News & Brews July 14, 2021

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Human error, lack of oversight to blame for L&I error

According to a Wolf administration investigation completed in 2017, human error and a lack of oversight were to blame for the Department of Labor & Industry’s overcharging Pennsylvanians millions of dollars in interest payments from 2006-2016. What’s less clear is why the Wolf administration kept the findings of this investigation hidden for the past four years. Spotlight PA reports.

Environmental Quality Board approves DEP’s RGGI rule

Yesterday, the Environmental Quality Board, which is a 20-member board that adopts regulations proposed by the Department of Environmental Protection, voted in favor of DEP’s final rule that would set Pennsylvania up to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) next year. This regional cap-and-trade program purports to cut carbon emissions, but the folks at the Commonwealth Foundation have noted it would increase electricity costs for Pennsylvanians while having no impact on climate trends.

Census delay puts pressure on redistricting

Updated census data, originally expected in April, may not be available as “adjusted and validated data” until October, putting a time crunch on the process of redrawing state legislative maps. The AP reports that “counties need the new maps by Jan. 24 in order to provide the requisite information to candidates and others circulating nominating petitions during a period that kicks off on Feb. 15.” As for the prospects of delaying next year’s primary election due to the census delay? A House Republican spokesperson noted the GOP caucus doesn’t currently support a delay.

Biden visits Philly: War of words ensues

Not surprisingly, President Biden’s visit to Philly yesterday to decry attempts to improve election security brought on a war of words over election reform. Democrats basically claim Republicans want to upend democracy. (To be clear, everything Democrats disagree with these days is an “attack on democracy.”) Republicans say Democrats are out of touch and that Gov. Wolf won’t engage with the Legislature on election reform.

Democrats love Trump

Dems love Trump. Truly, they do. I mean, they talk about him every chance they get. (Then again, Trump also talks about himself every chance he gets, so there’s that). Regardless, this time Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) are making Trump a centerpiece in the upcoming race for PA governor.

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