Talks on critical election legislation in Pennsylvania hit a wall

By: Marc Levy

HARRISBURG — Closed-door talks on legislation seen as crucial to producing a prompt election result in the presidential battleground state of Pennsylvania appeared stuck Thursday between the Democratic governor and the Legislature’s House Republican majority.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said an offer extended in recent days to House Republican leaders has been effectively rejected, now less than three weeks before Election Day.

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Pa. health officials ask residents to cooperate with contact tracers

By: Teghan Simonton

Pennsylvania health officials on Tuesday asked residents to cooperate in contact tracing efforts, as the state experiences a rise in covid-19 infections.

In a news release, the Department of Health encouraged residents to download the Covid Alert PA mobile app and participate in case investigations.

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Appeals court allows Gov. Tom Wolf, state to restore covid crowd restrictions

By: Paula Reed Ward

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday granted a request from Gov. Tom Wolf to reinstate crowd gathering restrictions designed to prevent the spread of covid-19.

In a two-page order filed just after noon, Judges D. Brooks Smith, Michael Chagares and Patty Shwartz granted the request to stay the decision from U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh that ruled the governor’s orders restricting gathering sizes and ordering nonessential businesses to close were unconstitutional.

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Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf asks lawmakers to stop ‘irresponsible behavior’; GOP leaders say he won’t work with them

By: Jan Murphy

Gov. Tom Wolf is accusing the GOP-controlled General Assembly of acting irresponsibly in ways that will harm Pennsylvanians at a time when he is trying to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a Thursday news conference that was billed as focusing on government reform and COVID-19 mitigation efforts, the governor spent a good part of the time criticizing lawmakers for pursuing “dangerous legislation” this week.

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50,000 residents download Pennsylvania’s covid app in 24 hours

By: Teghan Simonton

Pennsylvania’s new covid-19 contact tracing app has been downloaded by 50,000 people, Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said Wednesday. The mobile app, COVID Alert PA, was announced in August and officially launched Tuesday.

The app notifies users if they have been exposed to covid-19 using Bluetooth technology. Without tracking identity or location, it measures time and distance between users, notifying them if they’ve come in close contact with someone who has later tested positive for the coronavirus.

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Judge rejects Wolf’s request for stay on shutdown ruling

By: Torsten Ove

A federal judge on Tuesday denied a request by Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration to stay an order striking down key COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the governor on public gatherings pending an appeal before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV ruled that the Wolf administration is unlikely to succeed in its appeal of his order or prove that the administration will be irreparably harmed without a stay.

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Gov. Wolf argues ‘life and death’ while seeking stay in pandemic restrictions ruling

By: Paul Reed Ward

Attorneys for Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration on Wednesday asked to stay the federal court decision from earlier this week in which a district judge ruled unconstitutional the state’s shutdown orders over the covid-19 pandemic.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case said they will vigorously oppose any motion to stay — meaning, to suspend the ruling — and expect to file briefs on Thursday.

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