Marsy’s Law will be on the Nov. ballot, but courts could decide its fate

  • Emily Previti/PA Post
Discuss Pennsylvanians’ views on gun control, marijuana, the impeachment probe into President Trump and more at our next News & Brews, Tuesday, Nov. 12. Polling expert Berwood Yost, Director of the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin and Marshall College, will join the PA Post and WITF teams for the evening at Mount Gretna Craft Brewery in Palmyra. RSVP details are here. -Emily Previti, Newsletter Producer/Reporter

Also: Campaign finance drama, Lt. Gov. mansion, prop taxes

Katie Meyer / WITF

Supporters of Marsy’s Law held signs in protest during the ACLU’s press conference announcing its lawsuit. (Katie Meyer / WITF)

  • Commonwealth Court Judge Ellen Ceisler heard arguments Wednesday over whether legislators have attempted to cover too much ground with the victims’ rights amendment on the ballot in November. Supporters say the measure would expand victims’ rights, opponents say it tramples on the rights of defendants. For a thorough report on the hearing, read Capitol Bureau Chief Katie Meyer’s story. You can also listen to both sides get into the issue at length on this episode of Smart Talk.

  • Lawmakers say they’ll abandon their attempt to change the rules for retaining campaign spending receipts amid criticism that public access would become harder and more expensive, Spotlight PA reports. It’s all tied to a big investigation launched this week by Spotlight and The Caucus, documenting how legislators used campaign accounts to spend with minimal disclosure. Get caught up with Part 1 and Part 2 before you read today’s story.

  • In other statehouse news: The Senate voted unanimously to do away with the Lt. Gov’s taxpayer-funded residence, PennLive reports. And a House committee advanced a bill to close Polk and White Haven state centers, residential facilities for people with intellectual disabilities in Venango and Luzerne counties, respectively, The Times-Leader reports.

  • Legislators also talked school property taxes in Wyomissing on Tuesday night at a town hall that citizen-advocates from Berks and Lancaster counties organized to address the topic. Attendees discussed whether the legislature  will eliminate these taxes or enact major changes — or just talk about it (repeatedly, for successive sessions).  Gillian McGoldrick has this story for LNP out of the event.

Best of the rest

Evan Vucci / AP Photo

President Donald Trump speaks at the 9th annual Shale Insight Conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (Evan Vucci / AP Photo)

  • President Donald Trump touted plans to continue his environmental deregulation push at the Shale Insight Conference; full coverage from WESA is here. On the other side of the state, former Vice-President Joe Biden campaigned on rebuilding the middle class in a speech delivered in his hometown of Scranton; both The Morning Call and Inquirer covered Biden’s visit. And in Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney endorsed Elizabeth Warren — the first big city mayor to do so, reports Claire Sasko for Philadelphia Magazine.

  • Delaware County Council voted Wednesday to spend $6 million on a new election system. On Nov. 5, DelCo voters will use the same touchscreen direct-recording electronic machines they’ve used for the past decade-plus. They’ll switch to filling out ballots by hand for the presidential primary next April. This map shows where all counties stand with mandated voting machine upgrades.

  • A retirement boom could practically deplete Pa.’s manufacturing sector in some regions. Berks County faces a particularly dramatic dropoff: The “silver tsunami” of retirees is expected to require an estimated 7,000 new workers during the next five years, Robby Brod reports for Keystone Crossroads. Robby traveled to Springfield Township to check out how school officials and business leaders are partnering on workforce development initiatives to get ahead of the problem. His story is here.

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