News & Brews August 12, 2021

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Butler v. Wolf: Federal court tosses challenge to Wolf’s orders

In the latest development in the case challenging Gov. Wolf’s business shutdown orders and capacity limits, yesterday the Third Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the case as moot. The court said since the orders are no longer in effect, and since voters passed constitutional amendments reining in a governor’s emergency powers, there is “no relief that this court can grant.” Butler County plans to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Op-Ed: Wolf climate plan will kill PA jobs

Elizabeth Stelle, Director of Policy Analysis at the Commonwealth Foundation, has a new op-ed highlighting that Gov. Wolf’s plan to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) marks the latest in his ‘”lone-wolf” approach to governing and could kill more than 20,000 jobs in Pennsylvania. Read Elizabeth’s piece here.

Wolf strips PSERS execs of two perks

Top executives at our state’s largest pension fund will no longer be able to get paid mileage for using their personal cars while on state business or use taxpayer funds to pick up meal tabs for others. (The execs will have use of state cars instead.) The changes come after Gov. Wolf issued an order rescinding both these perks. The Inquirer has more.

Senate expenses to go public next month

Beginning September 1, all Senate expenses will be posted online so taxpayers can see where their dollars are going. PennLive reports, “The expenses for each senator as well as the chamber’s institutional offices will be available including everything from office leases, per diems, reimbursements for meals and lodging, supplies, mileage, office maintenance and more.” Commenting on the new system, Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman said, “The online transparency tool that is in development now will help fulfill the promise of state government that is more open and accountable to the people it serves.”

Op-Ed: Wolf doubles down on nursing home crisis of his making

Adam Marles, president and CEO of LeadingAge PA, has an op-ed in the York Daily Record blasting Gov. Wolf’s recent nursing home regulations mandating staffing increases. “In its proposal,” Marles writes, “the Wolf administration discloses it’s not even sure of the implications but acknowledges nursing home providers will bear much of the cost at a time when everyone understands they can least afford to do so.”

Pittsburgh delays school opening due to worker shortage

Citing a shortage of bus drivers, Pittsburgh Public Schools plan to delay the start of the school year by two weeks. Yesterday, dozens of parents gathered outside the school district’s administration building in protest, with one parent calling the delay “a huge slap in the face to every Pittsburgher” and another parent concerned that the school district will end up going virtual. The delay needs to be approved by the school board, which plans to vote on August 18.

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