News & Brews April 29, 2021

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Angry Wolf withdraws all cabinet nominees, fires 11 appointees

Angry that lawmakers gave him an ultimatum on joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Gov. Wolf has withdrawn all his cabinet nominees and fired 11 other public workers (all Republican appointees), including the head of the Office of Small Business Advocate. This means Wolf’s nominees to head key agencies including the Department of Labor, Department of Education, Department of State, and Department of Health (all of whom are in “acting” capacity now) will not face Senate confirmation. But Wolf insists they will still stay as heads of their respective agencies. In other words, Wolf thinks he can not only rule unilaterally from the governor’s office but also unilaterally run state agencies indefinitely without any legislative input via the Senate confirmation process.

PASSHE votes to move forward with school mergers

The PA State System of Higher Education voted yesterday in favor of merging six state-owned universities into two schools, triggering a public comment period which will take place before the final vote on the proposal, which could happen as early as July. The plan would consolidate California, Clarion, and Edinboro universities into one school in western PA and Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield universities into one school in northeast PA.

Op-Ed: The ‘school choice bandwagon has begun to roll’

Paul Peterson, the director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University, has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (paywall) on how government-imposed lockdowns and extended school closures are driving a significant growth in school choice options across the country. This is happening despite the best efforts of teachers’ unions to stymie choice. Peterson concludes by writing, “But if the 2022 elections favor the opposition party, as is historically the case, choice advocates could soon find themselves in a stronger position than they ever anticipated.”

We love entrepreneurs!

We all know small businesses were hit particularly hard by Gov. Wolf’s shutdowns, but nothing can quench the entrepreneurial spirit! The Post-Gazette tells the story of how some individuals who lost jobs or businesses still chose to take risks and launch their own business during the pandemic.

On May 18, VoteYesPA to save lives and livelihoods

On May 18, voters can approve two proposed constitutional amendments that would restore a legislative check and balance on Gov. Wolf’s (and any future governor’s) emergency powers. Check out, which has resources including a link to request a mail-in ballot, a VoteYesPA sign you can download and print, a sample email businesses can send encouraging others to vote yes on May 18, and more.

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