News & Brews June 6, 2024

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Dems’ dilemma: How much to focus on Trump verdict? 

The AP reports that while “President Joe Biden’s campaign is signaling it will incorporate Donald Trump’s recent felony conviction as a core element of the Democratic incumbent’s reelection message,” Democrats here in Pa. “are far from certain that Trump’s criminal record matters to voters at all.” Per former Democrat Pa. Governor Ed Rendell, “It’ll have an effect, but a fairly small effect. I don’t think we can count on it. We’ve got to get out and win the election talking about the things that are important.” The story notes that Dems’ decision regarding how much to focus on the verdict “could prove pivotal in the evolving Biden-Trump rematch — and in the battle for control of the House and Senate.”

Battle to allow nurse practitioners to practice freely continues 

Spotlight PA dives into the debate over whether nurse practitioners in Pa. should have the freedom to practice without the supervision of a physician—as they do in 27 other states. The physicians’ lobby opposes the legislation, but advocates contend it could help ease the shortage of healthcare access in rural areas. The effort has bipartisan support but still hasn’t advanced to Gov. Shapiro’s desk.

Senate passes ready-to-drink cocktail bill 

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Mike Regan (Cumberland and York Counties) that would allow ready-to-drink cocktails to be sold at retail outlets that sell beer and wine narrowly passed the state Senate yesterday. This isn’t the first time lawmakers have attempted to make this change to our liquor laws. PennLive reports that a survey from the Distilled Spirits Council “showed consumers support greater access to these products, including in grocery and convenience stores, with 86% agreeing that spirits RTDs should be sold where beer and wine are available for purchase.”

Lawmaker wants to evaluate DEP’s 800 permits

Republican state Rep. Jim Struzzi (Indiana County) yesterday introduced legislation that would “direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to conduct a survey on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) permitting processes.” The effort comes after Acting DEP Secretary Jessica Shirley gave lawmakers a list of 800 (yes, 800) permits the DEP issues. “The issuance of 800 permits from DEP begs the question of whether there are duplicative or unnecessary permits required by the department,” Struzzi said. “We need to understand why this number is so high, and if some of them are not necessary.”

Pa. House committee holds final hearing on benefit integrity 

Yesterday, the Pa. House Republican Policy Committee held the last in a series of hearings on preserving benefit integrity. Testifiers and lawmakers at the hearing discussed “ways to safeguard Pennsylvania’s social benefit programs from fraud, waste and abuse, and to ensure the state’s resources are efficiently allocated and accessible to those who truly require assistance.” Click the button below for a summary of the hearing as well as a link to watch all of the hearings in the series.

And finally…remembering D-Day, 80 years ago today

(Photo by Kent Rebman on Unsplash)

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