News & Brews June 26, 2023

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‘Bipartisan school choice embrace reframes state budget negotiations’

The Center Square reports that state budget negotiations were “reframed” this past week as Gov. Josh Shapiro reiterated his support for Lifeline Scholarships. These scholarships would provide grants to students in low-performing school districts to use for approved educational expenses outside of the public school system. Teachers’ unions and most (but, notably, not all) Democrats strongly oppose any programs that help students escape failing public schools. Some Democrat lawmakers, however, such as Sen. Tony Williams and Rep. Amen Brown of Philadelphia, have supported school choice.

McCormick, not yet/even a candidate, gets targeted by Dem ad

Former hedge fund CEO David McCormick hasn’t announced a second run for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. “But that’s not stopping Democrats from going after him on abortion.” A Gallup Poll from March showed that “69% of Americans said abortion should be legal during the first three months of pregnancy. However, “that percentage dropped to 37% in the second trimester and 22% in the last trimester.” Many Democrats, however, advocate for zero restrictions, far out of line with where most Americans stand.

Op-Ed: Time to end Philly’s ‘litigation tourism’

Philly’s become a destination city. But we’re not talking about the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall. Instead, trial lawyers seeking big payouts are flocking to plaintiff-friendly Philly courts. Even if the alleged offense occurred outside of Philly. Tiger Joyce (American Tort Reform Association) and Curt Schroder (Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform) have an op-ed in Broad + Liberty on the topic. They write it’s time to close the city’s Complex Litigation Center (CLC). CLC is “a magnet for trial lawyers nationwide” who have “hopes of scoring a nuclear verdict.” Closing CLC “wouldn’t impact those with legitimate claims.” But it would limit the ability of out-of-state plaintiffs to “venue shop” in Philly simply to get big payouts.

Lawmaker ordered to complete program after DUI

GOP state Rep. Torren Ecker (Adams and Cumberland Counties) “has had his license suspended and must complete a nine-month ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) program after being charged with DUI.” The charges are in relation to a single-vehicle April 18 crash. ABC27 reports, “If Ecker completes the program, the charges will be expunged from his record. Ecker will also have to pay restitution and court costs….”

5 U.S. reps from Pa. endorse Trump

POLITICO reports that five Republican members of Pa.’s congressional delegation have endorsed former President Donald Trump for re-election. They are Reps. Mike Kelly, Dan Meuser, Scott Perry, Guy Reschenthaler, and John Joyce. The story notes, “Trump has long had close relationships with all five House Republicans who endorsed him in Pennsylvania, a general election swing state. He endorsed each of them during last year’s midterm elections.”

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