OK: Found an XML parser.
OK: Support for GZIP encoding.
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Channel: Lehigh University Nation News

RSS URL:

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      ["title"]=>
      string(53) "Las Cruces center Isaiah Carr commits to Grand Canyon"
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      string(59) "http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/lehighpanews/~3/6-WsFem_osE/"
      ["dc"]=>
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        ["creator"]=>
        string(19) "Annaliese Alexander"
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      string(31) "Mon, 21 Jun 2021 18:58:25 +0000"
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Cleveland's Evan Gonzales attacks the basket against Isaiah Carr of Las Cruces during the 5A State Basketball Final at The Pit in Albuquerque on Saturday, May 8, 2021.

LAS CRUCES – Isaiah Carr has seen increasing interest over the summer, but 6-11 Las Cruces High Center wouldn’t miss a good opportunity if it came up. Carr announced on Monday via Twitter that he would be committed to the champion of the Western Athletic Conference, Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. “During my unofficial visit […]

The post Las Cruces center Isaiah Carr commits to Grand Canyon first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(3938) "
Cleveland's Evan Gonzales attacks the basket against Isaiah Carr of Las Cruces during the 5A State Basketball Final at The Pit in Albuquerque on Saturday, May 8, 2021.

LAS CRUCES – Isaiah Carr has seen increasing interest over the summer, but 6-11 Las Cruces High Center wouldn’t miss a good opportunity if it came up.

Carr announced on Monday via Twitter that he would be committed to the champion of the Western Athletic Conference, Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

“During my unofficial visit to Grand Canyon University, I received a scholarship to play Division 1 basketball! I make a verbal commitment to Grand Canyon University with Head Coach Bryce Drew and his staff,” tweeted Carr.

Carr also had offerings from Western Illinois, Central Arkansas, and Lehigh University. UTEP and the University of New Mexico also showed interest after a junior season in which Car averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots per game, helping the Bulldawgs reach the Class 5A championship game.

Carr said GCU assistant coach Ed Schilling started recruiting him last year. Carr had an unofficial visit on Wednesday before the Bulldawgs played at the Phoenix Section 7 high school tournament that weekend.

Isaiah Carr, 24, stands above two defense attorneys as the Las Cruces Bulldawgs on Tuesday, Jan.

“I found the perfect fit for myself and my values ​​and they were determined to recruit me,” said Carr. “I loved what they are about and they are close to home and one of the better programs on the WAC.”

Carr said he wanted to wait until after his senior year to sign up, but since Division I transfers can now switch once without a year off, he didn’t want to miss out on a good fit.

“Congratulations to him and his family,” said William Benjamin, Las Cruces basketball coach. “He’s a great boy. I am very happy that he can achieve one of his goals and become a Division I player at a very good up and coming Grand Canyon school.”

Sports Editor Jason Groves can be reached at 575-541-5459 or jgroves@lcsun-news.com. Follow him on Twitter @jpgroves.

The post Las Cruces center Isaiah Carr commits to Grand Canyon first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

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Cleveland's Evan Gonzales attacks the basket against Isaiah Carr of Las Cruces during the 5A State Basketball Final at The Pit in Albuquerque on Saturday, May 8, 2021.

LAS CRUCES – Isaiah Carr has seen increasing interest over the summer, but 6-11 Las Cruces High Center wouldn’t miss a good opportunity if it came up. Carr announced on Monday via Twitter that he would be committed to the champion of the Western Athletic Conference, Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. “During my unofficial visit […]

The post Las Cruces center Isaiah Carr commits to Grand Canyon first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(3938) "
Cleveland's Evan Gonzales attacks the basket against Isaiah Carr of Las Cruces during the 5A State Basketball Final at The Pit in Albuquerque on Saturday, May 8, 2021.

LAS CRUCES – Isaiah Carr has seen increasing interest over the summer, but 6-11 Las Cruces High Center wouldn’t miss a good opportunity if it came up.

Carr announced on Monday via Twitter that he would be committed to the champion of the Western Athletic Conference, Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

“During my unofficial visit to Grand Canyon University, I received a scholarship to play Division 1 basketball! I make a verbal commitment to Grand Canyon University with Head Coach Bryce Drew and his staff,” tweeted Carr.

Carr also had offerings from Western Illinois, Central Arkansas, and Lehigh University. UTEP and the University of New Mexico also showed interest after a junior season in which Car averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots per game, helping the Bulldawgs reach the Class 5A championship game.

Carr said GCU assistant coach Ed Schilling started recruiting him last year. Carr had an unofficial visit on Wednesday before the Bulldawgs played at the Phoenix Section 7 high school tournament that weekend.

Isaiah Carr, 24, stands above two defense attorneys as the Las Cruces Bulldawgs on Tuesday, Jan.

“I found the perfect fit for myself and my values ​​and they were determined to recruit me,” said Carr. “I loved what they are about and they are close to home and one of the better programs on the WAC.”

Carr said he wanted to wait until after his senior year to sign up, but since Division I transfers can now switch once without a year off, he didn’t want to miss out on a good fit.

“Congratulations to him and his family,” said William Benjamin, Las Cruces basketball coach. “He’s a great boy. I am very happy that he can achieve one of his goals and become a Division I player at a very good up and coming Grand Canyon school.”

Sports Editor Jason Groves can be reached at 575-541-5459 or jgroves@lcsun-news.com. Follow him on Twitter @jpgroves.

The post Las Cruces center Isaiah Carr commits to Grand Canyon first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["date_timestamp"]=> int(1624301905) } [1]=> array(12) { ["title"]=> string(74) "College athletes score a big win in the U.S. Supreme Court in NCAA dispute" ["link"]=> string(59) "http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/lehighpanews/~3/jmnNWN_z_Xs/" ["dc"]=> array(1) { ["creator"]=> string(19) "Annaliese Alexander" } ["pubdate"]=> string(31) "Mon, 21 Jun 2021 17:38:44 +0000" ["category"]=> string(4) "News" ["guid"]=> string(36) "https://lehighuniversity.org/?p=4220" ["description"]=> string(1792) "
College athletes score a big win in the U.S. Supreme Court in NCAA dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C. (Flickr Commons) WASHINGTON— The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that the National Collegiate Athletics Association cannot limit educational compensation to student athletes due to their amateur status. The 9-0 decision in NCAA v. Alston was delivered by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who said the college athletics body is not […]

The post College athletes score a big win in the U.S. Supreme Court in NCAA dispute first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(5759) "
College athletes score a big win in the U.S. Supreme Court in NCAA dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C. (Flickr Commons)

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that the National Collegiate Athletics Association cannot limit educational compensation to student athletes due to their amateur status.

The 9-0 decision in NCAA v. Alston was delivered by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who said the college athletics body is not exempt from antitrust law.

“Put simply, this suit involves admitted horizontal price fixing in a market where the defendants exercise monopoly control,” Gorsuch wrote—with the NCAA the defendant.

While the ruling won’t have any immediate effect on multiple state laws that would allow student athletes to earn compensation for their name, image or likeness, the court’s action nonetheless was a major blow to the NCAA in the ongoing struggle over student athlete pay.

The ruling was greeted by players like Jordan Bohannon, a University of Iowa basketball point guard who tweeted, “Another great step in the right direction!!! #NotNCAAProperty”

The NCAA had appealed a federal court ruling from the 9th Circuit. That lower court found that the NCAA cannot limit universities from offering potentially lucrative educational benefits to college athletes such as postgraduate scholarships, study abroad opportunities and internships.

States poised to allow college athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness

The NCAA argued that allowing such compensation for those athletes would jeopardize their amateur status.

Gorsuch said that if the NCAA wanted an exemption from limiting benefits related to education, it should ask Congress to get involved. While multiple bills have been introduced in Congress on the question of college athlete compensation, none have made much progress.

“The NCAA is free to argue that, ‘because of the special characteristics of [its] particular industry,’ it should be exempt from the usual operation of the antitrust laws — but that appeal is ‘properly addressed to Congress,’” he wrote.

The Biden administration submitted a brief in support of college athletes, affirming that the 9th Circuit was correct in its ruling.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote a concurring opinion, arguing that the NCAA was acting “above the law.”

“Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate,” he wrote. “And under ordinary principles of antitrust law, it is not evident why college sports should be any different. The NCAA is not above the law.”

A handful of states has already moved to change their laws to allow student athletes to receive compensation based on their name, image or likeness, such as Florida and Georgia. Some of those laws go into effect July 1.

A tally by ESPN shows at least 11 other states — including Tennessee, Montana, Colorado, Michigan, Maryland and Arizona — have statutes poised to go into effect in the coming months and years. Other bills also are working through legislatures across the country, including in Ohio. All but nine states have introduced some form of similar legislation, according to USA Today.

The NCAA, which governs college sports, has long resisted efforts to pay student athletes, even as its revenues and those of university athletic departments have soared.



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by Ariana Figueroa

The post College athletes score a big win in the U.S. Supreme Court in NCAA dispute first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" } ["feedburner"]=> array(1) { ["origlink"]=> string(103) "https://lehighuniversity.org/college-athletes-score-a-big-win-in-the-u-s-supreme-court-in-ncaa-dispute/" } ["summary"]=> string(1792) "
College athletes score a big win in the U.S. Supreme Court in NCAA dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C. (Flickr Commons) WASHINGTON— The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that the National Collegiate Athletics Association cannot limit educational compensation to student athletes due to their amateur status. The 9-0 decision in NCAA v. Alston was delivered by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who said the college athletics body is not […]

The post College athletes score a big win in the U.S. Supreme Court in NCAA dispute first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(5759) "
College athletes score a big win in the U.S. Supreme Court in NCAA dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C. (Flickr Commons)

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that the National Collegiate Athletics Association cannot limit educational compensation to student athletes due to their amateur status.

The 9-0 decision in NCAA v. Alston was delivered by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who said the college athletics body is not exempt from antitrust law.

“Put simply, this suit involves admitted horizontal price fixing in a market where the defendants exercise monopoly control,” Gorsuch wrote—with the NCAA the defendant.

While the ruling won’t have any immediate effect on multiple state laws that would allow student athletes to earn compensation for their name, image or likeness, the court’s action nonetheless was a major blow to the NCAA in the ongoing struggle over student athlete pay.

The ruling was greeted by players like Jordan Bohannon, a University of Iowa basketball point guard who tweeted, “Another great step in the right direction!!! #NotNCAAProperty”

The NCAA had appealed a federal court ruling from the 9th Circuit. That lower court found that the NCAA cannot limit universities from offering potentially lucrative educational benefits to college athletes such as postgraduate scholarships, study abroad opportunities and internships.

States poised to allow college athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness

The NCAA argued that allowing such compensation for those athletes would jeopardize their amateur status.

Gorsuch said that if the NCAA wanted an exemption from limiting benefits related to education, it should ask Congress to get involved. While multiple bills have been introduced in Congress on the question of college athlete compensation, none have made much progress.

“The NCAA is free to argue that, ‘because of the special characteristics of [its] particular industry,’ it should be exempt from the usual operation of the antitrust laws — but that appeal is ‘properly addressed to Congress,’” he wrote.

The Biden administration submitted a brief in support of college athletes, affirming that the 9th Circuit was correct in its ruling.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote a concurring opinion, arguing that the NCAA was acting “above the law.”

“Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate,” he wrote. “And under ordinary principles of antitrust law, it is not evident why college sports should be any different. The NCAA is not above the law.”

A handful of states has already moved to change their laws to allow student athletes to receive compensation based on their name, image or likeness, such as Florida and Georgia. Some of those laws go into effect July 1.

A tally by ESPN shows at least 11 other states — including Tennessee, Montana, Colorado, Michigan, Maryland and Arizona — have statutes poised to go into effect in the coming months and years. Other bills also are working through legislatures across the country, including in Ohio. All but nine states have introduced some form of similar legislation, according to USA Today.

The NCAA, which governs college sports, has long resisted efforts to pay student athletes, even as its revenues and those of university athletic departments have soared.



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by Ariana Figueroa

The post College athletes score a big win in the U.S. Supreme Court in NCAA dispute first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["date_timestamp"]=> int(1624297124) } [2]=> array(12) { ["title"]=> string(79) "Broadband became unaffordable for some during the pandemic | The Numbers Racket" ["link"]=> string(59) "http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/lehighpanews/~3/u59T0wq98p0/" ["dc"]=> array(1) { ["creator"]=> string(19) "Annaliese Alexander" } ["pubdate"]=> string(31) "Mon, 21 Jun 2021 14:32:19 +0000" ["category"]=> string(4) "News" ["guid"]=> string(36) "https://lehighuniversity.org/?p=4217" ["description"]=> string(1858) "
Broadband became unaffordable for some during the pandemic | The Numbers Racket

Photo via pxHere.com The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 the year of telework and virtual learning, but for some Americans, affording a broadband connection was difficult.  A new survey by the Pew Research Center is shining light on just how many Americans had trouble affording their home broadband connections.  Findings While the pandemic raged in the […]

The post Broadband became unaffordable for some during the pandemic | The Numbers Racket first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(5077) "
Broadband became unaffordable for some during the pandemic | The Numbers Racket

Photo via pxHere.com

The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 the year of telework and virtual learning, but for some Americans, affording a broadband connection was difficult. 

