Legislation Would Clarify Work-Search Requirement for Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation

A bill soon to be reintroduced in Pennsylvania’s General Assembly aims to prevent unemployment claimants from undermining their own job searches to keep benefits flowing. 

Last year, state Representative Shelby Labs (R-Doylestown) introduced the legislation to explicitly codify state policy on work-search requirements. The commonwealth requires every individual seeking unemployment compensation (UC) to apply for at least two jobs and follow through with one work-search activity every week. 

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Keefer to Chair Pennsylvania House Freedom Caucus

Pennsylvania’s new House Freedom Caucus announced its initial leaders this week, with state Representative Dawn Keefer (R-Dillsburg) to chair the new organization and Representative David Rowe (R-Mifflinburg) to serve as vice chair. 

Keefer and Rowe were among the 20 GOP members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to vote against this fiscal year’s budget, a compromise between the majority-Republican General Assembly and Democratic Governor Tom Wolf which increases state spending by 16.6 percent to $43.7 billion. In remarks to the press, the new caucus’s leaders complained of the extent to which government is growing in the commonwealth and promised to pursue zero-based budgeting as well as regulatory reform. 

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Party Control of Pennsylvania House Will Come Down to Two Undecided Races

As the week of Election Day 2022 draws to a close, it remains uncertain whether Republicans or Democrats will have the helm of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the next two years, with two southeastern races to decide the outcome. 

Pennsylvania has 203 legislative districts and electoral contests have been clinched by one major party or the other in 201 of them. Democrats prevailed in 101 of those races, meaning the GOP needs to win both of the still undetermined seats in order to keep control of the General Assembly’s lower chamber. 

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Pennsylvania Re-Elects State Representative Who Passed Away

Residents of Pennsylvania’s 32nd House District posthumously reelected deceased Democratic state Representative Anthony DeLuca (D-PA-Pittsburgh) on Tuesday, necessitating a special election in the months ahead. 

The lawmaker faced no Republican challenger this year and bested leftist Green Party candidate Zarah Livingston, garnering 21,244 votes (85.9 percent) to her 3,490 (14.1 percent). 

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Pennsylvania House Forms Bipartisan Committee to Investigate Philadelphia Progressive Prosecutor

The Pennsylvania State House has created a bipartisan committee to investigate a crime spree in Philadelphia, the state’s largest city.

Part of the effort includes allowing the committee to subpoena witnesses and documents from the office of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, a frontline figure in the national progressive prosecutor movement, according to the Epoch Times.

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Leaves New Democrat-Favored State House Map in Place

Kerry Benninghoff

Republicans in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives were dealt an expected blow this week as the state Supreme Court unanimously declined to overturn a new state-House-district map.

Every ten years, Pennsylvania’s Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC) must redraw the state’s 203 state legislative districts and 50 state senatorial districts to cohere with new population data reported by the U.S. Census. The five-member LRC is composed of the respective Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate as well as a chair appointment by the state Supreme Court. In the latest round of redistricting, Democrats effectively controlled the LRC, as the majority of justices on the court selected fellow Democrat Mark A. Nordenberg. 

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Opposition to Pennsylvania State House Map Getting Voluble, and Not Just Among Republicans

Pennsylvania Capitol Building

Across the Keystone State, more and more observers are raising concerns about the proposed district map for state representatives.

The redistricting plan, crafted by a majority-Democrat Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC), has received reproach for unduly advantaging Democratic candidates, lacking competitiveness and diluting minority-voter strength. The period during which the LRC is hearing public comments on the map continues until next Tuesday, Jan. 18.

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