News & Brews September 30, 2022

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Court rules counties can help voters fix mail-in ballots

The Inquirer reports that Commonwealth Court Judge Ellen Ceisler ruled yesterday that nothing in state law prevents counties “from offering voters the opportunity to fix errors like missing signatures that would otherwise cause their [mail-in] ballots to be thrown out.” The Republican National Committee, which brought the lawsuit, “called Ceisler’s decision ‘flawed’ and said it was weighing its options for appeal to the state Supreme Court.”

Day 1 of Krasner hearing filled with testimony from victims’ families

It was a heartbreaking time of testimony as families of Philadelphia’s homicide victims shared their stories of loved ones killed in the city. A theme amid the stories was that District Attorney Larry Krasner’s “office has failed us.” The Delaware Valley Journal is covering the hearings, which will continue this morning at 10am and will be live-streamed here.

How Pa.’s municipal pensions weathered the pandemic

A new policy brief from the Allegheny Institute, based on a recent report by Pa. Auditor General Tim DeFoor, notes that a “large majority” of the state’s municipal pension plans are “in good shape.” Of 1,403 municipalities statewide, “[o]ver 75 percent of municipalities had a score of 0, or no distress. Four municipalities had a score of 3, or severe distress, ranging from 47 percent-to 13 percent-funded.” Read more from the Allegheny Institute here, and read the Center Square’s coverage here.

Candidates for governor, Senate address shale conference in Erie

Pa.’s statewide candidates sought to appeal to attendees at the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s Shale Insight 2022 conference in Erie yesterday. The Erie Times-News reports, “Shapiro and Fetterman stressed the need to be caregivers of the environment and touted their support for unionized industry workers.” Meanwhile, “Oz railed against Democrats and liberals, blasting the so-called Green New Deal proposal and the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, which will invest $369 million to address climate change.” And Mastriano “said his goal as governor would be to make Pennsylvania the nation’s top energy producer and he would on his first day in office withdraw the commonwealth from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.” Read more here.

More than 2,500 apply for marijuana pardons under new program

The progressive Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports, “More than 2,500 Pennsylvanians with minor, nonviolent marijuana criminal convictions have applied for a pardon under a new program launched by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman this month.” When announced, the program immediately drew criticism, with House GOP Spokesman Jason Gottesman saying, “This literal get-out-of-jail-free card is outside the normal scope of the pardons process, lacks serious oversight, and does even more to pick winners and losers in the criminal justice reform process.”

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