News & Brews October 21, 2021
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Shapiro has more than $10M in his bid for governor
Democrat Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro told the media that he has more than $10 million cash on hand in his campaign coffers. Although Shapiro isn’t officially required to file a campaign finance report until January, his announcement is undoubtedly intended to deter any Democrats who might be thinking of challenging him in a primary election. What to think of the cash haul? Well, it’s a lot of money raised for a guy who just declared his candidacy for governor last week. But for a guy who (as everyone knows) has been perpetually running for governor for the past six years, perhaps it’s less impressive.
Lawmakers seek to prevent ‘potentially corrupting influence’ of private election funding
Senators Kristin Phillips-Hill (York County) and Lisa Baker (Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming counties) plan to introduce legislation to safeguard elections against potentially partisan and corrupting funding from private third-party entities. The move comes after recent reports that the Wolf administration worked closely with the Mark Zuckerberg-funded Center for Tech and Civic Life to invite Democrat-leaning counties to apply for election funding from the left-leaning organization.
Op-Ed: Three education bills to empower parents
What do James Bond and educational opportunity have in common? Well, you’ll have to read the Commonwealth Foundation’s Jennifer Stefano’s latest op-ed in the Philly Inquirer to find out. And while you’re there, don’t miss her explanation of three bills currently in the Legislature that would give parents more control over their kids’ education.
Op-Ed: PA’s air quality has improved
Kevin Sunday of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry “clears the air” on recent misleading claims about PA’s air quality. He writes, “Air quality in Pennsylvania – and the nation – has gotten significantly better in recent years and industry is leading the way, deploying billions in private capital to reduce emissions and increase sustainability. As a result, Pennsylvania is seeing dramatically fewer days of poor air quality.” Read his piece here!
Podcast: Paul Martino talks Back to School PAC
The Delaware Valley Journal podcast caught up with venture capitalist Paul Martino, who is supporting the Back to School PAC, which is focused on electing school board members who believe in keeping kids in school, in person. Martino talks about the PAC’s purpose and goals, why its work continues to be important, and the bipartisan nature of the PACs efforts in contrast to claims from opponents of the group.
Commonwealth Court hears arguments on mandatory school masking
Yesterday, a Commonwealth Court panel heard oral argument in two cases challenging the Department of Health’s school masking mandate. The Tribune-Review reports, “The first contends that the order is unlawful because it is a new regulation that did not go through the proper rule-making process. In addition, it alleges that masks are not a ‘disease prevention and control measure’ under existing law. The second petition argues that the order violates rights to religious freedom.” Regarding the first argument, judges pressed the Department of Health attorney on “why — 20 months into the pandemic — the state hadn’t just gone through the rule-making process to create new regulations relative to covid-19 and masking.” The court did not indicate when it would issue a decision.
Senate committee hears Wolf’s plans to cut funding for charter school students
Yesterday, the Senate Education Committee began hearing more on Gov. Wolf’s supposed “charter reform” effort, which, in reality, would cut funding from public charter school students at the behest of Wolf’s union donors. Let’s hope all lawmakers see through the charade.