News & Brews September 21, 2021

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Judicial candidates seek to reach voters in online forum

Last night, the candidates for four open seats on our three statewide appellate courts participated in an online forum sponsored by Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts and the Free Library of Philadelphia. Having watched the forum, I think the AP did a pretty good job giving the highlights. Commonwealth Partners has endorsed in these races—click here to see our picks.

ChesCo Chamber’s Guy Ciarrocchi enters gubernatorial race

Yesterday, Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry CEO Guy Ciarrocchi officially entered the race for the GOP nomination for governor. Ciarrocchi was a vocal supporter of the recently-passed constitutional amendments to rein in a governor’s emergency powers. On why he’s running, Ciarrocchi said, “Local businesses and employees need help and, more importantly, they need hope. Parents need more good choices for schools for their kids because every child needs an opportunity to succeed. And because our cities should be places we should all want to visit, not places that we flee from. And for Republicans, it is important for the Republican Party to explain not what we’re opposed to…but what we’re for and to offer people some hope and a path going forward.”

State Supreme Court to hear argument today over Marsy’s Law

Today, the state Supreme Court is slated to hear oral argument in the case challenging whether Marsy’s Law—the constitutional amendment enshrining certain victims’ rights in our constitution—should have been split into more than one ballot question. Proposed constitutional amendments are supposed to include only one topic per amendment, but some raised concerns that Marsy’s Law included more than one. Voters overwhelmingly approved the amendment in 2019, but implementation of it has been on hold pending the outcome of the litigation.

PennDOT’s bridge-tolling plan moves forward

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that PennDOT’s plan to toll up to nine bridges is moving ahead, with the goal of “turn[ing] the bridges over to private firms to design and replace them, and then maintain[ing] them for 30 years with the tolls covering the costs.” The earliest the tolls would go into effect is 2023.

Redistricting meetings today

The Legislative Reapportionment Commission will hold two public meetings today. The first, at 10 am this morning, is “to consider matters relating to legislative reapportionment.” (Yes, I know that’s vague. Click the following links for the agenda and resolution to be considered.) The second meeting, at 5 pm this afternoon, is a public hearing “on the Commission’s special interest in learning more about issues requiring attention because of their impact on particular regions or communities of the Commonwealth.” Both meetings will be live-streamed. Click here for the links to watch.

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