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About PA onAir

This Pennsylvania onAir hub supports its citizens to become more informed about and engaged in federal and state politics while facilitating more civil and positive discussions with their representatives, candidates, and fellow Pennsylvanians.

  • Pennsylvania onAir is one of 50 state governance and elections hubs that the US onAir Network is providing to reinvigorate our imperiled democracy.
  • Virginia onAir is US onAir’s model of how a state’s onAir Council and curators can enhance a state Hub with fresh Top News and state legislature content, moderated discussions, and production of zoom aircasts with committees, interviews and debates with candidates, and presentations.

For more information  about the many opportunities to learn about and engage with this Pennsylvania onAir hub, go to this US onAir post on the US onAir central hub.

Our two minute vision video about the US onAir network is below.

Streaming onAir

Pennsylvania government livestreams

Senate Sessions Live 

All Senate floor action is broadcast live on this page. The Senate also makes its feed available through a drop room located in the Capitol East Wing. In this room, the media can record any part of the session. In addition, the signal is received by The Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) for rebroadcast to cable subscribers throughout the Commonwealth. PCN provides live broadcast of significant legislative events and provides a tape delay broadcast for other session activity during their evening public affairs program.

House Sessions Live

COVID-19 vaccination update in Pennsylvania - PA Health ...
April 1, 2021

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB0pgIj8P2w

Senate Committee aircasts

These aircasts will be focused on the recent activities of House committees during the 2021 General Assembly. Committee chairs will host these aircasts with members of their committees and their invited audience.

Aircasts are Zoom meetings with a host, featured guests, and an online audience livestreamed to the public and archived as YouTube videos in this Hub and YouTube channel.

House Committee aircasts

These aircasts will be focused on the recent activities of House committees during the 2021 General Assembly. Committee chairs will host these aircasts with members of their committees and their invited audience.

Aircasts are Zoom meetings with a host, featured guests, and an online audience livestreamed to the public and archived as YouTube videos in this Hub and YouTube channel.

The US onAir Network
May 26, 2021 (02:00)

Pennsylvania News

Answering calls for transparency, Senate committee holds first public hearing on redistricting
Pennsylvania Capital-Star, Marley ParishMay 26, 2021 (Short)

Senate Bill 222, which was referred to the Senate State Government Committee in February, outlines guidelines for legislative and congressional redistricting.

The legislation — sponsored by Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-Northampton — defines a community of interest as a “neighborhood or geographically confined area of persons who share similar social, cultural, and economic interests or other shared interests.”

Simplifying and jokingly suggesting that a community of interest could divide Steelers fans and Eagles fans, Sen. Sharif Street, D-Philadelphia, noted that the definition could target specific demographics to reduce voting power.

Pa.s’ top two Republicans announce plans for lobbying reform, but is it enough?
Pennsylvania Capital-Star, Marley ParishMay 17, 2021 (Short)

A new package of bills could tighten the guidelines for Pennsylvania lobbyists. Though it’s a step toward reform, advocates say they need more details.

In a statement released Monday, Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre, and House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, unveiled plans to draft legislation and build on the state’s existing Lobbyist Disclosure Act by regulating lobbyists’ influence and establishing a code of conduct for lobbyists.

“There is a tangled web of money and influence between the people who lobby the General Assembly and the people who run the political campaigns,” Corman said in a statement. “This package of bills would help untangle the web and sever the ties between those two entities while ensuring the public has more access to information about the individuals and organizations who are seeking to influence public policy.”

Pennsylvania is posed to rewrite its election laws. There’s $7.3 billion in federal stimulus aid that can be spent. And the June 30 deadline to hammer out a new state budget creeps ever closer.

Yet the last few months in Harrisburg instead have been dominated by a nesting doll-esque set of controversies, many stemming from administrative errors under the purview of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

From a failure to advertise a long-sought amendment to aid childhood survivors of sexual abuse and how COVID-19 was handled in nursing homes, to a health data breach at a state contractor, the Republican Legislature has started at least three investigations into the Wolf administration. And they’re calling for more.

But even as Republicans and Wolf — in the latter half of his second and final term — come out of the pandemic and prepare for a tough gubernatorial election in 2022, these dives into oversight haven’t so far entirely ruined the  goodwill between the two sides.

The Democrats’ Giant Dilemma
Politico, Holly OtterbeinApril 16, 2021 (Short)

John Fetterman’s blue-collar progressivism has endeared him to Pennsylvania voters. Why are so many Democratic leaders opposing his Senate run?

Since launching his Senate campaign in February, Fetterman has quickly amassed nearly $4 million—more than any other Democrat in the field and mostly in small-dollar donations. He’s running as a progressive and supports raising the minimum wage, Medicare for All, criminal justice reform and marijuana legalization. But he’s more middle-of-the-road on items like fracking and the Green New Deal. And while he’s pro-gun control, he has been a gun owner himself. (Two lesser-known contenders, liberal state lawmaker Malcolm Kenyatta and moderate county commissioner Val Arkoosh, have also already thrown their hats in the ring. Other big-name Democrats who are more centrist than Fetterman, like Rep. Conor Lamb, might still jump in.)

Fetterman’s fans think his brand of economic progressivism and his Carhartt-wearing linebacker vibe make him uniquely able to win elections in the kinds of Rust Belt and white working-class areas where Democrats have been hemorrhaging support. In a party often seen as too elite, the lieutenant governor is unfussy and plainspoken—he poses for official government photos in workman’s shirts and calls Republicans “simps” on Twitter. Fetterman’s campaign is making the case that he has the best shot at picking off Trump voters in the general election.

