News & Brews April 1, 2024

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A primary election primer

With just over three weeks before the April 23 primary election, Spotlight PA provides a “who, what, when, where, and how” guide for voting, including answers to some frequently asked questions.

Pa. lawmakers eye ‘amnesty’ for ‘bars that violated COVID lockdown orders’

I recently shared that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) is still trying to penalize bars that violated former Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID shutdown orders. Now, Reason reports, “Bills introduced recently in the state House and state Senate would extend amnesty to bars, restaurants, and other venues with liquor licenses that may have racked up COVID-era violations. Specifically, the bills would prohibit the PLCB from revoking or suspending any liquor license due to a failure to comply with COVID-19 orders from the state’s governor and Department of Health, and they would force the PLCB to remove any disciplinary actions already taken against licensees.”

Staff changes for U.S. Sen. John Fetterman

Democrat U.S. Sen. John Fetterman is bidding farewell to three of his top communications staffers. The Inquirer reports, “Nick Gavio, who was deputy communications director, will leave the office at the end of March to take a new role with the Working Families Party. Fetterman’s former communications director, Joe Calvello, left earlier this month to work for Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson. And Emma Mustion, a media and digital aide, also left Fetterman’s office to work on the reelection of Sen. Bob Casey.” For what it’s worth, Hill turnover is hardly surprising. Staffers move around all the time. But the Inky speculates that some of the departures are because Fetterman has been trying to distance himself from the “progressive” label.

WSJ: Could mail-in ballot ruling ‘stabilize’ 2024 election?

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board addresses the recent Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that mail-in ballots in Pa. must be dated in order to count. (In other words, voters must follow existing law.) “The good news,” the Ed Board writes, “is that this could help stabilize a wild 2024 election that is now only months away…. After Election Day, losing candidates will always plead to count a few more invalid votes. Judges shouldn’t be standing by to rewrite state law to do it.”

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