News & Brews January 19, 2023

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Shapiro signs first executive order

Yesterday, Gov. Josh Shapiro signed his first executive order, which eliminates a four-year-degree requirement for many state jobs. After the order, 92% of Pennsylvania’s approximately 65,000 state jobs will not require a degree. It’s unclear how much of a change this is from before the order. Gov. Shapiro. said it would be ‘hard’ for him to answer that question when asked by a reporter at yesterday’s press conference.

Pa. Senate acts to protect religious freedom

Yesterday, the state Senate voted 49-0 in favor of legislation that would “remove a provision in state law that bars educators from wearing religious garb while in the classroom.” The AP reports, “Under the current language in … state law, an educator wearing religious garb must be suspended for one year and will be fired after multiple offenses.” The measure now heads to the House.

House ‘working group’ to reconvene today

The group of lawmakers trying to come up with rules so the House can do anything is set to meet again today. The members began meeting Tuesday and held another meeting yesterday. The full House would have to approve any rules the group comes up with. Thus far, the House has done nothing since the start of the session. Speaker Mark Rozzi, who pledged to act as an Independent, has not organized the House or allowed for any votes. Instead, he appointed the working group.

Mastriano says GOP must use mail-in voting 

In an interview with radio host Dom Giordano, former GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano gives his views of why he lost. Among the first topics tackled: mail-in voting. Mastriano says the GOP must embrace mail-in voting (even if reluctantly). The conversation then turned to topics including abortion and how Republicans messaged (or failed to message) around this issue, as well as why Mastriano avoided talking to the mainstream media.

Full list of Gov. Shapiro’s cabinet nominees to date

Spotlight PA has the full list of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s cabinet nominees (minus two that he hasn’t yet announced). The story notes, “As in past administrations, many of the new appointees have long histories with Shapiro. And in line with the new governor’s reputation as a moderate and a pragmatist, his choices sometimes cross partisan lines, and skew toward people who already have held top state jobs or worked in public administration, rather than outside experts.”

Former Lt. Gov. Mike Stack running for Philly mayor? 

WHYY reports that former Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Mike Stack reportedly told Philly Democratic Party Leader Bob Brady that he intends to run for mayor. While Lt. Gov., the story notes, Stack “had a very public dispute with his staff and differed in managerial style with [Gov.] Wolf.”  After losing a race for re-election to former Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Stack tried his hand at stand-up comedy.

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