Did you know Spotlight PA is a nonprofit? Learn more about our nonpartisan journalism »
Skip to main content
Main content

GOP Sen. has 'no plans' to advance Dem gun bills

Plus, the 2024 implications of Pa.'s 2023 election.

 Today is the final day  to get your gift to Spotlight PA TRIPLED. We're SO CLOSE to the first big milestone of our year-end fundraising campaign in support of our essential journalism.

Invest in reporting that gets results for Pennsylvania. Will you help us end the week strong and hit this milestone goal? There's only a little bit more time to get our triple match for every dollar you donate.

Make a gift now, and thank you!

—Colin D., Newsletter Editor

The logo of PA Post, a free daily newsletter delivering the top news from across Pennsylvania every day.

A daily newsletter by The logo of Spotlight PA, an independent, nonpartisan newsroom producing investigative journalism for Pennsylvania.
Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen

Tuesday, November 14, 2023
In today's edition: Committee votes, election officials, DA strategy, EV stations, unsafe streets, vaccine doubters, and Pa.'s 'chipmunk cult town.'

A Pennsylvania House panel is expected to consider bills intended to prevent children and teens from accessing firearms as advocates for stricter gun laws call on the state Senate to take up legislation.

On Monday, CeaseFirePA unveiled an installation at the Capitol that shows how many days, hours, minutes, and seconds have passed since the lower chamber passed gun control bills. The campaign is aimed at pressuring the GOP-controlled state Senate to vote on the measures.

While it's unlikely the upper chamber will do so, the state House is continuing to advance these bills and will consider two more today — including one that would require secure storage of firearms in homes with children.

Read Spotlight PA's complete report: Democrats continue advancing gun control as advocates call for Pa. Senate to take up bills.

THE CONTEXT: After more than a decade out of power, Democrats took control of the lower chamber this year with a one-vote majority.

Since then, the caucus — with some GOP support — has advanced a handful of bills to tighten the state’s gun laws. One would implement universal background checks, while another allow authorities to take firearms away from person at risk of harming themselves or someone else. 

"That gap is absolutely, positively weird. Nobody will be in charge!" 

Jay McCalla, former deputy managing director for Philadelphia, on the 36 hours the city will be without a mayor in the first days of 2024
Support Spotlight PA's investigative journalism for Pennsylvania and for a limited time, your gift will be TRIPLED.
Without you, Spotlight PA ceases to exist.

We don't rely on advertising dollars, subscriptions, or annoying paywalls. Instead, we make all of our essential reporting available at no cost as a public service. But we're only able to do that because of your support.

As a special bonus, every dollar you give will be TRIPLED thanks to two generous donors. But hurry — this offer expires today!

Thank you to the 319 people who have given so far, including Jacqueline M., who said, "Amazing pure journalism!"

Join Jacqueline and make a tax-deductible gift now.

You can also give via PayPal or Venmo, or send a check to: Spotlight PA, PO Box 11728, Harrisburg, PA 17108.
» RESULTS REVIEW: Join us, the New Pennsylvania Project, and Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts on Thursday, Nov. 16 from 6-7 p.m. for a Q&A on the election results. Register for the event here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org.

Via @noraodendahl at the Gwynedd Preserve in Montgomery County. Send us photos by email, use #PAGems on IG, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
A black-and-white, lightly diffused photo of a bare tree in a field with a glowing sky behind it.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.2024 VISION: Democratic wins in last week's elections put the party's members in key oversight roles ahead of the 2024 presidential election in a key state: Pennsylvania. This includes statewide courts and a host of county commissioner seats. But Bolts magazine reports 2020 election deniers were reelected in some red-leaning counties: "jurisdictions that may emerge as hotspots for litigation once again next year."
  • RELATED: Saylor concedes in Dauphin commissioners race as Democrats win rare control of county, via WHTM
  • Democrats did well in 2023 in states like Pennsylvania; experts say that means little for 2024, via LNP (paywall)
Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.CHARGES DROPPED: Tyler Sherrell says he was jumped and stabbed during the 19 months he spent in Allegheny County Jail on a homicide charge the local DA's office ultimately dropped. The only evidence against him was another man's "self-serving" finger-pointing, TribLIVE reports. Experts told the outlet it's part of a strategy in which prosecutors overcharge a weak, low-evidence case to get a confession.
  • RELATED: Former Allegheny County inmates with psychiatric disabilities settle for $120,000 in excessive force lawsuit, via City Paper
Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.BATTERY LIFE: President Joe Biden wants half of new cars to be fully electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030. That will require a robust grid of chargers. And while Pennsylvania and Ohio lead all states in tapping Infrastructure Act dollars to add the stations (Pennsylvania's first is underway in Pittston), experts tell WaPo (paywall) that federal funding is likely to fall well short of reaching the administration’s goals.

Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.DANGEROUS ROADS: A Philadelphia teacher was killed last week in a hit-and-run while riding his bike in Roxborough. Days later, 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr. was left with a broken rib in a hit-and-run that occurred while he was crossing a Center City street on foot. An editorial in The Inquirer (paywall) says the city's traffic deaths are exceptionally high and proven safety measures are being adopted too slowly.

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.SHOT SKEPTICS: Pandemic-era misinformation hasn't just undermined confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. A UPenn survey of 1,559 people found only 71% agreed that vaccines in the U.S. are safe, down from 77% in 2021. A federal study found vaccination exemptions among kindergartners have hit a record high of 3% in the U.S. Pennsylvania's exemption rate is up .5% from 2021-22, sitting at 3.8%.
WIND FARMS: Pushback has halted a planned Jersey Shore wind turbine farm. Pennsylvania is home to more than two dozen such farms, most more than a decade old. Development has slowed amid similar pushback here and a shrinking supply of windy locations, The Inquirer (paywall) reports.

AGENT CHARGED: An agent with Pennsylvania's Office of the Attorney General is on leave with pay after being criminally charged in Lehigh County for child porn possession, NBC10 reports. Joshua Steven Gonzalez, 39, of South Whitehall Township was due to be arraigned on Monday.

COURT PRESS: A Lehigh Valley classical musician who stopped paying union dues is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying a prior court ruling striking down mandatory fees in government unions should also apply to government-funded charities like symphonies, the Capital-Star reports.

MAYORS-ELECT: United Steelworkers union leader and one-time State of the Union guest Jojo Burgess has been elected the first Black mayor of majority-white Washington, Pennsylvania, per WTAE. In Oil City, Democrats managed to flip the mayor's office as the GOP splintered.

LONG WALK: Lincoln University students have finished their 66-mile trek from Chester County to Harrisburg, where they pressed lawmakers to approve delayed state funding for their school and several others, @gill_mcgoldrick reports. Here's the backstory on the demonstration, via The Tribune.
Support Spotlight PA's investigative journalism for Pennsylvania and for a limited time, your gift will be TRIPLED.
Unscramble and send your answer to scrambler@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag. Answers submitted by 5:30 p.m. on issue date will be counted.
Yesterday's answer: Tabernacle (also accepted: recantable)

Congrats to our daily winners: Vicki U., Barbara F., Don H., Stacy S., Kimberly D., Bob C., Jon W., Susan N.-Z., Jane R., Karthik B., Richard A., Susan D., Kim C., Becky C., James B., Becca S., Karen P., Carol S., Alan B., Tom M., Jeffrey F., Jacqueline C. B., Wendy A., Stanley J., Robert D., and Elizabeth R.
Like PA Post? Share it with a friend.

Love PA Post? Support it with a tax-deductible gift.

Forwarded this newsletter? Subscribe here.
Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan & nonprofit newsroom producing investigative and public-service journalism that holds the powerful to account and drives positive change in Pennsylvania.

For sponsorship inquiries, email membership@spotlightpa.org.

Copyright © Spotlight PA, All rights reserved.

Spotlight PA
PO Box 11728
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728


You're receiving this email because you subscribed to PA Post, a daily newsletter by Spotlight PA.

This email was sent to: <<Email Address>>

Receiving too many emails from Spotlight PA?

To change your newsletter subscriptions and frequency, you can update your preferences.

To stop receiving fundraising messages, you can update your preferences and select "Opt out of Fundraising."

To stop receiving ALL EMAILS from Spotlight PA, including all of our investigations and newsletters, you can completely unsubscribe here.