State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Links: Redistricting refresher, all's quiet on the strike front, & a burglary mystery

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Sep 12, 2012 8:31 AM

Tomorrow’s a big day for the state Supreme Court, which will hear the appeal of the voter ID law, upheld by Commonwealth Court in August. But the court is also reviewing the legal challenge to legislative redistricting maps. The AP has details:

Republicans who control the panel in charge of redistricting said the plan addresses concerns that persuaded four of the seven justices on the state Supreme Court to reject the first plan in January, forcing this year's elections to be based on maps drawn in 2001.

The latest proposal "very clearly, very directly meets the direction and the requirements laid out in the court's opinion," said Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, who serves on the five-member Legislative Reapportionment Commission, which approved both plans.

Critics contend among other things that, while the new plan reduces the number of split counties, municipalities and other political subdivisions, it still contains twice as many splits as necessary.

As Chicago heads into its third day of a teachers strike, PA Independent takes a look at Pennsylvania’s teachers, who are also allowed to strike. But strikes haven’t been common in recent years:

Dave DaVare, research director for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, said the low number of strikes this year is partially due to many districts adopting the wage freeze Gov. Tom Corbett requested in 2011.

In effect, that wage freeze caused existing contracts to be extended for a year longer, meaning fewer districts have contracts coming up for renewal now, he said.

A July burglary at a Democratic Committee office in Harrisburg is turning up more questions and no conclusive answers, reports the Patriot-Newscapital_dome_cropped.jpg:

What was on the two stolen laptops and camcorder that were stolen?

Why did police release information about the incident two months after it happened?

Since police saw no signs of forced entry, did the burglar walk right in?

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