Author: Soapbox Group


Redistricting will be the definitive political fight of 2021 in Pennsylvania. Here’s how it’ll work.

By: Marie Albiges

HARRISBURG — With partisanship in the Pennsylvania legislature at peak levels, lawmakers this year are gearing up for the once-a-decade brawl to redraw political districts — and the stakes couldn’t be much higher.

The state is set to lose a congressional seat. The representation of millions of people is on the line. And after a bruising 2020 marred by politicized court battles and misinformation, Republicans will have to do what seems impossible — get along with Democrats.

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House GOP focuses on ways to kickstart the economy to make Pa. the ‘envy of the East’

By: Jan Murphy

A group of House Republican lawmakers has been tasked with coming up with a strategy to kickstart the state’s economic recovery as it climbs out from under the damage done from the COVID-19 shutdown.

At a Tuesday Capitol news conference, House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre County, said the members of the Economic Recovery Task Force and other House Republicans have been listening to what their constituents have to say about the challenges they face and hearing their suggestions over the past few months. Now, the group is charged with taking that input and using it to examine how the state got in the shape it’s in and craft legislative policies and ideas to get the economy moving again.

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Incoming Office of Open Records director looks forward to advancing its transparency mission

By: Jan Murphy

HARRISBURG — The new executive director of Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records sees the role she is taking on as a continuation of her current work at the state’s auditor general’s office in holding government accountable and transparent. 

Liz Gerloff Wagenseller takes over a position that has been held for the past six years by Erik Arneson, whose last day is Wednesday when his six-year term expires. Ms. Wagenseller said she spent two hours talking to Mr. Arneson on the phone on Sunday. She starts her new post on Jan. 19. Gov. Tom Wolf announced the appointment Monday.

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At Pa. Capitol, the doors were slammed shut Thursday, and you can thank the D.C. riot for that

By: Charles Thompson

The Pennsylvania State Capitol was closed to the public Thursday, with an exclamation point.

One day after the nation was riveted to news coverage of supporters of President Donald J. Trump raiding the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from its final certification of the electoral college vote in favor of President-elect Joseph R. Biden, leaders at the state Capitol ordered workers there to work from home Thursday, primarily as a precaution.

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Sen. Toomey refutes Trump’s Pa. election allegations after Capitol attack

By: Charles Thompson

In anticipation of the formal objection being filed to Pennsylvania’s electoral college slate in Congress later tonight, U.S. Sen Pat Toomey, a Republican, took to the floor Wednesday night to defend his home state’s results.

And he also continued to make clear his break with President Donald J. Trump’s bizarre crusade to hang onto his office.

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GOP seizes control of Pa. Senate floor, blocks Brewster from being seated

By: Rich Cholodofsky and Teghan Simonton

The Pennsylvania Senate devolved into chaos Tuesday as Republicans, the majority party, refused to seat Democrat Jim Brewster of McKeesport to his third term in office.

The state certified Brewster as the winner of the Nov. 3 election in the 45th District, which includes parts of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. His victory was set aside by Republican senators who claimed a pending federal lawsuit by GOP challenger Nicole Ziccarelli was reason to delay his seating.

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Pennsylvania’s December revenue more than anticipated

By: Teghan Simonton

Pennsylvania collected more revenue in December — and in 2020, as a whole — than the state had originally anticipated, Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell reported Monday.

The state collected $3.7 billion in the General Fund in December, which was $465.8 million, or 14.5%, more than what was expected. Overall, $18.5 billion was collected during 2020, which was about $467.1 million, or 2.6% more than expected.

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