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ICYMI: PennLive: Wolf campaign: Scott Wagner ducked votes on Megan’s Law, domestic abuse for politics

* Barely hours after Republican Scott Wagner announced he’d be giving up his Senate seat to focus on his gubernatorial run, Gov. Tom Wolf’s re-election

* Barely hours after Republican Scott Wagner announced he’d be giving up his Senate seat to focus on his gubernatorial run, Gov. Tom Wolf’s re-election campaign launched a lacerating attack accusing the York County pol of putting his political ambitions ahead of the public good.

* In an email blast to political reporters, Wolf’s camp charged that Wagner skipped key votes tightening up the state’s Megan’s Law statute and expanding domestic violence protections so he could attend a conference in New York City put on by the Republican Governors Association.

* This isn’t the first time that Wagner has taken heat for missing votes.  Last December, former GOP gubernatorial hopeful Paul Mango charged that Wagner missed more than 100 votes between 2015 and 2017.


PennLive: Wolf campaign: Scott Wagner ducked votes on Megan’s Law, domestic abuse for politics

By John Micek

Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Barely hours after Republican Scott Wagner announced he’d be giving up his Senate seat to focus on his gubernatorial run, Gov. Tom Wolf’s re-election campaign launched a lacerating attack accusing the York County pol of putting his political ambitions ahead of the public good.

In an email blast to political reporters, Wolf’s camp charged that Wagner skipped key votes tightening up the state’s Megan’s Law statute and expanding domestic violence protections so he could attend a conference in New York City put on by the Republican Governors Association.

Wagner’s decision to resign, coupled with his attendance at the the RGA conference “proves that he is the very worst of Harrisburg,” Wolf’s spokeswoman, Beth Melena, said. “Scott Wagner is only interested in furthering his own political ambitions, but his resignation does not erase his long record of supporting education cuts for our children, rolling back health care for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians, and throwing seniors out of their nursing homes.”

Wagner was among the confirmed list of attendees at the RGA’s “Corporate Policy Summit,” at the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel on East 48th Street. The summit ran from May 22 to May 23.

On those days, Wagner was absent from the Senate for votes on three bills, according to roll calls posted on the Legislature’s official website

Wagner did not cast a ballot on legislation sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Ron Marsico, R-Dauphin, to fix constitutional problems in Megan’s Law that were raised by the state Supreme Court.

If left unaddressed, some three-quarters of the 20,000 people now required to register might be removed from the list, according to published reports.  The bill passed on a 48-0 vote on May 22. State Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, R-Bucks, did not vote on the bill, according to a Senate roll call.

That same day, Wagner was also the lone no-show for a vote on a bill sponsored by Sen. Robert Mensch, R-Montgomery, making it a separate crime to commit an act of domestic violence in front of a child. That bill passed on a 49-0 vote.

Wagner didn’t cast a ballot for legislation sponsored by Sen. Scott Martin, R-Lancaster, requiring carbon monoxide detectors in child care facilities including boarding homes for children. That bill passed on May 23 on a 49-0 vote, Senate roll calls show.

In a statement that did not actually address the GOP nominee’s absence, Wagner’s spokesman, Andrew Romeo, said that Wagner has “never missed the chance to cast the tie breaking vote in the Senate,” while Wolf has “singlehandedly blocked legislation time and time again to appease his special interest donors.

“While Scott and his colleagues worked hard to pass comprehensive pension reform, comprehensive liquor reform, legislation to combat the opioid epidemic and even legislation to protect innocent human life, Tom Wolf vetoed all of those bills,” Romeo continued. “Scott knows the people of Pennsylvania are tired of the gridlock and he now views it as his sole responsibility to run a campaign focused on them and to veto Tom Wolf’s second term.”

In follow-up messages, Romeo acknowledged that Wagner missed the votes because he was in New York at the RGA function.

This isn’t the first time that Wagner has taken heat for missing votes.

Last December, former GOP gubernatorial hopeful Paul Mango charged that Wagner missed more than 100 votes between 2015 and 2017.

Without directly addressing the issue, Wagner’s campaign downplayed the attack, calling it a “a desperate attack from a flailing campaign.”

Wagner went on to defeat Mango and Pittsburgh attorney Laura Ellsworth in the May 15 Republican primary.

Read the piece here.

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Governor Wolf Announces $180 Million to Fix PA’s Roads

Last week, Governor Wolf announced that PennDOT will launch Resurface PA– an aggressive new initiative dedicated to repaving interstates and attacking potholes across the commonwealth.

Last week, Governor Wolf announced that PennDOT will launch Resurface PA– an aggressive new initiative dedicated to repaving interstates and attacking potholes across the commonwealth.

As reported by The Associated Press:

“Pennsylvania drivers will be getting some relief from pockmarked roadways in the form of $180 million to fill in potholes and perform other work after the ravages of a tough winter.”

