Pennsylvania Gets $25 Million to Build out Electric Vehicle Charging

Pennsylvania will expand its electric vehicle charging infrastructure after it received $25 million in federal funds to do so.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced the $25.4 million came from November’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, legislation also known as the bipartisan infrastructure law.

Read More

Gov. Wolf Says State Funds Will Help Pennsylvania Manufacturers with New Candidates

Gov. Tom Wolf recently announced $80,058 in funding for Advance Central PA through the Pennsylvania Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Program (MTTC).

The funds will be used to create five professional videos for students interested in enter a manufacturing career, a press release from the governor’s office said. The films are to create awareness for students about Career and Technology Education (CTE) programs. They will help students prepare, as well as educate guidance counselors and educators about how to show the ways CTE prepares students.

Read More

Pennsylvania Budget Lauded by GOP, Dems, but Critics Call Spending ‘Not Sustainable’

Pennsylvania Capitol Building

After missing the June 30 deadline for a budget deal, an agreement has been made.

The $45.2 billion budget was approved by the Senate on Friday after the House approved it Thursday. It awaits the signature of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to become official.

Read More

Pennsylvania Senate Bill Would Give Voters Say in Abortion, Voter ID

A late-night Republican push for a constitutional amendment declaring no right to an abortion has caused controversy.

The resolution would also change elections to require voter ID, raise the voting age to 21, and allow gubernatorial candidates to pick their running mate for lieutenant governor, rather than have two separate races.

Senate Bill 106 would amend Article I of the Pennsylvania Constitution to read: “This Constitution does not grant the right to taxpayer-funded abortion or any other right relating to abortion.”

Read More

Pennsylvania Moratorium Loophole Nets $45 Million in Oil and Gas Revenue

Since 2015, when Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf issued a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on state forest and state park lands, the administration argued it was “striking the right balance” between economic and environmental concerns.

However, Wolf’s executive order didn’t stop all new leases on publicly owned acreage. 

Read More

Governor Election Will Decide Pennsylvania’s Membership in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Action in the General Assembly was not enough to stop the publication of regulations to enter Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, but legal action could stop it in the future. 

If legal action doesn’t halt Pennsylvania’s entry into RGGI, the outcome of the gubernatorial election could determine whether the Commonwealth stays in the multi-state compact or leaves it by executive order.

Read More

Bill Would Lift Gov. Wolf’s Moratorium on New Leases for Drilling in Pennsylvania

Republicans in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives this week introduced several measures to boost fossil-fuel production in the Keystone State, including a resumption of new state-land drilling leases.

Gov. Tom Wolf (D) imposed a moratorium on new leases for oil and gas development on state-owned areas in January 2015. A bill authored by State Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Wellsboro) would rescind that order and stipulate that all energy exploration performed under any resulting leases be subsurface. That means that the well site must be built off of commonwealth property and that underground channels would reach horizontally into the public lands, allowing for better environmental preservation than older drilling methods.

Read More

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Keeps Mail-In Voting in Place

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Tuesday ruled that controversial mail-in voting laws will remain in place for now.

Republicans argue that those laws, which have been in place for two years and were struck down by Commonwealth Court Senior Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt on February 16, violate the Pennsylvania Constitution. 

Read More

Gov. Wolf Sides with Local Governments in Rejecting Gun Rights Bill

Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed legislation designed to protect Pennsylvania residents’ Second Amendment rights against municipalities that enact restrictive gun ordinances.

“Once again, this governor has failed to live up to his oath to ‘support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth,’” said Rep. Matthew Dowling, R-Fayette, sponsor of House Bill 979. “By vetoing this bill, the governor has put the Second Amendment rights of every citizen in jeopardy, effectively encouraging communities to continue enacting illegal gun control measures.”

Read More

Port of Philadelphia Gets Second Infusion of Money for Modernization

Gov. Tom Wolf gathered with state and local officials Friday to announce $265 million in funding for the Port of Philadelphia to “continue modernization efforts and improve regional stability.”

“The port is an economic driver, not only in Philadelphia, but across the commonwealth,” Wolf said. “The port supports jobs, encourages trade, and builds connections that help businesses and communities across Pennsylvania thrive. This new $246 million investment will help the port build on its success over the past few years and will help Pennsylvania build on our commonwealth’s economic success and job growth, too.”

