News & Brews September 22, 2021

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Redistricting commission amends decision counting inmates

Yesterday, the Legislative Reapportionment Commission amended its decision from last month to count state inmates in the districts where they lived prior to incarceration (unless they are serving life sentences or lived in another state before being incarcerated). Under the amended policy, only state inmates whose sentences expire in fewer than 10 years will be counted in their home districts.

Dems quietly strip lawmaker of committee chair, limit Capitol access

In a move that’s raised some questions, Democrat leadership in the state House removed Rep. Kevin Boyle (Philadelphia and Montgomery counties) as chair of the House Finance Committee and limited his access to the Capitol. Boyle says he thinks Democrat leaders were given “incorrect information” about him over the summer. It’s not clear what that information was.

State Supreme Court hears argument over Marsy’s Law

Yesterday, the state Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case challenging the legality of Marsy’s Law, a constitutional amendment that would enshrine certain victims’ rights in our state constitution. Voters overwhelmingly approved the amendment in 2019, but it’s been challenged on grounds that it violates the requirement that constitutional amendments address only a single subject. Marsy’s Law includes 15 rights. Read more here.

PennDOT invites public comment on transportation, freight plans

The public comment period is open for a proposed Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and Freight Movement Plan (FMP), PennDOT announced yesterday. PennLive reports, “The LRTP sets an overall strategic direction for Pennsylvania’s transportation system for 20 years and the FMP reviews current and future trends in freight transportation to improve multimodal freight movement for five years.” The plans and comment forms are available here.

Philly Parking Authority has new chair

The Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) has been criticized for patronage, scandal, and randomly towing cars without advance notice (among other things). Well, this gem of a government agency now has a new chair as attorney Beth Grossman won unanimous approval from PPA’s board yesterday. Grossman said her “priorities are continuing to improve various aspects of the authority, including customer service, efficiency, and public safety.” I’m thinking several other things could use improvement, too. The part-time job pays $75,000 per year.

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