News & Brews March 21, 2023

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Former state Senate candidate arrested for fraud 

DuBois City Manager, United Way Director, and former Republican state Senate candidate John “Herm” Suplizio was arrested yesterday on charges related to stealing more than $620,000 from public accounts. The Bradford Era reports that “Attorney General Michelle Henry said Suplizio allegedly committed $620,815 in fraudulent transactions between January 2014 and Feb. 28, 2022, using funds from city bank accounts and the Dubois Area United Way account to pay his personal credit card bills, make political donations, and gamble.” In 2020, Suplizio was endorsed by former Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati to succeed Scarnati in representing the 25th Senate District. Suplizio lost the GOP primary to now-Senator Cris Dush.

To alleviate poverty, government should get out of the way

Commonwealth Foundation Senior Vice President Nathan Benefield writes in PennLive that a survey of individuals with incomes below 200 percent of the poverty level found that “[s]econd only to debt, those surveyed identified taxes as the biggest barrier to financial security.” Benefield writes that policy “solutions should focus on creating the conditions needed for prosperity, instead of growing the bureaucratic welfare apparatus.”

Lawmakers question Ed Secretary on school choice

At a House Appropriations Committee budget hearing yesterday, lawmakers questioned Acting Secretary of Education Khalid Mumin on school choice topics ranging from lifeline scholarships and charter schools to the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. Mumin appeared to dodge questions several times, while also pointing to future discussion and dialogue.

Norfolk Southern CEO grilled by lawmakers

Senate lawmakers yesterday pushed Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw for details on who made specific decisions following the Feb. 3 train derailment, including who gave the order for the controlled burn and who told residents they could return to their homes. Shaw reiterated his commitment to “make things right” and help the community. Not all lawmakers were convinced, however.

Here’s who’s running for state Supreme Court

Spotlight PA has a rundown of the two Democrats and two Republicans running for one open seat on our state Supreme Court. Voters will select the party’s respective nominees on May 16. Commonwealth Partners has endorsed Judge Carolyn Carluccio for this seat.

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