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Ups and Downs Feb. 20-24

Looney Tunes

As the special session in Harrisburg winds to a close, it’s time to look back at the week that was with our Ups and Downs.

Up arrowMark Rozzi. The Speaker of the House, himself a survivor of childhood sexual assault, ushered through House Bills 1 and 2 on Friday – two separate pieces of legislation for a vote that would lift the statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse crimes for a two-year period. It would allow survivors to file previously time-barred civil claims against their abuser and any institution that covered it up including public schools. “The only thing that’s important to me is getting this legislation for the retroactive two-year window. So when I look back on my career, if I don’t get this done, it has been a failure to me.”

Josh Shapiro. Quite the week for Pennsylvania’s new governor. The Washington Post listed him among the Democrats’ top 10 presidential candidates for 2024, while also making a criminal referral against Norfolk Southern its role in the Ohio train derailment. It was also disclosed that Shapiro accepted Super Bowl tickets from a public-private partnership group that works to improve the state’s “competitiveness and economic prosperity.”

Down arrowAlan Shaw. The Norfolk Southern CEO is under fire for his company’s response to the East Palestine train derailment. The PA Senate’s Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee held a five-hour hearing – not attended by Norfolk Southern – listening to residents tell horror stories of skin rashes, headaches, sick animals and an overwhelming sense of helplessness. Sen. Doug Mastriano said the committee would likely vote to subpoena Shaw to testify when lawmakers return to Harrisburg.

Up arrowDarrell Clarke. The Philadelphia City Council President announced he will not seek reelection, ending a four-decade City Hall career that saw him rise from constituent services staffer to a leader who reshaped Council in his image.

Up arrowCherelle Parker. The Democratic candidate for mayor of Philadelphia picked up a major endorsement from the Building and Construction Trades Council. In accepting the support, Parker said she’s “ready to rumble,” and vowed to crack down on those illegally performing construction work in Philadelphia.

Down arrowBrian Shank and Ellen Schauerman. The two Republican representatives of Erie County’s Board of Election have refused to recuse themselves from participation on the seven-member panel, while deciding whether to run for office again. And Democrats are not happy with their decision.

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Pat Toomey. The former U.S. Senate Republican will join the board of Apollo Global Management next month, the $548 billion private equity firm announced Wednesday. Toomey previously counted many of Apollo’s past and current executives as donors, including CEO Marc Rowan — who contributed more than $10,000 since 2015.

Up arrowLynda Culver. It isn’t often that one can move from the minority party in one week to the majority party the next, but the former 108th House District Republican representative is doing just that on Monday. Culver won the special election for the 27th State Senate seat in January and will resign her House position on Monday to move across the hall to the chamber controlled by the GOP.

Down arrowJacqueline McGuire. The head of the FBI’s Philadelphia division fatally shot a pit bull Monday evening outside a Center City apartment building, according to two sources familiar with the ongoing investigation. Her smaller dog was snatched by the pit bull, but questions abound whether her actions were warranted.

Down arrowLancaster General Hospital. The facility was recently faulted by the state for mistakes including operating on the wrong leg and employees violating hand hygiene rules intended to protect patients from infections. And those infractions came within two months of Lancaster General being cited for failing to fill the insulin pump of a patient with diabetes, and failing to file state-required reports related to a new mother who died of internal bleeding.


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