News & Brews April 1, 2022

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Dems walk out of hearing on ballot drop boxes

Democrats on the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee walked out of a hearing on ballot drop boxes yesterday, claiming it was a waste of time and “yet another partisan hack job to perpetuate the Big Lie,” referring to the claim that voter fraud led to President Biden’s 2020 victory. Meanwhile, Committee Chair Cris Dush noted that “[e]very member of the Democrat Party on this committee has a lawsuit ongoing that indicates we don’t have the authority to conduct this investigation.” Read more at PennLive.

Poll: GOP voters largely undecided in PA governor, Senate races

According to a new WHTM/Emerson College Polling/The Hill poll, 50.5% of PA GOP primary voters are undecided when it to the U.S. Senate race, and nearly 49% are undecided when it comes to the gubernatorial race. On the Senate side, Mehmet Oz and David McCormick garnered the most support, at 14.4% and 14.3%, respectively, while in the governor’s race, Doug Mastriano leads with 16.2% and Lou Barletta follows at 12.4%. In the Democrat primary for Senate, John Fetterman leads Conor Lamb 33% to 10%. ABC27 has more.

Lawmaker seeks to remove barriers to telehealth for mental health

The Center Square reports that “as temporary waivers approved during Covid-19 are made permanent,” legislation introduced by Republican Rep. Tina Picket (Bradford, Sullivan, and Susquehanna counties) “would allow psychiatrists to offer mental health services virtually like they do with in-person services.” The story notes that rather than increasing funding, Pickett’s bill would eliminate regulations that block telehealth growth.

Group wants open primaries in PA

The LNP reports that the Committee of Seventy, through a project called Ballot PA, is working to open Pennsylvania’s primary elections to independent voters. Currently, only registered Republicans or Democrats can vote in their respective primaries, by which each party picks its nominees to run in the November General Election. Ballot PA is also backed by the left-wing League of Women Voters, which was behind the court case that led the PA Supreme Court to toss out our congressional map in 2018 and impose one of its own.

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