Last year will be a pretty tumultuous year for politics in Pennsylvania, which has given us a lot of information to pass on to our loyal City & State readers.
Much like the previous year, COVID-19 has left readers yearning for more information on how national and local authorities are responding to the continued spread of the coronavirus. Our audiences were also particularly interested in this year’s midterm elections, with our U.S. Senate candidate trackers and governor’s races attracting a notable amount of intrigue. Aside from our power lists – our Forty Under 40 and Philly Power 100 lists were the most read of the year – here are City & State PA’s most read stories of 2021.
Have questions about mask mandates in PA? We have answers.
The COVID-19 pandemic again caused a lot of uncertainty in Pennsylvania in 2021. The first few months brought vaccines to Keystate state, but as the year progressed and new variants appeared, increasing the In many cases, questions about the reimplementation of masking requirements started to surface. We sifted through rumors to provide clear answers on the status of mask warrants in the state.
Wawa vs.Sheetz: Let’s look at some stats leading up to the big debate
Before a debate between Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and U.S. Representative Brendan Boyle on which of Pennsylvania’s two major convenience store chains is better, we looked at some key stats, from the cost of a gallon of milk to each location. which chain reigns supreme in terms of income. But don’t just take it from us. Decide for yourself who made the strongest arguments in this debate.
Democrats oppose anti-abortion legislation
Abortion policy was in the spotlight in 2021, with Republican state lawmakers trying to push forward bills that would limit when abortions could be requested in Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Wolf has vowed to veto any legislation that would ban or reduce access to abortion, but that hasn’t stopped Republicans from trying to push it forward.
GOP senator proposes temporary cut in state gasoline tax
Gas prices rose significantly in 2021, and a state senator sought to temporarily reduce the state’s gasoline tax and provide financial relief to consumers. State Senator Doug Mastriano proposed a “gasoline tax exemption” in Pennsylvania that would have offered Pennsylvanians a 30-cent six-month reduction in the state gasoline tax. Mastriano’s legislation sought to make up for lost revenue by instituting registration fees for electric vehicles.
Pennsylvania eases mask requirements following new CDC rules
It’s safe to say that many Pennsylvanians have started to tire of the pandemic era this year, and the distribution of COVID-19 has offered some relief to those seeking a return to normal life. And while cases of COVID-19 are on the rise again, those vaccinated had to shed masks a bit when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed their masking guidelines.
How can Philadelphia save its struggling transit system?
Beyond Harrisburg, Philadelphia has also had a turbulent year – sometimes for the better, other times for the worse. A report found that Philadelphia had lost more transit users since 1970 than any other metropolitan area, a finding that prompted a panel of experts to discuss with City & State how best to approach transportation in the city.
New poll shows Mastriano is the potential leader of the GOP gubernatorial post
Primary races to determine the state’s next governor candidates are still in their infancy, but that hasn’t stopped businesses and think tanks from doing early polls on the race. A Democratic Governors Association poll found State Senator Doug Mastriano to head a pool of potential candidates, though a pollster said Pennsylvanians shouldn’t put too much importance in a also early survey.
Lawmakers have passed a bill on school âtransparencyâ. Here is what it contains.
Education was another hot topic in the halls of the State Capitol this year, with Republican lawmakers pushing legislation that would have required schools to post a full list of educational materials on their publicly accessible websites. GOP supporters said the bill was designed to increase transparency, although Gov. Tom Wolf ultimately vetoed the bill, believing it would politicize what is taught in the classroom.
Ask the Experts: Why is Critical Race Theory so controversial?
Many controversial topics have featured prominently in the state’s political debates this year, including voter identification, election audits and abortion. Another issue that has received a lot of attention is Critical Race Theory, an academic framework that views racism as something that has been woven into laws and institutions. As some state lawmakers sought to ban such teachings, we spoke with a few experts about why the topic is receiving so much attention.
Poll: PA voters largely undecided on US Senate candidates
If there is one thing we can be sure of in 2022, it is that many voters are uncertain. At least that’s the case with the state’s race for the US Senate. A Franklin & Marshall College poll found in August 2021 that about 37% of Democrats did not know who they would vote for, and 63% of Republicans were also undecided. And that was before the GOP race was rocked by the exit of Sean Parnell and the entry of Dr Mehmet Oz. Buckle up, folks, because if this poll is any indication, anything could happen in 2022.