Legalization of Esports Betting Proposed in Pennsylvania

A state lawmaker is urging colleagues to support a bill he is drafting to legalize esports betting in Pennsylvania. Representative Ed Neilson (D-Philadelphia) began circulating a memorandum last week making the case for legitimating video-game betting in the Keystone State, observing that the esports business took in $1.1 billion worldwide in 2022 and is predicted to soon realize a $1.8-billion global value.

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Most Politicians’ Think Tanks Heavy on Research Output, in Contrast to Penn Biden Center

Numerous university think tanks have had national political leaders as figureheads. The University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement isn’t unique in that regard. What does set the center apart from similar institutions — besides its recent immersion in national scandal — is its limited research output. 

The Penn Biden Center is undergoing intense and somewhat bipartisan criticism for having housed nearly a dozen classified government records after Joe Biden used the space as his main D.C. office from 2017 to 2019 while also nominally working as a professor. The documents were discovered last November and other restricted federal materials turned up this month in the president’s Delaware home. Some of the records were generated when Biden served as a U.S. senator and others materialized when he was vice president. 

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Penn Biden Center Hosted ‘Bootcamp’ for Congressional Staffers Promoting Closer China Ties

President Joe Biden’s D.C.-based think tank operated by the University of Pennsylvania reportedly held a two-day “bootcamp” last year during which congressional staffers were urged to support greater cooperation between the United States and China. 

The Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement has become the subject of heightened public attention in light of revelations earlier this month that Biden, who used the establishment as his main D.C. office, kept classified federal documents there. 

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Democratic Congressman: ‘No One Can Defend Having Classified Documents’ at Penn Biden Center

A Democratic California congressman this week weighed in on President Joe Biden’s classified-document scandal, characterizing the president’s housing of restricted records in his University of Pennsylvania office and his Delaware home as indefensible. A member of the House Oversight and Armed Services committees, U.S. Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA-17) told Fox News that Biden warrants scrutiny for keeping numerous records he obtained during his earlier service as a U.S. senator and later as vice president. Khanna noted that the law requires classified federal documents to be kept in “sensitive compartmented information facilities” (SCIFs). While presidents can sometimes temporarily designate rooms within their personal properties as SCIFs, Biden has never suggested any spaces in his home or office were deemed to be such areas.

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Penn Biden Center Inactive and Seemingly Leaderless for Nearly a Year

The Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy & Global Engagement, the University of Pennsylvania think tank of which President Joe Biden was once the de facto leader, has had no publicized activity for nearly a year and its future is uncertain. Biden reportedly used the Washington, D.C.-based center as his main D.C. office for much of the time between the end of his vice presidency in 2017 and his presidential run in 2020. From 2017 to 2019, Biden received approximately $900,000 in salary for a Penn professorship that did not require him to teach regular classes.

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Texas Representative Gooden Calls on Administration to Investigate Gifts to Penn from China

A Texas congressman is asking the U.S. Department of Education (DoE) to investigate funding that foreign entities have bestowed on the University of Pennsylvania.

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Amid Renewed Controversy, Penn Scholars Defend Opposition to China Initiative to Catch Spies

Revelations that President Joe Biden kept classified federal documents at his University of Pennsylvania office in Washington, D.C., have brought renewed scrutiny to his relationship with the university — and the role many Penn professors had in persuading his administration to kill a Justice Department project combatting Chinese espionage.

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Penn Biden Center Appears to Have Published Little to No Original Scholarship

A review by The Pennsylvania Daily Star of output from the Penn Biden Center, the foreign-policy think tank established in 2017 to coincide with the start of Joe Biden’s professorship at the University of Pennsylvania, suggests the center has produced little to no original scholarly work. The Washington, D.C.-based center has drawn heavy media scrutiny after news came out earlier this month that nearly a dozen classified federal documents were housed there until last November. Biden reportedly used the location as his main D.C. office after his vice presidency ended and before he became president.

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University of Pennsylvania Continues to Boast of Relationship with China After Money from the Communist Nation Rolled In

“Today, Penn’s relationship with China is strong, and continues to grow.”

That’s how the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Global website still refers to the Philadelphia-based Ivy League school’s association with the communist-run nation. 

