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An Election Day like never before: Mail-in balloting, new voting machines, multi-day counts for Pa.’s primary

By: Charles Thompson

It’s going to be an election like we’ve never had in a year we’ll never forget.

Many Pennsylvanians have already voted by mail for the first time; others will be voting on new machines for the first time; and – importantly – no one’s likely to have final results for several days after the polls close.

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Coronavirus case in Pa. Capitol takes partisan rancor over pandemic to new level

By: Julia Terruso and Angela Couloumbis

HARRISBURG — The already fraught political fight over the coronavirus in Pennsylvania reached a fever pitch this week.

Democratic lawmakers in Pennsylvania voiced growing outrage Thursday after the belated revelation that one of their Republican colleagues had tested positive for the coronavirus. Allegations of a cover-up prompted calls for the top GOP House leader to resign and even a push for an official investigation, although that prospect was quickly shot down by the state’s top law enforcement official.

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Liquor privatization gets another push in Pa.

By: Jan Murphy

A state lawmaker is making a renewed push for privatizing Pennsylvania’s state-controlled liquor system amid findings from the state of Washington that its voters now regret making that move in 2011.

Rep. Timothy O’Neal, a Washington County Republican, on Tuesday introduced legislation that calls for closing state stores, privatizing the wholesale liquor system, and creating private retail liquor outlets.

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Pa. House narrowly passes short-term budget with no tax increases

By: Marc Levy

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania state government began advancing a temporary, no-new-taxes budget plan Tuesday that maintains current spending levels while budget makers watch to see how badly coronavirus-related shutdowns damage tax collections and whether the federal government sends another aid package to states.

Officials in the House and Senate Republican majorities said that they expected to wrap up votes on a roughly $25.8 billion package this week. The main budget bill squeaked by the House, 103-99, just hours after it was unveiled Tuesday.

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Pa. House fails to override Gov. Wolf’s veto of bill that would’ve allowed more businesses to operate

By: Jan Murphy

Hoping to get barbers, hair stylists, animal groomers and more businesses reopened, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Wednesday attempted unsuccessfully to override Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of a bill that he said would undermine his measured phased-in approach to bringing back the state’s economy.

By a vote of 115-87, it fell short 21 votes of the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto. Had the House been successful in its override vote, the Senate also would have had to achieve support from two-thirds of the 50 senators for the measure to become law.

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Gov. Wolf talking with sports leagues, says it could take until vaccine for Pennsylvania to reach ‘normal’

By: Megan Guza

Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday he is talking with professional sports leagues about holding events in Pennsylvania, but he doesn’t believe residents will be completely comfortable going back to pre-pandemic normalcy until there is a coronavirus vaccine.

“Ultimately, I think what it’s going to take for everybody to feel safe going to a Penn State game or a basketball game is they have some confidence that they’re not going to get sick by being in close contact with somebody else,” he said during a call with reporters.

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Telehealth gains a wider role in post-pandemic health care

By: Steve Twedt

In 2020 B.C. (Before COVID), telehealth had no discernable role in the day-to-day patient care provided by Genesis Medical Associates, a 21-physician independent primary care practice in McCandless.

“We were doing zero telehealth until March,” said Dr. Tad Scheri, president of Genesis Medical and one of the group’s practicing physicians. As the crisis peaked a few weeks later, he estimates 60-80% of the practice’s patients were being seen via video screen, or in a few cases talking by telephone, rather than meeting in person.

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