News & Brews September 3, 2021

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Lawmakers still hope to block RGGI

Yesterday, lawmakers took steps to block Pennsylvania from joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative following Wednesday’s vote in favor of joining by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission. StateImpact Pennsylvania reports that “the House Environmental Resources and Energy committee passed a disapproval resolution for the rule. The vote starts a clock of either 30 calendar days or 10 legislative days — whichever is longer — for the full House and Senate to each send a disapproval resolution to the governor.” If they do, Gov. Wolf could veto it, and the Legislature would need a two-thirds majority to override the veto. The story notes, “It’s unclear if they have those votes. An attempt to stop the RGGI process last session passed with a few votes shy of a veto-proof majority.”

Q&As with one gubernatorial candidate & one potential candidate

The Delaware Valley Journal caught up with Sen. Scott Martin (Lancaster County), who is eyeing a bid for the Republican nomination for governor. Why is he considering running? What are his priorities issues? Why should Democrats consider him? The interview covered these questions and more. Read it here. Meanwhile, the progressive Pennsylvania Capital-Star interviewed Nche Zama, a heart surgeon from the Poconos who’s making his first run at public office. Topics ranged from COVID and immigration to school choice. Read the interview here.

Comisac: Gov. Wolf has worn out his welcome

In the wake of Gov. Wolf’s latest mask mandate, Capitolwire’s Chris Comisac penned a scathing rebuke of Wolf’s leadership over the past 18 months, arguing that Wolf’s mandate “has all the look of yet another overreach of his administration’s executive power.” What’s more, Comisac reminds us that “[t]his is the same governor who throughout the summer said local school districts should be making the decision about masking, and later, when pressed about those decisions, urged districts to follow federal guidance and require masks… but he never did anything. Now, because lots of districts – exercising the autonomy he said they should have to react to their local situations – didn’t do what he wanted them to do, his administration is taking away that autonomy and forcing them to do what he wants.” Read Chris’s piece here.

Op-Ed: Lawmakers should listen to parents & teachers, not unions

Brigette Herbst, a former New York public school teacher and current organizing director for Americans for Fair Treatment has an op-ed in Broad + Liberty noting that throughout COVID, “unions and elected officials kept moving the goalposts on how and when schools should open and operate, sowing chaos in schools across the country and eroding the trust of school-aged children and their parents.” Herbst concludes that moving forward, “lawmakers should stop listening to unions and pay attention to parents and teachers.” Read her piece here.

Wolf admin acting ‘erratically’ and is ‘unreliable partner’ on WIC

Last week, I shared that the Wolf administration had abandoned a plan to revamp the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) by ending contracts with existing local providers to administer the program and switching to new providers. But apparently the state still plans to attempt to reconfigure the program soon. The led the Inquirer to report, “The shifting process has become so perplexing that a national expert on WIC declared that Pennsylvania’s WIC office was acting ‘erratically’ and has become ‘an unreliable partner’ to the county agencies it’s charged with administering, as well as to the clients who rely on WIC.” Erratic and unreliable? Hmm, that pretty much sounds like the Wolf administration on multiple issues these past 18 months.

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