A new survey by the Pew Research Center is shining light on just how many Americans had trouble affording their home broadband connections. 

Findings

While the pandemic raged in the United States, closing businesses and schools, 15 percent of home broadband users say they had trouble paying for their high-speed internet connection. 

Another 15 percent of smartphone owners said they had trouble paying for cell phone service during the pandemic. 

Of respondents who did not have a home broadband connection, 23 percent cited “financial constraints” as the main reason they forego the service. 

Hispanic (65 percent) and Black adults (71 percent) are less likely than white adults (80 percent) to have broadband at home

Income

The survey found that low-income households – those making less than $30,000 per year – were more likely to say they had trouble affording broadband services. 

34 … the percentage of home broadband users making less than $30,000 who have had trouble paying for high-speed internet. 

25 … the percentage of home broadband users making $30,000-49,999 who have had trouble paying for high-speed internet. 

8 … the percentage of home broadband users making $50,000-74,999 who have had trouble paying for high-speed internet. 

4 … the percentage of home broadband users making 75,000 or more who have had trouble paying for high-speed internet. 

Education

The survey also found a correlation between education level and those who struggled to afford broadband. 

22 … the percentage of home broadband users with a high school education or less who have had trouble paying for high-speed internet. 

16 … the percentage of home broadband users with some college education who have had trouble paying for high-speed internet. 

8 … the percentage of home broadband users with a college degree or more who have had trouble paying for high-speed internet. 

The Importance of High-Speed Internet

Pew found that a majority of adults believed not having high-speed internet at home was a major disadvantage during the pandemic. 

In fact, 77 percent of U.S. adults said not having high-speed internet access at home was a major disadvantage when it came to getting school work done. Another 66 percent said it was a major disadvantage when looking for jobs. 

Other respondents also noted that it was difficult to stay in contact with family and friends (45 percent) without broadband or stay up-to-date on COVID-19 information (43 percent).



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by Cassie Miller

The post Broadband became unaffordable for some during the pandemic | The Numbers Racket first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" } ["feedburner"]=> array(1) { ["origlink"]=> string(107) "https://lehighuniversity.org/broadband-became-unaffordable-for-some-during-the-pandemic-the-numbers-racket/" } ["summary"]=> string(1858) "
Broadband became unaffordable for some during the pandemic | The Numbers Racket

Photo via pxHere.com The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 the year of telework and virtual learning, but for some Americans, affording a broadband connection was difficult.  A new survey by the Pew Research Center is shining light on just how many Americans had trouble affording their home broadband connections.  Findings While the pandemic raged in the […]

The post Broadband became unaffordable for some during the pandemic | The Numbers Racket first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(5077) "
Broadband became unaffordable for some during the pandemic | The Numbers Racket

Photo via pxHere.com

The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 the year of telework and virtual learning, but for some Americans, affording a broadband connection was difficult. 

A new survey by the Pew Research Center is shining light on just how many Americans had trouble affording their home broadband connections. 

Findings

While the pandemic raged in the United States, closing businesses and schools, 15 percent of home broadband users say they had trouble paying for their high-speed internet connection. 

Another 15 percent of smartphone owners said they had trouble paying for cell phone service during the pandemic. 

Of respondents who did not have a home broadband connection, 23 percent cited “financial constraints” as the main reason they forego the service. 

Hispanic (65 percent) and Black adults (71 percent) are less likely than white adults (80 percent) to have broadband at home

Income

The survey found that low-income households – those making less than $30,000 per year – were more likely to say they had trouble affording broadband services. 

34 … the percentage of home broadband users making less than $30,000 who have had trouble paying for high-speed internet. 

25 … the percentage of home broadband users making $30,000-49,999 who have had trouble paying for high-speed internet. 

8 … the percentage of home broadband users making $50,000-74,999 who have had trouble paying for high-speed internet. 

4 … the percentage of home broadband users making 75,000 or more who have had trouble paying for high-speed internet. 

Education

The survey also found a correlation between education level and those who struggled to afford broadband. 

22 … the percentage of home broadband users with a high school education or less who have had trouble paying for high-speed internet. 

16 … the percentage of home broadband users with some college education who have had trouble paying for high-speed internet. 

8 … the percentage of home broadband users with a college degree or more who have had trouble paying for high-speed internet. 

The Importance of High-Speed Internet

Pew found that a majority of adults believed not having high-speed internet at home was a major disadvantage during the pandemic. 

In fact, 77 percent of U.S. adults said not having high-speed internet access at home was a major disadvantage when it came to getting school work done. Another 66 percent said it was a major disadvantage when looking for jobs. 

Other respondents also noted that it was difficult to stay in contact with family and friends (45 percent) without broadband or stay up-to-date on COVID-19 information (43 percent).



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by Cassie Miller

The post Broadband became unaffordable for some during the pandemic | The Numbers Racket first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["date_timestamp"]=> int(1624285939) } [3]=> array(12) { ["title"]=> string(103) "It’s time to give Pa. a raise: Lawmakers, Wolf should not wait to increase the minimum wage | Opinion" ["link"]=> string(59) "http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/lehighpanews/~3/HHW8avsshKU/" ["dc"]=> array(1) { ["creator"]=> string(19) "Annaliese Alexander" } ["pubdate"]=> string(31) "Mon, 21 Jun 2021 13:31:32 +0000" ["category"]=> string(4) "News" ["guid"]=> string(36) "https://lehighuniversity.org/?p=4214" ["description"]=> string(1903) "
It's time to give Pa. a raise: Lawmakers, Wolf should not wait to increase the minimum wage | Opinion

Governor Tom Wolf speaks about efforts to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage. Governor Tom Wolf is building on his commitment to help hardworking Pennsylvanians. Today, the governor joined legislators and workers to renew his call to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $12 an hour with a pathway to $15. Later this week, the governor’s plan to […]

The post It's time to give Pa. a raise: Lawmakers, Wolf should not wait to increase the minimum wage | Opinion first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(7795) "
It's time to give Pa. a raise: Lawmakers, Wolf should not wait to increase the minimum wage | Opinion

Governor Tom Wolf speaks about efforts to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage. Governor Tom Wolf is building on his commitment to help hardworking Pennsylvanians. Today, the governor joined legislators and workers to renew his call to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $12 an hour with a pathway to $15. Later this week, the governor’s plan to extend overtime pay eligibility to 82,000 more workers will be considered by the state’s rule-making board. Harrisburg, PA – January 28, 2019

By Joan Maya Mazelis

The federal minimum wage was last raised on July 24, 2009. Meanwhile, consumer prices rose last month at their fastest rate since 2008—before the last minimum wage increase—and this is sure to erode purchasing power without an increase in wages.

An increase in the minimum wage is long overdue. Raises over time have been too few, too infrequent, and have notoriously failed to keep up with inflation. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, as it has been for nearly 12 years. It’s now worth less than it was in 1956, 65 years ago. It’s lost a third of its value since 1968.

I live in Philadelphia, and I work in Camden, N.J. – the twin cities of poverty. In recent years Philadelphia has been the poorest big city in the United States, with the highest rate of deep poverty, a term that refers to those living below less than half the poverty line. Long the poorest small city in America, Camden has recently earned the title of the poorest city in America.

While 30 states have set their own minimum wages at higher levels (including our neighbors Delaware, New Jersey, and New York), Pennsylvania’s remains at $7.25 per hour. It’s time our Legislature catches up.

An individual who works for $7.25 per hour for 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, and never takes a day off or misses a moment of work earns just $15,080 a year. This is not even enough to keep a family of two – one parent and one child – out of poverty.

How much should the minimum wage be? Some claim $15 per hour would be excessive when, ignoring inflation, they recall their own $6/hour jobs decades ago. Some believe that minimum wage workers are only teenagers with after-school jobs—but over half of minimum wage workers are 25 and older.

The minimum wage was created during the Great Depression. We need to raise it during the Pandemic Recession | Opinion

What if we raise the minimum wage just enough to push a single parent with one child above poverty—say, to $8.50 per hour? Wouldn’t that be sufficient? Not really. The official poverty guideline hasn’t kept pace with inflation, and underestimates poverty, material hardship, and severe deprivation.

In my research interviewing and spending time with women and their families in Philadelphia, I learned that not only do people living in poverty struggle—whether they make minimum wage or are unemployed—but so do people who hover just above the poverty line.

Leslie, a 23-year-old mother of one child, had worked as a cashier at a drug store and soon moved into a pharmacy technician position. Leslie made enough above the minimum wage to be above the poverty line, but she still couldn’t afford to live on her own—she and her son lived with her parents.

Stagnating and declining values of wages coupled with an ever-increasing cost of living has also made housing instability more severe and more common all over the country in recent years.

Research by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition shows that there is nowhere in the country that rent for a two-bedroom apartment is affordable for a person making the minimum wage who works full-time, year-round.

Even a $15 per hour minimum wage would only bring a full-time year-round worker to an annual income of $31,200. But in Pennsylvania, an annual income of nearly $40,000 is what’s needed to afford to rent a two-bedroom home, a wage of $19.23 per hour.

At the existing minimum wage it would require a 106-hour workweek.

In addition to raising the minimum wage, expanded income supports like the Earned Income Tax Credit are crucial, and the stimulus payments have been a lifeline. People needed that money to pay for fundamental living costs. Data from the Census show that especially among lower-income groups, people spent their stimulus payments on necessary items like food and housing.

People’s struggles to pay for fundamentals like housing have been made even more evident over the last 15 months.

As COVID-19 transmission rates fall, vaccinations climb, and many welcome a return to normalcy, let’s greet the decrease in unemployment and the rise in the Consumer Price Index with an increase in wages.

It’s long past time to break this 12-year streak of no increase in the federal minimum  wage. But Pennsylvania shouldn’t wait for Washington to fix this when our state can join dozens of others and set a higher minimum wage. 

Joan Maya Mazelis is an associate professor of sociology, and an affiliated scholar at the Center for Urban Research and Education at Rutgers University-Camden, and the author of Surviving Poverty: Creating Sustainable Ties among the Poor. Follow her @JoanieMazelis



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by Capital-Star Guest Contributor

The post It's time to give Pa. a raise: Lawmakers, Wolf should not wait to increase the minimum wage | Opinion first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" } ["feedburner"]=> array(1) { ["origlink"]=> string(125) "https://lehighuniversity.org/its-time-to-give-pa-a-raise-lawmakers-wolf-should-not-wait-to-increase-the-minimum-wage-opinion/" } ["summary"]=> string(1903) "
It's time to give Pa. a raise: Lawmakers, Wolf should not wait to increase the minimum wage | Opinion

Governor Tom Wolf speaks about efforts to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage. Governor Tom Wolf is building on his commitment to help hardworking Pennsylvanians. Today, the governor joined legislators and workers to renew his call to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $12 an hour with a pathway to $15. Later this week, the governor’s plan to […]

The post It's time to give Pa. a raise: Lawmakers, Wolf should not wait to increase the minimum wage | Opinion first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(7795) "
It's time to give Pa. a raise: Lawmakers, Wolf should not wait to increase the minimum wage | Opinion

Governor Tom Wolf speaks about efforts to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage. Governor Tom Wolf is building on his commitment to help hardworking Pennsylvanians. Today, the governor joined legislators and workers to renew his call to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $12 an hour with a pathway to $15. Later this week, the governor’s plan to extend overtime pay eligibility to 82,000 more workers will be considered by the state’s rule-making board. Harrisburg, PA – January 28, 2019

By Joan Maya Mazelis

The federal minimum wage was last raised on July 24, 2009. Meanwhile, consumer prices rose last month at their fastest rate since 2008—before the last minimum wage increase—and this is sure to erode purchasing power without an increase in wages.

An increase in the minimum wage is long overdue. Raises over time have been too few, too infrequent, and have notoriously failed to keep up with inflation. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, as it has been for nearly 12 years. It’s now worth less than it was in 1956, 65 years ago. It’s lost a third of its value since 1968.

I live in Philadelphia, and I work in Camden, N.J. – the twin cities of poverty. In recent years Philadelphia has been the poorest big city in the United States, with the highest rate of deep poverty, a term that refers to those living below less than half the poverty line. Long the poorest small city in America, Camden has recently earned the title of the poorest city in America.

