News & Brews June 28, 2023

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Commonwealth Court upholds mail-in voting

In a unanimous ruling yesterday, the state’s Commonwealth Court rejected a request to throw out Pennsylvania’s mail-in voting law. The lawsuit alleged “the court must invalidate the law because two earlier court decisions triggered a provision … that says the law is ‘void’ if any of its requirements are struck down in court.” Previously, the court had declined to enforce a requirement surrounding dating ballots. The GOP lawmakers who brought the suit plan to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

WSJ: ‘Josh Shapiro’s school voucher test’

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board praises Gov. Shapiro’s support of Lifeline Scholarships, noting he is “pressing ahead” despite union opposition. “Too many schools in Pennsylvania are betraying their students, and fixing them should be a bipartisan priority,” the Ed Board writes. “Credit to the Governor for trying, and let’s hope he has more sway with fellow Democrats than does the union.”

Unions blast school choice proposal

You know that saying about being on the wrong side of history? Well, here’s one for you, Unions and some of their allies rallied at the Capitol yesterday to block kids from escaping failing schools. PennLive reports that at the “sparsely attended” rally, the head of the state’s largest teachers union urged lawmakers to reject giving kids a lifeline. I don’t think this will age well.

Pa. Senate passes probation reform

Yesterday, the Pa. Senate voted 45-4 for legislation “designed to reduce the number of people on probation and in jail.” The bill would do so “by limiting the length of probation and preventing people from being sent back to jail for minor violations.” PennLive reports that under the legislation, “a judge can order an end to probation.” And this would be “regardless of any agreement on a sentence between a prosecutor and the defendant. Judges would also no longer have wide latitude to extend probation.” The effort is “part of a nationwide reconsideration of probation and parole measures.”

Phone tax, rent rebate, CNIT reduction, and more

PennLive gives an update on a slew of bills addressing taxes and more. Among the movement: Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously advanced proposals to “eliminate the sales and gross receipts taxes on cell phone service … [and] expand the state’s property tax and rent rebate program for senior citizens and the disabled.” Both bills previously passed the House. In that chamber, the Finance Committee was scheduled yesterday to consider legislation to accelerate the reduction in the Corporate Net Income Tax. But that consideration was moved to tomorrow.

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