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Penn Biden Center Had UPenn Interns Running Around 13,800-Square-Foot D.C. Offices

President Joe Biden’s former private office in Washington, D.C., where roughly a dozen classified documents were discovered earlier last November, was recently a site for high-profile University of Pennsylvania internships. 

Administrators of the Philadelphia-based Ivy League school brought the former vice president aboard as a professor in the winter of 2017 to coincide with the “soft opening” of the 13,800-square-foot Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. Just under a year later, the think tank officially commenced operations with a stated aim of engaging “our fellow citizens in shaping this world, while ensuring the gains of global engagement are widely shared.” 

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Pennsylvania Bill Seeks to End Medical-Lawsuit Venue Shopping

Pennsylvania state Representative Torren Ecker (R-Abbottstown) is preparing legislation to restore a rule keeping each healthcare lawsuit in the county where the alleged malpractice occurred. 

Two decades ago, state lawmakers enacted the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act which forbade patients claiming they suffered from a doctor’s medical mistakes to file their lawsuits in jurisdictions where the alleged harm did not take place. Before that time, much litigation was being filed in Philadelphia and Allegheny counties whose common-pleas courts were known to look especially favorably on healthcare plaintiffs.

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Pennsylvania Senate Passes Voter ID Amendment

The Pennsylvania Senate this week passed an amendment to the state Constitution that would require individuals to provide identification to vote in person in an election.

Also contained in the bill the chamber approved are an amendment that would open the statute of limitations for survivors of child sexual abuse and another amendment that would strengthen legislators’ power against a governor’s regulatory authority. 

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Pennsylvania Republicans Propose Bill Preventing California Air Resources Board Emission Rule

Four Republican state senators are encouraging their colleagues to join them in legislating to keep a new requirement from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) from going into effect in Pennsylvania. 

Two decades ago, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) began requiring that heavy-duty diesel-vehicle engines receive CARB certification as part of the agency’s Heavy-Duty Diesel Emissions Control Program. 

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Legislator Wants Pennsylvania Spousal Notification Requirement for Abortion Repealed

A lawmaker from Montgomery County is circulating a request to colleagues to back repeal of a requirement that a married woman seeking an abortion in Pennsylvania notify her spouse. 

In a preliminary description of the upcoming bill, state Representative Liz Hanbidge (D-Blue Bell) bemoaned last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide. Hanbidge insisted that Pennsylvania’s founding principles of freedom and individual sovereignty should empower people to kill unborn life without constraint. 

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Bipartisan Proposal Would Make Pennsylvania Pardon Recommendations Easier

A bill is re-emerging in Pennsylvania’s new State Senate session to end the requirement that pardon and commutation recommendations from the State Board of Pardons be unanimous. 

The five-member board comprises the lieutenant governor and the state attorney general as well as experts on corrections, victims’ rights, and mental health. Once the panel issues a recommendation for an inmate to receive a pardon or a commuted sentence, the governor reviews those determinations and decides whether to sign off on them. Historically, governors have tended to follow the board’s advice. 

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State Senator to Reintroduce Pennsylvania Constitutional-Carry Bill

Pennsylvania state Senator Cris Dush (R-Bellefonte) is asking colleagues to cosponsor legislation to let law-abiding state residents carry concealed firearms without a permit, something he tried but failed to get enacted last session. 

The senator’s original bill passed the General Assembly in autumn of 2021 but Governor Tom Wolf (D) vetoed it. Its chances of becoming law have diminished even further insofar as Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro recently was elected in November to succeed Wolf and Democrats won a majority of seats in the state House of Representatives. 

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Bill Would Clean Up Pennsylvania Voter-Record Errors

Over the weekend, Pennsylvania state Senator Ryan Aument (R-Lititz) told colleagues he will reintroduce a measure to clean up his state’s voter rolls.

Concern about the Keystone State’s voter records grew after Democratic Auditor General Eugene DePasquale issued a report in December 2019 alerting lawmakers to copious apparent errors in the Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors (SURE). 

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Pennsylvania Bill Proposal Requires Pain Medication for Unborn Humans Prior to Abortions

A measure proposed in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives this week would require the administering of pain medication to an unborn child before an abortion is performed. 