While 30 states have set their own minimum wages at higher levels (including our neighbors Delaware, New Jersey, and New York), Pennsylvania’s remains at $7.25 per hour. It’s time our Legislature catches up.

An individual who works for $7.25 per hour for 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, and never takes a day off or misses a moment of work earns just $15,080 a year. This is not even enough to keep a family of two – one parent and one child – out of poverty.

How much should the minimum wage be? Some claim $15 per hour would be excessive when, ignoring inflation, they recall their own $6/hour jobs decades ago. Some believe that minimum wage workers are only teenagers with after-school jobs—but over half of minimum wage workers are 25 and older.

The minimum wage was created during the Great Depression. We need to raise it during the Pandemic Recession | Opinion

What if we raise the minimum wage just enough to push a single parent with one child above poverty—say, to $8.50 per hour? Wouldn’t that be sufficient? Not really. The official poverty guideline hasn’t kept pace with inflation, and underestimates poverty, material hardship, and severe deprivation.

In my research interviewing and spending time with women and their families in Philadelphia, I learned that not only do people living in poverty struggle—whether they make minimum wage or are unemployed—but so do people who hover just above the poverty line.

Leslie, a 23-year-old mother of one child, had worked as a cashier at a drug store and soon moved into a pharmacy technician position. Leslie made enough above the minimum wage to be above the poverty line, but she still couldn’t afford to live on her own—she and her son lived with her parents.

Stagnating and declining values of wages coupled with an ever-increasing cost of living has also made housing instability more severe and more common all over the country in recent years.

Research by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition shows that there is nowhere in the country that rent for a two-bedroom apartment is affordable for a person making the minimum wage who works full-time, year-round.

Even a $15 per hour minimum wage would only bring a full-time year-round worker to an annual income of $31,200. But in Pennsylvania, an annual income of nearly $40,000 is what’s needed to afford to rent a two-bedroom home, a wage of $19.23 per hour.

At the existing minimum wage it would require a 106-hour workweek.

In addition to raising the minimum wage, expanded income supports like the Earned Income Tax Credit are crucial, and the stimulus payments have been a lifeline. People needed that money to pay for fundamental living costs. Data from the Census show that especially among lower-income groups, people spent their stimulus payments on necessary items like food and housing.

People’s struggles to pay for fundamentals like housing have been made even more evident over the last 15 months.

As COVID-19 transmission rates fall, vaccinations climb, and many welcome a return to normalcy, let’s greet the decrease in unemployment and the rise in the Consumer Price Index with an increase in wages.

It’s long past time to break this 12-year streak of no increase in the federal minimum  wage. But Pennsylvania shouldn’t wait for Washington to fix this when our state can join dozens of others and set a higher minimum wage. 

Joan Maya Mazelis is an associate professor of sociology, and an affiliated scholar at the Center for Urban Research and Education at Rutgers University-Camden, and the author of Surviving Poverty: Creating Sustainable Ties among the Poor. Follow her @JoanieMazelis



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by Capital-Star Guest Contributor

The post It's time to give Pa. a raise: Lawmakers, Wolf should not wait to increase the minimum wage | Opinion first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["date_timestamp"]=> int(1624282292) } [4]=> array(12) { ["title"]=> string(77) "Journalists can’t be neutral in the war on American democracy | Dick Polman" ["link"]=> string(59) "http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/lehighpanews/~3/XVbnWyrO-mY/" ["dc"]=> array(1) { ["creator"]=> string(19) "Annaliese Alexander" } ["pubdate"]=> string(31) "Mon, 21 Jun 2021 12:30:59 +0000" ["category"]=> string(4) "News" ["guid"]=> string(36) "https://lehighuniversity.org/?p=4211" ["description"]=> string(1590) "
Journalists can't be neutral in the war on American democracy | Dick Polman

On a podcast the other day, national political reporter Thomas Edsall analyzed the mounting threat of Republican authoritarianism and posed a great question: Dick Polman Cagle Syndicate photo “Trump and the Republican party have created a real dilemma for the media… A party of sedition is trying to (enact) rules that even when it loses, […]

The post Journalists can't be neutral in the war on American democracy | Dick Polman first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(6445) "
Journalists can't be neutral in the war on American democracy | Dick Polman

On a podcast the other day, national political reporter Thomas Edsall analyzed the mounting threat of Republican authoritarianism and posed a great question:

Dick Polman Cagle Syndicate photo

“Trump and the Republican party have created a real dilemma for the media… A party of sedition is trying to (enact) rules that even when it loses, it wins… We have a different animal in the ballgame now. One side is dominated by a party that is willing to accept lies, that is delusional… a party that is on the verge of becoming something unseen in America, beyond the point of no return…When you have a party that is moving in this extreme fashion, how do we in the media describe it?”

Easy answer: Describe reality.

The old days of both sides false-balance journalism, the old days of writing “on the one hand, on the other hand,” the old days when both parties honored democracy by accepting the election results – those days are over. When one party openly declares that it no longer believes in democracy, when indeed it is working non-stop to destroy it, journalists can no longer take refuge in “neutrality.”

Richard Tofel, founder of the investigative journalism website ProPublica, wrote recently that neutrality is an “attractive value” only “if you view public life as an endless series of fights between two sides distinguishable most importantly by the primary colors of their uniforms.” But all too often – and especially now – neutrality is merely “an appropriate pose for the uninformed.”

Any journalist who’s remotely informed about what’s going on in 2021 should be compelled to point it out in plain language. If arsonists are torching a house, and it’s burning in front of your eyes, you report it and identify the arsonists. It’s not enough to say “Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell hopes to win the chamber in 2022.” It’s factually accurate to simply say, “Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, after voting to exonerate a president who inspired an anti-democratic coup attempt, hopes to win the chamber in 2022 and strengthen Republican vote-suppression efforts in 2024.”

In a national civic emergency, the mainstream media needs to be pro-democracy and pro-truth. That is not “bias.” That is patriotism.

The problem, however, is that too many journalists (especially the older, more seasoned ones) are stuck in the old paradigm. Jay Rosen, a media critic at New York University, said it well last week: The press is still too invested in “the game – ‘who are the winners and losers, who’s ahead, what’s the strategy?’ You can keep doing that right up until the point when democracy disintegrates.”

‘It’s all politics, it’s all garbage’: Voting against medals for cops, 21 Republicans hit a new low in insurrection denial | John L. Micek

I agree. So does Tom Edsall: “In times of big change, reporters have a harder time finding ways to describe it and to deal with it. Reporters are usually fixed in a language that they’ve (long) been using to describe political competition.” Nevertheless, “you have to look at the truth…The press has been reluctant to look at the truth adequately… That is what the press is supposed to do. I’m personally against mincing words,” whereas, at too many mainstream outlets, “the pressure is to mince words.”

Granted, the word authoritarian upsets a lot of people. But what more empirical evidence do we need that the GOP wants to turn America into Turkey, Hungary, or worse?

Democrats shouldn’t negotiate with terrorists over 1/6 panel | Dick Polman

In plain sight, its state-level lawmakers are working to sabotage future free elections – ensuring that Republican state legislatures have the power to invalidate Democratic wins, installing local election officials who can refuse to certify Democratic wins, enacting a string of new voter suppression laws that are designed to protect their white minorities.

Meanwhile, the GOP’s national leaders remain in thrall to the loser who thinks the 2020 election was stolen, and they continue to pretend that the insurrectionist coup attempt was a mirage. As Edsall says, “stuffing things down the memory hole is precisely what authoritarianism does.” If we journalists don’t point that out, we’re not doing our jobs.

James Madison, who championed the Bill of Rights, warned more than two centuries ago that a free country starved of accurate knowledge “is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or perhaps both.”

Both indeed. The clock is ticking.

Opinion contributor Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and a Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at DickPolman.net. His work appears on Monday on the Capital-Star’s Commentary Page. Readers may email him at dickpolman7@gmail.com.



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by Dick Polman

The post Journalists can't be neutral in the war on American democracy | Dick Polman first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

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Journalists can't be neutral in the war on American democracy | Dick Polman

On a podcast the other day, national political reporter Thomas Edsall analyzed the mounting threat of Republican authoritarianism and posed a great question: Dick Polman Cagle Syndicate photo “Trump and the Republican party have created a real dilemma for the media… A party of sedition is trying to (enact) rules that even when it loses, […]

The post Journalists can't be neutral in the war on American democracy | Dick Polman first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(6445) "
Journalists can't be neutral in the war on American democracy | Dick Polman

On a podcast the other day, national political reporter Thomas Edsall analyzed the mounting threat of Republican authoritarianism and posed a great question:

Dick Polman Cagle Syndicate photo

“Trump and the Republican party have created a real dilemma for the media… A party of sedition is trying to (enact) rules that even when it loses, it wins… We have a different animal in the ballgame now. One side is dominated by a party that is willing to accept lies, that is delusional… a party that is on the verge of becoming something unseen in America, beyond the point of no return…When you have a party that is moving in this extreme fashion, how do we in the media describe it?”

Easy answer: Describe reality.

The old days of both sides false-balance journalism, the old days of writing “on the one hand, on the other hand,” the old days when both parties honored democracy by accepting the election results – those days are over. When one party openly declares that it no longer believes in democracy, when indeed it is working non-stop to destroy it, journalists can no longer take refuge in “neutrality.”

Richard Tofel, founder of the investigative journalism website ProPublica, wrote recently that neutrality is an “attractive value” only “if you view public life as an endless series of fights between two sides distinguishable most importantly by the primary colors of their uniforms.” But all too often – and especially now – neutrality is merely “an appropriate pose for the uninformed.”

Any journalist who’s remotely informed about what’s going on in 2021 should be compelled to point it out in plain language. If arsonists are torching a house, and it’s burning in front of your eyes, you report it and identify the arsonists. It’s not enough to say “Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell hopes to win the chamber in 2022.” It’s factually accurate to simply say, “Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, after voting to exonerate a president who inspired an anti-democratic coup attempt, hopes to win the chamber in 2022 and strengthen Republican vote-suppression efforts in 2024.”

In a national civic emergency, the mainstream media needs to be pro-democracy and pro-truth. That is not “bias.” That is patriotism.

The problem, however, is that too many journalists (especially the older, more seasoned ones) are stuck in the old paradigm. Jay Rosen, a media critic at New York University, said it well last week: The press is still too invested in “the game – ‘who are the winners and losers, who’s ahead, what’s the strategy?’ You can keep doing that right up until the point when democracy disintegrates.”

‘It’s all politics, it’s all garbage’: Voting against medals for cops, 21 Republicans hit a new low in insurrection denial | John L. Micek

I agree. So does Tom Edsall: “In times of big change, reporters have a harder time finding ways to describe it and to deal with it. Reporters are usually fixed in a language that they’ve (long) been using to describe political competition.” Nevertheless, “you have to look at the truth…The press has been reluctant to look at the truth adequately… That is what the press is supposed to do. I’m personally against mincing words,” whereas, at too many mainstream outlets, “the pressure is to mince words.”

Granted, the word authoritarian upsets a lot of people. But what more empirical evidence do we need that the GOP wants to turn America into Turkey, Hungary, or worse?

Democrats shouldn’t negotiate with terrorists over 1/6 panel | Dick Polman

In plain sight, its state-level lawmakers are working to sabotage future free elections – ensuring that Republican state legislatures have the power to invalidate Democratic wins, installing local election officials who can refuse to certify Democratic wins, enacting a string of new voter suppression laws that are designed to protect their white minorities.

Meanwhile, the GOP’s national leaders remain in thrall to the loser who thinks the 2020 election was stolen, and they continue to pretend that the insurrectionist coup attempt was a mirage. As Edsall says, “stuffing things down the memory hole is precisely what authoritarianism does.” If we journalists don’t point that out, we’re not doing our jobs.

James Madison, who championed the Bill of Rights, warned more than two centuries ago that a free country starved of accurate knowledge “is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or perhaps both.”

Both indeed. The clock is ticking.

Opinion contributor Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and a Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at DickPolman.net. His work appears on Monday on the Capital-Star’s Commentary Page. Readers may email him at dickpolman7@gmail.com.



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by Dick Polman

The post Journalists can't be neutral in the war on American democracy | Dick Polman first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

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Poll: Pa. should use stim funds to help low-income Black, Brown & white households | Monday Morning Coffee

(Capital-Star photo by John L. Micek) Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.When representatives of the Poor People’s Campaign rallied on the steps of the state Capitol earlier this month calling for a ‘just’ budget that prioritized the needs of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable residents ahead of its most powerful, the temptation to dismiss those demands as typical progressive boilerplate […]

The post Poll: Pa. should use stim funds to help low-income Black, Brown & white households | Monday Morning Coffee first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(17128) "
Poll: Pa. should use stim funds to help low-income Black, Brown & white households | Monday Morning Coffee

(Capital-Star photo by John L. Micek)

Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
When representatives of the Poor People’s Campaign rallied on the steps of the state Capitol earlier this month calling for a ‘just’ budget that prioritized the needs of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable residents ahead of its most powerful, the temptation to dismiss those demands as typical progressive boilerplate may have been a strong one for some.

