industrial towns.”

‘Pittsburgh’s unemployment rate remains above 6% in August’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Pittsburgh’s unemployment rate remained at 6.2% in August, showing no change from the month before, but a drop of four percentage points from the same time last year.”

‘Philadelphia school board lays out timeline for replacing Superintendent William Hite’: The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that “the school board plans to launch a nationwide search for Hite’s replacement, with an expected new hire to be named by Feb. 1. The search will be led by a yet-to-be named firm specializing in superintendent searches.”

‘Northampton County controller remembered as ‘the public servant we say we want’’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “Northampton County Controller Tony Bassil died Friday after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 62 years old.”

‘Berks County to study local health care needs of its residents’: The Reading Eagle reports that “at an operations meeting Tuesday, the commissioners laid the groundwork for a study of health care in the county. The goal of the study is to gather information regarding the health of county residents and create recommendations to enhance and strengthen the delivery of health services.”

‘Former Reading official joins Berks County Community Foundation’: The Reading Eagle reports that “a former Reading official will lead the Berks County Community Foundation’s environmental and sustainability efforts.”

‘Election 2021: Where you’ll find ballot drop boxes in the Lehigh Valley’: LehighValleyLive reports that “early voters in Northampton County will have four drop boxes available starting Oct. 4.”

‘As electric car sales surge in Pa., state eyes charging corridors on I-78, 80 and 81’: LehighValleyLive reports that “Pennsylvania is seeing a “dramatic” increase in electric vehicle sales this year, and with the continuing growth comes the need for charging stations and infrastructure.”

‘Altoona mayors bet local favorites ahead of game’: The Altoona Mirror reports that “in a wager made on a Webex conference call between two Altoonas in different states, City Council Monday bet a box of confections against steaks that Penn State will defeat Iowa in Iowa City on Oct. 9.”

Paul Muschick: Pennsylvania’s GOP election ‘fraudit’: It’s all about voter intimidation
Mark Irwin: The Pa. LIFE programs help seniors remain in their homes 
Alison L. Steele: Pennsylvanians want better public health protections from pollution
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: In their quest to undermine election integrity, state senators want to invade your privacy. They shouldn’t be permitted.
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: City controller strikes a blow for accountability
John L. Micek: Thousands rally for ‘life’: That needs to continue after the slogans end | Tuesday Morning Coffee
Ray E. Landis: I’m a Central York grad. The book ban was an embarrassment 
Pam Gay: 13 reasons for optimism about York County’s efforts to prevent suicide | opinion
Dom Giordano: The Big Change Philly Really Needs To Stop the Bloodshed
Christopher Tremoglie: Anti-masking platforms will backfire for Republican candidates 
Maddie Luebbert: Philly schools have created groundbreaking policies to support trans kids. What’s next? 
Gene Therapy: Even when he loses spectacularly, Trump wins
Chris Freind: The sky won’t fall: Do not raise debt limit
Feminista Jones: When Gabby Petito disappeared, the world watched. Destini Smothers was ignored. 
Inga Saffron: A pioneering Northeast Philly building is once again the flagship for a changing neighborhood 
Trudy Rubin: Russian and German elections highlight where America must not go 
Will Bunch Newsletter: NY Times’ cluelessness is wrecking journalism 
Michael Coard: The ‘Jerry Rescue’ 170 years later: And its lessons for modern racial justice
Solomon Jones: After R. Kelly’s conviction, I’m asking why so few believed the Black women who accused him

5 Responses

  1. In the 1st comments above the PA Senate lead by Martin and includes R
    Aument among others will be the ones that I choose to treat my brain tumor. They are extremely addle but they know medicine better than the banal uneducated folks at the CDC.
    Masks, we don’t need stinking masks we need freedom to harm others by our choices. As Alf E Neuman said so eloquently, “What, me worry? “

  2. Republicans now want poll watchers from other counties to cross into counties? Why? Now everything is automated and with mail in voting folks bypass the polls. So you have less people coming to polls. And the Republicans are worried about poll watchers.

  3. So Sen Corman and Senate Republicans wants the private SS Numbers & voting records of voters and now is cool with children not masked in a pandemic! Go Trumpers!

    1. I bet these same GOP would oppose a bill that made it optional for girls to wear bras, or not, at school. LOL

  • 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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