News & Brews January 28 2022

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Redistricting hearings could go into the weekend

Yesterday, the Commonwealth Court heard multiple hours of argument as the court began considering proposed congressional maps. Since Gov. Wolf vetoed the citizen-drawn map the Legislature sent him, the decision on the next congressional map is in the court’s hands. The hearing is scheduled to continue today, and Judge Patricia McCullough said it could even continue into the weekend. Meanwhile, PennLive wins the prize for its “Mappapalooza” headline. The story lives up to the name, as it includes a rundown of proposed maps along with links to court submissions by the groups proposing the respective maps. Enjoy.

GOP gubernatorial candidates meet for debate

Last night, 10 Republican candidates for governor took the stage in Blair County to present their visions for Pennsylvania. The Altoona Mirror has a run-down of the event, noting the topics covered included parental choice in education and a restoration of public safety amid rising crime.

Supreme Court denies appeal on Lehigh County mail-in ballots

The state Supreme Court yesterday denied an appeal in the case out of Lehigh County over whether undated mail-in ballots should be counted. This means the ruling of the Commonwealth Court, which rejected the ballots, will stand. According to state law, mail-in ballots must be dated. You can read the Commonwealth Court’s opinion here.

DCED secretary resigning

Dennis Davin, Secretary of the PA Department of Community and Economic Development, which ran Gov. Wolf’s chaotic and unfair business waiver process in Covid’s early days, will resign his post on Feb. 11. Gov. Wolf plans to nominate DCED Deputy Secretary Neil Weaver to become acting secretary.

Some Dem candidates skipping Biden’s PA visit

When President Biden comes to Pittsburgh tomorrow, two prominent candidates for statewide office won’t be there. Democrat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who’s running for U.S. Senate, and Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who’s running for governor, are skipping the event, claiming scheduling conflicts. The AP reports, “The high-profile absences come as Democrats in other states have begun taking modest steps to distance themselves from the first-term president…. And while Fetterman and Shapiro indicated that politics had no bearing on their schedules, their decisions to avoid Biden, particularly in his home state, could fuel further questions among anxious Democratic candidates elsewhere as they decide whether to embrace the struggling president.”

Whoops, I messed up

Yesterday, in the story on the $225 million in hospital aid, I wrote that the House had not yet passed the bill. Turns out the House passed it on Wednesday, and Gov. Wolf signed it the same day.

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