Katie Meyer

Updated at 4:33 p.m. ET

A long-awaited grand jury investigation into clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania was released Tuesday in an interim redacted form. The report detailed decades of alleged misconduct and cover-ups in six of the state's eight Roman Catholic dioceses.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

As midterms approach, Republicans and Democrats around the country are looking at special election results for clues on how their candidates will do in November.

A new Associated Press analysis shows Democrats, so far, have an enthusiasm advantage.

And in Pennsylvania, Democrats are trying to capitalize on that.

There have been ten special elections since Donald Trump became president. The final one before the midterms was last Tuesday in Ohio.

Charles Krupa / AP

As Pennsylvania’s Democratic Socialists get ready to have some of their own in the state House next legislative session, they’re also looking to broaden their coalition.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

A state agency has said it’s willing to let Pennsylvania’s capitol keep its uncommonly high taxes through 2020—the latest development in a battle between the city and state over how it’ll pay its bills after losing its “distressed municipality” status.

The city, however, is hoping it gets to keep its special taxing authority permanently.

The new tax option comes in the latest version of Harrisburg’s Act 47 exit plan, delivered by the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

After a year of campaigning and months of legislative debate, it’s likely too late for state lawmakers to pass a constitutional amendment overhauling Pennsylvania’s redistricting process before the next map-redrawing gets underway in 2021.

So now, reform advocates are exploring alternative options.

Critics of the map-drawing methods for congressional and state legislative districts have spent months insisting state lawmakers have too much power over the process—and saying that leads to political gerrymandering and incumbent protection.  

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The Wolf administration is touting a new approach to coordinating with schools on the district level around the state.

Julio Cortez / AP

 

The release of a long-awaited grand jury report on sexual abuse by Pennsylvania’s Catholic clergy has been delayed once again.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Pennsylvania’s junior U.S. senator is going toe to toe with President Donald Trump on tariffs.

Republican Pat Toomey, a staunch free trade advocate, held a roundtable discussion in Harrisburg on Tuesday to hear a range of business owners and advocates speak on how the President’s recent spate of tariffs and ensuing trade wars have impacted them.

Marc Levy / AP

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Lou Barletta is on a bus tour across the commonwealth with his golden retriever, Reilly.

The Luzerne County congressman is hoping it turns the tide of his disappointing fundraising numbers.

As of their most recent campaign filings from late June, Barletta has about $1.5 million on-hand, while opponent Bob Casey has nearly $10 million.

Matt Rourke / AP

The Republican gubernatorial nominee is updating his rhetoric on climate change.

Matt Rourke / AP

With three months until midterm elections, Republican Congressman and U.S. Senate hopeful Lou Barletta has found himself trailing his incumbent opponent—both in polls and in dollars.

Now, the Luzerne County representative is leaning into one resource he can count on: the support of President Donald Trump.

On Thursday night, Trump rolled through northeast Pennsylvania to lend his voice to the cause.

Matt Rourke / AP

More than 100 scrubs-clad nurses filled the Capitol rotunda Tuesday in an effort to convince lawmakers they’re overworked, and the state needs to do something about it.

They brought with them more than 10,000 signatures from around the state supporting legislation that would create minimum nurse-to-patient ratios.

PA House of Representatives / legis.state.pa.gov

A Democratic state representative is circulating a proposal that has prompted some concern from domestic violence advocates.

Representative Kevin Haggerty’s measure would require drug and alcohol tests for certain people who file for Protection from Abuse orders.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

A state commission is trying to figure out how to cut costs in Pennsylvania’s two largest, heavily-indebted pension funds.

Depending on what numbers you use, the State Employees’ Retirement System and Public School Employees’ Retirement System have between about $66 and $89 billion in unfunded liabilities.

Basically, the money needed to pay thousands of pensions isn’t there.

That’s nothing new. But what is new is a commission of lawmakers and state officials who are working to come up with a plan to pay down the debt.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Ahead of the legislature’s return to Harrisburg this fall, Representative Todd Stephens is spending his summer trying to get fellow conservatives on board with a modest gun control proposal.

The Montgomery County Republican introduced his extreme risk protection, or “red flag” bill in February, in the wake of a mass school shooting in Florida.

Five states have similar laws in effect, and Stephens said around thirty more are considering them.

