Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Dept. Of Health Reports 35 Additional Deaths From COVID-19 In PA

On June 30, the Department of Health reported 35 more people have died in Pennsylvania from COVID-19 for a total of 6,649 confirmed deaths.
As of 12:00 a.m. June 30, there were 618 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 86,606 in all 67 counties.

County-specific information and a statewide map are available.

There are 677,581 patients who have tested negative to date.  Approximately 6,569 of Pennsylvania’s total positive cases are in health care workers.

Of the patients who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is as follows:

-- Nearly 1 percent are aged 0-4;

-- 1 percent are aged 5-12;

-- 2 percent are aged 13-18;

-- 7 percent are aged 19-24;

-- Nearly 37 percent are aged 25-49;

-- 24 percent are aged 50-64; and

-- 27 percent are aged 65 or older.

Most of the patients hospitalized are aged 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. There have been no pediatric deaths to date. More data is available here.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 17,735 resident cases of COVID-19, and  3,261 cases among employees, for a total of 20,996 at 692 distinct facilities in 52 counties. Out of our total deaths, 4,539 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities.  Click Here for a county breakdown.

For the latest information on the coronavirus and precautions to take in Pennsylvania, visit the Department of Health’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage, Follow them on Twitter, or Like them on Facebook.


Click Here For This Week’s PA Coronavirus NewsClips

Helpful Links:

Responding To COVID-19 In Pennsylvania - General Resource Page All Topics

Attorney General - Coronavirus Price Gouging Updates 

Workers Can Report Businesses Not Following Protective Guidance Here

[Posted: June 30, 2020]

Tuesday PA Capitol & Coronavirus NewsClips 6.30.20

returns to voting session June 30  [Call Of President Pro Tempore]
House returns to voting session Sept. 15, BUT it may be called back this week  [Call Of The House Speaker]

July 4th Op-Ed: The Right Of The Governed To Be Heard - Lawmakers Ignoring Overwhelming Calls For Reform To Eliminate Gerrymandering [PaCN]

Senate Bill To Limit Governor’s Emergency Powers Attached To Racial Equality Amendment [Senate Bill 1166]

Stephen Caruso: PA Republicans Agree More Election Tweaks Needed Based On Primary Experience

Trump Campaign Suing PA Over Mail-In Ballot Drop Boxes Asking Court To Ban Them [To Limit Access To Voting]

AP: Trump Campaign Sues PA Over Mail-In Drop-Off Sites For Ballots [To Limit Access To Voting]

Cap-Star: Stopgap Budget: How PA Is Paying For Prisons, COVID-19 Relief

Bethlehem Casino Reopens With Fewer Slots, More Cleaning, No Smoking

What It’s Like Inside Post-Pandemic Parx Casino

Rutter’s Reopens Its Video Gaming Rooms Closed During Coronavirus Pandemic

Sen. Schwank To Introduce Legislation To Repeal Consumer Fireworks Act

Fireworks Companies See Events Fizzle, While Consumer Fireworks Start Season With A Bang

Lackawanna County Boro To Consider Ordinance Limiting Fireworks

Bloomberg: IRS Says It Will Not Extend Tax Filing Deadline Beyond July 15

Penn State Faces Lawsuit Over Response To 2018 Tailgate

Op-Ed: How To Level Playing Field For Students Of Color - House Democratic Leadership

Woman Accused Of Hanging Children In Berks County Wants Taxpayers To Pay For Her Defense

York County Judge Faces Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Op-Ed: Following U.S. Supreme Court Decision, PA Should Have Ban On LGBTQ Discrimination

Op-Ed: Allowing Bigger Truck Loopholes Dangerous For PA Motorists


FOX43/Susquehanna P&R Poll In PA; Biden 46, Trump 41

Launching Coalition, Biden Campaign Appeals To PA Women

Op-Ed: When It Comes To Trump Rallies, Size Doesn’t Matter - Charlie Gerow

The Guardian: Trump Ignores COVID-19 Risk In Renewed Attack On ’Corrupt’ Mail-In Voting

AP: White House Aware Of Russian Bounties On U.S. Soldiers In 2019

AP: Republican Lawmakers Urge Action After Russia-Afghanistan Briefing

AP: Florida Site Of Republican Convention Orders Wearing Masks During Virus Resurgence

George Floyd Protests

Lawsuit Filed Against Pittsburgh Mayor, Pittsburgh Police In Wake Of Protest

Pittsburgh Sued In Federal Court Over June 1 East Liberty Protest

Clergy Leaders Deliver Demands For Police Reform To Pittsburgh Mayor, Allegheny County Executive

Penn State To Match Up To $10 Million In Diversity Scholarships, Creates George Floyd Memorial Scholarship

