News & Brews August 21, 2023

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Could Bucks Co. race foretell 2024? 

POLITICO suggests that a race this year for county commissioner in Bucks County—”one of the swingiest counties in one of the swingiest states in America”—could “hint at shifting suburban politics for 2024.” The story says the county “presents an all-in-one geographic test case ahead of 2024 stretching from neighborhoods that directly butt up against northeast Philadelphia, with a large suburban core of the county, and more rural areas in upper Bucks.”

Pa. counties will report voting machine malfunctions 

Spotlight PA reports that per a “settlement between Pennsylvania and a coalition of election security groups,” the state “will soon require counties to publicly report voting machine malfunctions.” The settlement follows a lawsuit in which Pa. was sued “after a few counties adopted new voting machines that the groups argued were flawed.” Of course, the story doesn’t bother mentioning the left-wing ties of some of the groups directly or indirectly connected with the lawsuit.

Changing presidential primary date would affect down-ballot candidates

The Post-Gazette looks at efforts by lawmakers to move the 2024 presidential primary earlier than the current April 23 date—both to give Pa. more of a say in the presidential races and because April 23 conflicts with Passover. “Any change,” however, “will also change the window of time in which [down-ballot] candidates have to collect 300 or more nominating signatures.” The story notes, “Typically, the signature-gathering period lasts for 22 days, and it starts exactly 13 weeks before the primary election.” A change could potentially move the three-week period over the holidays.

Op-Ed: ‘The many benefits of giving students a PASS’

GOP Sen. Judy Ward (Blair, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata and Mifflin counties) writes that school choice—such as the PASS Scholarship program—not only improves test scores, but it also “increases college enrollment and graduation rates,” “helps to lower crime rates,” and “increases diversity and integration.” What’s more, it will also help “meet the state’s constitutional requirement to provide every student a meaningful opportunity to succeed.”

Op-Ed: ‘Is the new Pa. budget good for business?’

Our friend David Taylor, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, writes regarding the recently passed [albeit unfinished] budget that “for manufacturers, the budget is a mixed bag, but there is cause for optimism.” On the positive side, “Important manufacturing programs received bipartisan support in the budget.” And the budget “also invests heavily in workforce training and vo-tech programs.” Disappointingly, however, “state government spending continu[es] to outpace the growth of the private economy.”

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