Katie Meyer

Katie Meyer

As retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Bill Davey played taps at the state Capitol’s annual Pearl Harbor commemoration, Richard Schimmel, Isaac George, William Bonelli, and Hank Heim rose slowly to their feet and saluted.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

As lawmakers in Washington debate a proposal to ease harsh federal sentencing guidelines and shorten some prison terms, Pennsylvania is being cited as a role model.

AP

When a new legislative session starts in January, embattled lieutenant governor Mike Stack, who lost the Democratic primary, is exiting the Capitol.

Stack’s also leaving his state-provided residence. But his replacement, John Fetterman, isn’t moving in.

That decision might save the commonwealth a little money. But what’s even more important to the new lieutenant governor is how it looks politically.

Ever since Braddock Mayor John Fetterman won the Lieutenant Governor nomination, he and Wolf have presented themselves as a unit.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Though the new state legislative session hasn’t technically started, lawmakers are already filing memos for the bills they plan to sponsor.

One of the first issues on the agenda has already commanded lawmakers’ attention for nearly a year: redistricting.

Last winter, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruled the state’s congressional map unfairly benefited Republicans and redrew it. The move inflamed a debate that had smoldered for a long time: that the map-drawing process has to be less political.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

The state Supreme Court has decided to permanently redact the names of nearly a dozen current and former Roman Catholic clergy who were implicated in a sweeping grand jury report on sexual abuse of children.

Jason DeCrow / AP

This weekend, the commonwealth’s politicos are headed out-of-state for the annual Pennsylvania Society gala.

The expensive gathering is a longstanding tradition—and so is criticizing it.

Matt Slocum / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf said this week that he wants to change the way Pennsylvania pays for transportation.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Pennsylvania is in the midst of launching its sports betting industry—becoming part of the first wave of states to do so.

Matt Rourke / AP

Former state Attorney General Kathleen Kane is likely headed to jail soon.

Carlos Osorio / AP

As others in the state Capitol prepared to bring in the building’s annual Christmas tree, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale held his own version of a holiday celebration.

He hosted several representatives from the Pennsylvania chapter of the Public Interest Research Group, who recently released its 33rd  annual holiday toy advisory, available here.

This one includes warnings about 15 different toys, out of 40 tested.

Rick Callahan / AP

Cases of Hepatitis A are in the rise in Pennsylvania.

The commonwealth’s Department of Health said Monday that over the last several years, there have been between 40 and 60 Hepatitis A cases annually.

This year, 81 have been reported.

And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there is heightened risk for people who are homeless, men who have sex with other men, people who use drugs, or recently-incarcerated people.

Other states are experiencing outbreaks too—including neighboring Ohio and West Virginia.

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

Though Pennsylvania’s state legislative elections are over and done, one Senate race is still under contention.

Democratic state Representative Tina Davis sought to unseat incumbent Republican Robert “Tommy” Tomlinson in the 6th Senate District.

Now, she is going to court over what her campaign says are restrictive election laws. 

Matt Rourke / AP

In a speech before the Pennsylvania Press Club in Harrisburg Monday, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro said there is more to come in his office’s investigation into abuse within the Catholic church.

In a wide-ranging speech, Shapiro touched on the many lawsuits he’s been involved in against the Trump administration. He also touted improvements to the AG's office after years of scandal, and rebuffed a question about whether he wants to be governor.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Pennsylvania’s revenue watchdog is predicting state lawmakers will have to fill a sizable budget hole for the next fiscal year.

Future Ready PA Index

The state Department of Education has launched a new online index that’ll aggregate statistics on public and charter schools for parents, teachers, and students.

90.5 WESA

State Senators held their leadership elections this week, and both Republicans and Democrats chose to retain the same members for top positions.

Matt Rourke / AP

As Pennsylvania’s 2017-18 legislative session draws to a close, lawmakers are picking their leadership teams for the next two years.

House Democrats are seeing some of the biggest sea changes.

The midterm elections brought the caucus almost a dozen new seats, mostly in the collar counties around Philadelphia. And two longtime leaders are departing: Minority Whip Mike Hanna and Appropriations Committee Chair Joe Markosek, of Centre and Allegheny counties, respectively.

Katie Meyer / WITF

A state audit of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission has uncovered more than $20,000 in food expenses and employee perks it labeled “extravagant,” and “questionable” from summer 2016 to this year.

Susan Walsh / AP

Activists are launching widespread protests of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ forced resignation at the hands of President Donald Trump.

Matt Rourke / AP

A few of Pennsylvania’s state House and Senate races still aren’t finalized, but it appears legislative Democrats have picked up at least five new seats in the Senate, and 11 in the House.

AP File photo / AP

The Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has filed two lawsuits against the state for what it sees as overly restrictive policies on legal mail sent to prisoners.

The ACLU claims the policy violates prisoners’ rights to speak confidentially with their lawyers — while the state Department of Corrections has said that it is necessary to keep out drugs.

An updated policy on mail went into effect a few months ago after a rash of illnesses among staff that were attributed to an influx of powerful, synthetic drugs.

Matt Rourke / AP

Hundreds of mourners dressed mostly in black ringed the perimeter of Pittsburgh's city's oldest and largest synagogue, Rodef Shalom, to pay respect for two brothers with intellectually disabilities who were killed in Saturday's shooting.

Dave Klug / AP

The anti-Semitic gunman who allegedly killed 11 and wounded six others in Pittsburgh this weekend is facing 29 federal charges.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Governor Tom Wolf has worked his way through a massive pile of bills lawmakers sent to his desk before recessing.

All told, 88 bills from the last couple session weeks are now enacted law.

But four are not.

The highest profile veto was a bid to create work requirements for certain Medicaid recipients that Wolf has long opposed.

The other three garnered less attention.

Matt Rourke / AP

Voters in Pennsylvania have until Tuesday to apply for absentee ballots for the November 6th midterm election—and until Friday to send them in to their county elections board.

But more than 96,000 people have already voted absentee—a likely sign of higher-than average turnout.

Matt Rourke / AP

Thousands of Pittsburghers gathered at a vigil at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall on Sunday evening, to mourn and honor the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting. An overflow crowd stood outside, in the rain, listening to the memorial over speakers.

 

 


 

Matt Rourke / AP

Details are still coming out about the path of the gunman who killed 11 at the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue Saturday morning.

AP

Voters in Pennsylvania have until Tuesday to apply for absentee ballots for the November 6th midterm election--and until Friday to send them in to their county elections board.

AP

Governor Tom Wolf has worked his way through a massive pile of bills lawmakers sent to his desk before recessing.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

A new political ad that’s hitting TVs across southeastern Pennsylvania is ripping on Republican state senators for their caucus stalling on a high-profile anti-child abuse bill.

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