News & Brews October 19, 2021

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U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle to retire

Democrat Rep. Mike Doyle (PA-18), who has served in Congress since 1995 and is the most senior member of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, announced yesterday that he will not seek re-election next year. Doyle’s announcement could set up an interesting primary battle for the Democrat nomination for the seat. Recently, news came out that Democrat Socialist Rep. Summer Lee was already considering a run.

Op-Ed: Gov’t to blame for surge in common childhood viruses

Senate Education Committee Chair Scott Martin has an op-ed in The Philadelphia Inquirer picking up on a recent Inky story noting that the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP’s) “beds are overflowing, but not because of COVID-19.” Martin explains thatmonths of isolation imposed by Gov. Wolf’s shutdown policies meant kids did not build up immunity to common viruses. What’s more, he relates that “CHOP is coping with a surge in admissions of adolescents and younger children struggling with severe anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Children with conditions such as autism are likewise experiencing problems caused by the disruptions and isolation during the pandemic.” Finally, he emphasizes that “plenty of people were warned about the potential of these kinds of consequences as the policies were being forced on all of us. But people like the governor and the president said they knew better….” Read his piece here.

State College among towns considering challenging census numbers

Several college towns across the country, including State College, are considering challenging the population counts from the most recent census, alleging their populations were undercounted due to COVID school closures.

Senate committee passes curriculum transparency bill

Yesterday, the Senate Education Committee passed legislation, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Lewis (Dauphin County), that would “require public school districts to publish on their websites the actual curriculum that will be taught for each grade and for each subject area, so parents can review the lessons and textbooks in advance of the school year.” The vote was party line, with all Democrats opposing the transparency measure. The bill, which passed the House earlier this month, now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

National supply chain disaster hitting PA schools

It should come as no surprise that the unfolding supply chain disaster is hitting home here in PA. PennLive reports that central PA schools are “scrambl[ing] to feed students” in the face of supply chain problems and a shortage of truck drivers. And there’s concern the situation isn’t going to improve anytime soon.

Dems continue to oppose transparency law targeting disease data

The Morning Call recently gave a run-down of the partisan battle over amending the 1955 Disease Prevention and Control Law to make disease data subject to the state’s Right-to-Know law. The story is particularly interesting in that it also reports how the Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association (PNA) agrees with Republicans that the change is needed, and how PNA debunks the opposition claims made by Democrats.

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