Politics & Government

We cover politics and government with an eye to providing to voters clear, in-depth, nonpartisan information. 

PA Citizens 'Slay The Gerrymander' In Congressional Mapping Competition

17 hours ago
Photo courtesy of Draw the Lines PA

Jacob Kaminski, a 21-year-old senior at Penn State University, knew little about gerrymandering before this fall.

But when he learned about the partisan manipulation that shaped Pennsylvania’s old congressional map — with counties and boroughs split to serve political interests — it made him feel that something had to be done.

Paul Sakuma / AP

A Pennsylvania lawmaker has proposed a tax on violent video games as a way to pay for increased security at public schools throughout the state.

Chris Potter / 90.5 WESA

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman visited U.S. Steel’s coke works in Clairton Friday morning, and offered a ringing endorsement of its efforts to recover from a Christmas Eve fire that has renewed local environmental concerns.

Matt Rourke / AP

Republicans in Pennsylvania's Senate have been paying the legal bills of the chamber's ex-security chief in lawsuits by two women accusing him of harassing them while on the job as Senate security guards.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati's office has approved at least $23,355 to cover the legal bills of former security director Justin Ferrante, according to a report published by The Philadelphia Inquirer, LNP and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Courtesy of Judith Ginyard, Kierran Young, and Cherylie Fuller

Three new candidates have entered an already-crowded race to replace Pittsburgh City Councilor Ricky Burgess. If the field holds, Burgess could face five challengers on the Democratic primary ballot in the 9th District this spring.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania first launched its Job Creation Tax Credit back in 1996. According to state officials, it was one of the first credits of its kind—a measure intended to give employers incentives that neighboring states were already providing.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

Critics of Pittsburgh's proposed gun-control regulations were vocal during a post-agenda hearing convened by City Councilor Darlene Harris Tuesday afternoon. 

Susan Walsh / AP

Recently resigned U.S. Rep Tom Marino now says problems with his remaining kidney prompted him to leave Congress just three weeks after starting his fifth term.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The union representing state troopers says a contract dispute between western Pennsylvania health giants UPMC and Highmark could have a negative impact on troopers and their families.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

More than 40 candidates for county and local office are seeking the endorsement of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee in advance of this year’s spring primary. And while the list contains few surprises, it does feature a handful of names of potential contenders who have not openly declared their candidacies.

Matt Rourke / AP

Every year after Pennsylvania’s governor makes his budget pitch to the House and Senate, lawmakers hold weeks of budget hearings with state departments and agencies to get a sense of the way money is being spent, and what should change.

They kicked off this week with the Independent Fiscal Office, which is tasked with issuing reports on state finances.

Over the two hours IFO officers sat before the House Appropriations Committee Monday, one subject kept coming up: the minimum wage.

Steven Senne / AP

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is kicking off his statewide recreational marijuana listening tour Monday just a few miles from the state capital, at the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

A bitter cold snap in Erie last week didn’t keep away scores of people from visiting the city’s lakeside library last week, checking out the next generation in voting machines as county officials from across the state scramble with a new voting security mandate.

PA Senator Pat Toomey Calls On Trump To Alter Trade Approach

Feb 7, 2019
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Pennsylvania’s junior U.S. Senator is calling on President Donald Trump to reverse his approach to trade.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice who is the younger brother of an indicted Philadelphia labor leader denied Thursday that he knowingly benefited from any money allegedly embezzled from the union.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess made it official Thursday, announcing that he is running for a fourth term in office this year.


Congressman Guy Reschenthaler voiced strong opposition to a bipartisan House bill that would require background checks for every firearm sale, during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday.

Some Federal Workers Still Unpaid After Shutdown, Dread What’s Next

Feb 7, 2019
John Martin Smith / Courtesy of Blum via AP

Nearly two weeks after the end of the longest government shutdown in U.S history, many federal workers still have not received their back pay or have only gotten a fraction of what they are owed as government agencies struggle with payroll glitches and other delays.

Matt Rourke / AP

The day after Gov. Tom Wolf pitched lawmakers on raising the minimum wage as part of the state budget, the House started hearings on the issue.

Lawmakers Sing To Survivor Of Holocaust, Synagogue Shooting

Feb 6, 2019
J. Scott Applewhite

In a joyful, bipartisan moment, lawmakers briefly interrupted the State of the Union to serenade a survivor of October's Pittsburgh synagogue shooting with an impromptu version of "Happy Birthday."

Liam James Doyle / NPR

President Trump is delivering a State of the Union address after a delay due to the government shutdown. Watch his speech live, followed by a Democratic response delivered by former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. 


President Trump is set to deliver his State of the Union address to Congress Tuesday evening, serving as an opportunity for the President to make the case for his agenda in the coming year.

Matt Rourke / AP

Governor Tom Wolf is kicking off his fifth trip through the state budget wringer.

5 Things To Watch For In Pennsylvania Governor’s Budget Plan

Feb 5, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf will pitch the first budget proposal of his second term to lawmakers Tuesday, and the Democrat can be expected to seek more money for education in a plan expected to exceed $33 billion.

Analysis: PA Dems May Have Made Gains Under Old Congressional Map

Feb 4, 2019
Keith Srakocic / AP

A PA Post/Keystone Crossroads analysis of 2018 midterm election results calls into question the idea that Pennsylvania's previous congressional map was a "voter proof" gerrymander in favor of Republicans.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Discrepancies between state and local laws in Pennsylvania have led to a battle of discretion in the way marijuana-related charges are applied. Police officers can still charge people for possession of the drug, but prosecutors are increasingly unwilling to pursue these cases. 

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

Federal employees at the Transportation Security Administration who worked without pay during the partial government shutdown are getting paid again now that the government is reopen.

Chris Potter / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto says the city is prepared for a lawsuit over recently introduced gun ordinances.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The city's homeless population could face life-threatening conditions over the next few days as single-digit temperatures and sub-zero wind chills settle in across the region

Wolf Renews Bid To Put State's Minimum Wage Among Highest

Jan 30, 2019
Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

Gov. Tom Wolf is rolling out a second-term proposal to raise Pennsylvania's minimum wage after similar first-term proposals by the Democrat fell flat in the Republican-controlled Legislature.