News & Brews November 17, 2022

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House votes to impeach Krasner

The state House yesterday voted 107 to 85 to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. The vote was near party line, with one Republican opposing the measure. Nine members were absent. See the roll call vote here. The next step would be a Senate trial, in which a two-thirds majority is required to remove Krasner from office.

Shapiro talks transition at post-election news conference

The AP reports that Democrat Josh Shapiro “said he is confident of a smooth transition” as he prepares to enter the governor’s office in January. The story notes, “Shapiro’s campaign policy director, finance director and press secretary will take on key roles in the transition team and inaugural committee. Otherwise Shapiro gave few details about the transition, such as who will lead the transition committees or the dozens of people who will participate in them, as well as how the inaugural festivities will be financed. He promised more announcements in the coming days.”

Dems claim victory & majority after Dem takes lead in tight House race

While the media is hesitating to make a call in the tight Montgomery County House race between Republican Rep. Todd Stephens and Democrat Melissa Cerrato, Democrats are claiming victory —and with it the House majority—after Cerrato took a 37-vote lead with only 59 provisional ballots left to be considered. “That’s a tall order for Stephens to overcome,” PennLive reports, “because he would have to prevail by a 4-1 margin to make up that difference, even if every provisional vote was counted.” Yet, “[t]he thornier problem for Democrats may be actually making their majority count.” This is because three House seats held by Democrats will temporarily be vacant: Rep. Tony DeLuca passed away in October; Rep. Summer Lee will be sworn in to Congress; and Rep. Austin Davis will become lieutenant governor. Read more at PennLive.

RGGI back in court

Yesterday, the Commonwealth Court heard oral argument in two cases challenging the constitutionality of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). StateImpact reportsthat parties opposed to RGGI argued it’s an “unconstitutional tax on power plants by the executive branch.” Gov. Wolf acted unilaterally to force Pennsylvania into RGGI, absent support from the Legislature. It’s unknown when the court will issue a ruling.

Report: Restrictions on nurse practitioners hold Pa. healthcare back

The Center Square reports on a new analysis from the Commonwealth Foundation (CF) that found that restrictions on the authority of nurse practitioners in Pa. contribute to health care shortage concerns. Elizabeth Stelle, CF’s director of policy analysis, stated, “Laws and regulations matter. Maryland policies that give full practice authority to nurse practitioners and nurse midwives benefit health care consumers, providing greater access and better health care outcomes. Pennsylvania and other states can address primary care physician shortages by allowing highly trained advanced practice registered nurses to do the jobs they were trained to do.

Pa. gets C-minus for infrastructure

This probably won’t surprise anyone who’s hit one of our seemingly ubiquitous potholes: Our state earned a C-minus on the 2022 Report Card for Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure, released by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The report looked at 15 categories: aviation, bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, hazardous waste, levees, parks, ports, rail, roads, solid waste, stormwater, transit, and wastewater.

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