State Representative Tim Bonner (R-Grove City) circulated a memorandum asking other representatives to back his upcoming bill which would instruct abortion doctors to dispense pain relief to a fetus if the organism has gestated for longer than 15 weeks. Bonner suggested his bill would not affect the legality of ending a pregnancy and entreated lawmakers on both sides of the abortion issue to join him in sponsoring the legislation.

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Proposal Would Let Independents Vote in Pennsylvania Primaries

Pennsylvania state senators are asking other lawmakers to support an upcoming bill to let nonpartisan voters participate in primaries. 

State Senators Daniel LaughlinTwo  (R-Erie) and Lisa Boscola (D-Bethlehem) proposed legislation permitting all state residents whose voter registrations reflect no party affiliation to cast a ballot in either the GOP or Democratic nomination contests. The senators cite 2021 data from the commonwealth indicating that 1,233,748 Pennsylvanians are registered to vote but choose to identify with neither of the two major parties. Since 2017, that number has increased by 51,816. 

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Pennsylvania Democrats’ Bill Would Give Driver’s Licenses to Illegals

Three left-wing members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives announced they intend to introduce a bill to give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. 

Representatives Danilo Burgos, Joe Hohenstein and Chris Rabb, all Philadelphia Democrats, asserted that unlawful U.S. residents should be able to obtain driving licenses or learners’ permits if they can establish to authorities their real names and dates of birth. They say acceptable documents to prove identity could be passports, consular identification papers, marriage licenses, divorce records or adoption certificates. 

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Philadelphia District Attorney Krasner Issues Answer to Impeachment Summons

As the holiday weekend nears, Pennsylvania state senators are viewing initial written arguments from Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (D) contesting his impeachment. 

The then-GOP-controlled state House of Representatives voted last month 107-85 to try the radical prosecutor in the Senate to consider his removal from office. Senate leaders then issued a writ of summons to Krasner outlining seven counts against him. Articles of impeachment concern alleged “dereliction of duty and refusal to enforce the law,” obstruction of a legislative investigation against him, improper conduct in two criminal trials, failure to admit conflict of interest, failure to heed victims’ rights and refusal to prosecute certain crimes. 

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Election Transparency Initiative Denounces Marc Elias’ Requested Change to Electoral Count Act Reform

A right-leaning election reform outfit on Wednesday denounced the current version of legislation to reform the Electoral Count Act, particularly a provision urged by Democratic election attorney Marc Elias. 

The original act was enacted in 1887 to prevent presidential election crises such as that of 1876, during which three states submitted competing groups of electors, forcing Congress to determine how to resolve the count. Ultimately Republican Rutherford B. Hayes emerged victorious over Democrat Samuel Tilden. 

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Pennsylvania House Republicans Say Krasner Can’t Use Courts to Avoid Impeachment

Republican members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives responsible for conducting Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s impeachment are arguing Krasner can’t resort to the courts to avoid the state Senate trial. 

Earlier this month, the far-left prosecutor asked the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court to preempt the proceedings initiated by Republican lawmakers in November. He cited three reasons: First, a new General Assembly has taken office; second, he contends that the state Constitution doesn’t authorize a city district attorney’s impeachment; and third, he disputes that “misbehavior in office” is seriously alleged. 

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Legislation Would Clarify Work-Search Requirement for Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation

A bill soon to be reintroduced in Pennsylvania’s General Assembly aims to prevent unemployment claimants from undermining their own job searches to keep benefits flowing. 

Last year, state Representative Shelby Labs (R-Doylestown) introduced the legislation to explicitly codify state policy on work-search requirements. The commonwealth requires every individual seeking unemployment compensation (UC) to apply for at least two jobs and follow through with one work-search activity every week. 

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Pennsylvania GOP House Leader Cutler Asserts Right to Schedule Special Elections for May

Pennsylvania House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Quarryville) on Thursday insisted he has the right to schedule special elections for three legislative vacancies. He wants two elections to take place during next May’s primaries. 

Cutler’s party has tussled with Democrats over control of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the wake of November’s elections. Democrats won a majority of House seats that month, but Republican members nonetheless outnumber Democrats by two insofar as three seats to which the latter party won elections are vacant. 

