News & Brews December 29 2021

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Political stories that happened … and didn’t … in 2021

From election reform to amending our state constitution, the Delaware Valley Journal looks at five political stories—three that happened and two that didn’t—in 2021. Take a look here.

Public hearings scheduled for redrawn state House, Senate maps

Six public hearings have been scheduled over the next two weeks for residents to voice their opinions on the preliminary state House and Senate maps. Four hearings hosted by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission will be at 3pm and 6pm on January 6 and at 9am and 1pm on January 7. (Click here for more info on these.) Two hearings hosted by the House Republican Policy Committee will be at 4pm on January 4 and at 4pm on January 11. PennLive has more.

Senate staffers getting 5% raise in 2022

On Dec. 23, Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman informed all 732 Senate staffers that they will receive a 5% raise, effective January 1. It will be the first cost-of-living adjustment these staffers have seen in five years. Read more at PennLive.

Supreme Court releases full opinion in mask mandate strike down

The AP reported that on Thursday, the state Supreme Court “released its rationale for why it ruled that Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration had no legal authority to require masks in Pennsylvania’s schools and child care centers….” According to the 6-0 opinion (available here), the lack of an emergency disaster declaration or a specific regulation meant the administration lacked the authority to issue the mandate.

Op-Ed: The biggest PA business story of 2021 that you haven’t heard

Remember back in 2018 when Amazon’s “HQ2” site selection captured the media’s attention? Well, Carl Marrara, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, writes that a project more than twice as big as Amazon’s HQ2 is coming to Luzerne County, and he offers some ideas on why many Pennsylvanians have never heard of it. Read his piece here.

McCormick gets some GOP backing in Senate bid

Hedge Fund CEO David McCormick is drawing some GOP establishment support in his yet-to-be-announced campaign for U.S. Senate. The AP reported that longtime PA Republican national committeewoman Christine Toretti, former GOP state party chair Rob Gleason, and GOP fundraisers Pat Deon and Bill Sasso are among McCormick’s backers.

PennDOT funding plans not popular with all lawmakers

The Post-Gazette gives an update on PennDOT’s hopes to increase revenue by tolling nine major bridges, implementing package delivery fees and surcharges on ridesharing services, and switching from a gas tax to a fee-for-mileage tax. Some GOP lawmakers, however, aren’t on board. Read more here.

We’ll be back on January 4 with our regular emails. Happy New Year!

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