News & Brews October 26, 2022

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Fetterman, Oz meet in much-anticipated debate

Last evening, Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz squared off in their one-and-only debate before Election Day. While issues addressed ranged from immigration and inflation to abortion and crime, all eyes were on Fetterman as he seeks to convince Pennsylvanians that he’s able to fulfill the role of senator following his May stroke. The AP reports that “Fetterman struggled at times to explain his positions and often spoke haltingly.” PennLive also noted, “Fetterman’s consistently stilted speech and jumbled sentences in the rapid-fire debate format are likely to fuel more questions about his health….” What remains to be seen is how the debate will impact voters.

House committee hearing this morning on government waste

The House State Government Committee, chaired by Rep. Seth Grove (York County), will hold a hearing this morning at 8:30 “[t]o dive deeper into the problem of wasteful government spending and improper payments.” The committee will hear testimony from experts from the Heritage Foundation, Clifton Larson Allen, the University of Kentucky, Citizens Against Government Waste, and Boston University / NBER. The hearing will be live-streamed here.

Wolf admin, GOP file briefs in mail-in ballot case

The AP reports, “Senior Pennsylvania elections officials argued in a new court filing Tuesday that handwritten dates on the envelopes that many state voters use to mail in ballots should not be deemed mandatory, in part because of a half-century-old legislative ruling deemphasizing their importance.” Meanwhile, Republican plaintiffs argued that the “General Assembly could not have been clearer: an absentee or mail-in voter ‘shall … fill out, date and sign the declaration’ printed on the outer envelope of the ballot.” The state Supreme Court is considering the case on an accelerated basis.

Longtime commissioner of debt-ridden Pa. turnpike easily gets renominated to role

Filed under ‘Things that make you go hmm’: Pat Deon, who has served on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission since 2022, was quickly renominated to his role on Monday. The Center Square observes that “[t]he action took about five minutes and included praise from both Republican and Democrat representation on the committee. No lawmakers mentioned a recent report from the auditor general on the Pennsylvania Turnpike about ‘growing financial issues.'” The turnpike currently has $13.2 billion in debt, which is more than the debt of all of Pennsylvania state government.

General Assembly sends Wolf multiple bills as legislative session nears end

Capitolwire reporter John Finnerty summarizes multiple bills the Legislature sent to Gov. Wolf earlier this week. Among them are: “Legislation that would add sex traffickers to the state’s Megan’s Law list; legislation that would change the Good Samaritan Law in drug overdose incidents; legislation that updates the state laws impacting foster families; and legislation that will allow counties to continue collecting a fee that generates revenue to demolish blighted properties.” The bills now await Wolf’s action.

Write-in candidate drops out of U.S. Senate race

First he announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate (his campaign never got traction). Then, he declared his U.S. Senate candidacy as an independent write-in candidate. Now, he’s dropped out of the Senate race and endorsed John Fetterman, saying “PA must be Blue.” Who is he? If you guessed Everett Stern, you win.

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