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Committee set to vote on Krasner impeachment today

Plus, Google privacy lawsuit nets Pa. $19M.


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Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen
November 15, 2022
Krasner case, Senate 'firewall,' bankruptcy alarm, legislative lawsuit, policy stigma, EV future, and beautiful potholes. It's Tuesday. This is PA Post.
The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee will meet at 9:30 this morning to vote on the impeachment of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner — one of several votes that would be needed to remove him from office.

Republicans leading the effort say the progressive DA's "soft-on-crime approach" has contributed to Philadelphia's rising violent crime rate.

Critics of the effort say crime has increased in GOP-led communities too.

Krasner has called the push an anti-democratic political stunt. House Judiciary Chair Rob Kauffman (R., Franklin), who called today's committee vote, said "the basics aren't being done" by Krasner's office.

The committee will consider two articles of impeachment: one related to Krasner’s policies and practices as DA, and one related to his cooperation, or lack thereof, with aspects of the impeachment probe. 

THE CONTEXT: State House Republicans are pushing forward with the impeachment effort after bruising losses for the party in last week's midterm elections, and with control of the state House up in the air.

If the impeachment resolution passes the GOP-led committee today, it goes to the full state House, where a simple majority vote is needed.

Two-thirds support would then be needed in the state Senate to remove Krasner from office. The timing could be critical.

The Inquirer reports that the House is currently only scheduled to be in session today and tomorrow before adjourning until next year. The state Senate's last scheduled day of the session is today.

If the push were to advance in the state Senate, The Inquirer says it would almost certainly encounter legal challenges.

"Many types of mothers working in front-line occupations earn only a fraction of fathers working in the same jobs."

—State Rep. Karen Boback (R., Luzerne) on the planned introduction of an amendment to Pennsylvania's Equal Pay Law
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» WHAT’S NEXT?  To help make sense of the election and what’s to come, join us Thursday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. EST on Zoom for a free panel about who won, what they promised on the campaign trail, and how those plans might get implemented once they are in office. Register for the event here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org

The early morning sky in Lanse, via Don H. Send us your photos by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania
An image showing a vivid sunrise sweeping across the sky in Lanse, Pennsylvania.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.SENATE CONTROL: Doug Mastriano's concession in the governor's race included a call for election law changes and teased an upcoming announcement centered on the grassroots base that propelled him to run, City & State reports. The Franklin County Republican is still in the state Senate, which remains under his party's control. “We will be the firewall standing up for the people of Pennsylvania,” he said.  

Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.CASH-STRAPPED: Chester has filed for bankruptcy, and the local water authority's solicitor is raising the alarm. Chester Water Authority solicitor Francis Catania says the state-appointed receiver who filed for Chapter 9 on behalf of the city wants to privatize the CWA, a move all but certain to raise rates. The receiver says monetization must happen — but he is open to it remaining in public hands, per Delco Times.

Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.WHISTLEBLOWER SUIT: TribLIVE has new details on a lawsuit filed by the former chief of staff for state Rep. Eric Davanzo (R., Westmoreland), who says she was wrongly fired for reporting mold in a district office. "Show me one building from the 50s that doesn’t have a trace of mold in it, what’s next, The asbestos floor tile adhesive? It’s not going to end," Davanzo allegedly said by email. 

Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.GENDER STUDIES: The Hollidaysburg Area School Board is eyeing new restrictions on conversations about gender orientation or preferred pronouns. A vote could come as soon as Wednesday. The Altoona Mirror reports photos of the book Gender Queer on a teacher's desk "amplified" the issue. Spotlight PA has talked to experts who warn of the risks of schools further stigmatizing LGBTQ students.

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.ON THE ROAD: Pennsylvania's Public Utility Commission is eyeing a potential rewrite of electric vehicle charging rates to accelerate the adoption of the technology here, The Inquirer (paywall) reports. The commission is trying to get ahead of what could become a tumultuous transition for the electrical grid, the paper says. At least one energy company is cautioning against a rush to policy judgement. 
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GOOGLE ALERT: Pennsylvania is set to receive more than $19 million from a settlement with Google over the tech giant's tracking of user activity. Forty states were part of the deal, which also prompted Google changes.

SPORTS TALK: The Philadelphia 76ers are looking to win over critics of a proposed new arena near Chinatown. The Inquirer (paywall) attended a listening session on Sunday to see whether the strategy is working.

GOT OUT THE VOTE: WaPo (paywall) has a piece on the Rev. Judith Moore, who spent the days leading up to this month's midterms energizing Black voters in the Pittsburgh area: "Your voice matters. Your vote matters." 

POTHOLE BEAUTY: Chicago artist Jim Bachor is filling potholes in Washington, D.C. with beautiful mosaics. He's twice graced Pennsylvania — a pothole paradise, as you probably know too well.

WINTER WATCH: Parts of Pennsylvania are likely to see snow today. Others expect a wintry mix or cold rain. Here's a breakdown, via Patch.

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 6 p.m. on issue date will be counted.

Yesterday's answer: Contradiction

Congrats to our daily winners: Becky C., Kimberly D., John P., Barbara F., Irene R., Patricia M., Mark O., Susan D., Elaine C., Jon W., Don H., Nancy S., Wendy A., George S., Ted W., Kim C., Steve D., Chuck M., Jane R., David W., Dianne K., James B., Craig W., Bethany R., Tish M., Bill S., Marty M., Susan N.-Z., Sharon J.-B., and Myles M.
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