News & Brews December 8, 2021

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State Supreme Court set to hear school masking case today

The case challenging the Wolf administration’s statewide school masking mandate will be back in court today, as state Supreme Court justices will hear arguments on the matter. The Commonwealth Court struck down the mandate, but the Wolf administration appealed to the Supreme Court. Wolf has indicated that the mandate will expire on January 17, meaning his appeal is less about the mandate itself and more about wanting the court’s approval to exercise unilateral power.

First GOP gubernatorial debate scheduled

I know, I know —we still have to get through eggnog and fruitcake, but the first GOP gubernatorial debate has been scheduled for January 5, 2022 at Dickinson College. The debate will be from 7-8:30pm and will air on PCN-TV.

One name drops out of GOP gubernatorial fray, endorses another

After deciding not to run for governor, Republican Sen. Dan Laughlin (Erie County), yesterday endorsed Delaware County candidate Dave White.

Natural gas producer calls for change in state’s impact fee

Speaking to attendees at the DUG East and Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conference in Pittsburgh yesterday, Nick Deluliis, CEO of CNX Resources Corp., one of PA’s largest natural gas producers, called for changes in how PA calculates its impact fees on natural gas producers. In making the call, Deluliis highlighted how opponents of natural gas have vilified the industry. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

Op-Ed: Teachers deserve a vote on union representation

In PA, once a union is certified to represent a bargaining unit (including non-union members in that unit), that union is never required to stand for re-election. Chester County health and physical education teacher Matt Eason writes in an op-ed in the Pottstown Mercury that teachers like him deserve a vote on which union—if any—represents them.

Santa Claus is comin’ to town, thanks to taxpayer subsidies?

As PA already doles out hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in corporate welfare each year under the guise of economic growth (think: race horse subsidies), one lawmaker wants to add another tax credit to the mix: the Santa Tax Credit. Rep. Jonathan Fritz (Wayne and Susquehanna counties) plans to introduce legislation to give “a modest tax credit for those hiring Santas or Santas working on their own to help offset Santa-related costs.” What are the accountability measures for these hired Santas? Who will judge the ratio of bags of coal to actual gifts? And how will we know which Santa is the real one? These questions demand answers!

Josh’s Wonderland: Audio version!

Did you miss reading our political director Jeremy Baker’s recent op-ed in Broad + Liberty on how Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s campaign for governor is one fantasy world we hope never becomes reality? Not to fear, the audio version is here! Check it out.

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