News & Brews December 13, 2021

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State Supreme Court strikes down Wolf’s school mask mandate

Late Friday, the state Supreme Court struck down the Wolf administration’s statewide school mask mandate, issuing a brief order affirming the Commonwealth Court’s ruling against the mandate and noting that the opinion will be coming. Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, who was a plaintiff in the case in his capacity as a parent, stated, “Today’s ruling is a victory for parents and communities whose opinions have been ignored by the Wolf Administration for far too long….”

Sen. Scott Martin officially joins race for governor

On Saturday, Sen. Scott Martin (Lancaster County) officially announced his candidacy for governor. In his announcement, Martin said, “I’m running for governor … because I know we can change everything for families and small businesses by focusing on the small things government can actually do to get out of the way and ignite and empower our greatest resource: our people.” As a state senator, Martin has been a champion for school choice and limited government. Read more on Martin’s announcement in the LNP.

House committee to take up congressional redistricting plan today

This morning at 8:00 am, the House State Government Committee, chaired by Rep. Seth Grove (York County), will consider the congressional redistricting map submitted by Lehigh County resident Amanda Holt and selected by the committee last week as the preliminary redistricting plan. The meeting will be live-streamed here.

Op-Ed: Pennsylvania Democrats have a union problem

Michael Torres had a great op-ed in RealClear Policy detailing how the uber-cozy relationship between PA Democrats and labor unions may be “so engrained” that Democrats “are unable to recognize the pitfalls” of the alliances. Read his piece here.

SERS follows PSERS on new travel rules

The State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) has followed the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) in changing its travel rules to “no longer permit hedge funds and other outside firms to book flights and hotels for the fund’s investment experts,” the Inquirer reports. The change comes amid criticism, including from former state Treasurer Joe Torsella, that “the luxury trips reflected a far too cozy relationship between the systems’ investment staff and the private firms they negotiated with.”

Turnpike preps for toll collection on nine bridges

Although the plan for PennDOT to toll nine bridges is still under consideration, the Pennsylvania Turnpike will be installing overhead tolling gantries on the bridges, the Post-Gazette reports. The story notes, “The turnpike is an obvious choice to operate the collection system — something PennDOT hasn’t done.” Read more here.

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