News & Brews December 20 2021

Get News & Brews in your inbox each day: Subscribe here!

Dems want court to draw congressional map again (…and again)

Remember back in April, when the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), founded by former president Barack Obama and his former Attorney General Eric Holder, backed a lawsuit asking the PA court to prepare to hijack the Legislature’s role (again, as the court did this in 2018) and draw our congressional map? The court tossed the case in October over “lack of standing and ripeness.” Well, last week the same petitioners brought another case, asking the court (again…again) to hijack the Legislature’s role and impose a map. They claim (again) that our current congressional map is now unconstitutional—you know, the one the state Supreme Court imposed in 2018 at Democrats’ request. Can’t make this up.

Is crowded GOP gubernatorial field a help or hindrance?

As Democrats coalesce around Attorney General Josh Shapiro as their gubernatorial candidate, the GOP field stands at more than a dozen. The Federalist Senior Contributor Gabe Kaminsky had a piece in RealClear Politics looking at the crowded field and asking: Will so many choices ultimately help or hurt Republican chances of winning in November?

Who would face off against whom under proposed state maps?

State House and Senate district maps still have to be finalized after the Legislative Reapportionment Commission gave them preliminary approval last week. But the progressive Pennsylvania Capital-Star is keeping a running tally of who would face off against whom under the proposed maps, along with who has already announced they’re not seeking re-election next year. See the lists here.

Wolf says negotiating with legislature on map is not his job

In classic Lone Wolf fashion, Gov. Wolf announced last week that negotiating with the Legislature on a new congressional map is not his job. As a reminder, congressional maps are passed just like other legislation—with approval from the General Assembly and then signed (or vetoed) by the governor. But as with so many other issues (think: COVID policies, election reform), Wolf isn’t coming to the negotiating table. Instead, after sharing his guiding principles with lawmakers, Wolf said, “If I get something that looks like that I’ll sign it. If I don’t, I’ll veto.” In response, House GOP spokesperson Jason Gottesman said, “Not engaging with the legislature is classic Tom Wolf. People want to talk about gridlock and why things don’t get done on a bipartisan basis and things can’t work smoothly between the legislature and the governor it’s not that we don’t reach out to him it’s that he doesn’t want to work with us.” Read more here.

PA ranks 29th in state business tax climate

The Tax Foundation released its 2022 State Business Tax Climate Index, and sadly, PA doesn’t rank too well. We came in 29th on the list, which “is designed to show how well states structure their tax system.” The index is comprised of five component tax ranks, in which PA ranks as follows: corporate tax rank (44th), individual income tax rank (19th), sales tax rank (17th), property tax rank (15th), and unemployment insurance tax rank (21st). To view the full index, click here.

Op-Ed: PA again tops judicial hellholes list—can it get worse?

After PA courts again made the American Tort Reform Foundation’s list of ‘judicial hellholes,’ Curt Schroder, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform, warns of an effort underway to make our judicial landscape even worse. Read his piece here.

Sign up to get News & Brews in your inbox