News & Brews February 28, 2022

Get News & Brews in your inbox each day: Subscribe here!

PA ditches Russian liquor in protest against invasion of Ukraine

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) “instructed all Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores and licensee service centers to remove Russian-made products from shelves as a show of solidarity and support for the people of Ukraine. Russian-made Special Order products are also no longer available,” according to a PLCB press release. The move came after several Republican lawmakers on Saturday sent the PLCB a letter requesting this action so “not even one penny from our Pennsylvania economy will be sent to benefit the Russian economy during this time.” According to Rep. David Rowe, one of the signers of the letter, “a spokesperson for the PLCB initially declined.” Then, yesterday, Gov. Wolf joined lawmakers in the call, and the PLCB took action.

Court rejects request to use current legislative maps

On Friday, the state Supreme Court rejected a request from House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff to use current state legislative maps for this year’s elections, as the newly redrawn maps are facing court challenges. The court did not, however, rule on Benninghoff’s request to declare the redrawn maps unconstitutional. The Post-Gazette has the story.

Op-Ed: Examining Wolf’s revisionist history

What do you do when you couldn’t accomplish most of your agenda as governor? Apparently, take credit for the Legislature’s accomplishments. The Commonwealth Foundation’s Elizabeth Stelle has an op-ed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette outlining what Gov. Wolf can—and cannot—legitimately take credit for and concluding, “Go-it-alone governing is not a recipe for economic prosperity or a proud political legacy.” Read her piece here.

$100,000 Club: 11,887 state employees get paid six figures

PennLive’s Jan Murphy takes her annual look at Pennsylvania’s $100,000 Club—which is the group of state employees who get paid at least six figures. In 2021, the club grew by 550 members to reach 11,887. (This increase was smaller than the 2019-20 increase, which was 1,586.) “Most striking,” Murphy writes, “is that the top 10 earners in the $100,000 Club for the first time all were paid more than $400,000, with one on the cusp of hitting the half-million mark.” She also notes, “For some employees, their salary alone topped six figures. Others reached that threshold when other forms of compensation were added to their salary.” Check out her story for a searchable, sortable list of club members. And check out her companion piece for some additional facts and figures on the list.

Local DA rebuffs Corman’s request to investigate Mastriano’s campaign finances

Franklin County District Attorney Matthew Fogal said in no uncertain terms that he will not investigate Sen. and gubernatorial candidate Jake Corman’s accusation that fellow Sen. and gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano committed perjury in originally failing to report many campaign contributions and expenses. In a statement Friday evening, Fogal wrote, “This is a political stunt and I have more important work to do for the citizens of Franklin County. Even a negligent attempt to politically weaponize a District Attorney is dangerous and that is what has occurred in this instance.” The Inquirer has more.

Sign up to get News & Brews in your inbox