News & Brews December 23 2021

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Court ready to step in on congressional map if no agreement reached

In response to lawsuits requesting that the courts take over the congressional redistricting process, the Commonwealth Court is prepared to step in on the mapmaking. The court indicated that if the Legislature and Gov. Wolf do not agree on a map by January 30, 2022, the court will, indeed, select a map from among those submitted to the court by parties to the case. The case docket is here, where you can read the court’s order, dated December 20, 2021 (you’ll have to scroll way down). 

Acting Sec’t of State warns lawmakers over state redistricting timeline

On the state redistricting front, Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid sent a letter to the Legislative Reapportionment Commission on Tuesday, warning commission members that the timeline for redrawing state House and Senate maps may require delaying the primary election next year. The AP reports that Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward said such a delay would be only “a last resort.” Meanwhile, Rep. Seth Grove tweeted, “We aren’t moving the primary. Remedies are already provided for: (1) Previous courts ruled state legislators can run on their current maps. (2) Federal law is clear: if no Congressional maps then all 17 districts will run statewide w/ the same nomination process as Gov.”

Back to School PA has new executive director, expanded mission

Back to School PA, which drew attention for engaging in school board elections with the goal of ensuring kids have access to in-person education, has named Beth Ann Rosica as its new executive director. Back to School PA has also “expanded its mission from keeping schools open and holding those accountable for closing schools to addressing the large learning loss and mental and behavioral health issues related to school closures.”

WSJ Editorial: A Larry Krasner Christmas

Philly’s Democrat District Attorney Larry Krasner has landed on the receiving end of a scathing Wall Street Journal editorial due to the city’s record homicides this year (544 so far) and Krasner’s soft-on-crime position. Just yesterday, Philly’s crime spree reached a PA Congresswoman, as the editorial notes, “Even as we were writing this, a report came over the wire that U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon was carjacked and robbed at gunpoint on Wednesday afternoon shortly after finishing a meeting at FDR Park in Philly.” Thankfully, Scanlon was not hurt.

Wolf vetoes curriculum transparency bill

Yesterday, Gov. Wolf vetoed a bill that would have required school districts to post online information about curriculum, claiming it “politicizes what is being taught in our schools.” Apparently, telling taxpayers what they’re paying for is now too political for Wolf’s “government that works.”

News & Brews will take a break over the holidays. We’ll post one Holiday News Roundup mid-next week and then return on Tuesday, January 4.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

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