News & Brews March 22, 2021

Get News & Brews in your inbox each day: Subscribe here!

Wolf’s “break with reality” on vaccine distribution

The managing editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Patrick Kerkstra, didn’t hold back on Friday following Gov. Wolf’s praise of how his administration’s COVID vaccine distribution is going in southeast PA. Kerkstra tweeted that Wolf’s comment are a “break with reality.” In truth, the 8-1/2-minute Q&A with media is worth watching, as reporters repeatedly pressed Wolf on the problems with the vaccine rollout in SEPA, and Wolf repeatedly responded by saying his administration is doing a great (even a phenomenal!) job. He actually said, ”I think you’d have to scratch your head to find out what is it that we could be doing better.” Watch here. (Meanwhile the Post-Gazette reports on the Wolf administrations “exaggeration” of how well they’re doing.)

Are voting changes coming to PA? 

I know this header is pretty much a repeat from headers last year, but…it’s in the news again! As lawmakers hold hearings on our election processes, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review looks at the debate over what changes should come to our state’s election laws.

Profile: Sen. John Yudichak

The Delaware Valley Journal has a profile piece on Sen. John Yudichak (Carbon and Luzerne counties), the lone Independent in the General Assembly. Why did he leave the Democrat party? What are his points of agreement (and disagreement) with President Biden? And what’s his political future? The piece tackles this and more.

Barletta, Laughlin among those considering run for governor

Former Congressman Lou Barletta said on Friday that he’ll decide in the next few weeks whether to seek the GOP nomination for governor next year. Also considering a run is state Sen. Dan Laughlin (Erie County), who most recently made news for supporting proposals to legalize recreational marijuana and raise the minimum wage. The AP has more.

Medicaid enrollment spikes in PA

As another reminder of the far-reaching impacts of economic shutdowns, Spotlight PA reports Medicaid enrollment in PA rose 13.7% from February 2020 to February 2021. This is a greater increase than 15 of the previous 16 years, and the only year that saw a bigger rise was after Gov. Wolf expanded Medicaid eligibility.

Sign up to get News & Brews in your inbox