News & Brews February 20, 2023

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Lawmaker to host safety hearing following train derailment 

On Friday, Republican Sen. Wayne Langerholc (Cambria and Clearfield counties), who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, announced he will hold a fact-finding hearing on Feb. 27 regarding rail transportation of hazardous materials. The New Castle News reports, “The meeting is a response to the Feb. 3 toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.” The public may submit questions on the topic via

Both Pa.’s U.S. Senators are sidelined

PennLive reports that Democrats are suggesting it’s ‘too early’ to be concerned about any potential vacancies as Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman are currently “sidelined with health issues.” Democrat Party Chair Sen. Sharif Street said, “Despite recent reports about the health challenges facing our U.S. Senators we fully expect both men to recover and don’t anticipate any vacancies.” He added, “That being said, should for some unforeseen reason a vacancy … occur we are confident that Governor Shapiro’s administration would respond appropriately in the execution of its duties to fill the vacancy….”

Board seeks study on milk pricing

The price of milk these days could make you wonder if it’s just cheaper to buy a cow. Well, the state’s Milk Marketing Board (yep, there is one) “is seeking to commission a study of the economic implications of ending the state’s minimum milk pricing structure,” Capitolwire reports. Currently, the Board “establishes minimum wholesale prices and minimum retail prices. Prices are based upon evidence presented by interested parties during public hearings. Factors affecting the production, processing, packaging, delivery, and in-store handling costs of milk are considered.” But don’t expect any immediate changes. Findings from the study wouldn’t be due until the end of the year.

The ‘fine print’ in the Temple University strike

You may have seen or heard how absolutely AWFUL it is that Temple University is ending tuition remission for graduate students who are currently on strike. I mean, how dare the university not give money to people who are not working for the university. Just terrible. At least, that’s what most media stories want you to think. But as our friends at Americans for Fair Treatment (AFFT) explain in their weekly newsletter, “It appears the union did not explain to the graduate workers that by striking — a violation of their contract — they were no longer guaranteed free tuition and other benefits.” AFFT further explains, the “No Strike/No Lockout” section of the union contract “said that no Temple University employee (including graduate workers) can endorse or encourage a strike nor go on strike. Specifically, the contract said that no employee can ‘interfere with the operations of Temple University’ by using various types of work stoppages, such as a ‘strike, sit-down, slow-down, cessation, stoppage or picketing.’”

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