News & Brews February 2, 2024

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House lawmaker asks AG to look into deleted data

Republican Rep. Seth Grove (York County) has asked Pa. Attorney General Michelle Henry to investigate the recent data deletion that impacted the Pennsylvania State Police and the State Employee Retirement System. Grove said, “The deleted files from the PSP contained criminal evidence which may never be recovered. The loss of these files could negatively affect the investigation and prosecution of many criminal cases.” The Tribune-Review reports that “while Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration has blamed it [the deletion] on ‘human error,’ … [Grove] wants to make sure there is no connection between an employee and the deleted criminal evidence files.”

Fetterman, Casey question Biden’s LNG pause

After President Biden decided to pause approvals for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, Democrat U.S. Sens. John Fetterman and Bob Casey have expressed concern over Biden’s plan. In a joint statement, the senators said, “While the immediate impacts on Pennsylvania remain to be seen, we have concerns about the long-term impacts that this pause will have on the thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry. If this decision puts Pennsylvania energy jobs at risk, we will push the Biden Administration to reverse this decision.”

Ridership down, costs up, Dems want even more $

If you guessed this header is about SEPTA, you’re right. The Delaware Valley Journal reports, “Despite exploding costs and plunging ridership, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) appears in line for another infusion of nearly $300 million in taxpayer cash.” This because Gov. Shapiro is pushing for more funding for SEPTA. Among the reasons for declining usage (and higher costs) is crime. The story notes, “Statistics show the number of disorderly conduct and public urination and defecation cases since 2019 have [sic] increased far higher than ridership, from 213 to more than 1,300 in 2022. Robberies jumped from 118 in 2019 to 217 in 2021, while aggravated assaults almost doubled from 46 to 86 in the same period.”

Philly mayor picks panel to interview school board candidates

The Inquirer reports that Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker has named the 13 members of the Education Nominating Panel, who will “review applications and interview candidates for the nine-member body responsible for overseeing the system that educates Philadelphia’s children.” The process was not without controversy, however. “The new panel met Thursday night at City Hall despite objections from some community members who thought the process was not adequately advertised or explained. No public comment was accepted.”

Will young, anti-Israel Pa. voters ditch Biden? 

The Inquirer reports that while President Biden won <30-year-old voters “by a wide margin in 2020,” his support among this age group has “plummeted,” as they have taken an anti-Israel stance following the Hamas terror attacks on our ally. The Inky looks at how this might impact the presidential race in Pa.

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