Editorial: Debate Continues Over School Police, Officers Need Best Practices

Editorial: Ending Encrypted Police Communications Important For Police Reform


Dept. Of Health Reports 8 Additional Deaths From COVID-19 In PA PaCN]  6.29.20

AP-Mark Scolforo: Spread Of Virus Pittsburgh Causes Concern For Officials

Editorial: Allegheny County Pumps Brake On COVID-19 Green Light

Daily Case Counts In Philly No Longer Dropping, PA Points To Bars As Cases Rise

Ed Mahon: Wolf Says He’s Not Ready For Statewide Shutdown Of Bars

101 Inmates, 17 Staff At Dauphin County Prison Tested Positive For Virus, Testing Continues

Westmoreland Officials Consider Virus Tests For All New County Jail Inmates

Centre County Commission To Discuss Push For Continued Mask Use

Failure To Enforce Wearing Masks Could Result In Penalties

Liquor Control Board Reminds Licensees Of Mask, Social Distancing Requirements

Gov. Wolf: $225 Million Federal CARES Funding Available June 30 For Small Businesses Impacted By COVID-19 [PaCN]

Dept. Of Labor & Industry Extends Unemployment Compensation For 13 More Weeks

‘Green’ Doesn’t Mean ‘Go’: PA Workers Weigh Risks, Benefits Of Job Reopenings

Lt. Gov. Fetterman: Rent And Mortgage Relief Applications Release By PA Housing Finance Agency

AG Shapiro Takes Action Against Price Gouging On Amazon By Scranton Hand Sanitizer Seller

Gov. Wolf Visits UPMC Osteopathic Hospital, Thanks Staff, Discusses Required Mask-Wearing Benefits

Pittsburgh Doctor Joins Federal Commission To Protect Nursing Homes From Future Outbreaks

Black-Owned Firms In Western PA Worry About Rebounding During COVID-19

Wilkes-Barre Area Schools Give Students Choice Between In-Person, Remote Learning

State College Schools Plan Options For In-Person, Virtual Learning


The Guardian: Dr. Fauci Doubts Effectiveness Of Virus Vaccine In U.S. Due To Anti-Vaxxers

The Guardian: America’s Coal Miners Call For Urgent Help Amid COVID-19, Industry Decline

Click Here For This Week’s PA Coronavirus NewsClips

Tuesday PA Environment & Energy NewsClips 6.30.20 -- Click Here

Helpful Resources:

Click Here for latest PA Capitol NewsClips & News (Daily Subscriber Email 2:00)

Like PA Capitol News on Facebook

Follow PA Capitol News on Twitter

Click Here for latest Environmental NewsClips & News (Daily Subscriber Email 2:00)

Like PA Environment Digest on Facebook

Follow PA Environment Digest on Twitter

Read Weekly PA Environment Digest

FairDistrictsPA: Fix Our Broken Redistricting Process 

[Posted: June 30, 2020]

Monday, June 29, 2020

July 4th Op-Ed: The Right Of The Governed To Be Heard - Lawmakers Ignoring Overwhelming Calls For Reform To Eliminate Gerrymandering

By 70 Members Of
Fair Districts PA Leadership Team

The Fourth of July commemorates the abiding right of the governed to alter or abolish any form of government that ignores the people’s voice. 
The Declaration of Independence lists repeated injuries and usurpations that deprived the colonists of a voice in the establishment of laws, concluding: "In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injuries.”

Supporters of redistricting reform consider those words this year with sadness. 

Some of us have spent thirty years asking for redress of an unfair redistricting process and an increasingly intransigent legislature. 

More recently, we have attempted every lawful avenue of request, petitioning our legislators in every way we know, with meetings, calls, emails, letters, postcards, op-eds, billboards, radio ads, petitions, resolutions of support. 

All have been met with silence, or with empty statements of support by those who could schedule a vote or easily move this reform forward.

Many legislators from both sides of the aisle applaud and affirm our efforts. 

They know that the current system puts far too much power in the hands of just a few leaders, allowing men elected by a tiny fraction of Pennsylvania voters to draw district lines, set legislative agenda and lock out any voice of dissent. 

Those who hold the levers of power have ignored or blocked our continued petitions. 

In the past month we have sent sign-on letters, signed by hundreds of constituents, to Senate leaders Joe Scarnati, Jake Corman, and Senate State Government Committee Chair John DiSanto

No response.

We have asked Majority Leader, now Speaker Bryan Cutler, and House State Government Committee Chair Garth Everett for a vote on bills, but received no assistance and no acknowledgement of the pressing deadline, now past, for enacting this reform.

[Note: The bills are House Bill 22 (Murt-R-Montgomery/Samuelson-D-Northampton) & House Bill 23 (Samuelson-D-Northampton/Murt-R-Montgomery) and Senate Bill 1022 (Boscola-D-Lehigh/Killion-R-Delaware) and Senate Bill 1023 (Killion-R-Delaware/ Boscola-D- Lehigh).]

Thousands of Fair Districts PA supporters have now seen how arbitrary and unresponsive our state legislature has become.

Dozens have asked legislators for meetings and had no acknowledgment of the request. 

Dozens have contacted legislators only to be told “I’ll let you know if I have questions. I see no reason to meet.”

Dozens have met with legislators who say “this is a Democrat bill” or “you’re a Democrat group” (both untrue!) as if that negates the request or absolves them of the need to consider its merits.

