News & Brews March 9, 2021

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WSJ: ‘Philadelphia’s union thuggery’

Ah, Philly. You’ve made the Journal Editorial Page. But don’t jump for joy too quickly. The Ed Board looks at (paywall) the stranglehold “Big Labor” holds over city construction, as brought to light (again) recently by the (latest) indictment of IBEW head Johnny Doc. Remember when PA made the Editorial Page for our groundbreaking pension reform? That was good. Let’s try something like that again.

Q&A with House Speaker Bryan Cutler

The Pennsylvania Capital-Star sat down with House Speaker Bryan Cutler (Lancaster County) to talk about bipartisanship, constitutional amendments, the role of the courts, judicial elections, marijuana legalization, and more. Read the interview here.

Union official: Parents wanted schools open so they can stop ‘babysitting’ their kids

Concern over their kids’ isolation…frustrations with online learning…these are among the themes often heard from parents when it comes to wanting schools to reopen. But that’s not the perspective of one Montgomery County union official, who said parents wanted schools to reopen because they are tired of “babysitting” their kids. Somehow I doubt parents who want the best for their kids really appreciate what the union thinks of them. Read more at Broad + Liberty.

Happening today: Hearing on Wolf’s unanswered RTK requests during COVID

Remember when Gov. Wolf shut down Right-to-Know offices for months to keep Pennsylvanians from getting info on his COVID response? And remember when he then threatened to veto legislation requiring transparency during emergencies? Today at 1pm, the House State Government Committee, chaired by Rep. Seth Grove (York County) will hold a hearing “on the lack of government transparency and how Right-to-Know Requests went unanswered by the Wolf administration during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Watch online at or

Wolf’s latest response to the court

Gov. Wolf and Secretary of Health Alison Beam yesterday submitted their reply to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in the ongoing case (Butler v. Wolf) challenging Wolf’s shutdown orders and limits on gatherings. The court had asked: 1) Of the orders challenged in this litigation, which order(s) remain in force and effect? 2) Regarding the orders no longer in force and effect, how and when did this occur? 3) What are the legal consequences of these developments? Have the issues before this Court changed? In their response, Wolf and Beam continue to defend their actions, now pulling in the “more infectious variants” of COVID that have recently arrived in the US as part of their justification. Appellees have 14 days from yesterday to submit their reply.

Op-Ed: Time to lift mask mandate and capacity limits

Sen. Mike Regan (Cumberland and York counties) has a new op-ed calling for Pennsylvania to follow the increasing number of other states that have increased or eliminated capacity limits and lifted mask mandates as they move to fully reopen their economies. Regan writes, “As chairman of the Senate Law and Justice Committee, I continue to hear from restaurants and taverns that we need to do more to get these businesses back to full operation. Small businesses are the backbone of their communities, and orders being handed down are arbitrarily punishing them – over and over again.” Read his full piece here.

PA would get $13 billion from latest federal stimulus

According to Sen. Pat Toomey, the latest federal stimulus plan is neither a COVID bill nor a rescue plan. Instead it’s “the last train leaving the station that the Democrats can plausibly pretend is about COVID or the economy and so they are loading it up with a long liberal wishlist that has nothing to do with economic recovery or combating the pandemic.” According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, the $13 billion PA is set to receive is “about 10,000% more than necessary to cover the state’s $67 million revenue loss.” Read more here.

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