News & Brews March 16, 2022

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As petition deadline passes, dozens file to run for office

The filing deadline for nomination petitions for candidates running for office (except for state House and Senate) was yesterday, and the large field of candidates for U.S. Senate, governor, lieutenant governor, and U.S. Congress didn’t whittle down by too much. The AP gives a rundown of the dozens of candidates who gathered enough signatures to get on the primary ballot. Challenges to the petitions must be filed within one week, and then the courts have an additional week to rule on the challenges.

House, Senate education committees vote to disapprove of Wolf’s charter regulations

Yesterday in separate meetings, the House and Senate education committees voted to send letters to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) disapproving of the Wolf administration’s new regulations targeting charter and cyber charter schools. Senate Education Committee Chair Scott Martin (Lancaster County) stated, “These proposed regulations will jeopardize the educational future of thousands of low-income, minority and special education students through burdensome, unfunded mandates.” And House Ed Committee Chair Curt Sonney (Erie County) said, “I hope the department [of education] will withdraw these and start anew. If not, these regulations would harm the 170,000 Pennsylvania students enrolled in charter schools and the tens of thousands of students who are on a waitlist.” Both votes were party line, with all Democrats voting against sending the letter. Click here to view some of the concerns over the regulations.

How Lehigh Valley became ‘logistics hub’ of the northeast

Charles McElwee, the editor of RealClear Pennsylvania, has a feature piece in the City Journal, analyzing how Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley “evolved” to become the “prime territory for retailers like Amazon and Walmart but also for third-party logistics: the outsourced assembly and storage of companies’ products in warehouses, often called ‘fulfillment’ centers, and their distribution through freight services.” Check it out here.

State university consolidations get approval from accrediting body

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education yesterday announced its accreditation approval for Commonwealth University and Pennsylvania Western University, the two new universities formed from the consolidation of six state universities. The approval gives the new universities the authority to grant degrees, beginning July 1. PennLive has the story.

Longtime state lawmaker to retire

Republican State Senator Robert “Tommy” Tomlinson (Bucks County) announced he will not seek re-election this year. Tomlinson has served in the Senate since 1995 and, prior to that, served in the House from 1991-1994. The Bucks County Courier Times has more.

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