News & Brews August 26, 2021

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Wolf asks legislature to pass school mask mandate

Yesterday, Gov. Wolf asked the Legislature to return to the Capitol to pass a bill mandating masks in K-12 schools statewide, as well as in child-care centers. Remember back in August (oh wait, that was this month) when Wolf said mask requirements should be left up to local school districts? That was soooo yesterday. Meanwhile, a House spokesperson said the House agrees with Wolf—the early-August Wolf, that is—that decisions on mask mandates should be made locally.

Op-Ed: Parents need to be in driver’s seat of their kids’ education

Rep. Andrew Lewis (Dauphin County) has an op-ed in PennLive noting that given the uncertainties of the past 18 months, “[p]arents and students need an array of choices to best address each child’s unique learning needs and safety concerns.” Lewis writes that his recently introduced legislation, HB1, would ensure just this through multiple means, including establishing educational opportunity accounts, expanding Pennsylvania’s highly popular tax credit scholarship programs, and protecting pandemic learning pods. Read Rep. Lewis’s piece here.

SEPA lawmaker says teens, not parents, should make vax choice

Sen. Amanda Cappelletti (Delaware and Montgomery counties) plans to introduce legislation stripping parents of the authority to decide which vaccines their children ages 14 and older receive. Instead, Cappelletti says teens should be able to make their own vaccine choices. (I’m sure Snapchat and TikTok would appropriately equip them to do so.) The Delaware Valley Journal took a look at Cappelletti’s proposal.

Wolf’s opioid disaster declaration expires

Yesterday, the15th iteration of Gov. Wolf’s opioid disaster declaration, the first of which he issued in January of 2018, expired after the General Assembly opted not to renew it under the recently passed constitutional amendments. In explaining their decision, House and Senate leadership wrote a letter to Wolf highlighting the work done over the past five years to combat the crisis and the plans for continued efforts to this end.

Redistricting hearing this morning

The House State Government Committee, chaired by Rep. Seth Grove (York County), will hold another regional hearing on congressional redistricting this morning at 9 am. This one will take place in Uniontown in Fayette County and will be live-streamed here. For the full schedule of regional hearings, along with information on each, click here.

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