Politics

Matt Rourke / AP

By the end of the week, the state House is hoping to pass every proposal included in last year's grand jury report on decades of child abuse within the Roman Catholic church.

Tom MacDonald/WHYY

The state House swore in its first-ever Muslim woman on Monday.

Movita Johnson-Harrell won her Philadelphia seat in a special election earlier this month. A mother and grandmother, she arrived in Harrisburg with 55 guests, more than half of whom she said were fellow Muslims.

But she said her first day in office was marred by an “offensive” invocation before her induction.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Democrats are claiming victory in special elections to fill two vacant Pennsylvania state House seats.

Movita Johnson-Harrell claimed victory Tuesday night in the election to a west Philadelphia seat, while Bridget Malloy Kosierowski claimed victory in a Scranton-area district.

Both seats were occupied most recently by Democrats, Lackawanna County Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich and Philadelphia Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

With 253 members in the House and Senate combined, Pennsylvania has the largest full-time legislature in the nation.

Its lawmakers are also the third-highest-paid, behind just New York and California.

Mel Evans / AP

Members of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee endorsed their favored candidates at the South Side’s IBEW Local #5 Sunday, casting ballots during a marathon session of glad-handing and eating donuts and other treats provided by candidates.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Candidates running for office in the city of Pittsburgh were required to file their first campaign-finance reports of the 2019 primary season on Friday. And if there’s one lesson to be drawn, it’s that it still pays to be an incumbent. That may be especially true in District 9, where Leon Ford, who was one of the most visible challengers to an incumbent, appears to be keeping a far lower profile.

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.

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 Clarion University

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education's internal review found all 14 state-owned universities are facing fiscal challenges and ever-declining enrollment.

Daniel Greenstein, the new chancellor of PASSHE, says those concerns track with schools across the country. As student needs and interests evolve, state-run universities will have to adapt, he says, potentially downsizing, eliminating majors or refocusing efforts in specific programs better able to cater to Pennsylvania's future workforce.

Matt Rourke / AP

As the 2019 legislative session dawns, a new slate of committee chairs is taking over in the state House.

These chairs—all Republicans, as they control the House—have considerable sway on the legislation the chamber considers. They decide which bills are granted debate, ergo, which ones make it to the floor for votes.

It is difficult for lawmakers in opposition to circumvent committees.

One of the biggest questions ahead of committee assignment announcements was where Butler County Republican Daryl Metcalfe would be placed.

Bruised GOP Considers Trump's Pennsylvania Chances In 2020

Jan 2, 2019
Darron Cummings / AP

Democratic energy in the perennial battleground state of Pennsylvania is raising questions about President Donald Trump's ability to replicate his stunning 2016 win in a state Republicans hadn't carried for nearly two decades.

Lawmakers Sworn In At Start Of 2-Year General Assembly Term

Jan 2, 2019
Jacqueline Larma / AP

Pennsylvania lawmakers took the oath of office Tuesday, convening in the state Capitol on New Year's Day under a state constitutional mandate they meet on the first Tuesday of the year.

Forty-two House members and seven senators were sworn in for the first time after winning elections in November.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

 

Officials, community leaders and advocates gathered downtown Monday to renew a commitment to protecting human rights on the 70th anniversary of Human Rights Day. But what does that commitment mean in a practical sense?

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

 

Gaps in medical resources across rural Pennsylvania can be challenging, even for nursing school recruiters hoping to ultimately fill the local workforce.

Pennsylvania State Lawmaker Gets Probation In Bribery Case

Nov 30, 2018
PA House of Representatives

A state representative convicted of taking $4,000 in bribes from a confidential informant received probation Friday from a judge who was critical of the undercover investigation that snared her.

Democratic Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, of Philadelphia, was sentenced to 23 months of probation and ordered to repay the money to the state attorney general's office.

Pennsylvania Commits To New Voting Machines, Election Audit

Nov 29, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration is settling a vote-counting lawsuit stemming from the 2016 presidential election, in part by affirming a commitment it made previously to push Pennsylvania's counties to buy voting systems that leave a verifiable paper trail by 2020.

NASA/JPL-Caltech / NASA.gov

Mars, Pennsylvania wasn't named after the Red Planet, but it's fully embracing those celestial connections. 

AP Photo

Every year, politicians raise hundreds of millions of dollars to finance their campaigns. But insiders know that the money is used for far more than competing in elections.

Casey Dangles Potential For A Presidential Run In 2020

Nov 26, 2018
Alex Brandon / AP

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey had barely won a third term in office before the Pennsylvania Democrat began saying he's open to the idea of running for president in 2020.

Aimee Obidzinski / University of Pittsburgh

For some, Thanksgiving means it’s time to discuss politics with distant relatives. It can be especially difficult to talk about those topics across generations. But a father-daughter team at the University of Pittsburgh is teaching a class meant to encourage more civil discourse between age groups.

AP

In the wake of the midterm election, Democrats are now looking ahead to 2019 when they will officially regain control in the U.S. House of Representatives. Pennsylvania Democrats will send nine representatives to Congress, up from their current five-member delegation. 90.5 WESA's Lucy Perkins sat down with Democratic Congressman Mike Doyle to talk about his legislative goals and what he thought about the election results.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Infrastructure is more than roads, bridges and water lines. 

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.

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.

Matt Rourke / AP

High voter turnout, a record number of female candidates and vastly different messaging between the two major parties loomed large over Tuesday's midterm contests. 

Democrats Win U.S. House Seats, Races For Governor, U.S. Senate

Nov 7, 2018
Associated Press/ Associated Press/Officer of Conor Lamb

Pennsylvania elected a state record four women to the U.S. House on Tuesday as Democrats smashed the state's all-male congressional delegation, picked up three seats in the chamber and ousted a three-term Republican.

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.

Courtesy of City Theatre

 

The school-to-prison pipeline is the inspiration for a new show at Pittsburgh's City Theatre. Obie award-winning playwright Dominque Morisseau wrote PIPELINE to explore the disproportionate disciplining of minority students, which can put them on the pathway to eventual incarceration.

Google Maps

After several reports of stalking in Lawrenceville this summer, several groups came together to host a workshop explaining how bystanders can help curb harassment and assault.

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