News & Brews February 27, 2023
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Shapiro reflects on first month as governor
The Inquirer sat down with Gov. Shapiro to talk about his first month in office. Among the topics discussed: the Ohio train derailment, the upcoming budget address (Shapiro declined to give many details on this), and the battle over school funding in the wake of the recent court ruling (again, Shapiro declined to get into some of the specifics). Among the topics the Inquirer skipped: Shapiro’s refusal to say who funded his inaugural celebration and whether he violated his own gift ban by accepting Super Bowl tickets.
House votes to open window for victims of child sex abuse to sue
On Friday, the House passed two measures to open a window (beyond the statute of limitations) for victims of child sex abuse to sue. One measure would open the window legislatively, while the other would send the issue to voters via a proposed constitutional amendment. Both measures now head to the Senate, which previously passed a proposed constitutional amendment to this end as part of a package of amendments that also included voter ID and regulatory reform. The House refused to take up the package, however, as the Democrat majority doesn’t want voters to weigh in on the latter two issues. The Senate, however, has no plans to take up the House’s stand-alone measure, as the Senate already addressed the issue.
House to consider rules — about 8 weeks late
The Pa. House, which has been pretty much non-functioning since January 3 (outside of last week’s special session) is set to consider operating rules this week. Spotlight PA reports that Democrat Speaker Mark Rozzi “says he will introduce chamber rules this week that would give Republicans more power to set the legislative agenda, even though they are now the minority party.” But “a handful of Democrats … have expressed doubt to Spotlight PA about giving Republicans significant means to influence the next two years of legislating.”
Gisele Fetterman takes kids to Canada to process Sen. Fetterman’s hospitalization
With media trucks circling their home after news broke of Sen. John Fetterman’s hospitalization for clinical depression, Gisele Fetterman tweeted that she took their kids to Canada to help them navigate the situation. “We talked about lots of hard things and how we will all have to face hard things,” she wrote. “About the need to be gentle with all and with ourselves. … We talked about flexibility and the need to always have an open heart and an open mind.”
‘Insiders, progressives, & underdogs’ in Allegheny exec race
The Post-Gazette looks at the crowded Democrat field in the race for Allegheny County Executive, noting that the plethora of candidates “means it’s too early for a single front-runner.” The story looks at how the candidates—ranging from party insiders to underdogs—are seeking to set themselves apart from the rest.