News & Brews May 11, 2021
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Grove releases report on election hearings
After several months of in-depth election hearings held by the House State Government Committee, Chairman Seth Grove (York County) yesterday released a 98-page report that takes a comprehensive look at our state election laws and recommends how we can guarantee both voting “rights and integrity in our election system.” Throughout the course of the hearings, lawmakers heard from more than 50 election experts, including several from other states, to learn about best practices and hear areas in which Pennsylvania voters would benefit from improvements to our current system. Read the report here! And read the Inquirer’s story on the report here.
Senate committee to hold hearing this morning on data breach
This morning at 10:30 a.m., the Senate Communications and Technology Committee, chaired by Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (York County), will hold a public hearing on the data breach by the Department of Health’s contact tracing vendor, Insight Global. The breach leaked the personal health information of more than 70,000 Pennsylvanians. Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam and Department of Health Executive Deputy Secretary Keara Klinepeter are scheduled to testify. The hearing will be live-streamed, and you can watch here.
PA small businesses struggle to find workers
Greg Moreland, director of the National Federation of Independent Business Pennsylvania, recently told the Center Square that staffing has become “a huge issue” in Pennsylvania, adding, “I don’t think there are many industries that say, ‘We have absolutely no problems with staffing at this time.’” Many are laying the blame in large part on the Biden administration, which is continuing through Labor Day to award an additional $300 per week in supplemental unemployment benefits.
Spotlight on 48th Senate District special election
In addition to judicial races and proposed constitutional amendments, voters in a handful of legislative districts will vote in special elections to fill vacant seats. PennLive focuses on the 48th Senate District, where four candidates are running to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Dave Arnold. The piece looks at what propelled each of the candidates to run and why each believes he’s the best man for the job. (In these special elections, we have endorsed Chris Chermak for Senate in District 22 [Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Monroe counties], Chris Gebhard for Senate in District 48 [Lebanon, York, and Dauphin counties], and Abby Major for House in District 60 [Armstrong, Butler, and Indiana counties]).
Op-Ed: What a “Yes” vote means on May 18
Sen. Mike Regan (Cumberland and York counties) has an op-ed in PennLive urging Pennsylvanians not to be fooled by Gov. Wolf’s attempt to “sabotage” the proposed constitutional amendments reining in a governor’s emergency powers. Regan explains that “a ‘yes’ vote means returning power to the people by ensuring your elected senators and representatives are part of the decision-making process for emergency declarations by requiring the Governor to work with the legislature.”
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 VoteYesPA.com for resources including a VoteYesPA sign you can download and print, a sample email businesses can send encouraging others to vote yes on May 18, and more.