But a new poll, released late last week by the Pennsylvania Budget Policy Center, points the way toward bipartisan support for a list of priorities that the progressive think-tank hopes that lawmakers will heed as the formal sprint toward approving a new state budget kicks off today.

As the Capital-Star has previously reported, the Republican-controlled General Assembly and the Democratic Wolf administration will have as much as $10 billion in excess funds at their disposal as they try to reach agreement on a budget deal for the fiscal year that begins July 1. More than $7 billion of that total comes from federal stimulus money.

Nearly six in 10 respondents to the poll (57 percent) said they wanted policymakers to focus on investing more in the state and its residents. About a third of all Republican respondents (34 percent) agreed with that sentiment, according to the poll, while six in 10 women respondents (61 percent) and two-thirds of Black respondents (65 percent) agreed with that sentiment.

(Source: Pennsylvania Budget & Policy Center).

Broadly, respondents wanted policymakers to focus on:

As the Capital-Star also has previously reported, Democrats in the state House and Senate each have rolled out their own plans to spend the money, while Republicans have remained more muted in their plans.

But the GOP’s approach is a mistake, Marc Stier, the think-tank’s executive director, warned.

“This poll clearly demonstrates that a strong majority of Pennsylvanians want American Rescue Plan funds to be spent on the Pennsylvanians most in need and to reduce the inequality that the pandemic revealed,” Stier said.

(c) 3desc – Stock.Adobe.com

The poll also took a look at the election reform issues now percolating in the General Assembly.

Last weekHouse State Government Committee Chairman Seth Grove, R-York, rolled out a sweeping reform bill that would broadly rewrite and modernize state election law; by increasing restrictions on ballot drop off boxes; decreasing the amount of time voters have to register to vote and request mail-in ballots; and requiring Pennsylvanians to show ID every time they vote, the Capital-Star’s Stephen Caruso reported.

Pollsters say they found opposition to the GOP’s rewrite plans, with:

The results conflict with a separate, Franklin & Marshall College poll released last week that found Pennsylvanians supporting a major rewrite of the state’s election law.

“Pennsylvania is following the dangerous example of other states hell-bent on restricting the freedom to vote — particularly for voters of color,” Carmen López, the senior democracy director for SiX, a progressive think-tank, said in a statement. “This research shows just how much Pennsylvanians appreciate accessible voting options and how out-of-step the Majority is in rolling back access.”

Conducted from June 2 to June 7, the PBPC canvass sampled the opinions of 1,348 Pennsylvania adults who said they were registered to vote, for an overall margin of error of 3.1 percent.

(Image via pxHere.com)

Our Stuff.
In this week’s edition of The Numbers RacketCassie Miller dives into some data hammering home one of the great inequities of the pandemic: We were all being asked to go to work and go to school from home — but not all of us could afford a broadband connection to do it.

Confronted by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto pen, Stephen Caruso explains why legislative Republicans are increasingly looking to amend the state Constitution to get their way on election reform proposals.

Endangered species will get a reprieve under President Joe Biden’s conservation plan, Capital-Star Washington Correspondent Allison Winter reports.

Republicans Sean Parnell, of Pittsburgh, and Kathy Barnette, of Huntingdon Valley, both candidates vying for retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey’s, R-Pa., seat, are the latest Pennsylvania politicians to take a page out of former President Donald Trump’s financing playbook — one that automatically signs donors up for monthly donationsMarley Parish reports.

On our Commentary Page this morning, a Rutgers University scholar says Gov. Tom Wolf and lawmakers can’t wait any longer to boost Pennsylvania’s minimum wage. And when it comes to the war on American democracy, journalists can’t afford to be neutral, opinion regular Dick Polman argues.

En la Estrella-Capital: ‘Una oportunidad única en la vida’: los Demócratas de la Cámara de Representantes y el Senado quieren usar el dinero del estímulo para abordar el plomo y el asbesto en escuelas de Pa. Y ‘Nos estamos quedando sin tiempo’: El Senado avanza la legislación para hacer permanentes los cocteles para llevar.

Philadelphia City Hall (Image via pxHere.com)

Elsewhere.
The Inquirer
 has what you need to know about the budget deal between Mayor Jim Kenney and Philadelphia City Council.
Pittsburgh’s Black leaders see a sign of hope if state Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Alleghenybecomes the city’s first Black mayor, the Post-Gazette reports.
PennLive previews the save it or spend it dilemma confronting state budget writers (paywall).
With less than a third of Lancaster County’s bridges in good conditionLancasterOnline explains how the Biden infrastructure plan could help.
Lehigh Valley bar owners aren’t fanas of a bill now before the Legislature that would allow them to extend last call to 4 a.m., the Morning Call reports.
The Citizens’ Voice looks at how area school districts are trying to cope with a year of lost learning.
USA Today’s Pennsylvania Capital Bureau looks at what’s next for anti-abortion rights and gun rights bills before the General Assembly (paywall).

Here’s your #Harrisburg Instagram of the Day:

A Philadelphia doctor made the vax mandatory — he lost seven employeesWHYY-FM reports.
Spotlight PA has what you need to know about the troubles at PSERS (via WITF-FM).
The Observer-Reporter profiles a community of Haitian refugees in Charleroi, Pa.
PoliticsPA has last week’s winners and losers in state politics.
Stateline.org looks at how southern states are dealing with a vaccine gap.
Roll Call 
has last week’s hits and misses on Capitol Hill.

What Goes On
The House comes in at 12 p.m. today, the Senate convenes at 1 p.m. Here’s a look at the day’s committee action.
11 a.m., 8E-B East Wing: Senate Banking & Insurance Committee
11 a.m., Senate Chamber: Senate Health & Human Services Committee
12 p.m., Hearing Room 1, North Office Building: Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee
Off the Floor, Senate Chamber: Senate Appropriations Committee
Off the Floor, Senate Chamber: Senate Finance Committee
Call of the Chair, 140 MC: House Appropriations Committee
Call of the Chair, 205 Ryan: House Aging & Adult Services Committee

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
5:30 p.m.: Reception for the East Central House Republican Committee. Admission runs $300 to $1,000.

WolfWatch
Gov. Tom Wolf has no public schedule today.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept
Have a birthday you’d like observed in this space? Email us on [email protected].

Heavy Rotation.
In addition to being an in-demand actor and talented director, Idris Elba cranks out club bangers in his spare time. Here’s his newest track, a collaboration with Eliza Legzdina. It’s’ ‘Fudge.’

Monday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Vegas rallied in OT on Sunday to beat Montreal 2-1
. The series is even at two games apiece.

And now you’re up to date.



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by John L. Micek

The post Poll: Pa. should use stim funds to help low-income Black, Brown & white households | Monday Morning Coffee first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" } ["feedburner"]=> array(1) { ["origlink"]=> string(129) "https://lehighuniversity.org/poll-pa-should-use-stim-funds-to-help-low-income-black-brown-white-households-monday-morning-coffee/" } ["summary"]=> string(1989) "
Poll: Pa. should use stim funds to help low-income Black, Brown & white households | Monday Morning Coffee

(Capital-Star photo by John L. Micek) Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.When representatives of the Poor People’s Campaign rallied on the steps of the state Capitol earlier this month calling for a ‘just’ budget that prioritized the needs of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable residents ahead of its most powerful, the temptation to dismiss those demands as typical progressive boilerplate […]

The post Poll: Pa. should use stim funds to help low-income Black, Brown & white households | Monday Morning Coffee first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(17128) "
Poll: Pa. should use stim funds to help low-income Black, Brown & white households | Monday Morning Coffee

(Capital-Star photo by John L. Micek)

Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
When representatives of the Poor People’s Campaign rallied on the steps of the state Capitol earlier this month calling for a ‘just’ budget that prioritized the needs of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable residents ahead of its most powerful, the temptation to dismiss those demands as typical progressive boilerplate may have been a strong one for some.

But a new poll, released late last week by the Pennsylvania Budget Policy Center, points the way toward bipartisan support for a list of priorities that the progressive think-tank hopes that lawmakers will heed as the formal sprint toward approving a new state budget kicks off today.

As the Capital-Star has previously reported, the Republican-controlled General Assembly and the Democratic Wolf administration will have as much as $10 billion in excess funds at their disposal as they try to reach agreement on a budget deal for the fiscal year that begins July 1. More than $7 billion of that total comes from federal stimulus money.

Nearly six in 10 respondents to the poll (57 percent) said they wanted policymakers to focus on investing more in the state and its residents. About a third of all Republican respondents (34 percent) agreed with that sentiment, according to the poll, while six in 10 women respondents (61 percent) and two-thirds of Black respondents (65 percent) agreed with that sentiment.

(Source: Pennsylvania Budget & Policy Center).

Broadly, respondents wanted policymakers to focus on:

As the Capital-Star also has previously reported, Democrats in the state House and Senate each have rolled out their own plans to spend the money, while Republicans have remained more muted in their plans.

But the GOP’s approach is a mistake, Marc Stier, the think-tank’s executive director, warned.

“This poll clearly demonstrates that a strong majority of Pennsylvanians want American Rescue Plan funds to be spent on the Pennsylvanians most in need and to reduce the inequality that the pandemic revealed,” Stier said.

(c) 3desc – Stock.Adobe.com

The poll also took a look at the election reform issues now percolating in the General Assembly.

Last weekHouse State Government Committee Chairman Seth Grove, R-York, rolled out a sweeping reform bill that would broadly rewrite and modernize state election law; by increasing restrictions on ballot drop off boxes; decreasing the amount of time voters have to register to vote and request mail-in ballots; and requiring Pennsylvanians to show ID every time they vote, the Capital-Star’s Stephen Caruso reported.

Pollsters say they found opposition to the GOP’s rewrite plans, with:

The results conflict with a separate, Franklin & Marshall College poll released last week that found Pennsylvanians supporting a major rewrite of the state’s election law.

“Pennsylvania is following the dangerous example of other states hell-bent on restricting the freedom to vote — particularly for voters of color,” Carmen López, the senior democracy director for SiX, a progressive think-tank, said in a statement. “This research shows just how much Pennsylvanians appreciate accessible voting options and how out-of-step the Majority is in rolling back access.”

Conducted from June 2 to June 7, the PBPC canvass sampled the opinions of 1,348 Pennsylvania adults who said they were registered to vote, for an overall margin of error of 3.1 percent.

(Image via pxHere.com)

Our Stuff.
In this week’s edition of The Numbers RacketCassie Miller dives into some data hammering home one of the great inequities of the pandemic: We were all being asked to go to work and go to school from home — but not all of us could afford a broadband connection to do it.

Confronted by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto pen, Stephen Caruso explains why legislative Republicans are increasingly looking to amend the state Constitution to get their way on election reform proposals.

Endangered species will get a reprieve under President Joe Biden’s conservation plan, Capital-Star Washington Correspondent Allison Winter reports.

Republicans Sean Parnell, of Pittsburgh, and Kathy Barnette, of Huntingdon Valley, both candidates vying for retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey’s, R-Pa., seat, are the latest Pennsylvania politicians to take a page out of former President Donald Trump’s financing playbook — one that automatically signs donors up for monthly donationsMarley Parish reports.

On our Commentary Page this morning, a Rutgers University scholar says Gov. Tom Wolf and lawmakers can’t wait any longer to boost Pennsylvania’s minimum wage. And when it comes to the war on American democracy, journalists can’t afford to be neutral, opinion regular Dick Polman argues.

En la Estrella-Capital: ‘Una oportunidad única en la vida’: los Demócratas de la Cámara de Representantes y el Senado quieren usar el dinero del estímulo para abordar el plomo y el asbesto en escuelas de Pa. Y ‘Nos estamos quedando sin tiempo’: El Senado avanza la legislación para hacer permanentes los cocteles para llevar.

Philadelphia City Hall (Image via pxHere.com)

Elsewhere.
The Inquirer
 has what you need to know about the budget deal between Mayor Jim Kenney and Philadelphia City Council.
Pittsburgh’s Black leaders see a sign of hope if state Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Alleghenybecomes the city’s first Black mayor, the Post-Gazette reports.
PennLive previews the save it or spend it dilemma confronting state budget writers (paywall).
With less than a third of Lancaster County’s bridges in good conditionLancasterOnline explains how the Biden infrastructure plan could help.
Lehigh Valley bar owners aren’t fanas of a bill now before the Legislature that would allow them to extend last call to 4 a.m., the Morning Call reports.
The Citizens’ Voice looks at how area school districts are trying to cope with a year of lost learning.
USA Today’s Pennsylvania Capital Bureau looks at what’s next for anti-abortion rights and gun rights bills before the General Assembly (paywall).

