News & Brews September 12, 2023

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Basic Education Funding Commission to begin hearings

The Basic Education Funding Commission will hold its first hearing in its statewide tour at 10:00 a.m. this morning in Allentown. The hearing will gather input from public education stakeholders on how to change Pa.’s education funding formula. Members of the public may also submit comments online here. Click here to watch live at 10:00 a.m.

Parents speak out at hearing on educational opportunity

Yesterday, Senate Education Committee lawmakers heard from impassioned parents on what Lifeline (aka PASS) scholarships would mean for their children. The committee highlighted one mother, Sylania Jenkins, who “shared the struggles of her son to find an educational option that allowed him to succeed. He suffered from anxiety and depression in his previous educational environment. In his new school, he’s been succeeding again. Yet the tuition payments are a struggle for Ms. Jenkins, who works three different part-time jobs.”

Lawmakers focus on prison security 

With escaped convict Danelo Cavalcante still on the loose—and now armed—in southeast Pa., GOP lawmakers plan to introduce a package of bills to address prison escapes. The Delaware Valley Journal reports that the bills “would provide funding to upgrade security and health infrastructure … increase staff by allowing jails to hire other county corrections officers or state corrections officers to fill vacant shifts; eliminate parole for inmates who escape or attempt escape; require Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections (DOC) to conduct a security audit of county jails that have experienced a jail escape; and create an alert system to be activated in the event of a prison escape.”

Nearly 100 Republicans call on McCormick to run

Nearly 100 Republicans have sent an open letter to Dave McCormick, calling on him to run for U.S. Senate. Politics PA reports, “If McCormick opts not to run, some party officials worry about the caliber of available alternatives at this relatively late stage.” Allegheny County GOP Chair Sam DeMarco said, “At the moment, we have no idea if Dave chose not to run who would step up. But it’s clear that the Republican Party of Pennsylvania is putting its chips on Dave McCormick.”

‘A scroll through the annals of Pa. political corruption’

Anyone who’s been around Pa. politics for even a short period knows we have no shortage of political corruption. Well, there’s a podcast for that! PA Political Digest is a 5-episode series that takes listeners on a tour of some of Pa.’s most notable corruption cases. The podcast is hosted by GOP political consultant Chris Nicholas and features longtime Capitol reporter Brad Bumsted and political columnist John Baer. Click here to listen (scroll down for your platform of choice).

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