News & Brews December 12, 2023

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Lawmaker unveils universal school choice bill 

GOP state Rep. Joe D’Orsie (York County) yesterday held a press conference (watch it here) unveiling legislation to establish Student Freedom Accounts in Pa. These accounts would allow education dollars to follow children to the school of their parents’ choosing. Our president and CEO, Matt Brouillette, commented, “Every day, thousands of kids across Pennsylvania are deprived of educational opportunity because of state-mandated, union-backed, and ZIP code-based education discrimination. It’s past time to rescue children from failing and violent schools, and we applaud Rep. D’Orsie and all the lawmakers who are fighting to free kids from union-controlled systems that set them up for failure and finally give kids a shot at an excellent education.”

Live this a.m.: Pa. House GOP lawmakers to answer your questions

This morning at 10:00 a.m., Pa. House Republican Leaders will hold a live online event on Facebook, X, and YouTube to answer Pennsylvanians’ questions. Joining will be House GOP Leader Bryan Cutler, GOP Appropriations Committee Chair Seth Grove, Republican Whip Tim O’Neal, and Republican Caucus Secretary Martina White. Questions can be emailed to Watch the Facebook Live event here at 10:00 a.m.

WSJ: Philadelphia’s union crooks

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board writes that the convictions of former Philly union leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty and former union business manager Brian Burrows are another example of the fact that “[b]ig labor claims to stand up for workers, but too often its leaders exploit them.” The ed board notes, “Mr. Dougherty faces up to 901 years in prison for his voluminous convictions, while Mr. Burrows faces up to 83, according to the U.S. Attorney. So ends a sordid era in Philly…. Union corruption is a hardy perennial, and Local 98 can thank federal prosecutors for exposing and punishing it in their shop.”

USPS still hiding whether it shared Americans’ data with labor unions

In early 2023, I shared the story that Americans who signed up to get free COVID tests through the U.S. Postal Service may have had their private info shared with unions. Months later, USPS is still hiding whether it shared Americans’ private data. Our friends at Americans for Fair Treatment give an update on their federal lawsuit—and USPS’s changing story on what records the agency actually has.

Lawmakers advance EV fee

The Center Square reports that lawmakers are considering legislation that “would replace the alternative fuel tax with a $290 EV fee paid at the time of vehicle registration.” Some Democrats say the fee is too high. The story notes that the “figure is close to what Pennsylvanians pay on average through the gas tax. A report from the Independent Fiscal Office found that the average driver paid $285 in gas taxes in 2021.”

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