The money will fund the next phase of the Port Development Plan after a $300 million investment in 2016 that expanded the facility’s infrastructure and warehousing space and added three new super post-Panamax cranes at the Packer Avenue Marine terminal. The improvements, along with a new Southport Auto Terminal, ramped up cargo volumes, resulting in a 60% increase in containers arriving in the city.

Read More

Nonprofit Blasts Philadelphia, Pennsylvania School District for Efforts on Gender and Neglect of Academics

As the School District of Philadelphia labors to make its digital student-information system accord with expanding progressive concepts of gender, a right-leaning nonprofit is urging officials to refocus on academics.

In 2016, the district adopted a policy allowing students to pursue their “gender identity” and therein defined the term as “a person’s deeply held sense or psychological knowledge of their own gender, regardless of the sex they were assigned at birth.” The new rule allows students of one biological sex identifying as another to access restrooms, locker rooms, gym classes and athletic programs consistent with the former rather than the latter. In 2020, several school employees reportedly asked Sarah Galbally, the district’s lobbyist, to push for recognizing a broader variety of gender identities in the student tracking system, something that couldn’t be done without tweaking state-education policy.

Read More

Pennsylvania Taps Federal Funding for Homeowner Mortgage Assistance

Pennsylvania has launched a new $350 million program designed to help homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced the statewide launch of the Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund (PAHAF) on Thursday after approval from the U.S. Department of Treasury. The fund utilizes $350 million from the American Rescue Plan Act distributed to Pennsylvania through the treasury’s Homeowner Assistance Fund to help homeowners avoid mortgage delinquencies, defaults and foreclosures, as well as for help paying utilities.

“As we continue to advance our COVID-19 recovery efforts, we must address the rising number of homeowners facing possible loss of their homes and foreclosure – this program will do just that,” Wolf said. “The Homeowner Assistance Fund will prioritize individuals and families with the greatest need, as well as those who are socially disadvantaged. I am grateful that the U.S. Treasury has approved Pennsylvania’s plan, and we can start the new year by distributing this critical funding to homeowners.”

Read More

Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf Vetoes Education-Transparency Bill

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) this week vetoed legislation that would have directed school districts to publish their curricula online.

State Rep. Andrew Lewis (R-Harrisburg) sponsored the bill to provide a “standardized, simple and user-friendly” means for residents to review the general lesson plans and the titles of textbooks to which children in their districts are subject. New or revised plans would have had to appear online within 30 days of their approval. The representative has observed that many parents have publicly voiced frustration about their inability to ascertain their kids’ curricula ahead of time, with some speaking to him directly about the issue.

Read More

Pennsylvania State Rep. Zimmerman to Sponsor Bill Penalizing Crimes Against Unborn

Pennsylvania state Rep. David Zimmerman (R-East Earl) this week proposed a measure enabling prosecution of those who kill or injure an unborn child while committing a non-homicidal crime against the mother.

Current law only allows murder charges for killing an unborn human when the perpetrator is also charged with murdering that child’s mother. Criminal acts against an expecting mother causing a pre-born child’s death that Zimmerman’s legislation would cover include assault, fatal drug delivery and reckless endangerment, according to a memorandum to Pennsylvania House members.

Read More

Majority in Pennsylvania House Disapprove of Gov. Wolf’s Efforts to Enroll in Climate Initiative

The Pennsylvania General Assembly has sent a disapproval resolution to Gov. Tom Wolf, rejecting his efforts to enroll the state in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, but vote totals show there aren’t enough opposing lawmakers to override a veto.

The House approved Senate Concurrent Regulatory Review Resolution 1, 130-70, on Wednesday. The vote total is just short of two-thirds of the chamber’s 203 members necessary to override a veto.

Read More

War Room Pandemic: Steve Bannon Talks Mask Victory, Election Integrity, and Pennsylvania Governor Run with Jake Corman

Jake Corman and Steve Bannon

  Stephen K. Bannon welcomed Pennsylvania’s President Pro Tempore and Gubernatorial candidate, Jake Corman on Monday’s War Room: Pandemic to discuss his latest school mask mandate victory, restoring election integrity, and his commitment to do so. Bannon: Pennsylvania Senate. A key figure back in the three November movement. Remember he…

Read More

While Pennsylvania Strikes Down School Mask Mandate, Federal Judge Says Opposite in Tennessee

While children in Pennsylvania will soon be allowed to return to school without masks, children in Tennessee will not. 