MOST of us have been told the following don’t matter:

Number of cosponsors (the most of any bills in this or the last session)

Number of resolutions in support (representing over 70 percent of the population of Pennsylvania)

Number of petition signers (over 100,000)

Evidence of support from statewide polls or surveys (more than two-thirds of PA voters in every recent survey express support for a citizens redistricting commission; even more say the current system needs to change.

We’ve watched with sadness as bills introduced with one or two sponsors speed through both chambers without public comment, expert testimony or any evidence of public support.

We’ve listened with sadness as friendly legislators explain that “the bills that move are the ones leaders choose. It has nothing to do with what voters want.”

We grieve as fellow supporters turn away in disgust, with the sad refrain, “Why bother.”

Our government is in a dangerous place: unaccountable, unresponsive, deeply divided, less and less able to hear the voices of those it promises to serve. 

Unless our legislators return this summer, it is now too late to amend the Pennsylvania constitution and institute an independent commission for legislative redistricting in time for 2021. 

But there are other possible remedies: strong guardrails on the current redistricting processes, immediate attention to legislative rules that put far too much power in the hands of too few leaders.

But what we want most: a change of heart, a course correction in the halls of Harrisburg. 

Voters’ voices should matter to every Pennsylvania legislator. ALL Pennsylvania voters, not just the party faithful in a handful of leaders’ home districts. 

Until this changes, nothing changes.

The Fair Districts PA leadership team-- 

Carol Kuniholm, Exton, PA

Amy Ruffo, Lancaster, PA

Patrick Beaty, Huntingdon Valley, PA

Ruth Yeiser, Schwenksville, PA

Keith Forsyth, Philadelphia, PA

Mark Pavlovich, West Chester, PA

Rich Rafferty, Lafayette Hill, PA

Susan Fudurich, Monaca, PA

Lisa Hyatt Cooper, Bryn Athyn, PA

Jennifer Wood, Aliquippa, PA

Don Goldstein, Meadville, PA

Doug Webster, Monroeville, PA

Sally Trump, Womelsdorf, PA

Tony Crocamo, West Hempfield Twp., PA

Andrew C. Marshall, Philadelphia, PA

Denise A. Seilhamer, Butler, PA

Carla Colangelo, Allentown, PA

Denise Williams, Shavertown, PA

Lex O. McMillan III, Gettysburg, PA

Lori Davis Mitzel, Harrisburg, PA 

Jean Handley, Harrisburg, PA

Rachel Sorokin Goff, Elkins Park, PA

Jeff Greenwald, Allentown, PA

Mary C. Erdman, Orefield, PA

Susan Best, Philadelphia, PA

Chris Bronder, Hanover, PA.

Anthony Roache, Reading, PA

Sidney Hess, Glen Mills, PA

Kitsy McNulty, Pittsburgh, PA

Lauren Hopkins, Clearfield, PA

Luanne Y. Salaga, Sharpsville, PA

Charles Day, Philadelphia, PA

Shawndra Holmberg, Butler PA

Chris Eng, Sayre, PA

Karin Welles Tatum, Philadelphia, PA

Bill Gross, Merion, PA

Debbie Trudeau, State College, PA

Tobin Short, State College, PA

Connie Hester, Shaler, PA

Willem H. van den Berg, Howard, PA

Janet M. Lorenz, Philadelphia, PA

Alina Keebler, Pittsburgh, PA

Laura Richlin, Philadelphia, PA

Juliet Christopher, Downingtown PA

Agatha Andrews, Philadelphia, PA

Maureen Grosheider, Wexford, PA

Liza Jane Bernard, Berwyn, PA

Katherine Dale, Avondale, PA

Sara Stroman, Philadelphia, PA

Ardith Talbott, Solebury, PA

Suzanne Broughton, Town of McCandless, PA

John W. Bryner Chambersburg, PA

Kathryn Anne Holmberg, Butler, PA

Katherine E. Fagan, Philadelphia, PA

Fritz Walker, Allentown, PA

Stanley Chepaitis, Indiana, PA

Steve Elfelt, Altoona PA

Doug Gordon, Philadelphia, PA

Michele Cann, Bethlehem, PA

Paul Carpenedo, Erie, PA

Ilya Knizhnik, Philadelphia, PA

Michael Buchanan, Carlisle, PA

Diana G Dakey, Dalton, PA

Barbara Neumuller, Port Matilda

John Magee, Chambersburg, PA 

Joseph F McLaughlin, Pittsburgh, PA

Susan O Wood, Mount Gretna PA

Ron Williams, Pennsylvania Furnace, PA

Patricia Rooney, Honey Brook, PA

Lawrence Husick, Tredyffrin Township, PA

[For more information, including how to take action, visit the Fair Districts PA website, visit their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.]

[Fair Districts PA is officially a project of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, a nonpartisan political organization which encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. 

[Fair Districts PA receives no funding from political action committees (PACs) or political parties, and is endorsed by a wide range of local and statewide organizations.]

[Posted: June 29, 2020]