Here’s your #Harrisburg Instagram of the Day:

A Philadelphia doctor made the vax mandatory — he lost seven employeesWHYY-FM reports.
Spotlight PA has what you need to know about the troubles at PSERS (via WITF-FM).
The Observer-Reporter profiles a community of Haitian refugees in Charleroi, Pa.
PoliticsPA has last week’s winners and losers in state politics.
Stateline.org looks at how southern states are dealing with a vaccine gap.
Roll Call 
has last week’s hits and misses on Capitol Hill.

What Goes On
The House comes in at 12 p.m. today, the Senate convenes at 1 p.m. Here’s a look at the day’s committee action.
11 a.m., 8E-B East Wing: Senate Banking & Insurance Committee
11 a.m., Senate Chamber: Senate Health & Human Services Committee
12 p.m., Hearing Room 1, North Office Building: Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee
Off the Floor, Senate Chamber: Senate Appropriations Committee
Off the Floor, Senate Chamber: Senate Finance Committee
Call of the Chair, 140 MC: House Appropriations Committee
Call of the Chair, 205 Ryan: House Aging & Adult Services Committee

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
5:30 p.m.: Reception for the East Central House Republican Committee. Admission runs $300 to $1,000.

WolfWatch
Gov. Tom Wolf has no public schedule today.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept
Have a birthday you’d like observed in this space? Email us on [email protected].

Heavy Rotation.
In addition to being an in-demand actor and talented director, Idris Elba cranks out club bangers in his spare time. Here’s his newest track, a collaboration with Eliza Legzdina. It’s’ ‘Fudge.’

Monday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Vegas rallied in OT on Sunday to beat Montreal 2-1
. The series is even at two games apiece.

And now you’re up to date.



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by John L. Micek

The post Poll: Pa. should use stim funds to help low-income Black, Brown & white households | Monday Morning Coffee first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

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Alzheimer’s drug gets approval | News, Sports, Jobs

cjhaddad@breezenewspapers.com For the first time in nearly two decades, the Food and Drug Administration approved a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The FDA gave the go-ahead for aducanumab (marketed as Aduhelm), which is believed to be the first Alzheimer’s drug that targets the cause of the disease rather than the side effects. The drug, made by […]

The post Alzheimer’s drug gets approval | News, Sports, Jobs first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(10695) "
Alzheimer’s drug gets approval | News, Sports, Jobs

cjhaddad@breezenewspapers.com

For the first time in nearly two decades, the Food and Drug Administration approved a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

The FDA gave the go-ahead for aducanumab (marketed as Aduhelm), which is believed to be the first Alzheimer’s drug that targets the cause of the disease rather than the side effects.

The drug, made by Biogen of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was granted “Accelerated approval” Approved by the FDA and shown to clear the amyloid beta plague in the brain – one of the two tell-tale signs of the disease. Aduhelm is the first novel therapy for Alzheimer’s disease to be approved since 2003.

“Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating disease that can have profound effects on the lives of people diagnosed with the disease and their loved ones.” Patrizia Cavazzoni, MD, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement Monday. “Currently available therapies only treat symptoms of the disease; This treatment option is the first therapy to target and affect the underlying disease process of Alzheimer’s disease. As we have learned from the fight against cancer, the accelerated approval path can bring therapies to patients faster while promoting more research and innovation. “

Alzheimer’s disease affects 6.2 million Americans, according to the FDA. It is an irreversible, progressive disease of the brain that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and then later decreases the ability to do simple tasks.

Michelle Branham, vice president of public policy for the Florida area at Alzheimer’s Association, said the disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause in the top 10 with no preventive treatment or cure.

Florida is the state with the second highest number of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and it is the sixth leading cause of death for its residents.

“(The new drug) treats the disease in ways we’ve never seen before, compared to the currently approved drugs you’re seeing that treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and related dementia.” said Branham. “This new type of drug is really a treatment. The therapy not only slows the symptoms but also slows the progression of the disease. This is solemn news for all people with Alzheimer’s and their families. That gives you more quality time, especially if you received an early diagnosis. “

While the specific cause of the disease hasn’t fully been discovered, the FDA said Alzheimer’s is characterized by changes in the brain, including amyloid plaques and neurofibrial (or tau) entanglements that result in the loss of neurons and their connections. Studies show that this new intravenous regimen, which is infused every four weeks, leads to a reduction in amyloid plaques.

“It shows that removing the amyloid from the brain can delay clinical decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease.” said Branham. “It really removes a bit of that sticky amyloid protein that covers the brain and creates brain plaques that are really the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Medical professionals, including Branham, hope that in the near future this approval will spark the spark for something bigger when it comes to preventing and stopping dementia-related diseases.

“It’s a new day” Alzheimer’s Association President and CEO Harry Johns said in a statement Monday. “This approval gives people with Alzheimer’s more time to live better. For families, it means being able to hold onto loved ones longer. It’s about resuscitating scientists and companies in the fight against this scourge of disease. It’s about hope. “

Maria C. Carillo, Ph.D., Senior Science Officer for the Alzheimer’s Association added: “This FDA drug approval heralds a new era in Alzheimer’s treatment and research. History has shown us that the approval of the first drug in a new category invigorates the field, increases investment in new treatments and stimulates more innovation. We are hopeful and this is the beginning – both for this drug and for better treatments for Alzheimer’s. “

Approval is being reviewed by medical experts and even an FDA advisory committee that rejected the drug after clinical trials and raised concerns about its effectiveness.

“The data contained in the applicant’s application were very complex and left residual uncertainties with regard to the clinical benefit.” Cavazzoni wrote on Monday. “We carefully examined the results of the clinical study, consulted the Advisory Board on Drugs of the Peripheral and Central Nervous System, listened to the perspectives of the patient community and reviewed all relevant data. Ultimately, we opted for the Accelerated Approval Pathway – a pathway designed to give patients with severe illnesses early access to potentially valuable therapies when there is an unmet need and clinical benefit is expected despite some residual uncertainty about that benefit. In determining that the application met the requirements for accelerated approval, the agency concluded that the benefits of Aduhelm for patients with Alzheimer’s disease outweigh the risks of the therapy. “

The drug’s late development program included two Phase 3 clinical trials, one of which showed a reduction in clinical decline, while the second failed to meet the primary endpoint.

“In all studies in which it was evaluated, however, Aduhelm consistently and very convincingly reduced the amount of amyloid plaques in the brain in a dose- and time-dependent manner.” Cavazzoni wrote. “Reducing amyloid plaque is expected to reduce clinical decline.”

She added that removing and reducing amyloid beta plaques in the brain “Almost likely to predict an important benefit for patients.”

Under the expedited approval process, Biogen is required by the FDA to conduct a new randomized controlled clinical trial “to review the clinical benefit of the drug.”

“If the study does not confirm the clinical benefit, the FDA can initiate proceedings to withdraw approval of the drug.” Cavazzoni said.

Side effects of the drug include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, brain swelling, or bleeding. About 40% of the two Phase 3 study participants who received high doses had side effects – most of them were headache, dizziness, or nausea.

“The drug seems to be very well tolerated in clinical studies” said Branham. “Every drug has side effects, we know that. The side effects mentioned – we could argue that in our Alzheimer’s disease world, you’d trade this for more time, more time with your loved one, and that’s quality and more time for memories. I think you need to talk to your doctor about this and make sure that this is a drug that you as a patient can tolerate and know all the side effects that are associated with it and how you personally felt about it.

She argued “If you could have more time with your loved one, more time and quality of life for yourself, wouldn’t you try that? Do not you want that?”

Biogen announced in a press release Monday afternoon that the annual cost of treatment would be $ 56,000 and that the outlay for patients on insurance would vary based on coverage. Treatment also requires additional tests along the way.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure access to the drug and any tests required during the treatment process.” said Branham. “We will do everything we can to remove barriers to entry. This will have the highest priority for us as an association in the future. “

The drug is expected to see high demand in the Sunshine State, which has the fifth oldest median age among the US states.

“Florida really is a ground zero for Alzheimer’s disease” said Branham. “Our leadership has made Alzheimer’s disease a priority since this last legislative term. The governor has put in place a rigorous dementia action plan for the state and a state health improvement plan for Alzheimer’s – the only state with this priority.

“There’s great research going on here in Florida, and it’s exciting. We have to be the gold standard and be at the forefront. “

–Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj

The post Alzheimer’s drug gets approval | News, Sports, Jobs first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" } ["feedburner"]=> array(1) { ["origlink"]=> string(76) "https://lehighuniversity.org/alzheimers-drug-gets-approval-news-sports-jobs/" } ["summary"]=> string(1384) "
Alzheimer’s drug gets approval | News, Sports, Jobs

cjhaddad@breezenewspapers.com For the first time in nearly two decades, the Food and Drug Administration approved a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The FDA gave the go-ahead for aducanumab (marketed as Aduhelm), which is believed to be the first Alzheimer’s drug that targets the cause of the disease rather than the side effects. The drug, made by […]

The post Alzheimer’s drug gets approval | News, Sports, Jobs first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(10695) "
Alzheimer’s drug gets approval | News, Sports, Jobs

cjhaddad@breezenewspapers.com

For the first time in nearly two decades, the Food and Drug Administration approved a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

The FDA gave the go-ahead for aducanumab (marketed as Aduhelm), which is believed to be the first Alzheimer’s drug that targets the cause of the disease rather than the side effects.

The drug, made by Biogen of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was granted “Accelerated approval” Approved by the FDA and shown to clear the amyloid beta plague in the brain – one of the two tell-tale signs of the disease. Aduhelm is the first novel therapy for Alzheimer’s disease to be approved since 2003.

“Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating disease that can have profound effects on the lives of people diagnosed with the disease and their loved ones.” Patrizia Cavazzoni, MD, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement Monday. “Currently available therapies only treat symptoms of the disease; This treatment option is the first therapy to target and affect the underlying disease process of Alzheimer’s disease. As we have learned from the fight against cancer, the accelerated approval path can bring therapies to patients faster while promoting more research and innovation. “

Alzheimer’s disease affects 6.2 million Americans, according to the FDA. It is an irreversible, progressive disease of the brain that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and then later decreases the ability to do simple tasks.

Michelle Branham, vice president of public policy for the Florida area at Alzheimer’s Association, said the disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause in the top 10 with no preventive treatment or cure.

Florida is the state with the second highest number of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and it is the sixth leading cause of death for its residents.

“(The new drug) treats the disease in ways we’ve never seen before, compared to the currently approved drugs you’re seeing that treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and related dementia.” said Branham. “This new type of drug is really a treatment. The therapy not only slows the symptoms but also slows the progression of the disease. This is solemn news for all people with Alzheimer’s and their families. That gives you more quality time, especially if you received an early diagnosis. “

While the specific cause of the disease hasn’t fully been discovered, the FDA said Alzheimer’s is characterized by changes in the brain, including amyloid plaques and neurofibrial (or tau) entanglements that result in the loss of neurons and their connections. Studies show that this new intravenous regimen, which is infused every four weeks, leads to a reduction in amyloid plaques.

“It shows that removing the amyloid from the brain can delay clinical decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease.” said Branham. “It really removes a bit of that sticky amyloid protein that covers the brain and creates brain plaques that are really the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Medical professionals, including Branham, hope that in the near future this approval will spark the spark for something bigger when it comes to preventing and stopping dementia-related diseases.

“It’s a new day” Alzheimer’s Association President and CEO Harry Johns said in a statement Monday. “This approval gives people with Alzheimer’s more time to live better. For families, it means being able to hold onto loved ones longer. It’s about resuscitating scientists and companies in the fight against this scourge of disease. It’s about hope. “

Maria C. Carillo, Ph.D., Senior Science Officer for the Alzheimer’s Association added: “This FDA drug approval heralds a new era in Alzheimer’s treatment and research. History has shown us that the approval of the first drug in a new category invigorates the field, increases investment in new treatments and stimulates more innovation. We are hopeful and this is the beginning – both for this drug and for better treatments for Alzheimer’s. “

Approval is being reviewed by medical experts and even an FDA advisory committee that rejected the drug after clinical trials and raised concerns about its effectiveness.

