News & Brews June 15, 2021

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House committee to consider election reform package today

This morning at 8:00 a.m., the House State Government Committee will take up the election reform package introduced last week by committee Chair Seth Grove (York County). Grove says that he hasn’t heard from Gov. Wolf’s office or his Department of State since the end of April about working together on election reform and maintains it’s “do or die” time to get our election processes in order. Meanwhile, PennLive reports that voter ID may be the “speed bump” on the road to reform. You can watch the 8:00 a.m. committee session via live stream here.

PA GOP path to victory in 2022?

Reflecting on the GOP’s major statewide wins last year in the Auditor General and Treasurer’s races, even as Trump lost, the Philadelphia Inquirer considers whether Republicans will follow the same path toward victory in 2022.

Link uncovered between Dem strategist and election grant efforts

Amid revelations that private election grants from the Mark Zuckerberg-funded Center for Tech and Civic Life went primarily to Democrat counties, Broad + Liberty’s Todd Shepherd reports on a link between these grants and “a source with an open partisan affiliation for Democrats.” Emails obtained via Right-to-Know request show that as an official from Delaware County was being advised about the grants, also on the email chain was a Democrat political strategist whose firm has done work in Pennsylvania. Read the full story here.

Oral argument scheduled in Butler v. Wolf

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral argument in the case challenging the constitutionality of Gov. Wolf’s business shutdown orders and capacity restrictions. The date is Thursday, July 22, at 9:30 am in Philadelphia. The court also approved the New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s request to participate in the oral argument, a request the Wolf administration had opposed.

PA progressives frustrated Biden hasn’t delivered yet

Anyone who knows politics knows things usually move at a snail’s pace, but the AP reports that progressives in PA are frustrated that all their work last year to elect President Biden hasn’t suddenly given them everything they want when it comes to things like student loans, child care costs, and more. The delay in implementing a progressive agenda (a delay we hope is permanent, of course), comes not only as Democrats and Republicans disagree but also as the progressive wing of the Democrat party becomes even more radical compared with the few more moderate outliers.

Senate votes to require legislative approval to join RGGI

Yesterday, the Senate voted 35-15 in favor of a bill that would require the General Assembly to give its approval before Pennsylvania joins the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Six democrats crossed the aisle to make the bill’s passage a bipartisan effort. The vote comes as Gov. Wolf has been moving forward with joining RGGI by executive order. The measure now heads to the House. As the Commonwealth Foundation has explained, RGGI would increase electricity costs for Pennsylvanians while offering no real impact on climate trends.

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