2021 Legislature

Pa.s’ top two Republicans announce plans for lobbying reform, but is it enough?
Pennsylvania Capital-Star, Marley ParishMay 17, 2021 (Short)

A new package of bills could tighten the guidelines for Pennsylvania lobbyists. Though it’s a step toward reform, advocates say they need more details.

In a statement released Monday, Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre, and House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, unveiled plans to draft legislation and build on the state’s existing Lobbyist Disclosure Act by regulating lobbyists’ influence and establishing a code of conduct for lobbyists.

“There is a tangled web of money and influence between the people who lobby the General Assembly and the people who run the political campaigns,” Corman said in a statement. “This package of bills would help untangle the web and sever the ties between those two entities while ensuring the public has more access to information about the individuals and organizations who are seeking to influence public policy.”

As budget season approaches, Harrisburg finds a way to investigate and legislate
Pennsylvania Capital-Star, Stephen CarusoMay 7, 2021 (Short)

Pennsylvania is posed to rewrite its election laws. There’s $7.3 billion in federal stimulus aid that can be spent. And the June 30 deadline to hammer out a new state budget creeps ever closer.

Yet the last few months in Harrisburg instead have been dominated by a nesting doll-esque set of controversies, many stemming from administrative errors under the purview of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

From a failure to advertise a long-sought amendment to aid childhood survivors of sexual abuse and how COVID-19 was handled in nursing homes, to a health data breach at a state contractor, the Republican Legislature has started at least three investigations into the Wolf administration. And they’re calling for more.

But even as Republicans and Wolf — in the latter half of his second and final term — come out of the pandemic and prepare for a tough gubernatorial election in 2022, these dives into oversight haven’t so far entirely ruined the  goodwill between the two sides.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly is the legislature of the U.S. commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The legislature convenes in the State Capitol building in Harrisburg. In colonial times (1682–1776), the legislature was known as the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly and was unicameral. Since the Constitution of 1776, the legislature has been known as the General Assembly. The General Assembly became a bicameral legislature in 1791.

Voting in Pennsylvania

Answering calls for transparency, Senate committee holds first public hearing on redistricting
Pennsylvania Capital-Star, Marley ParishMay 26, 2021 (Short)

Senate Bill 222, which was referred to the Senate State Government Committee in February, outlines guidelines for legislative and congressional redistricting.

The legislation — sponsored by Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-Northampton — defines a community of interest as a “neighborhood or geographically confined area of persons who share similar social, cultural, and economic interests or other shared interests.”

Simplifying and jokingly suggesting that a community of interest could divide Steelers fans and Eagles fans, Sen. Sharif Street, D-Philadelphia, noted that the definition could target specific demographics to reduce voting power.

Federal & state elections on the ballot: US Senator, 18 US House members, Governor, and 25 State Senate and 203 House members

Ballot measures: None

The Pennsylvania Voting and Elections, part of the Secretary of State, oversees all Pennsylvania elections.

2022 Elections

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The 2022 elections for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives will be held on November 8, 2022, with all districts being decided. The term of office for those that were elected in 2022 will begin when the House of Representatives convenes in January 2023. Pennsylvania State Representatives are elected for two-year terms, with all 203 seats up for election every two years.[2] Republicans have controlled the chamber since 2010.

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The 2022 elections for the Pennsylvania State Senate will be held on November 8, 2022, with 25 of 50 districts being contested. The term of office for those elected in 2022 will begin when the Senate convenes in January 2023. Pennsylvania State Senators are elected for four-year terms, with half of the seats up for election every two years.[1] The election will coincide with the 2022 United States Senate election in Pennsylvania, United States House of Representatives elections, and the entirety of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The Democrats’ Giant Dilemma
Politico, Holly OtterbeinApril 16, 2021 (Short)

John Fetterman’s blue-collar progressivism has endeared him to Pennsylvania voters. Why are so many Democratic leaders opposing his Senate run?

Since launching his Senate campaign in February, Fetterman has quickly amassed nearly $4 million—more than any other Democrat in the field and mostly in small-dollar donations. He’s running as a progressive and supports raising the minimum wage, Medicare for All, criminal justice reform and marijuana legalization. But he’s more middle-of-the-road on items like fracking and the Green New Deal. And while he’s pro-gun control, he has been a gun owner himself. (Two lesser-known contenders, liberal state lawmaker Malcolm Kenyatta and moderate county commissioner Val Arkoosh, have also already thrown their hats in the ring. Other big-name Democrats who are more centrist than Fetterman, like Rep. Conor Lamb, might still jump in.)

Fetterman’s fans think his brand of economic progressivism and his Carhartt-wearing linebacker vibe make him uniquely able to win elections in the kinds of Rust Belt and white working-class areas where Democrats have been hemorrhaging support. In a party often seen as too elite, the lieutenant governor is unfussy and plainspoken—he poses for official government photos in workman’s shirts and calls Republicans “simps” on Twitter. Fetterman’s campaign is making the case that he has the best shot at picking off Trump voters in the general election.

Covid-19

COVID-19 vaccination update in Pennsylvania - PA Health ...
April 1, 2021

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB0pgIj8P2w

Pennsylvania Department of Health provides latest COVID-19
March 21, 2021

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoSfJiUK5_E

Engage in Your Democracy

Civic engagement projects here …

See Democracy Squad at GMU for “Positive Civic Engagement” model at public university.

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