News & Brews January 30, 2024

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Pa. Supreme Court sends taxpayer-funded abortion case back to lower court

Yesterday, the state Supreme Court ruled that the Commonwealth Court erred in saying plaintiffs lacked standing in a case seeking to allow more taxpayer funding for abortions in Pa. The plaintiffs were abortion providers as well as Planned Parenthood, both of whom stand to gain financially from more taxpayer funding of abortions. Pro-abortion advocates called the ruling a victory. Meanwhile, PA Family Institute Senior Counsel Jeremy Samek noted, “The good news is that the abortion industry failed to receive a majority of the court ruling to invent a right to an abortion in our state’s Constitution. The bad news is three justices overruled the longstanding state law – upheld by seven members of the PA Supreme Court nearly forty years ago – that prevents taxpayer funding of elective abortions.”

Shapiro admin paying IT firm $530K to recover lost data

Capitolwire reports (paywall) that Gov. Shapiro’s Department of Administration received “approval to use an emergency contract to pay a Seattle-based crisis engineering firm hundreds of thousands of dollars” to help recover data lost from state servers as a result of human error. The story notes that the $530,000 “emergency contract was submitted and approved a day after Pennlive reported that bungling by Information Technology staff led to thousands of state police and Pennsylvania School Employee Retirement System records being mistakenly deleted.” As for details, “Administration officials were tight-lipped about the procurement when asked about it by Capitolwire on Friday.”

1st Philly ‘State of the Schools’ address today

Philadelphia School District Superintendent Tony Watlington, Sr. is scheduled to give the district’s first ever “State of the Schools” address this morning at 10:00 a.m. The Inquirer reports, “Among the changes the superintendent previewed: a reorganization of the district’s academics division; a shakeup in algebra and biology instruction; and financial help from the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, the district’s nonprofit arm.” Click here to watch the live stream of the event at 10:00.

2023 Union Corruption Report

Labor Union News recently issued its 2023 Union Corruption Report, which details “enforcement actions taken by the USDOL’s [U.S. Department of Labor’s] Office of Labor Management Standards.” Labor Union News notes, “Although corruption within unions is nowhere near as bad as it once was, some unions do still suffer from having corrupt individuals taking advantage of their positions by misusing or embezzling union members’ money.” Check out the full report here. (Pennsylvania makes a few appearances.)

Former GOP Lt. Gov. candidate facing trial

Former Republican lieutenant governor candidate Clarice Schillinger is facing trial for “charges including simple assault, harassment and furnishing alcohol to minors,” the Inquirer reports. The charges stem from a birthday party Schillinger hosted at her home last fall for her 17-year-old daughter. Schillinger is accused of providing alcohol to the teenagers as well as punching a teenager. Schillinger’s attorney “argued that the teenagers’ testimony wasn’t enough to justify a charge of furnishing alcohol to minors, since they didn’t witness who put it in the house. He also said Schillinger’s actions didn’t constitute simple assault, noting the size difference between her and the teenager she allegedly hit — who is 6′8″. The teen said he wasn’t injured.”

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