Over a 24-hour period, Pennsylvania’s highest court and a federal judge in Tennessee came to opposite conclusions about whether mask mandates should be legal. 

Read More

Pennsylvania Governor Blocks Conceal-Carry Without a License

Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed legislation that would have allowed residents to carry a concealed firearm without a license, claiming the measure would exacerbate gun violence in the commonwealth.

“This legislation removes the requirement that an individual obtain a license, and with it, the ability of law enforcement to conduct a background investigation,” Wolf said. “Removal of the licensing background investigation will hinder the ability of law enforcement to prevent individuals who should not be able to carry a firearm concealed from doing so.

Read More

Pennsylvania State Senators Legislating to Prevent Privatizing Election Administration

Kristin Phillips-Hill

Pennsylvania lawmakers plan to introduce a measure banning private organizations from funding election administration in the Keystone State.

The bill’s sponsors, state Sens. Lisa Baker (R-Dallas) and Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-Jacobus) have cited the role that the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) played in election operations in Philadelphia and other Democratic-leaning counties in 2020. CTCL has been funded significantly by Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.

Read More

Pennsylvania Governor Recalls Secretary Nomination Amid Legislative Election Probe

Gov. Tom Wolf recalled his nomination for acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid on Monday after alleging that Senate Republicans would not vet her fairly amid the chamber’s controversial election investigation.

“It is clear that instead of providing advice and consent on my nominee for Secretary of the Commonwealth, they instead plan on using her confirmation as an opportunity to descend further into conspiracy theories and work to please the former president [Donald Trump] by spreading lies about last year’s election, instead of working together to address real issues facing Pennsylvanians,” Wolf said in an emailed statement to reporters on Monday.

Read More

State Lawmakers Strip Four Democrat and Two Republican Governors’ Power After Overreach During COVID-19 Pandemic

State legislatures in six states limited their governors’ emergency powers wielded during the COVID-19 pandemic, arguing executives have overextended their authority.

As of June 2021, lawmakers in 46 states have introduced legislation stripping governors of certain emergency powers, according to USA Today. Legislatures justified their actions as necessary to restore a balance between the branches of state government, pointing to examples of executive overreach and the centralization of power in the hands of governors.

Read More

Opponents of Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf’s COVID Orders Present Case to Third Circuit Court

Before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia on Thursday, legal counsel for several Pennsylvania counties as well as numerous public officials and private companies, argued Governor Tom Wolf (D) abused his police powers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, the private-sector compainaints charge that the governor’s shutdown of and other demands on businesses during parts of 2020 and 2021 violate the takings clause and the due-process clause of the U.S. Constitution. All plaintiffs, governmental and private, further insist that the governor’s restrictions on public gatherings over the past year violated the rights of assembly, association and religion secured by the First Amendment. 

Read More

True the Vote Sues Pennsylvania to Fight Counting of Illegal Ballots in Four Counties

True the Vote filed a federal lawsuit against Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Kathryn Boockvar to contest illegal ballots counted in the November 3 election.

The organization said the suit is part of its “Validate the Vote” initiative and is on behalf of four Pennsylvania voters.

Read More

Federal Judge Tosses Wolf Administration’s Limits on Gatherings, Orders Closing Businesses

A federal judge on Monday threw out portions of the Wolf administration’s orders that restricted activity during the coronavirus pandemic, saying that the governor had exceeded his authority.
The ruling by Judge William Stickman in the Western District of Pennsylvania court delivers to Gov. Tom Wolf’s political opponents what they had failed to achieve for months in the Legislature as bill after bill to curtail the governor’s power was passed, only to be vetoed.

Read More

Pennsylvania Counties Go Rogue, Ignore State Shutdown Orders

Officials from several counties across central Pennsylvania said over the weekend they likely will lift pandemic restrictions against Gov. Tom Wolf’s orders.

The news follows the governor’s decision Friday to transition 13 counties in the southwestern region of the state – including the Pittsburgh metro area – to the yellow phase of his economic reopening plan after showing signs of slowing community spread and ramped up testing and contact tracing abilities.

Read More