News & Brews June 14, 2021
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Some lawmakers want constitutional amendment requiring voter ID
As Gov. Wolf has promised to veto any election reform requiring voter ID, Sen. Judy Ward (Blair, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, and Huntingdon counties) and Rep. Jeff Wheeland (Lycoming County) have each introduced legislation that would put the question to voters in the form of a constitutional amendment. The proposal would need to pass in two consecutive legislative sessions before heading to voters. Recent polling has continued to show widespread support for voter ID requirements, including 60% among Democrats and higher among Republicans and independents.
Sen. Laughlin considering run for governor
Sen. Dan Laughlin (Erie County) has launched an exploratory committee to consider running for governor. Laughlin is presenting himself as a “center-right” conservative. Among his legislative priorities this year have been an effort to legalize recreational marijuana and a proposal to increase the government-mandated minimum wage.
Effort to oust PSERS leadership stalls
Attempts to remove the top leadership of our state’s largest pension fund were tabled on Friday, as discussion of the removal was “voluntary removed from the agenda.” PennLive reports state Treasurer and PSERS Board Member Stacy Garrity said that while the call for removal issued last week clearly conveys her and others’ concerns, “it’s probably better to try to work toward a mutually agreeable position.” Garrity didn’t rule out a future vote.
Mixed reaction to proposal to extend last call to 4am
Rep. Jordan Harris (Philadelphia) is proposing legislation to extend last call in Pennsylvania from 2am to 4am. Some business owners say the change would pose a headache as they’d have to hire more staff even as the industry is struggling to find workers. Chuck Moran, the head of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association, noted, however, that there may be benefits to some businesses, particularly nightclubs: “It’s certainly something we are not opposed to but it certainly will come with a mixed reaction in the industry, depending on the type of place.”