News & Brews February 22, 2021
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Dissent in the ranks: Dem lawmakers push Wolf admin to get its vaccine act together
Broad + Liberty reports that several Democrat lawmakers are proposing legislation to force Gov. Wolf’s Department of Health to change how it approaches vaccine distribution, “indicating a dispute with the Wolf administration.” The move comes during widespread frustration with Pennsylvania’s abysmally slow vaccine rollout, confusing sign-up process, and massive error in which DOH botched distribution, gave out second doses as first doses, and forced up to 100,000 people to change their vaccine appointments.
Wolf renews COVID emergency disaster declaration, again
Surprising no one, Gov. Wolf signed the fourth 90-day renewal of the COVID emergency disaster declaration he originally issued on March 6 of last year. This is the same declaration under which he closed businesses, forced millions of Pennsylvanians into unemployment, instituted his chaotic business wavier process, and implemented his ever-changing red/yellow/green scheme for re-opening. PennLive points out that ironically, this current declaration will run through May 19, one day after voters will head to the polls to vote on the proposed constitutional amendment that would rein in a governor’s emergency powers.
Op-Ed: ‘PA doesn’t have a friend in Tom Wolf’
Speaking of disastrous executive actions, the Commonwealth Foundation’s Nathan Benefield reminds us that even as NY Gov. Cuomo is under a federal probe for his COVID policies that led to thousands of deaths, bad leadership isn’t limited to Albany. Benefield writes, “At one time, [Gov.] Wolf was viewed as a cerebral, if not high-minded, individual. Today, Pennsylvanians see an inflexible governor whose COVID policies are tainted by mismanagement and scandal.”
Trump House owner gets GOP nomination for vacant House seat
Leslie Baum Rossi, owner of the well-recognized Trump House in Latrobe, has receivedthe Republican nomination to run for the House seat left vacant after the sudden passing of Rep. Mike Reese last month. The special election is scheduled for May 18, the same day as the primary, and Rossi will face Mariah Fisher, who won the Democrat nod earlier this month.
Rep. Toohil running for judge
The Citizen’s Voice reports that Republican Rep. Tarah Toohill will announce this afternoon that she’s running for Luzerne County judge. Toohil was first elected to the state House in 2010 and won reelection last year to her sixth term.
COVID’s impact on PA personal care homes
COVID’s toll on nursing homes has drawn extensive attention over the past (almost) year, but more recently, the toll has risen in personal care homes. The Post-Gazette has a special report looking at cases, oversight (personal care homes are regulated by the state Department of Human Services, while nursing homes are subject to both state and federal regulations), and the personal stories of families impacted.
Toomey: ‘This is why I voted to impeach Trump’
Sen. Pat Toomey has been targeted by members of his own party for his vote to convict former President Trump during his impeachment trial. Toomey took to the pages of the Inquirer to explain his vote.