News & Brews December 14, 2021

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Acting Sec’t of Health Alison Beam to resign

Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam will resign her post by the end of 2021, Gov. Wolf’s office announced yesterday. The announcement comes in the wake of the state Supreme Court striking down Beam’s statewide school mask mandate on Friday. Wolf plans to name Department of Health Executive Deputy Secretary Keara Klinepeter to succeed Beam as acting secretary.

Corman won’t seek Senate re-election as he runs for governor

Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman announced yesterday that he will not run for re-election to the state Senate as he focuses on his campaign for governor.In a statement, Corman noted, “As I prepare to conclude my final term in the Senate, I want to thank the great people of the 34th senatorial district for all of their support and encouragement. I will always be honored by the trust and faith you placed in me.” PennLive has more.

The latest on state and congressional redistricting

Yesterday, the House State Government Committee advanced two bills “that could eventually contain a negotiated map that redraws the boundaries of congressional districts,” PennLive reports. The bills don’t contain completed maps, but Committee Chair Seth Grove said their purpose is to have legislative vehicles in place so the process can move quickly once they do have maps. Meanwhile, the Legislative Reapportionment Commission, responsible for drawing state legislative maps, will reportedly meet on Thursday to vote on preliminary maps.

Philly to mandate vaccine for doing just about anything involving food

Following such stellar examples of liberty as New York City and San Francisco, Philly officials yesterday announced that come January 3, you must be vaxxed to partake in city society via any of the following spaces: indoor restaurants; cafes in larger spaces (think museums); bars; sports venues where food and drink are served, i.e. the Wells Fargo Center (but not Lincoln Financial Field, except for indoor areas); movie theaters; bowling alleys, theaters or concert halls where food and drink are served; conventions where food is served; catering halls; casinos where food and drink is allowed on the floor; food court seating areas, and seated restaurants or bars at the Philly airport. Also, there are exceptions, including congregate care facilities and soup kitchens, which of course makes no sense unless we can perhaps deduce from Philly’s own mandate reasoning that the city just doesn’t care about these populations. I predict this will not end well.

Senate passes bill to prevent vaccine mandate for school attendance

Yesterday, the Senate voted 28-21 in favor of legislation that would prevent school children from being required to get the COVID vaccine as a condition of attending school. In a statement, Gov. Wolf’s office said, “The administration has no plans to mandate vaccines for K-12 schools so this is nothing more than a waste of time and taxpayer money….” That’s funny. Remember back in July—oh, and August too!—when the Wolf administration repeatedly said there were “no plans” for a statewide school mask mandate? Yeah, we see how that one turned out.

Opioid settlement battle continues between Shapiro, local DAs

The Post-Gazette reports that Attorney General Josh Shapiro is warning local district attorneys that they have until January 2 to agree to his $1 billion settlement with opioid manufacturers/distributors—or risk losing money. I’ve shared about the clashbefore: Shapiro is touting his ‘historic’ settlement, but some DAs are saying not so fast as they think they can get more money for their residents via their own lawsuits. Yesterday the Commonwealth Court heard oral argument in the case of Philly DA Larry Krasner suing Shapiro over the settlement. Given that Shapiro’s previous intent on getting credit for a lawsuit cost PA landowners millions of dollars, I can’t say I really blame the DAs.

Garrity visits all 67 PA counties

Fulfilling a campaign promise to visit all 67 counties during her first year in office, state Treasurer Stacy Garrity made her final stops last week. After wrapping up her statewide listening tour with stops in Northumberland, Franklin, Carbon, and Pike counties, Garrity stated, “There are no forgotten corners in my Pennsylvania, and I intend to maintain these connections in the years going forward.”

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