After a harsh and drawn-out winter, Pennsylvania’s roads have been left in a state of much-needed repair. Through the Governor’s new investment, 17 interstate paving and preservation projects covering 255 miles of roadway will be completed two years ahead of schedule and will preserve pavement surfaces for at least five to six years.

Governor Wolf’s administration is dedicated to improving infrastructure throughout the commonwealth. “PennDOT has been at work on this problem for many months, but the severe temperature swings through the winter have created ideal conditions for continued pavement challenges,” he said. “We are further increasing our focus on pothole repairs and also accelerating work on our interstates.”

Governor Wolf Works to End Cycle of Mass Incarceration

Last week, Governor Wolf stood with artist “Meek Mill” Williams, 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, as well as half a dozen legislators including Congressman Dwight Evans,

Last week, Governor Wolf stood with artist “Meek Mill” Williams, 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, as well as half a dozen legislators including Congressman Dwight Evans, Senator Larry Farnese, and Representatives Jordan Harris, Joanna McClinton, Donna Bullock, and Morgan Cephas in a call-to-action for criminal justice reform.

As WHYY reported:

“The governor called on the state House to pass a trio of bills recently approved the state Senate that would release nonviolent offenders more quickly and help move more prisoners into substance abuse programs, while also pumping more dollars into probation and parole programs across the state.”

The governor’s plan is focused on rehabilitation and victim protection while providing consistency and uniformity in the criminal justice system. These reforms will work to end the cycle of mass incarceration.

“We need to do the work to make our criminal justice system fairer, more equitable, and more focused on rehabilitation,” Governor Wolf said. “Since I became Governor, I have worked hard to reform our system so that it leads to better outcomes and saves taxpayer dollars – while also leading to less crime and fewer victims. Let’s continue to work towards building the criminal justice system we all want to see in Pennsylvania.”

Meek Mill, who was recently released from prison after serving five months of a two- to four-year sentence for a probation violation on a decade-old conviction, expressed his support for Governor Wolf’s initiatives, saying, “I’m greatly encouraged by the Governor’s commitment to ensuring a fair sentencing process and ultimately ending the unjust cycle of incarceration in our state.”

Karen’s Story: “I made the heartbreaking choice to terminate my pregnancy” (Guest Blog)

By Karen Agatone In July of 2015, I found out I was pregnant for the first time. My husband and I were thrilled. Our dreams

By Karen Agatone

In July of 2015, I found out I was pregnant for the first time. My husband and I were thrilled. Our dreams of becoming a family were just starting and everything felt full of hope and promise.

While still in my first trimester, I opted for advanced genetic screening, which ruled out any major chromosomal abnormalities and confirmed the exciting news that we were having a girl. By the time we got to the 20-week ultrasound, we had named her Evelyn and even purchased a crib the weekend before.

Within 10 minutes of the scan, we knew something was wrong. Our sonogram technician became quiet and a high-risk doctor came into the room to confirm our worst fears: that something was very wrong. He sat us down and told us that Evelyn had what he believed to be a rare genetic disorder. Before we could even process what that meant for our family, the doctor explained that her chances of survival were non-existent and that she was incompatible with life.

Crushed, we went to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for a second opinion. We saw a team of the best specialists in the country, who confirmed what the other doctor had told us: Evelyn would not survive. She had Thanatophoric Dysplasia, a very rare and spontaneous mutation that is not only lethal but would be incredibly painful for her as she developed.

Evelyn’s lungs would not be able to grow inside of her too small chest cavity, which meant she could die inside of me within days or weeks or she could go all the way to term, only to be left gasping for the air she would never breathe on her own. She might live for a few hours or at best, a few days, and would be suffering the entire time.

All of the hopes and dreams we had for Evelyn died that day, along with the dream of our new family. We mourned Evelyn and the family we thought we would be. As her mother, it was my job to plan for her to have the best possible quality of life. But I could not continue to plan for her to have no quality of life.

My husband and I made the heartbreaking choice to terminate my pregnancy and let Evelyn be at peace. It was the only decision we would have to make for her as parents. At 21 weeks of gestation, I had an abortion so my daughter would not have to suffer.

Less than three months later, I conceived again and today, we have a healthy toddler son and infant daughter who light up my life. If it were not for my ability to access safe and legal care to terminate my pregnancy, I would not have our children in my arms today.

Second trimester abortion is not a black or white issue – it’s much more complicated than that. It’s not something any mother wants to go through and it’s certainly not something that is easy to talk about, no matter how much time goes by. But I continue to tell my story because conservative legislators in Pennsylvania have repeatedly tried to pass laws to restrict a woman’s right to choose. They are forcing their beliefs on women they don’t know about circumstances they could never understand. These dangerous bills threaten the health, wellbeing and fertility of women.

Abortion isn’t just about the decision to become a parent. It’s often a parenting decision. And Governor Wolf has always allowed loving parents to be able to make the decisions they believe are best for their babies and families. He trusts women and that’s why he deserves your vote for re-election.