News & Brews September 1, 2023

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‘Amateur hour’ in the Pa. Democrat party? 

POLITICO reports that the Pennsylvania Democrat Party “is reeling from financial problems and a lack of trust across the party, according to interviews with 20 Democratic officials and operatives throughout Pennsylvania.” The story notes that the “party underwent a round of layoffs in July, which have not been reported until now.” And insiders are concerned both about next year’s races and about this year’s Supreme Court race, “where Democrats are making abortion front and center.”

Carluccio: ‘Why I’m running for Pa. Supreme Court’

Republican Supreme Court nominee Judge Carolyn Carluccio has an op-ed in PennLive outlining her reasons for running and her judicial philosophy. “I am running because I believe every Pennsylvanian deserves equal treatment under the law,” she writes. “[J]udges must cast aside personal opinions so that justice remains blind…. Judicial neutrality is how we make sure that the courts—which are often the last line of hope for people seeking justice—remain fair and impartial.” Commonwealth Partners has endorsed Judge Carluccio.

Pa. Senate backs 2-year tuition freeze at state universities 

PennLive reports on the disagreement surrounding the Pa. Senate’s call for a two-year tuition freeze at state universities. The provision—included in one of the budget-related bills passed on Wednesday—“would require colleges in the State System of Higher Education to hold tuition at $7,716 through the 2024-25 school year in order to receive state funding.” Yet, it’s raised concern among those who say the system alone has authority to set tuition rates.

Senator would require armed guards at schools

GOP state Sen. Mike Regan (Cumberland and York counties) has introduced legislation that “would require school districts to employ an armed, trained, and vetted security person at every school during school hours.” The proposal would also “allow school boards to station armed school security personnel on school grounds during extracurricular events outside regular school hours.” The Delaware Valley Journal has more.

Pa. lawmaker announces he won’t seek re-election

Republican state Rep. Paul Schemel (Franklin County), who has served in the House since 2015, announced he will not seek re-election next year. “I enjoy being a legislator, policy is interesting to me,” he said. “But I think it’s healthy to have turnover.” By announcing early, Schemel hopes to give others ample opportunity to run to succeed him. After leaving the legislature, he expects to return to private practice as an attorney.

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