News & Brews March 24, 2023
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Judge dismisses ballot curing lawsuit
Commonwealth Court Judge Ellen Ceisler dismissed a lawsuit that sought to block counties from helping individuals correct errors on mail-in ballots. The suit was filed by the Republican National Committee. Ceisler said that county courts, not state courts, have jurisdiction over this issue.
Fetterman’s return date indefinite
Sen. John Fetterman’s office said yesterday that he will return to the Senate chamber “soon.” The AP reports that “Democratic leaders are giving no timeline.”Fetterman has been undergoing treatment for clinical depression at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
A public records request primer
As part of an ongoing transparency series, Spotlight PA has published “a basic guide to requesting public records in Pa.” The piece outlines a few basics of Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know law and is a good starting point if you’re considering seeking access to government records. Notably, although the RTK law has some limitations, under the law, “all records are presumed to be public records, and the burden is on government agencies to establish why they might not be available.”
House committee holds hearing on gun violence
PennLive reports, “The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on gun violence Thursday, with the Democratic majority indicating they intend to move forward with legislation to tighten the state’s firearm laws.” Topics discussed included “requiring [gun] owners to report lost or stolen guns … within a specified time after they discover them missing and expanding background checks….”
Op-Ed: Pa. can be a leader on natural gas production
Greg Moreland, state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, writes in Broad + Liberty that Pennsylvania is particularly positioned “to be the solution to powering our lives and livelihoods affordably.” He decries the “vocal group of elected officials on a mission to essentially shut down natural gas production in our state.” And he urges a “reasonable regulatory environment” and “smart policies” to “encourage growth and promote competition.”