News & Brews February 16, 2022

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Wolf admin proposes new primary election calendar, keeping primary date

After the state Supreme Court temporarily suspended our primary election calendar (relating to nomination petitions) and as the court prepares to hear oral argument this Friday over our congressional map, the Wolf administration proposed its own timeline to the court. For state House and Senate races, the Department of State proposed a timeframe of only nine days for candidates to circulate and file nomination petitions to get on the ballot. By comparison, the typical timeframe is three weeks.

State House map draws legal challenge

Three Butler County residents have challenged the newly redrawn state House map in court, arguing the map, which divides Butler County into four districts, makes county residents “victims of excessive partisan or political classifications and other circumstances orchestrated to protect incumbent state representatives.” The AP reports, “Additional challenges are expected, likely including from state House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, a Centre County Republican.”

Lawmaker to propose work requirements for Medicaid recipients

Republican Rep. Seth Grove (York County) plans to introduce legislation that would implement “work and community engagement policies” for Medicaid recipients. In his cosponsorship memo, Grove writes, “This idea draws from President Clinton’s successful Welfare to Work program through and up to the current administration which recently put out guidelines promoting work and community engagement. The intention, is to further incentivize current enrollees who are able to work or serve our community to find employment, job training, or volunteer opportunities.” We applaud Rep. Grove for his effort to help able-bodied adults return to the workforce.

Mastriano subpoenaed by January 6 panel

Republican state Senator and gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano is one of six who received subpoenas yesterday from the January 6 committee. Democrat Rep. Bernie Thompson of Mississippi, who chairs the committee, wrote the committee “would like to better understand” statements Mastriano made about what he witnessed that day and communications the committee believes Mastriano “had with national, state and local officials” regarding the results of the 2020 elections. Mastriano has called the January 6 violence “unacceptable.”

House budget hearings continue today

The House Appropriates Committee will continue its series of budget hearings today. At 10am, the committee will hear from the Department of Corrections, and at 1pm the Department of General Services/Office of Administration is scheduled to testify. Find links to watch both hearings here.

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