“The data contained in the applicant’s application were very complex and left residual uncertainties with regard to the clinical benefit.” Cavazzoni wrote on Monday. “We carefully examined the results of the clinical study, consulted the Advisory Board on Drugs of the Peripheral and Central Nervous System, listened to the perspectives of the patient community and reviewed all relevant data. Ultimately, we opted for the Accelerated Approval Pathway – a pathway designed to give patients with severe illnesses early access to potentially valuable therapies when there is an unmet need and clinical benefit is expected despite some residual uncertainty about that benefit. In determining that the application met the requirements for accelerated approval, the agency concluded that the benefits of Aduhelm for patients with Alzheimer’s disease outweigh the risks of the therapy. “

The drug’s late development program included two Phase 3 clinical trials, one of which showed a reduction in clinical decline, while the second failed to meet the primary endpoint.

“In all studies in which it was evaluated, however, Aduhelm consistently and very convincingly reduced the amount of amyloid plaques in the brain in a dose- and time-dependent manner.” Cavazzoni wrote. “Reducing amyloid plaque is expected to reduce clinical decline.”

She added that removing and reducing amyloid beta plaques in the brain “Almost likely to predict an important benefit for patients.”

Under the expedited approval process, Biogen is required by the FDA to conduct a new randomized controlled clinical trial “to review the clinical benefit of the drug.”

“If the study does not confirm the clinical benefit, the FDA can initiate proceedings to withdraw approval of the drug.” Cavazzoni said.

Side effects of the drug include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, brain swelling, or bleeding. About 40% of the two Phase 3 study participants who received high doses had side effects – most of them were headache, dizziness, or nausea.

“The drug seems to be very well tolerated in clinical studies” said Branham. “Every drug has side effects, we know that. The side effects mentioned – we could argue that in our Alzheimer’s disease world, you’d trade this for more time, more time with your loved one, and that’s quality and more time for memories. I think you need to talk to your doctor about this and make sure that this is a drug that you as a patient can tolerate and know all the side effects that are associated with it and how you personally felt about it.

She argued “If you could have more time with your loved one, more time and quality of life for yourself, wouldn’t you try that? Do not you want that?”

Biogen announced in a press release Monday afternoon that the annual cost of treatment would be $ 56,000 and that the outlay for patients on insurance would vary based on coverage. Treatment also requires additional tests along the way.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure access to the drug and any tests required during the treatment process.” said Branham. “We will do everything we can to remove barriers to entry. This will have the highest priority for us as an association in the future. “

The drug is expected to see high demand in the Sunshine State, which has the fifth oldest median age among the US states.

“Florida really is a ground zero for Alzheimer’s disease” said Branham. “Our leadership has made Alzheimer’s disease a priority since this last legislative term. The governor has put in place a rigorous dementia action plan for the state and a state health improvement plan for Alzheimer’s – the only state with this priority.

“There’s great research going on here in Florida, and it’s exciting. We have to be the gold standard and be at the forefront. “

–Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj

The post Alzheimer’s drug gets approval | News, Sports, Jobs first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["date_timestamp"]=> int(1624254918) } [7]=> array(12) { ["title"]=> string(84) "Expanding access to ‘Ready to Drink’ cocktails will harm public health | Opinion" ["link"]=> string(59) "http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/lehighpanews/~3/lOTR_iRLys4/" ["dc"]=> array(1) { ["creator"]=> string(19) "Annaliese Alexander" } ["pubdate"]=> string(31) "Mon, 21 Jun 2021 05:12:45 +0000" ["category"]=> string(4) "News" ["guid"]=> string(36) "https://lehighuniversity.org/?p=4202" ["description"]=> string(1653) "
Expanding access to ‘Ready to Drink’ cocktails will harm public health | Opinion

Image Source: PixaBay By Jeff Hanley In the past year, many states loosened well-researched, long-standing alcohol safeguard policies to help struggling restaurants, bars, and other establishments during the pandemic. While these policy changes may have helped small businesses survive during shutdowns, the powerful alcohol industry is now pushing to roll back safety measures further in […]

The post Expanding access to ‘Ready to Drink’ cocktails will harm public health | Opinion first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(7047) "
Expanding access to ‘Ready to Drink’ cocktails will harm public health | Opinion

Image Source: PixaBay

By Jeff Hanley

In the past year, many states loosened well-researched, long-standing alcohol safeguard policies to help struggling restaurants, bars, and other establishments during the pandemic. While these policy changes may have helped small businesses survive during shutdowns, the powerful alcohol industry is now pushing to roll back safety measures further in the name of profit, even as life returns to normal.

In Harrisburg, the industry is urging lawmakers to pass HB 1154, which would permanently allow restaurants and taverns to sell cocktails, or Ready to Drink (RTD) beverages as they are officially known, to go.

The legislation would make RTDs available for sale outside of the Pennsylvania Wine and Spirit Shops.  RTD beverages are spirit-based mixed drinks in a bottle or can, and typically contain higher alcohol content than beer or wine. The strong taste of alcohol in RTDs and cocktails to go is often masked with sugar and fruity flavors.

Because of this RTDs and canned cocktails are especially tantalizing to youth, and data shows they are most popular with young women. The alcohol content hidden under syrupy flavors fuels binge drinking, and the convenient packaging in cans and bottles makes RTDs easier to transport and drink in large quantities. Allowing RTDs to be sold anywhere beer can be sold, such as supermarkets, convenience stores and restaurants, will threaten the safety of Pennsylvania’s youth.

‘We are running out of time.’ Senate advances legislation to make to-go cocktails permanent

Currently, the state-owned Wine and Spirits shops handle all sales of spirits, which protects the public and, in particular, our children.

As the executive director of the Commonwealth Prevention Alliance, I am strongly opposed to dramatically increasing access to high-alcohol-by-volume beverages like RTDs and cocktails to go. Many of the locations RTDs would be sold are national chains, not mom-and pop-businesses, and the state will lose out on the revenue from this growing sector.

Sales in Pennsylvania’s state-run stores go back into our communities, supporting the state police, the state general fund, and alcohol safety education programs.

Despite the sleek marketing and pervasive cultural presence, alcohol is still a drug. And as a drug, it causes many firsthand and secondhand harms. The impacts of alcohol misuse extend into our communities, schools, workplaces, and health systems.

Alcohol is involved in more than 95,000 deaths a year, and excessive alcohol consumption may result in injuries, hospitalization, long-term illness or even death. Secondhand harms include being in a traffic accident, being a passenger in a vehicle with a drunk driver, harassment, intimate partner violence, vandalized property, being pushed, hit, or assaulted, family or marital and financial troubles.

Youth ages 18-24 experience these harms more often than older people, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, due to high rates of binge drinking during this important life transition period.

In Pennsylvania, 60 counties have identified youth alcohol use as a top priority for addressing substance misuse, and 38 counties have designated adult alcohol use as a top challenge. It is critical that our state and local leaders continue to develop and implement policy safeguards to protect our young people and all Pennsylvania residents.

Dramatically increasing the number of outlets that will be authorized to sell spirits will be a significant setback for reducing youth alcohol use.

Pennsylvania’s alcohol policies, and those of most states, are based on decades of research and experience on how to reduce the harms of alcohol. While it is essential to lessen the pandemic’s economic fallout for our communities, adding over 10,000 locations across Pennsylvania to sell liquor-based RTDs and cocktails to go will not accomplish that goal and will just line the pockets of billion-dollar alcohol company executives.

I urge our lawmakers to protect Pennsylvania’s young people and keep our dollars within our communities. Allowing RTD sales outside of state-run stores and cocktails to go puts profits over safety and counteracts the work Pennsylvania communities are doing to reduce the harms of alcohol.

Jeff Hanley is the executive director of the Commonwealth Prevention Alliance, which works to support prevention professionals in eliminating substance abuse. He writes from Beaver Falls, Pa. 



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by Capital-Star Guest Contributor

The post Expanding access to ‘Ready to Drink’ cocktails will harm public health | Opinion first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" } ["feedburner"]=> array(1) { ["origlink"]=> string(106) "https://lehighuniversity.org/expanding-access-to-ready-to-drink-cocktails-will-harm-public-health-opinion/" } ["summary"]=> string(1653) "
Expanding access to ‘Ready to Drink’ cocktails will harm public health | Opinion

Image Source: PixaBay By Jeff Hanley In the past year, many states loosened well-researched, long-standing alcohol safeguard policies to help struggling restaurants, bars, and other establishments during the pandemic. While these policy changes may have helped small businesses survive during shutdowns, the powerful alcohol industry is now pushing to roll back safety measures further in […]

The post Expanding access to ‘Ready to Drink’ cocktails will harm public health | Opinion first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(7047) "
Expanding access to ‘Ready to Drink’ cocktails will harm public health | Opinion

Image Source: PixaBay

By Jeff Hanley

In the past year, many states loosened well-researched, long-standing alcohol safeguard policies to help struggling restaurants, bars, and other establishments during the pandemic. While these policy changes may have helped small businesses survive during shutdowns, the powerful alcohol industry is now pushing to roll back safety measures further in the name of profit, even as life returns to normal.

In Harrisburg, the industry is urging lawmakers to pass HB 1154, which would permanently allow restaurants and taverns to sell cocktails, or Ready to Drink (RTD) beverages as they are officially known, to go.

The legislation would make RTDs available for sale outside of the Pennsylvania Wine and Spirit Shops.  RTD beverages are spirit-based mixed drinks in a bottle or can, and typically contain higher alcohol content than beer or wine. The strong taste of alcohol in RTDs and cocktails to go is often masked with sugar and fruity flavors.

Because of this RTDs and canned cocktails are especially tantalizing to youth, and data shows they are most popular with young women. The alcohol content hidden under syrupy flavors fuels binge drinking, and the convenient packaging in cans and bottles makes RTDs easier to transport and drink in large quantities. Allowing RTDs to be sold anywhere beer can be sold, such as supermarkets, convenience stores and restaurants, will threaten the safety of Pennsylvania’s youth.

‘We are running out of time.’ Senate advances legislation to make to-go cocktails permanent

Currently, the state-owned Wine and Spirits shops handle all sales of spirits, which protects the public and, in particular, our children.

As the executive director of the Commonwealth Prevention Alliance, I am strongly opposed to dramatically increasing access to high-alcohol-by-volume beverages like RTDs and cocktails to go. Many of the locations RTDs would be sold are national chains, not mom-and pop-businesses, and the state will lose out on the revenue from this growing sector.

Sales in Pennsylvania’s state-run stores go back into our communities, supporting the state police, the state general fund, and alcohol safety education programs.

Despite the sleek marketing and pervasive cultural presence, alcohol is still a drug. And as a drug, it causes many firsthand and secondhand harms. The impacts of alcohol misuse extend into our communities, schools, workplaces, and health systems.

Alcohol is involved in more than 95,000 deaths a year, and excessive alcohol consumption may result in injuries, hospitalization, long-term illness or even death. Secondhand harms include being in a traffic accident, being a passenger in a vehicle with a drunk driver, harassment, intimate partner violence, vandalized property, being pushed, hit, or assaulted, family or marital and financial troubles.

Youth ages 18-24 experience these harms more often than older people, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, due to high rates of binge drinking during this important life transition period.

In Pennsylvania, 60 counties have identified youth alcohol use as a top priority for addressing substance misuse, and 38 counties have designated adult alcohol use as a top challenge. It is critical that our state and local leaders continue to develop and implement policy safeguards to protect our young people and all Pennsylvania residents.

Dramatically increasing the number of outlets that will be authorized to sell spirits will be a significant setback for reducing youth alcohol use.

Pennsylvania’s alcohol policies, and those of most states, are based on decades of research and experience on how to reduce the harms of alcohol. While it is essential to lessen the pandemic’s economic fallout for our communities, adding over 10,000 locations across Pennsylvania to sell liquor-based RTDs and cocktails to go will not accomplish that goal and will just line the pockets of billion-dollar alcohol company executives.

I urge our lawmakers to protect Pennsylvania’s young people and keep our dollars within our communities. Allowing RTD sales outside of state-run stores and cocktails to go puts profits over safety and counteracts the work Pennsylvania communities are doing to reduce the harms of alcohol.

Jeff Hanley is the executive director of the Commonwealth Prevention Alliance, which works to support prevention professionals in eliminating substance abuse. He writes from Beaver Falls, Pa. 



