Katie Meyer

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's Republican candidate for governor has released a video of himself saying he wants to stomp on the sitting governor's face with golf spikes.

Ted S. Warren / AP

A measure that would reduce penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana has passed out of a House committee. 

It almost certainly won’t get through the full legislature before the session ends next month—but its backers still see this as an important step forward.

Matt Rourke / AP

In the waning days of the legislative session, House lawmakers are hurrying to push priority bills out of their chamber and on to the governor.

The latest bills queued up to likely become law include revamped graduation readiness standards and an anti-hazing measure.

The hazing bill has been in the works since March—about a year after Penn State Student Tim Piazza died following a hazing ritual at a campus fraternity.

Jacqueline Larma / AP

Inmates’ rights groups are trying to turn their opposition to recent state prison policies into a campaign issue for Governor Tom Wolf.

The new rules were handed down last month on the heels of a statewide prison lockdown, over concerns drugs were making their way inside state-run facilities.

Books must now be purchased though the Department of Corrections, and gifts and donations of books have been temporarily halted.

Zhoa / Flickr

After concerns that inmates were receiving drugs along with their literature, Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections is in the middle of overhauling the way inmates get books.

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

A bill that would end Pennsylvania’s frequent use of mandatory life-without-parole sentences has hit a wall in the state Senate.

The night before the bill was set to be voted out of committee, sponsor Sharif Street—a Democratic Senator from Philadelphia—got word it didn’t have enough support.

The committee didn’t ultimately hold a vote.

Emma Lee / WHYY

If you hunt hard enough around Harrisburg, it is possible to find lawmakers who are on board with allocating state money for the public defense of the poor.

Matt Rourke

In the only scheduled debate of the gubernatorial race Monday night, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and former GOP state Senator Scott Wagner worked to stake out their positions on the issues that will likely define their campaigns over the next month.

However, the topics they discussed—and often the candidates themselves—frequently took a backseat to the moderator: Jeopardy host Alex Trebek.

Matt Rourke / AP

After extensive debate, the state House passed a bill Wednesday that would make it harder for domestic abusers to possess guns.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

The state House has passed a major bill aimed at making it easier for victims of child sex abuse to sue their abusers.

The measure’s fate now rests with the Senate, and leaders say they have no intention of passing it without significant changes.

Both chambers agree on the proposal’s basic features.

It would get rid of the statute of limitations on all child sex abuse cases and extend the cap for victims to file civil suits against institutions.

ROD WADDINGTON / Flickr

The state House is expected to pass a proposal Tuesday making it harder for domestic abusers to possess weapons.

It could be the first significant gun-related bill the chamber gets across the finish line after dozens of attempts this session.

The measure in question would require people under protection from abuse orders turn over their weapons more quickly, and make those weapons harder to reclaim.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The state House has approved an amendment that would open a two-year window for child sex abuse victims to sue in cases on which the statute of limitations has run out.

Kevin McCorry / WHYY

The state House and Senate are returning to the Capitol after months of recess, and according to their voting agendas, there are a lot of bills that could get votes.

Chris Knight / AP

An Oxford University professor tasked with tracking spending in Pennsylvania’s pension system has concluded that the commonwealth’s two largest public funds have underreported billions of dollars they paid to private investors.

The review was undertaken at the behest of a commission of lawmakers and state officials, who are trying to find ways to ease the massive debt these funds are carrying.

Between them, the State Employees Retirement System and Public School Employees Retirement System manage about $80 billion.

Marc Levy / AP

A number of groups that provide legal assistance to inmates in Pennsylvania's state prisons have stopped mail correspondence with their clients.

Matt Rourke / AP

A top state lawmaker wants to break down the walls keeping unaffiliated voters from participating in Pennsylvania’s primaries.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati is saying he’s concerned closed primaries are making both parties more extreme.

Under the commonwealth’s current election law, only registered Democrats and Republicans can cast ballots for their own parties’ races.

Scarnati’s proposal wouldn’t let third parties into the process, but it would let unaffiliated voters pick a major party candidate to support.

Jacqueline Larma / AP

After a rash of incidents that saw prison staff sickened by unknown substances and prompted a 12-day lockdown, Pennsylvania's Corrections Department has changed many of its rules related to inmate privileges--including where and how they're allowed to get books.

Every year, the families and friends of those killed on Flight 93 gather near the spot where the United Airlines jetliner went down, and read the names of their lost loved ones.

Keith Srakocic / AP

On Sept. 11, 2001, four planes crashed: two in New York City, one outside Washington D.C., and one in a remote Pennsylvania field.

That last plane, United Airlines Flight 93, was diverted from its likely target by its passengers and crew. All 40 were killed.

Now their loved ones have dedicated the final piece of a memorial commemorating them: the Tower of Voices.

The newest and last feature of the Flight 93 National Memorial is 93 feet tall, and designed to hold 40 massive wind chimes.

Lisa Wardle / WITF

Tuesday will mark 17 years since United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a remote, Somerset County field.

Jaqueline Larma / AP, file

Pennsylvania’s 25 state prisons are in their seventh day of lockdown over concerns that powerful drugs are being sent into the facilities and getting staff sick.

Marc Levy / AP

As Pennsylvania’s statewide prison lockdown enters its third day, officers and staff are busy with intense training sessions on how to safely handle the powerful, synthetic drugs that keep finding their way inside via mail and other measures.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

On Wednesday, Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections unexpectedly locked down the entire state prison system after a sudden rash of illnesses among employees, thought to be caused by accidental exposure to synthetic drugs.

The move may be unprecedented in the commonwealth—though it’s not the only state grappling with illnesses related to unknown substances.  

The lockdown came the same day 29 people at an Ohio prison were treated for accidental drug exposure, and the same week five inmates in Arkansas died of suspected overdoses.

Ted S. Warren / AP

After years of dragging its heels, Pennsylvania’s on its way to compliance with the federal Real ID law.

On Monday, the Department of Transportation said soon everyone in the state will be able to pre-apply for new IDs.

Matt Rourke / AP

GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner is walking back a few comments he has made at recent campaign stops.

Wagner says he’s not against gay marriage, and has no intention to collude with the Russian government to win the election.

At an Erie town hall this week, a campaign tracker recorded Wagner appearing ready to consider supporting legislation to stop recognizing same-sex marriages.

“I would have to give that consideration,” he said in response to a question. “I don’t have the answer tonight, but I can follow up with you.”

Matt Rourke / AP

Amid the fallout from the massive grand jury investigation into sex abuse by Pennsylvania clergy, victim advocates and others are waiting to see how state lawmakers will respond.

Early responses indicate some of the most significant reforms will still face roadblocks.

Mark Rozzi, a Berks County Democrat who says a priest raped him when he was a teenager, has spent several years pushing bills to extend or eliminate Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations on sexual abuse.

Manel Balce Ceneta / AP

A coalition of activists intent on shutting down the Berks County Residential Center is trying to convince Governor Tom Wolf to take more extreme action on the issue.

All summer, they’ve held regular rallies at the state Capitol in an effort to drive their point home. And at the latest one on Monday they renewed their call for Wolf to issue an Emergency Removal Order.

Berks is one of three facilities operated by the federal government to hold undocumented migrant families. The smallest of the three—and the only one not in Texas—it has a maximum capacity under 100 people.

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.

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