The version in Pennsylvania’s statehouse hasn’t moved much since its introduction.

Julio Cortez / AP

The state Supreme Court has ordered  the release of a heavily redacted grand jury investigation into sexual abuse of children at the hands of clergy in six of Pennsylvania's eight Catholic dioceses.

The Wyse Choice / via AP

State officials say the rain that drenched much of Pennsylvania this week is tapering off.

Martin Meissner / AP

The Wolf administration is voicing concerns that the federal government will reduce states’ abilities to use a vehicle emission standard that’s tougher than the federal one.

Pennsylvania is one of more than a dozen states that abides by California’s separate standards. Under Barack Obama’s administration, federal emission targets for vehicles were ramped up to match the West Coast state’s more aggressive ones.

Matt Rourke / AP

A conservative group is calling out lawmakers who they say tucked about $35 million in spending for specific local projects and causes into the state budget’s dense fiscal code.

It’s a practice that, in various forms, has a long history in Pennsylvania and around the country.

At one time, lawmakers reserved cash for constituent causes through WAMs—or Walking Around Money—shoehorned into the main state budget.

But WAMs have been officially phased out, under scrutiny for being too secretive.

Matt Slocum / AP

U.S. Senator Bob Casey brought his quest for a third term to Harrisburg on Monday.

In a talk to the Pennsylvania Press Club, the historically moderate Democrat drew distinctions between himself and his opponent, Congressman Lou Barletta, on a range of issues—from the economy to immigration.

Barletta is among President Donald Trump’s strongest backers. In his last Harrisburg visit he was navigating the fallout from the administration’s curtailed policy of separating children from their undocumented parents at the southern border.

AP

If a common pleas judge in Cambria County gets his way, more information may be released about a sweeping grand jury report on sexual abuse of children in six of Pennsylvania's eight Catholic dioceses.

Matt Rourke / AP

State lawmakers—particularly the ones running for office—have spent the last month touting the fact they passed a budget ahead of schedule after a decade of regular impasses.

Their success wasn’t unusual this year—nearly every state passed an on-time budget thanks to strong revenues.

Late budgets have become routine in a number of states since the 2008 recession.

Both photos by Matt Rourke / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf and GOP challenger Scott Wagner have spent much of this month trying to paint one another as supporters of school funding cuts.

And both say the other camp is being misleading.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania’s Auditor General says he’s expanding his review of the state voter registration infrastructure, after learning a Russian oligarch is a primary investor in the company that manages Maryland’s system.

Elise Amendola / AP

The state Public Utility Commission is considering taking over jurisdiction of certain utilities from the federal government in an effort to boost efforts to bring high-speed broadband to underserved rural areas.

The PUC said its main goal is resolving telephone pole disputes faster than the Federal Communications Commission can.

One of the main ways broadband gets to customers is through aerial wires on utility poles.

PA Dept. of Health

The state website where people can order birth and death records was recently offline for nearly a full week because someone made unauthorized changes to the site.

No data breach was reported, and no one’s records have been compromised, however.

The Office of Administration declined to comment beyond confirming the outage last month for emergency maintenance, and saying they’re working with law enforcement.

But Republican state Representative John Lawrence of Chester County said he’s gotten a little more information.

Michael Rubinkam / AP

The price of being a student in the State System of Higher Education is getting steeper.

Heather Kresge / Democratic Socialists of America

The state Republican Party is launching a new strategy for this fall's congressional elections: making and distributing lists of which Democrats support socialized programs, among other things.

Jacqueline Larma / AP

In the wake of a Supreme Court decision halting unions' ability to compel public sector employees to pay fees, pro-union state lawmakers are trying to come up with a rebuttal.

So far, House and Senate Democrats have launched bills that would let public sector workers form unions by simple majorities--an easier system than the one in place now.

Lisa Wardle / WITF

Construction is winding down on the final feature in the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County.

All that's left is installing an unprecedented, enormous and complicated set of wind chimes.

Architect Paul Murdoch first pitched his plan for the memorial more than 13 years ago, and has been incrementally building features since then.

This final stage is dubbed the Tower of Voices--a 93-foot tall concrete structure that'll be adorned with 40 chimes--one for each of the passengers and crew members killed in the crash during the September 11th attacks.

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