News & Brews July 3, 2024

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Teachers’ union to vote on anti-Israel measures 

You’d think the nation’s largest teachers’ union would be focused exclusively on education. Well, you’d think wrong. At its meeting, beginning today in Philadelphia, the National Education Association plans to vote on several new business items (NBIs), including three “that call for the NEA to align itself with boycott, divestment, and sanctions initiatives, one asking the NEA to deny the connection between antisemitism and anti-Zionism, and one calling for the NEA to promote Palestinian narratives about the founding of Israel,” the Washington Examiner reports.

Senator proposes education tax credit

The Inquirer reports that GOP Senator Judy Ward (Blair, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata and Mifflin Counties) is proposing legislation that “would allow all families that homeschool their kid or send their child to private school — regardless of their income — to receive an $8,000 tax credit back to their bank accounts to cover some school-related expenses.” The story notes that the bill “comes as a sign that lawmakers have yet to reach an agreement on how to change Pennsylvania’s education system — even after weeks of closed-door negotiations for the next fiscal year.” Gov. Shapiro opposes the legislation. The Center Square also has more on this.

Lawmakers again try to open 2-year window for victims of child sex abuse to sue

Lawmakers are again attempting to open a window for victims of child sex abuse to sue beyond the statute of limitations. This time, the House is advancing a measure to amend another bill to add the window. Lawmakers have already voted in favor of a constitutional amendment that would make this change. The amendment was headed to the ballot, but former Gov, Wolf’s secretary of state botched the required advertising and derailed the process. Then, the House refused to advance the proposal the Senate passed since it would have also allowed voters to weigh in on voter ID and regulatory reform.

Union sues Philly over return to office policy

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 47 has sued the city of Philadelphia over Mayor Cherelle Parker’s recent order that city employees return to the office full-time. The AP reports that AFSCME “claims the mandate violates its contract and will harm city workers. The union, which represents 6,000 administrative and supervisory employees, also filed an unfair-practices complaint with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.” For her part, Parker “has said her administration does not believe the new policy is subject to collective bargaining.”

About that undecided GOP House primary race

Well, for starters, it’s still undecided. But the Commonwealth Court recently ruled against counting 22 write-in ballots in the Luzerne County House primary race between incumbent GOP Rep. Mike Cabell and challenger Jamie Walsh. Currently, Walsh leads Cabell by three votes. WVIA reports that the ruling “deal[s] a serious blow to Rep. Mike Cabell’s chances of re-election.” In its ruling, the court agreed with county court judges and the elections board that “the write-in ballots shouldn’t count because Cabell and Walsh are already on the ballot and state law forbids counting write-ins for ballot candidates.” There is still one outstanding appeal—regarding six mail-in ballots—awaiting a Commonwealth Court ruling.

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