News & Brews January 6, 2023

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Shapiro taps Al Schmidt for Secretary of State

Gov.-Elect Josh Shapiro announced his selection of former Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt to serve as the state’s top elections official. Schmidt, a Republican, is currently the president and CEO of the Committee of Seventy. BillyPenn reports that he “became known on the national stage in 2020 as an outspoken and oft-quoted defender of Philly elections in the face of unproven accusations of voter fraud. His statements prompted then-President Trump to tweet that Schmidt was a ‘so-called Republican’ being ‘used big time by the Fake News Media.’”

A look at incoming House Speaker Rozzi’s record

From consistently advocating to “suspend the state’s statute of limitations for two years to allow people sexually abused as children to sue their perpetrators,” to voting (at times) against his fellow Democrats, Spotlight PA takes a look at incoming House Speaker Mark Rozzi’s record since his 2012 election. What does it tell us about what kind of speaker he’ll be? Few if any know for sure.

Sen. Casey to undergo prostate cancer surgery

Yesterday, Sen. Bob Casey announced he was diagnosed last month with prostate cancer but has an “excellent prognosis” and will undergo surgery, after which he is “expected to make a full recovery.” We wish Sen. Casey a quick and smooth recovery.

Who’s running (or maybe running) for Philly mayor? 

City and State PA has a running list of announced (and potential) candidates for Philadelphia mayor. On the list are multiple current and former council members, a businessman, a state rep, a former judge, a former controller, and a former mayor. Voters will pick a new mayor this November, and current Mayor Jim Kenney is term-limited from running for re-election.

Op-Ed: Pa.’s teacher strike penchant is a problem

Commonwealth Foundation Senior Fellow of Labor Policy David Osborne writes that 131 teacher strikes over 19 years in Pa. “resulted in 1,383 missed school days and affected some 300,000 students.” What’s more, the process of these strikes—driven by the teachers union—”sidelines the families involved. Kids lose out on learning, and parents must upend work schedules to accommodate strike-related school closures.” What’s the answer? Check out David’s op-ed to find out.

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