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by Capital-Star Guest Contributor

The post Expanding access to ‘Ready to Drink’ cocktails will harm public health | Opinion first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["date_timestamp"]=> int(1624252365) } [8]=> array(12) { ["title"]=> string(123) "A Cambria County lawmaker has a plan to make Pa.’s liquor license system more competitive. Will it work? | Mark O’Keefe" ["link"]=> string(59) "http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/lehighpanews/~3/j3QSkt8fl68/" ["dc"]=> array(1) { ["creator"]=> string(19) "Annaliese Alexander" } ["pubdate"]=> string(31) "Mon, 21 Jun 2021 04:10:25 +0000" ["category"]=> string(4) "News" ["guid"]=> string(36) "https://lehighuniversity.org/?p=4199" ["description"]=> string(2134) "
A Cambria County lawmaker has a plan to make Pa.'s liquor license system more competitive. Will it work? | Mark O'Keefe

A state liquor store front in Harrisburg (Capital-Star photo by Elizabeth Hardison). Ever wonder why you have to bring alcohol to your favorite restaurant? Ever wonder why your favorite bar closes and never reopens? Situations like the above happen primarily because of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s rules and regulations. In the first situation, a […]

The post A Cambria County lawmaker has a plan to make Pa.'s liquor license system more competitive. Will it work? | Mark O'Keefe first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(10313) "
A Cambria County lawmaker has a plan to make Pa.'s liquor license system more competitive. Will it work? | Mark O'Keefe

A state liquor store front in Harrisburg (Capital-Star photo by Elizabeth Hardison).

Ever wonder why you have to bring alcohol to your favorite restaurant? Ever wonder why your favorite bar closes and never reopens?

Situations like the above happen primarily because of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s rules and regulations.

In the first situation, a restaurant may not have a liquor license because few are available in that county, and the ones that go for sale are costly. Pennsylvania residents usually find these restaurants in upscale communities across the state.

In the second situation, the problem is the opposite. Licenses are so plentiful that bar owners face a ton of competition and can’t make a go of it. Moreover, these bars are usually located in low-income communities in the state.

In 2016, the state Legislature passed Act 39, which allows the PLCB to auction off many dead or expired licenses. They were the first “new” licenses in decades. The agency conducts three or four auctions a year, offering 25 to 35 licenses across the state.

However, the prices for the licenses vary widely. For example, in Montgomery County, one of the wealthiest counties in the state, the top bid for a license in June of 2020 was $250,112. On the other hand, the lowest bid was $25,111 for a license in Schuylkill County.

Seven licenses, one each, in Armstrong, Cameron, Crawford, Erie, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland counties, received no bids.

Johnstown lawmaker scores big win in fight with Pa. liquor board. But the fight continues | Mark O’Keefe

The number of licenses available also varies widely among counties. As of Jan. 22, there were no licenses available for auction in 22 counties, including Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Lehigh, and Franklin counties.
Philadelphia County had the most licenses available, with 167.

Next were Luzerne, 142; Allegheny, 121; Schuylkill, 63; Lackawanna, 54; Cambria, 48; Beaver, 45; Fayette, 38; Westmoreland, 32; and Carbon, 27.

State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, says the differences in prices and availability of licenses for auction show that the PLCB’s system needs an overhaul.

He said it also shows why the PLCB waged a two-year battle with him to deny the public information about how many deactivated restaurant liquors are available for auction in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.

After being denied the request by the PLCB, Burns appealed to the state Office of Open Records, which ruled in his favor. The PLCB appealed that ruling to Commonwealth Court, which also ruled in his favor.

Finally, the PLCB appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court which issued a one-sentence order, denying the appeal and upholding the Commonwealth Court ruling.

“In a victory for the people, the LCB has learned that it works for us, not the other way around,” said Burns.

Burns wants to change the system to allow restaurant and bar owners to sell their licenses across county lines. Currently, they can only sell their licenses within counties for the most part.

Should the number of liquor licenses in Pa. be public information? A Cambria County lawmaker thinks so. So he’s suing the state

“My proposal would bring Pennsylvania’s liquor license system into the 21st century,” Burns said. “Our commonwealth has changed in the 80 years since the license system was introduced, and it’s time to update it to more accurately reflect population changes and better meet today’s business demands.”

He said the change would benefit mom-and-pop bars and restaurants by freeing them from archaic regulations and red tape, adding that such a plan would even out liquor licenses, creating economic growth and thousands of jobs across Pennsylvania.

Burns noted that bar and restaurant owners in counties that have far too many licenses could sell their licenses to the prospective business owners in high-growth counties that are desperately seeking a license.

“These simple changes would allow small businesses to grow and allow the supply of licenses to shift to meet the demands of the modern era,” Burns said. “It is time for the legislature – and the LCB – to enable these cross-county sales, and to take the licensing handcuffs off of our local businesses.”

Instead of a county-by-county basis, Burns’ bill would establish a statewide liquor-license-to-population ratio.

The bill would allow licensees in counties substantially above or substantially below that average to transfer licenses across county lines. One-third of counties with license ratios around the statewide average would be unaffected. Under the bill, the PCLB would recalculate the formulas every 10 years following the census

“Without this legislation enabling these transfers, the economies of some areas of our state will continue to be slowed due to a shortage of licenses, while other parts will continue to have a glut of them, essentially making them worthless,” Burns said.

“Rather than letting developers negotiate sweetheart deals to transfer licenses at a predetermined price, my plan creates a transparent process that allows the free market – and not politicians or bureaucrats – to determine the value of a license,” he continued.

Burns would also like to expand the membership of the PLCB from three to five, giving each of the four legislative caucuses – House Democrats and Republicans, and Senate Democrats and Republicans – one appointment.

Burns said this would dilute the power of the governor, who currently appoints all three board members. Furthermore, he added that it would provide more input into the PLCB’s decision-making process.

“I believe lawmakers of both parties, in both chambers, should have a voice in who oversees alcohol sales and licensing in Pennsylvania,” Burns said. “The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is a vast, powerful agency tasked with operating hundreds of retail wine and spirits stores, licensing thousands of venues, and conducting alcohol education and training.

“Given its immense reach and say-so, I believe its decision-makers should come from different paths than a three-person board nominated by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate,” he added.

It would also be a revenue-neutral move, as Burns would divide existing board payroll by five instead of three, paring board members’ salaries from $78,751 to $47,500, and the board chairman’s salary from $81,890 to $49,500. 

Opinion contributor Mark O’Keefe, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., is the former editorial page editor of the Uniontown Herald-Standard. His work appears biweekly on the Capital-Star’s Commentary Page. 



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by Mark OKeefe

The post A Cambria County lawmaker has a plan to make Pa.'s liquor license system more competitive. Will it work? | Mark O'Keefe first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

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A Cambria County lawmaker has a plan to make Pa.'s liquor license system more competitive. Will it work? | Mark O'Keefe

A state liquor store front in Harrisburg (Capital-Star photo by Elizabeth Hardison). Ever wonder why you have to bring alcohol to your favorite restaurant? Ever wonder why your favorite bar closes and never reopens? Situations like the above happen primarily because of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s rules and regulations. In the first situation, a […]

The post A Cambria County lawmaker has a plan to make Pa.'s liquor license system more competitive. Will it work? | Mark O'Keefe first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

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A Cambria County lawmaker has a plan to make Pa.'s liquor license system more competitive. Will it work? | Mark O'Keefe

A state liquor store front in Harrisburg (Capital-Star photo by Elizabeth Hardison).

Ever wonder why you have to bring alcohol to your favorite restaurant? Ever wonder why your favorite bar closes and never reopens?

Situations like the above happen primarily because of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s rules and regulations.

In the first situation, a restaurant may not have a liquor license because few are available in that county, and the ones that go for sale are costly. Pennsylvania residents usually find these restaurants in upscale communities across the state.

In the second situation, the problem is the opposite. Licenses are so plentiful that bar owners face a ton of competition and can’t make a go of it. Moreover, these bars are usually located in low-income communities in the state.

In 2016, the state Legislature passed Act 39, which allows the PLCB to auction off many dead or expired licenses. They were the first “new” licenses in decades. The agency conducts three or four auctions a year, offering 25 to 35 licenses across the state.

However, the prices for the licenses vary widely. For example, in Montgomery County, one of the wealthiest counties in the state, the top bid for a license in June of 2020 was $250,112. On the other hand, the lowest bid was $25,111 for a license in Schuylkill County.

Seven licenses, one each, in Armstrong, Cameron, Crawford, Erie, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland counties, received no bids.

Johnstown lawmaker scores big win in fight with Pa. liquor board. But the fight continues | Mark O’Keefe

The number of licenses available also varies widely among counties. As of Jan. 22, there were no licenses available for auction in 22 counties, including Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Lehigh, and Franklin counties.
Philadelphia County had the most licenses available, with 167.

Next were Luzerne, 142; Allegheny, 121; Schuylkill, 63; Lackawanna, 54; Cambria, 48; Beaver, 45; Fayette, 38; Westmoreland, 32; and Carbon, 27.

State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, says the differences in prices and availability of licenses for auction show that the PLCB’s system needs an overhaul.

He said it also shows why the PLCB waged a two-year battle with him to deny the public information about how many deactivated restaurant liquors are available for auction in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.

After being denied the request by the PLCB, Burns appealed to the state Office of Open Records, which ruled in his favor. The PLCB appealed that ruling to Commonwealth Court, which also ruled in his favor.

Finally, the PLCB appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court which issued a one-sentence order, denying the appeal and upholding the Commonwealth Court ruling.

“In a victory for the people, the LCB has learned that it works for us, not the other way around,” said Burns.

Burns wants to change the system to allow restaurant and bar owners to sell their licenses across county lines. Currently, they can only sell their licenses within counties for the most part.

Should the number of liquor licenses in Pa. be public information? A Cambria County lawmaker thinks so. So he’s suing the state

“My proposal would bring Pennsylvania’s liquor license system into the 21st century,” Burns said. “Our commonwealth has changed in the 80 years since the license system was introduced, and it’s time to update it to more accurately reflect population changes and better meet today’s business demands.”

He said the change would benefit mom-and-pop bars and restaurants by freeing them from archaic regulations and red tape, adding that such a plan would even out liquor licenses, creating economic growth and thousands of jobs across Pennsylvania.

Burns noted that bar and restaurant owners in counties that have far too many licenses could sell their licenses to the prospective business owners in high-growth counties that are desperately seeking a license.

“These simple changes would allow small businesses to grow and allow the supply of licenses to shift to meet the demands of the modern era,” Burns said. “It is time for the legislature – and the LCB – to enable these cross-county sales, and to take the licensing handcuffs off of our local businesses.”

Instead of a county-by-county basis, Burns’ bill would establish a statewide liquor-license-to-population ratio.

The bill would allow licensees in counties substantially above or substantially below that average to transfer licenses across county lines. One-third of counties with license ratios around the statewide average would be unaffected. Under the bill, the PCLB would recalculate the formulas every 10 years following the census

“Without this legislation enabling these transfers, the economies of some areas of our state will continue to be slowed due to a shortage of licenses, while other parts will continue to have a glut of them, essentially making them worthless,” Burns said.

“Rather than letting developers negotiate sweetheart deals to transfer licenses at a predetermined price, my plan creates a transparent process that allows the free market – and not politicians or bureaucrats – to determine the value of a license,” he continued.

Burns would also like to expand the membership of the PLCB from three to five, giving each of the four legislative caucuses – House Democrats and Republicans, and Senate Democrats and Republicans – one appointment.

Burns said this would dilute the power of the governor, who currently appoints all three board members. Furthermore, he added that it would provide more input into the PLCB’s decision-making process.

“I believe lawmakers of both parties, in both chambers, should have a voice in who oversees alcohol sales and licensing in Pennsylvania,” Burns said. “The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is a vast, powerful agency tasked with operating hundreds of retail wine and spirits stores, licensing thousands of venues, and conducting alcohol education and training.

“Given its immense reach and say-so, I believe its decision-makers should come from different paths than a three-person board nominated by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate,” he added.

It would also be a revenue-neutral move, as Burns would divide existing board payroll by five instead of three, paring board members’ salaries from $78,751 to $47,500, and the board chairman’s salary from $81,890 to $49,500. 

Opinion contributor Mark O’Keefe, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., is the former editorial page editor of the Uniontown Herald-Standard. His work appears biweekly on the Capital-Star’s Commentary Page. 



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by Mark OKeefe

The post A Cambria County lawmaker has a plan to make Pa.'s liquor license system more competitive. Will it work? | Mark O'Keefe first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

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Just in time for your post-lockdown summer, Pa. lawmaker wants to rein in fireworks | Friday Morning Coffee

(Image via pxHere.com) Good Friday Morning, Fellow Seekers. So here’s another sign that things are slowly returning to normal — we can start thinking about outdoor fireworks displays. And state lawmakers can start thinking about ways to regulate them. Enter Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, who’s sponsoring a bill that would give municipal governments the authority to […]

The post Just in time for your post-lockdown summer, Pa. lawmaker wants to rein in fireworks | Friday Morning Coffee first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(13954) "
Just in time for your post-lockdown summer, Pa. lawmaker wants to rein in fireworks | Friday Morning Coffee

(Image via pxHere.com)

Good Friday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

So here’s another sign that things are slowly returning to normal — we can start thinking about outdoor fireworks displays. And state lawmakers can start thinking about ways to regulate them.

