News & Brews October 12, 2021

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(Not) breaking news: Shapiro to announce for governor

Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who’s been running for governor for as long as anyone can remember, reportedly will officially announce his candidacy tomorrow. The announcement is set to come at an event in Pittsburgh. So far, Shapiro is the only Democrat to formally enter the race. The Republican side already has about a dozen candidates (and counting).

State universities see huge enrollment drop

Enrollment at Pennsylvania’s 14 state universities dropped more than 5% this year–or more than 5,000 students. This was the biggest one-year drop in more than a decade, and enrollment is now the lowest it’s been in more than 30 years.The decline comes as the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is in the process of merging six of its universities into two new institutions.

Report: Democrats losing votes in ‘factory towns’

A report from American Family Voices (a left-of-center political group) and 21st Century Democrats (a group that works to elect progressives to office) concludes that over the past decade, Democrats have lost more than 2 million votes in “factory towns.”These towns are described as “manufacturing-heavy working-class towns that are not part of huge urban areas, but are not farming-dominated rural counties either.” The report looked at 853 counties in 10 states, including Pennsylvania, to conclude that Democrats lost “major ground” and that Democrat voting losses in these counties were far more than the gains Democrats made in big cities and big-city suburbs. Read the report here, or read the Center Square’s highlights from the report here.

Yudichak: Natural gas industry essential to economic opportunity

Sen. John Yudichak (Carbon and Luzerne counties) has an excellent op-ed in the Delaware Valley Journal explaining that Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry is essential to our economic growth and prosperity. In light of “environmental extremists” seeking to eliminate the natural gas industry in PA, Yudichak writes, “Over the last decade, natural gas production in Pennsylvania has helped reduce CO2 emissions in the United States by 758 million metric tons – more than any country in the world and nearly matching the entire CO2 reductions for all of Europe.” Read his piece here.

Fetterman claims he’s saving money, but…really?

Lt. Gov. (and U.S. Senate candidate) John Fetterman is claiming that his office has spent $776,000 less than it was appropriated over the past two years. Fetterman is part of an administration that overspent the approved budget by more than $1 billion (in 2019-20 alone), so there’s that. But regardless, our president and CEO Matt Brouillette isn’t buying Fetterman’s claim. Matt told PennLive, “Just because he [Fetterman] spent it elsewhere in government he wants to call it savings? That’s typical Democratic math. Taxpayers did not realize a single penny of savings from this administration. In fact, it’s only cost them more.”

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