News & Brews January 25 2022

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General Assembly sends citizen-drawn congressional map to Wolf

The Senate voted 29-20 yesterday to pass the congressional map that the House had previously passed. GOP Rep. Seth Grove (York County) noted this is the first time in history that “a congressional map [has] been drawn by a resident and then approved by the Legislature.” Nevertheless, Gov. Wolf (who said negotiating a map isn’t his job and then offered a last-minute map without any input from the redistricting advisory council that he created) plans to veto it. What’s next? Spotlight PA notes, “It’s likely the state courts will pick the final map.”

Tensions rise at hearing on liquor privatization

Not surprisingly, yesterday’s House committee hearing on a proposed constitutional amendment to privatize our liquor system wasn’t boring. GOP Rep. Natalie Mihalek (Allegheny and Washington counties) noted that our state liquor monopoly is “an anti-consumer relic born out of one man’s disdain for the consumption of alcohol,” that man being former PA Gov. Gifford Pinchot. Meanwhile, UFCW 1776 President Wendell Young argued that giving voters a choice over whether to privatize liquor doesn’t give voters a choice (ummm). Check out more coverage here.

Op-Ed: Academics, sports, and school choice

Colleen Hroncich, policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom, and Marc LeBlond, senior policy analyst at the Commonwealth Foundation, have a joint op-ed in Broad + Liberty on how student athletes in one private school in western PA are being penalized by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association simply because their parents exercised school choice. Read more here.

School board member to parents: ‘I don’t work for you’

You may have already seen this story as it’s hit the national stage, but York Suburban School Board member Richard Robinson wrote a rather testy column for the York Dispatch, telling parents that he doesn’t work for them and taking issue with the belief that parents know what’s best for their children. He also accused some members of his community of having “the collective intelligence of a village idiot.” Read his column here, and/or read the summary in the Center Square. Needless to say, reaction to the column has not been in Mr. Robinson’s favor.

House committee to consider labor reform bills today

The House Labor & Industry Committee will consider several bills today aimed at reforming public sector labor law. Specifically, the bills would protect workers’ privacy, bring greater transparency to government union contracts, ensure workers are notified of their rights, and prevent taxpayer resources from being used for political ends. The bills are HB 844, HB 845, HB 2042, and HB 2048. The 10am hearing will be live-streamed here.

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