News & Brews September 28, 2021
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House committee advances voter ID constitutional amendment
As Gov. Wolf refused to negotiate with lawmakers and then vetoed election reform (only to change his mind on voter ID), lawmakers are opting not to play his game and instead have begun the process of taking the question of voter ID directly to the public. Yesterday, the House State Government Committee passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would require voters to present “valid identification” when voting in person or by mail. The Senate is pursing a similar amendment. As this is a change to the constitution, it would need to pass the full House and Senate in two consecutive legislative sessions and then go to voters for their approval.
Op-Ed: Empower parents, not union leaders
The Commonwealth Foundation’s Nathan Benefield has an op-ed in RealClear Education on the need to empower parents to choose the best educational options for their kids—particularly in light of Gov. Wolf’s bowing to the demands of teachers’ unions that have given him millions of dollars. Benefield breaks down multiple proposed bills in the Legislature that would expand school choice and put parents back in the driver’s seat of their kids’ education.
PennEast stops work on PA-NJ pipeline due to ‘regulatory hurdles’
PennEast has stopped its work on the 120-mile pipeline that was to run from Luzerne County in PA to Mercer County in NJ. LehighValleyLive reports that despite receiving federal approval (and getting the go-ahead from the U.S. Supreme Court), PennEast is stopping the project because of ‘regulatory hurdles’ in New Jersey. The story notes, “The backers for the pipeline are examining further steps needed to start the Pennsylvania portion of the project, but for now ‘PennEast has ceased all further development of the project,’ spokeswoman Pat Kornick said in a statement Monday.”
Gov. Wolf calls on Rep. Boyle to resign
Following Rep. Kevin Boyle’s arrest last week for violating a protection from abuse order and harassment, fellow Democrat Gov. Wolf yesterday called on Boyle to resign. Following his arrest, Boyle is set to have a mental health evaluation. “I think he ought to resign and I think everybody deserves treatment for mental illness,” Wolf said. “He deserves to go through that treatment and I think while he’s going through that treatment, he should not serve in the Legislature.”
Q&A with GOP gubernatorial candidate Lou Barletta
The progressive Pennsylvania Capital-Star continued its interviews with gubernatorial candidates, this time catching up with former U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta. Topics covered included election integrity, immigration, unions, and more. Read the interview here.
First PA March for Life draws thousands
PennLive reports that thousands of people from across the state gathered on the Capitol steps yesterday for the state’s first March for Life. Multiple lawmakers participated in the pro-life event, which was keynoted by former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson, who is now a pro-life advocate. (Incidentally, you’ll notice the PennLive story uses “anti-abortion” rather than “pro-life”. That’s because the Associated Press Stylebook instructs journalists not to use “pro-life.”)