News & Brews November 4, 2022

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New Trafalgar poll: Oz up by 2, Shapiro by 4

A new Trafalgar Group poll shows Republican Mehmet Oz leading Democrat John Fetterman 47.7% to 45.5% in the race for U.S. Senate, while Democrat Josh Shapiro leads Republican Doug Mastriano 49.7% to 45.4% in the race for governor. The poll, which was conducted Nov. 1-3, surveyed 1,097 likely voters and has a 2.9% margin of error.

Pa. Dep’t of State issues new guidance on mail-in ballots

After brazenly saying a ruling on undated ballots by the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t matter, the Pa. Department of State has apparently conceded that a ruling by the state Supreme Court should be followed. Yesterday, the Department issued new guidancesaying counties should segregate undated and incorrectly dated mail-in ballots. The state did not define “incorrectly dated.

Wolf signs $2B natural gas subsidy package

Last week, I shared that after quiet negotiations, lawmakers sent Gov. Wolf a $2 billion tax break package for certain natural gas development. Wolf has now signed the package, which, as Spotlight PA reports, “will provide $50 million a year in tax breaks to a company that agrees to produce hydrogen for 20 years and increase an existing methane tax credit by $30 million to $56.5 million annually…. The legislation also includes $15 million annually over eight years for a milk processing project, $10 million annually over 5 years for biomedical research, and $10 million annually over 5 years for semiconductor production.” City & State PA notes, “The bill was negotiated behind closed doors and drew ire from both sides of the aisle.”

Wolf signs 66 bills into law

The above tax break was among the 66 pieces of legislation that Gov. Wolf signed into law yesterday. Spotlight PA reporter Stephen Caruso tweeted out a partial run-down of some of the other bills, which included “legalization of fentanyl test strips, changes to insurance pre-authorization, universal lead screening and making it a crime to spit on police officers.” Wolf released the full list of bill numbers here. If you’re so inclined to look them all up by number, you can do so in the Legislation Quick Search box here.

‘Voter sentiment in Pa. suggests a Republican year’

RealClearPennsylvania editor Charles McElwee compares the political mood in Pennsylvania today to the mood in 2006, when Pa. “played a crucial role in Democrats’ congressional takeover.” Today, “legions of Democratic voters who punished the GOP in 2006 are now registered Republicans, hoping for a red wave next Tuesday.” Read more here.

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