Enter Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, who’s sponsoring a bill that would give municipal governments the authority to enact their own fireworks ordinances — as long as they don’t conflict with existing state law. Which should come as significant relief for local leaders concerned about things that go bang in the night.

“With the arrival of the summer months and Independence Day close at hand there is once again a growing concern on the part of residents regarding the use of consumer fireworks. Last summer we witnessed widespread abuse of the use of fireworks in many residential neighborhoods that proved very disruptive to people’s lives and undermined their quality of life by having to endure the discharge of such fireworks throughout the day and late into the night,” Freeman said in a statement released by his office. “This disruptive behavior is unacceptable and must be reined in.”

(Image via pxHere.com)

As it’s currently written, Freeman’s bill would limit the use of fireworks to “between 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with extended hours for certain holidays. Additionally, the legislation would require each consumer fireworks purchase to include a notification that provides the conditions, prohibitions and limitations for using fireworks.”

A first-time violator would be punished with a summary offense and a fine between $100 and $500. A repeat offense, committed within one year of a prior conviction, would be a third-degree misdemeanor, and violators would face a fine of between $500 and $1,000.

“We need to give local governments the ability to deal with this disruptive behavior and impose substantial penalties for violating local ordinances. My proposed legislation will give them that option,” Freeman said.

Freeman, who voted against the 2017 state law that allows those aged 18 and older to purchase consumer grade fireworks, also is sponsoring legislation that would repeal the state’s updated 2017 fireworks law, reverting to what was previously permitted in Pennsylvania, his office said.

“One of the reasons I opposed making these fireworks legal back in 2017 was because I thought they would be disruptive and unsafe,” Freeman said in a statement. “If those using fireworks cannot do it responsibly with consideration for how disruptive they can be to a neighborhood, then the Legislature has no other recourse than to repeal the 2017 fireworks law.

“If we can’t get the votes in the Legislature necessary for an outright repeal of the 2017 fireworks law then, at the very least, we need to enact my legislation to give local governments the authority to crack down on the abusive use of fireworks so that communities don’t have to endure the type of disruptive behavior caused by an irresponsible use of fireworks,” he concluded.

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller.)

Our Stuff.
After meeting with activists, an audit of Pennsylvania’s 2020 election results is a ‘very real possibility,’ a top Pa. Senate Republican has said. Stephen Caruso has the story.

A top Senate Republican who’s holding up cocktails-to-go has said that Pennsylvania has seen a ‘large uptick’ in alcohol-related incidents; state police data says otherwiseMarley Parish reports.

Legislative Republicans and the Democratic Wolf administration are continuing to debate the contours of charter school reformParish also reports.

Pennsylvania has preserved 30 farms, more than 2,300 acres, to the tune of $5.1 millionCassie Miller reports.

In a blow to LGBTQ parents, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against Philadelphia in a key adoption case, our partners at the Philadelphia Gay News report.

The chair of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee is seeking permanent scholarship funding for historically Black land grant colleges, Capital-Star Washington Reporter Ariana Figueroa writes.

In voting to deny medals to U.S. Capitol and D.C. Metro Police who defended them — and the U.S. Capitol — during the Jan. 6 insurrection, 21 House Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th Districthave hit a new low of election denialism, I write in a new column.

On our Commentary Page this morning, opinion regular Mark O’Keefe has a few thoughts about how to reform the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. And an addiction expert says it’s a bad idea to expand the sales of canned alcoholic beverages in the state.

En la Estrella-Capital: Las empresas de servicios públicos de Pa. dicen que pueden satisfacer las necesidades de energía del verano del 2021. Y con la Oficina de Aplicación de la Ley Canina al borde del precipicio, los partidarios dicen que es hora de un ‘voto al favor’ de los aumentos de las tarifas de licencia.

Philadelphia City Hall (Image via pxHere.com)

Elsewhere.
Philadelphia City Council
 has reached a budget deal that includes more money for violence prevention programs, the Inquirer reports.
Westmoreland County commissioners have overhauled the county’s election bureau, leaving the director’s job in limbo, the Tribune-Review reports.
PennLive takes readers inside York County’s new, $2 million morgue (paywall).
In the new Franklin & Marshall College poll, Pennsylvanians support major changes to state election law, LancasterOnline reports (paywall).
New rules for cocktail sales are causing confusion for Lehigh Valley restaurants and bars, the Morning Call reports.
A Luzerne County mayor says he thinks he can reach a settlement in a lawsuit alleging a Sunshine Act violation by the Wyoming Valley West School Board, the Citizens’ Voice reports (paywall).
Former Gov. Tom Ridge’s family is hoping for a full recovery, as he ‘faces a long road’ after suffering a stroke earlier this week, GoErie reports.

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:

WHYY-FM has more on the ‘historic’ anti-violence funding deal that Philadelphia City Council reached on Thursday.
Gov. Tom Wolf’s approval rating has dropped 13 points from a year ago in the latest Franklin & Marshall College poll, WITF-FM reports.
Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Pittsburgh on Monday, PoliticsPA reports.
The healthcare industry is cheering the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act, Roll Call reports.

What Goes On.
State offices are closed in observance of the Juneteenth Holiday.

WolfWatch.
Gov. Tom Wolf
 has no public schedule today.

Heavy Rotation.
We’ll go out this week with a solo track from former Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr. From his 2014 LP, ‘Playland,’ here’s the hard-charging ‘Easy Money.’

Friday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Tampa notched a 2-1 win over the Isles on Thursday
, taking the series lead in Game 3 of their Stanley Cup semifinal match-up. The ‘Bolts’ Brayden Point scored for the sixth, straight game on the way to the win.

And now you’re up to date.



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by John L. Micek

The post Just in time for your post-lockdown summer, Pa. lawmaker wants to rein in fireworks | Friday Morning Coffee first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" } ["feedburner"]=> array(1) { ["origlink"]=> string(133) "https://lehighuniversity.org/just-in-time-for-your-post-lockdown-summer-pa-lawmaker-wants-to-rein-in-fireworks-friday-morning-coffee/" } ["summary"]=> string(1992) "
Just in time for your post-lockdown summer, Pa. lawmaker wants to rein in fireworks | Friday Morning Coffee

(Image via pxHere.com) Good Friday Morning, Fellow Seekers. So here’s another sign that things are slowly returning to normal — we can start thinking about outdoor fireworks displays. And state lawmakers can start thinking about ways to regulate them. Enter Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, who’s sponsoring a bill that would give municipal governments the authority to […]

The post Just in time for your post-lockdown summer, Pa. lawmaker wants to rein in fireworks | Friday Morning Coffee first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(13954) "
Just in time for your post-lockdown summer, Pa. lawmaker wants to rein in fireworks | Friday Morning Coffee

(Image via pxHere.com)

Good Friday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

So here’s another sign that things are slowly returning to normal — we can start thinking about outdoor fireworks displays. And state lawmakers can start thinking about ways to regulate them.

Enter Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, who’s sponsoring a bill that would give municipal governments the authority to enact their own fireworks ordinances — as long as they don’t conflict with existing state law. Which should come as significant relief for local leaders concerned about things that go bang in the night.

“With the arrival of the summer months and Independence Day close at hand there is once again a growing concern on the part of residents regarding the use of consumer fireworks. Last summer we witnessed widespread abuse of the use of fireworks in many residential neighborhoods that proved very disruptive to people’s lives and undermined their quality of life by having to endure the discharge of such fireworks throughout the day and late into the night,” Freeman said in a statement released by his office. “This disruptive behavior is unacceptable and must be reined in.”

(Image via pxHere.com)

As it’s currently written, Freeman’s bill would limit the use of fireworks to “between 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with extended hours for certain holidays. Additionally, the legislation would require each consumer fireworks purchase to include a notification that provides the conditions, prohibitions and limitations for using fireworks.”

A first-time violator would be punished with a summary offense and a fine between $100 and $500. A repeat offense, committed within one year of a prior conviction, would be a third-degree misdemeanor, and violators would face a fine of between $500 and $1,000.

“We need to give local governments the ability to deal with this disruptive behavior and impose substantial penalties for violating local ordinances. My proposed legislation will give them that option,” Freeman said.

Freeman, who voted against the 2017 state law that allows those aged 18 and older to purchase consumer grade fireworks, also is sponsoring legislation that would repeal the state’s updated 2017 fireworks law, reverting to what was previously permitted in Pennsylvania, his office said.

“One of the reasons I opposed making these fireworks legal back in 2017 was because I thought they would be disruptive and unsafe,” Freeman said in a statement. “If those using fireworks cannot do it responsibly with consideration for how disruptive they can be to a neighborhood, then the Legislature has no other recourse than to repeal the 2017 fireworks law.

“If we can’t get the votes in the Legislature necessary for an outright repeal of the 2017 fireworks law then, at the very least, we need to enact my legislation to give local governments the authority to crack down on the abusive use of fireworks so that communities don’t have to endure the type of disruptive behavior caused by an irresponsible use of fireworks,” he concluded.

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller.)

Our Stuff.
After meeting with activists, an audit of Pennsylvania’s 2020 election results is a ‘very real possibility,’ a top Pa. Senate Republican has said. Stephen Caruso has the story.

A top Senate Republican who’s holding up cocktails-to-go has said that Pennsylvania has seen a ‘large uptick’ in alcohol-related incidents; state police data says otherwiseMarley Parish reports.

Legislative Republicans and the Democratic Wolf administration are continuing to debate the contours of charter school reformParish also reports.

Pennsylvania has preserved 30 farms, more than 2,300 acres, to the tune of $5.1 millionCassie Miller reports.

In a blow to LGBTQ parents, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against Philadelphia in a key adoption case, our partners at the Philadelphia Gay News report.

The chair of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee is seeking permanent scholarship funding for historically Black land grant colleges, Capital-Star Washington Reporter Ariana Figueroa writes.

In voting to deny medals to U.S. Capitol and D.C. Metro Police who defended them — and the U.S. Capitol — during the Jan. 6 insurrection, 21 House Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th Districthave hit a new low of election denialism, I write in a new column.

On our Commentary Page this morning, opinion regular Mark O’Keefe has a few thoughts about how to reform the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. And an addiction expert says it’s a bad idea to expand the sales of canned alcoholic beverages in the state.

En la Estrella-Capital: Las empresas de servicios públicos de Pa. dicen que pueden satisfacer las necesidades de energía del verano del 2021. Y con la Oficina de Aplicación de la Ley Canina al borde del precipicio, los partidarios dicen que es hora de un ‘voto al favor’ de los aumentos de las tarifas de licencia.

Philadelphia City Hall (Image via pxHere.com)

Elsewhere.
Philadelphia City Council
 has reached a budget deal that includes more money for violence prevention programs, the Inquirer reports.
Westmoreland County commissioners have overhauled the county’s election bureau, leaving the director’s job in limbo, the Tribune-Review reports.
PennLive takes readers inside York County’s new, $2 million morgue (paywall).
In the new Franklin & Marshall College poll, Pennsylvanians support major changes to state election law, LancasterOnline reports (paywall).
New rules for cocktail sales are causing confusion for Lehigh Valley restaurants and bars, the Morning Call reports.
A Luzerne County mayor says he thinks he can reach a settlement in a lawsuit alleging a Sunshine Act violation by the Wyoming Valley West School Board, the Citizens’ Voice reports (paywall).
Former Gov. Tom Ridge’s family is hoping for a full recovery, as he ‘faces a long road’ after suffering a stroke earlier this week, GoErie reports.

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:

WHYY-FM has more on the ‘historic’ anti-violence funding deal that Philadelphia City Council reached on Thursday.
Gov. Tom Wolf’s approval rating has dropped 13 points from a year ago in the latest Franklin & Marshall College poll, WITF-FM reports.
Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Pittsburgh on Monday, PoliticsPA reports.
The healthcare industry is cheering the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act, Roll Call reports.

What Goes On.
State offices are closed in observance of the Juneteenth Holiday.

WolfWatch.
Gov. Tom Wolf
 has no public schedule today.

Heavy Rotation.
We’ll go out this week with a solo track from former Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr. From his 2014 LP, ‘Playland,’ here’s the hard-charging ‘Easy Money.’

Friday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Tampa notched a 2-1 win over the Isles on Thursday
, taking the series lead in Game 3 of their Stanley Cup semifinal match-up. The ‘Bolts’ Brayden Point scored for the sixth, straight game on the way to the win.

And now you’re up to date.



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by John L. Micek

The post Just in time for your post-lockdown summer, Pa. lawmaker wants to rein in fireworks | Friday Morning Coffee first appeared on Lehigh University Nation News.

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