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State Senators Propose Pennsylvania Law Against Social Media Censorship

Pennsylvania State Senators Doug Mastriano (R-Gettysburg) and Scott Hutchinson (R-Oil City) Thursday announced they would reintroduce a bill proposed in the last legislative session designed to prevent social media platforms from censoring Pennsylvanians. 

Mastriano and Hutchinson introduced the original measure in May 2021. They secured the cosponsorship of four other senators, all Republicans, but the bill did not receive a vote in the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. The two lawmakers said new developments impelled them to try again in the new session. They cited the recently released “Twitter files,” internal documents pertaining largely to the social-media company’s decision in late 2020 to deny users access to a New York Post story concerning Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s personal computer.

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Wisconsin’s Gallagher and Illinois’s Krishnamoorthi File Bipartisan TikTok Ban Legislation

A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers this week filed legislation in the House of Representatives to ban the TikTok video-sharing application nationwide. 

Congressmen Mike Gallagher (R-WI-8) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-8) submitted their bill in the House of Representatives while Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced companion legislation in his chamber. They call their measure the Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act (ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act). It is written broadly enough to possibly prohibit use of other platforms operating under the influence of “a country of concern” such as China or Russia. 

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Lifeline Scholarships Reintroduced in Pennsylvania House

Girl with brunette hair reading in a library

Pennsylvania state Representative Clint Owlett (R-Wellsboro) on Tuesday announced he will reintroduce legislation to guarantee school choice to students in the state’s most poorly performing school districts. 

Under Owlett’s proposed law, families of such students could also use the new “lifeline scholarships” to pay for textbooks, special-needs services and other qualifying expenses. 

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Pennsylvania House Republicans Sue Over Majority-Leader Status

Pennsylvania former House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Quarryville) this weekend announced he filed a lawsuit in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania over Representative Joanna McClinton’s (D-Philadelphia) assertion of House majority-leader status. 

McClinton has used her title as majority leader to schedule special elections to replace one deceased member and two retired members of the state House of Representatives. State law calls on the House speaker to determine special-election dates for that chamber and vests the House majority leader with that power if the speaker cannot perform that duty. 

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Pennsylvania Political Consultant: Philadelphia Suburbs a Hotbed of a Legal Version of Ballot Harvesting

Pennsylvania just completed its third year of no-excuse mail-in voting, with Democrats scoring major victories in statewide and legislative offices. According to a political strategist from the state’s southeast, one factor affecting the Democrats’ 2022 success was its engagement in a legal form of “ballot harvesting” in the suburbs west of Philadelphia.

Athan Koutsiouroumbas, a managing director of the Harrisburg-based consultancy Long Nyquist and Associates, refers in a Monday commentary for RealClearPennsylvania to Democrats’ efforts to encourage mail-in voting in Delaware County. He called the effort a “completely legal ballot-harvesting juggernaut.” 

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Policy Constraints Force Electric Bills Up in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvanians’ electric bills rose by an average of nearly three-quarters over the last two years and policymakers have only made the problem worse, according to the Harrisburg-based Commonwealth Foundation (CF). 

State residents served by Pennsylvania Power and Light (PPL) have seen their rates go up by just over half since December 2020. Customers of the Philadelphia Electric Company (PECO) have meanwhile experienced a doubling of their power costs during that time. All other providers have also risen their rates considerably. 

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Keefer to Chair Pennsylvania House Freedom Caucus

Pennsylvania’s new House Freedom Caucus announced its initial leaders this week, with state Representative Dawn Keefer (R-Dillsburg) to chair the new organization and Representative David Rowe (R-Mifflinburg) to serve as vice chair. 

Keefer and Rowe were among the 20 GOP members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to vote against this fiscal year’s budget, a compromise between the majority-Republican General Assembly and Democratic Governor Tom Wolf which increases state spending by 16.6 percent to $43.7 billion. In remarks to the press, the new caucus’s leaders complained of the extent to which government is growing in the commonwealth and promised to pursue zero-based budgeting as well as regulatory reform. 

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Governor Wolf Bestows $2.5 Million in Taxpayer Funds on LGBT Center in Philadelphia

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) on Wednesday joined a number of state, federal and city officials to celebrate the awarding of $2.5 million in taxpayer funds to a gay and transexual activity center in Philadelphia’s “Gayborhood.” 

