News & Brews December 6, 2023

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Pa. House doesn’t plan to vote in ’24 until March

Who wants a three-month Christmas vacation from work! Pa. House Democrats do! After taking a multi-month hiatus earlier this year due to Democrat leadership adjourning the chamber, the Democrat-controlled Pa. House now hasn’t scheduled votes in 2024 until March. Yep, you read that correctly. But get this: Their reason is a leak in the Capitol roof above the House Chamber. And the new hiatus conveniently coincides with about the time the House will again be split 101-101 after the upcoming resignation of one Democrat. Of course, during COVID, the House managed to use remote voting. But Democrats are now blaming a leak in the roof for their inability to do their jobs for the people of Pennsylvania.

About Gov. Shapiro’s free breakfasts…

The Center Square reports that the funding for the free school breakfasts that Gov. Shapiro has been touting for the past several months may not actually be authorized, due to the ongoing budget impasse. According to Senate Republican Appropriations Chair Scott Martin (Lancaster and Berks Counties), the Education Code, which has not been finalized, is required to authorize payments to schools. The Senate passed the code last month, but House Democrats opposed increases in school choice tax credit scholarships included in the code.

Pa. Lt. Gov. Davis elected vice-chair of nat’l group

Yesterday, the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association, which works to elect Democrats to this state office, elected Pa. Lt. Gov. Austin Davis as its vice chair. City and State PA reports, “Davis said in a statement on Tuesday that he is looking forward to helping others win lieutenant governor elections over the next year.” You’ll recall that the lieutenant governor in Pa. does not run separately in the General Election but instead is part of the same ticket as the gubernatorial candidate.

Shapiro, who vetoed school choice, again claims to support school choice

Vetoing something is a strange way to show you support it, but that’s the attempted spin of Gov. Josh Shapiro. Appearing on Business Matters, a program of the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Shapiro again claimed his support for scholarships for children in low-performing schools. This after he vetoed these exact scholarships in July after being unable to convince his Democrat colleagues in the House to support them. Imagine if Shapiro did the same thing on a minimum wage increase—claimed he supported an increase and then vetoed it with the excuse that he couldn’t get lawmakers on board. How well would that go over?

Pa. courts are still and again ‘judicial hellholes’

For the umpteenth year in a row, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Philly Court of Common Pleas are on the American Tort Reform Association’s list of Judicial Hellholes. This year, we tied for first (aka “worst”) with Georgia. Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform Executive Director Curt Schroder said, “While some may quibble with the terminology of the Report or the rankings themselves, no one can seriously dispute that 2023 marked another year of expanded liability for businesses, healthcare providers, insurers, and other defendants in Pennsylvania.”

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