LWV of PA News

This page provides a mix of League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania news releases and posts.

LWVPA & PARTNERS FILE PETITION TO JOIN LAWSUIT AGAINST STATE SENATE REPUBLICAN’S ATTEMPT TO OBTAIN PRIVATE INFORMATION ABOUT REGISTERED VOTERS

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania in partnership with a coalition of good government and civil rights advocates and eight voters files a petition in sate court on October 5, 2021 to join the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s lawsuit against state Republicans’ attempt to obtain private information about the commonwealth’s registered votes. Click here for more information.


WHY WE NEED RGGI

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Imitative, or RGGI, is an important tool for Pennsylvania to tackle the problems that climate change makes worse. It will cut carbon pollution, which contributes to climate change, by as much as 227 million tons per year, a reduction of about 25% from total power plant carbon emissions. 

Pennsylvanians need RGGI. Our climate is already changing due to greenhouse has emissions. Temperatures are projected to increase by 5.9 degrees by 2050 and the number of days with a heat index above 90 degrees will increase dramatically from eight to 40 per year. PennDOT spent more than $125 million in 2018 alone to repair flood and landslide damage. Hurricane Ida caused damage to Pennsylvania’s public infrastructure of at least $117 million and destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes here. The situation is serious, and action is crucial. 

Want to take action? Tell your friends and call your legislators. Let them know how Pennsylvanians feel. 

PENNSYLVANIA’S CLIMATE IS ALREADY CHANGING

  • Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels are changing Pennyslvania’s climate.
  • Temperatures are projected to increase by 5.9 degrees by 2050 and the number of days with a heat index above 90 degrees will increase dramatically from 8 to 40 per year.
  • PennDOT spent more than $125 million in 2018 alone to repair flood and landslide damage.
  • Hurricane Ida caused damage to Pennsylvania’s public infrastructure of at least $117 million and destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes.
  • Power outages from extreme storms across Pennsylvania hit a record high in 2019, disrupting electricity services for nearly 2 million families and businesses.

STATEMENT ON LRC DECISION TO END PRISON GERRYMANDERING PRACTICE

As Pennsylvania redraws its legislative maps, LWVPA applauds the Legislative Reapportionment Commission’s decision to count people at their home communities, instead of where they are imprisoned. This represents an important step forward for fairness and accuracy in Pennsylvania’s civic process. We thank the Commission for taking one of many steps needed to end gerrymandering.

We are pleased to share the statement below from Carol Kuniholm, Chair of Fair Districts PA:

The Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC) voted 3 to 2 yesterday in favor of a resolution to reallocate prison data to count incarcerated people in their home communities. According to the resolution, introduced by House Minority Leader Joanna McClinton, the LRC will count most individuals in state prisons as residents of their last known address.

People in PA state prisons who did not live in Pennsylvania before incarceration will not be counted at all for redistricting purposes. Excluded from reallocation are those with no known home address or individuals serving life sentences, who will be counted in their places of incarceration. 

Representative McClinton and Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa were expected yes votes. Both Republican leaders, House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff and Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, voted no.

Chairman Mark Nordenberg was the positive tie-breaking vote. Before calling the vote, he described his own deliberative process and his conviction that the commission was designed to be independent of legislative influence. Much of what he said was an encouraging sign that this commission will be conducted more independently than commissions in the past, with far greater transparency and more visible public deliberation.

Fair Districts PA and LWVPA were active participants in a series of regional forums on this issue this past winter and spring. We submitted joint letters with other organizations, helped publicize a petition that we submitted to the LRC, and supporters gave testimony and submitted dozens of online comments on the LRC comment page. Thank you to all who played an active role in encouraging the LRC to pass this resolution.

This change is an important step toward more equitable representation. Take a moment to celebrate.

And take heart: our voices together can make change possible.


LEARN ABOUT THE JUDGES RUNNING FOR THE STATE APPELLATE COURTS

This November, Pennsylvania voters will be choosing four new Judges for the State Appellate Courts. Learn more about the Candidates in this article and tune into the Candidates Forum, hosted by Pennsylvania for Modern Courts, on September 20th at 7pm to hear from the candidates themselves. Register for this event here.


ELECTION INTEGRITY IS ESSENTIAL TO DEMOCRACY

Election integrity is an essential piece to a free and fair democracy. These audits lack credibility and threaten the integrity of future elections. This is not a partisan issue; people of all political identities should be able to trust that their vote is secure.

Reuters: Pennsylvania Republican blasts election audit, rebukes fraud claims


THE LWV OF PA SUPPORTS THE ADOPTION OF THE REGIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS INITIATIVE (RGGI)

In 2019, @GovernorTomWolf committed PA to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions 26% by 2025 & 80 % by 2050. “We are not advancing toward these goals, but backsliding. It’s important that we start to address these emissions.” -Hayley Book, Sr. Advisor at DEP.

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania supports PA’s adoption of RGGI, a market based, regional cap and trade initiative that works to protect our Constitutional right to clean air in Pennsylvania.


WILL REDISTRICTING BE FAIR?

Harrisburg failed to pass comprehensive legislation that would make the redistricting process fair, transparent, and nonpartisan. The lines drawn this year will dictate legislative districts for the next TEN YEARS. Pennsylvanians will be able to participate in congressional hearings in the months to come, it is our civic duty to engage in this process & keep politics out of redistricting.

https://www.penncapital-star.com/government-politics/pa-redistricting-is-poised-to-be-transparent-will-it-be-fair-advocates-think-yes/?mc_cid=dda6cbbef6&mc_eid=cd1fd6ac5f/


PA ELECTION LAW AND ELECTION LAW REFORM

“LWVPA supports effective election laws that ensure that elections are accessible, transparent, fair, secure, and recountable, promote universal voter participation, and provide voters with meaningful choices when they go to the polls.” – Carol Kuniholm, April 2021

Check out this great resource on Pennsylvania election law, reform & more! Shout out to the local league in Greater Pittsburgh for putting this together.

https://lwvpgh.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=554754&module_id=477549&fbclid=IwAR3zWz5dtic1QHZlnSel5C_DLdvPKrfhoBGJq05T9-nNt2YHuqYCKtx4SQ0


END PRISON GERRYMANDERING

It is time to #EndPrisonGerrymandering and have these individuals counted in their last known address, not as a resident of their penal institution. Prison Gerrymandering is a racial justice issue, The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and Fair Districts PA support an end to this practice in our Commonwealth.

https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2021-07-08/census/petition-calls-for-an-end-to-prison-gerrymandering-in-pa/a74930-1?fbclid=IwAR21J4x8-RGVF04Jb1btexQu-pe-AwcCapqOQl1sScsvD9az2zH2nVa9btU