Wolf said the money from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) will go toward several major renovations envisioned for the William Way LGBT Community Center just south of City Hall. The grant comes in addition to $1 million the center received from the state in 2019 to improve the property’s heating, ventilation and cooling systems as well as to remodel the building’s front area. 

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State Senator Proposes Pennsylvania Prison-to-Business Partnership Program

State Senator Lisa Boscola (D-Bethlehem) is asking colleagues to support legislation to create a prison-to-jobs pipeline for nonviolent inmates in Pennsylvania. 

Boscola bemoaned Pennsylvania’s status as among the worst states in the U.S. in terms of ex-prisoners reoffending; it has a 41-percent recidivism rate. In a memorandum announcing her measure, she posited that rate will go down if the commonwealth proactively advances many prisoners toward employment as they prepare for life outside of jail. 

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Far-Left Pennsylvania Democrat Proposes Board to ‘Combat Election Disinformation’

Pennsylvania state Representative Christopher Rabb (D-Philadelphia) this week proposed a bill to establish an “Election Integrity Board” that would monitor politicians rhetoric regarding electoral matters and “combat” what the panel deems “disinformation.” 

In a memorandum seeking cosponsors for his legislation, the far-left lawmaker who represents Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill and Mount Airy neighborhoods lamented the nomination in the 2022 primary of over 100 individuals he considers “election-denying candidates.” He blasted them for asserting what he insists are “unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud” and opined that “our elections are highly secure.” He suggested that politicians and hopefuls who raise concerns about such issues create unnecessary doubt in the minds of the electorate.

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Pennsylvania Congressional Candidate Bognet Sues Luzerne County over Election Problems

Pennsylvania Republican congressional candidate Jim Bognet sued the Luzerne County Board of Elections in the county’s Court of Common Pleas this week over problems with administration of the 2022 election. 

This year, Bognet challenged incumbent Democrat Matt Cartwright to represent the Eighth Congressional District which includes Scranton, Wilks-Barre, Hazleton, Mount Pocono and neighboring communities extending northeastward to the New York and New Jersey borders. While many observers considered Cartwright’s reelection effort vulnerable, he ultimately received 51.3 percent of the 283,580 votes cast for Congress in the district while Bognet got 48.7 percent.

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Pennsylvania Representative Bonner to Head District Attorney Krasner’s Impeachment Trial

Pennsylvania Representative Tim Bonner (R-Grove City) will serve as lead manager of the Senate impeachment trial of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (D) over the next few weeks. 

State House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Quarryville) appointed Bonner to head the three-person team of House managers on Friday. Representatives Craig Williams (R-Chadds Ford) and Jared Solomon (D-Philadelphia) will round out the group. (State law requires at least one impeachment manager to come from the House minority party.)

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House Democrats from Philadelphia Tout ‘Sanctuary City’ Status as Illegals’ Bus Arrives

Democrats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ Philadelphia Delegation on Thursday took the arrival of 28 illegal immigrants into their municipality as occasion to celebrate Philadelphia declaring itself a “sanctuary city.” 

State Representative Morgan Cephus (D-Philadelphia), chair of the delegation, also disputed the notion that the migrants bussed in from Texas should be deemed unlawful entrants, despite the fact that they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. He noted that they secured “temporary protective status” by U.S. border agencies. 

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Philadelphia District Attorney Krasner Impeached; Pennsylvania Senate to Conduct Trial

Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (D) by a vote of 107 to 85.

All Democrats in attendance opposed the resolution introduced by Representative Martina White (R-Philadelphia). All present Republicans supported it except for Representative Mike Puskaric (R-Jefferson Hills) who is retiring at the end of the term.

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Pennsylvania Committee Votes to Impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Krasner

Pennsylvania state representatives expect to vote Wednesday on whether to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (D); a legislative panel voted to move the idea forward on Tuesday.

All 14 attending members of the state House of Representatives Judiciary Committee supported advancing an impeachment bill sponsored by Representative Martina White (R-Philadelphia). All eight Democrats present for the vote opposed the legislation. 

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Republican State Representative Proposes Pennsylvania ‘Equal Pay’ Measure

A Republican member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly is asking fellow legislators to back a bill she is writing to amend the state’s Equal Pay Law, asserting a gap exists between what men and women earn. 

