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Pa.’s move to new unemployment compensation computer system set for June 8

By: Jan Murphy

Pennsylvania’s 16-year-long beleaguered effort to modernize its unemployment compensation computer system is said to have reached the final stage with the plan to go live on June 8.

Acting Labor & Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier announced on Thursday that is the target date when Pennsylvanians will begin using the new web-based system that is billed as user-friendly for unemployed individuals and employers alike.

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A voter guide to Pennsylvania’s 2021 judicial elections

By: Katie Meyer

Yes, there’s another election day just around the corner. It’s May 18. And, in fact, thanks to no-excuse mail ballots, widespread voting is already open.

In addition to deciding local races, voters this year will elect a slew of new judges to Pennsylvania’s three statewide appellate courts — judges who will no doubt shape important policy in the state for at least the next decade.

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Pa. gets over $115M for COVID-19 vaccine rollout

By: Ron Southwick

Pennsylvania is receiving more than $115 million in federal aid to expand the COVID-19 vaccine rollout across the commonwealth.

President Joe Biden and Congress approved the money as part of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that also delivered stimulus checks to millions of Americans.

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Pa. to distribute 7.9M lbs. of emergency food to food banks

By: John L. Micek

Food banks across Pennsylvania saw an explosion in their use in 2020 as the pandemic shuttered the economy and millions were put out of work. A year later, those same institutions, which already have helped millions, are still feeling the stress from that increased demand.

That’s why the state Department of Agriculture says it’s purchased an additional 7.9 million pounds of emergency food from the federal government. The food, valued at $12.9 million, will be delivered between June and December of this year, the agency said in a statement.

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Allegheny County’s new vaccine registration system opens

By: Teghan Simonton

The Allegheny County Health Department’s new vaccine registration system, designed to make registering for an appointment easier, is officially open to the public.

The department announced the new system was on the way last week and began a “soft launch” earlier this week. Individuals seeking a vaccine appointment through the county site can now register online at vax4.alleghenycounty.us.

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Pennsylvania to make all adults vaccine eligible by April 19

By: Mark Scolforo and Michael Rubinkam

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Every adult in Pennsylvania will qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine starting April 19, and emergency responders, grocery workers and people in other high-risk groups are able to schedule their shots immediately, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration announced Wednesday in a dramatic expansion of the statewide rollout.

Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam said the new timeline is possible because Pennsylvania’s vaccine supply is growing and getting more predictable, and providers across the state report they are ready for a fresh influx of people seeking protection against the coronavirus.

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Pennsylvania election law reforms won’t be ready for primary

By: Mark Scolforo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Five months after the state’s narrow and bitterly contested presidential race drew Republican claims of improper election procedures, it’s clear no changes will be enacted in time for Pennsylvania’s spring primary election.

The GOP majorities in both legislative chambers have convened a series of hearings on election law and more are scheduled, but counties are preparing to run the May 18 primary election under the same rules as in November.

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Gov. Wolf Announces Nearly $5 Billion in Federal COVID-19 Relief for Pre-K-12 Schools

By: Press Release

Governor Tom Wolf today announced that Pennsylvania is expected to receive $4.9 billion in federal relief funds to help Pre-K to 12 schools return students to classroom learning and equitably expand opportunity for students who need it most.

The funding, and the state’s nearly complete special initiative to provide teachers, school staff and contractors the opportunity to get the voluntary, single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, supports the governor’s goal to help more schools to reopen and for additional students and teachers to safety return to the classroom.

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Wolf administration refuses to release details of wasted COVID-19 vaccine doses

By: Ese Olumhense

HARRISBURG — The Wolf administration is refusing to disclose details of wasted coronavirus vaccine doses, including how many have been discarded by each provider, citing a decades-old law that it has frequently used to shield the public from scrutinizing its pandemic response.

The state Department of Health recently denied a public records request by Spotlight PA seeking documentation of vaccine doses that providers did not administer because of expiration, damage, or other factors. The request did not seek any patient information.

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Lawmakers look to limit redistricting chair’s political ties

By: AP News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republicans and Democrats in Pennsylvania’s Capitol are agreeing on at least one thing in an otherwise bitter political atmosphere.

Senators gave a unanimous vote in committee on Tuesday on a bill designed to limit the political connections of what could be the deciding member of a panel tasked with redrawing the boundaries of Pennsylvania’s 253 legislative districts before the 2022 elections.

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