The “wage gap” has long been a subject of contention. State representative Karen Boback (R-Dallas) cites data from the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) — a group that is also at the forefront in promoting abortion and supporting transgenderism among children — to suggest serious pay inequity persists. 

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Party Control of Pennsylvania House Will Come Down to Two Undecided Races

As the week of Election Day 2022 draws to a close, it remains uncertain whether Republicans or Democrats will have the helm of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the next two years, with two southeastern races to decide the outcome. 

Pennsylvania has 203 legislative districts and electoral contests have been clinched by one major party or the other in 201 of them. Democrats prevailed in 101 of those races, meaning the GOP needs to win both of the still undetermined seats in order to keep control of the General Assembly’s lower chamber. 

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Pennsylvania Re-Elects State Representative Who Passed Away

Residents of Pennsylvania’s 32nd House District posthumously reelected deceased Democratic state Representative Anthony DeLuca (D-PA-Pittsburgh) on Tuesday, necessitating a special election in the months ahead. 

The lawmaker faced no Republican challenger this year and bested leftist Green Party candidate Zarah Livingston, garnering 21,244 votes (85.9 percent) to her 3,490 (14.1 percent). 

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Fetterman Edges Oz for U.S. Senate; Shapiro Defeats Mastriano for Governor

In the early hours Wednesday morning, multiple media outlets projected that Democrat John Fetterman would win the open U.S. Senate seat left by retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.

Fetterman, the state’s Lieutenant Governor who suffered a serious stroke just before the Democratic primary, won his party’s nomination, and then went on to defeat Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz for one of the only Democrat U.S. Senate pickups on the 2022 election cycle.

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Pennsylvania Senate GOP Leaders Ask Secretary of State to Comply on Undated Ballots, Other Election Rules

Days before the 2022 midterm elections, Pennsylvania Republican Senate leaders wrote to their commonwealth’s chief voting overseer seeking assurance that laws governing undated absentee ballots will be followed. 

The letter from Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-Greensburg) and Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte) goes on to urge acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman (D) to follow official procedure on other electoral matters as well. 

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Decides Against Counting Undated Ballots

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court this week ordered counties to decline to count any absentee or mail-in ballot delivered in an undated envelope.

State law, which has permitted no-excuse absentee voting since 2020, requires those not voting in person to place their ballot into a secrecy envelope before placing it into a return envelope. Voter must sign and date that outer envelope for their ballot to be valid under state statute. 

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Pennsylvania Lawmakers Seek Audit of Taxpayer-Supported Baseball Parks’ Rental Payments

Two Pennsylvania state representatives this weekend proposed an audit of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh’s major-league sports teams’ rental payments for their stadiums. 

Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia and PNC Park in Pittsburgh were among several stadiums benefiting from the Capital Facilities Debt Enabling Act of 1999, whereby the commonwealth would pour $320 million into the construction of new sports buildings. The arrangement entailed each arena paying $25 million in rent to the state every decade minus some deductions based on tax revenues the stadiums brought into government coffers. 

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Pennsylvania Business Leader Survey: Inflation Likely to Continue

Business leaders in Pennsylvania don’t see inflation subsiding in the near future, according to a survey released this week by the Harrisburg-based Lincoln Institute for Public Opinion & Research. 

A total of 212 businesses from across the Keystone State responded to the institute’s poll, with just over half of the respondents being business owners; 20 percent serving as either chief executive officer, head of finance or head of operations; and about a fifth serving as either state or local manager. 

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New Poll: Oz Leads Fetterman in Pennsylvania Senate Race

For the first time in the 2022 race for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, a poll shows Republican Mehmet Oz leading Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman. 

The poll from Wick Insights indicates the celebrity surgeon has the support of 49.1 percent of likely voters while Fetterman garners the backing of 44.6 percent. 

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Republicans Sue to Discard Undated Pennsylvania Absentee Ballots

Pennsylvania’s Republican Party and its national counterpart filed a lawsuit this week to prevent the state’s Democrat-run executive branch from requiring counties to count undated absentee ballots. 

A lawsuit that originated in 2021 to settle a dispute about whether such ballots should be tallied resulted in the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals answering in the affirmative this June. That ruling decided a race for Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas in favor of Democrat Zachary Cohen over Republican David Ritter. 

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