WEATHER: Philadelphia: mostly sunny, high of 41; Harrisburg: partly cloudy, high of 39; Pittsburgh: cloudy, high of 33.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* Philadelphia City Council members are demanding answers from city officials as questions build over their soured partnership with Philly Fighting COVID, a self-described “group of college kids” responsible until this week for managing the city’s largest coronavirus mass vaccination site, the Inquirer reports.
* The embattled CEO of the organization Philly Fighting Covid is alleged to have taken doses of the vaccine with him off-site, and sources claim to have seen him with syringes off-site as well, WHYY reports.
* Gov. Tom Wolf defended Pennsylvania’s rollout of the coronavirus vaccine Tuesday, saying it was left in the lurch by the Trump administration’s overpromises and that a decentralized vaccine signup system should prove to be more efficient, as opposed to a centralized portal some states use, the AP reports.
* Frustrations over some lawmakers’ refusal to wear masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives chamber brought action to a brief halt on Tuesday. House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton pointed out to House Speaker Bryan Cutler that she counted over 30 members on the House floor who were unmasked. Last summer, the House approved a bipartisan-backed policy requiring face coverings on the House floor during session, PennLive reports.
* The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Pennsylvania has decreased every day over the past six days, according to state Department of Health data. There were 3,790 covid-19 patients hospitalized in the state on Tuesday, dropping by almost 100 from 3,887 on Monday. The biggest drop came on Jan. 22, when the number of hospitalizations dropped by 589 from the previous day. Hospitalizations have generally decreased since the month’s peak of 5,684 on Jan. 5, the Tribune-Review reports.
* In a post-Trump Pennsylvania, the ties that bind Republicans together increasingly revolve around Democrats and voting laws, the Inquirer reports.
* After a sluggish start, the vast majority of nursing homes in Pennsylvania have hosted at least one COVID-19 vaccine clinic for residents and staff. But as Pennsylvania continues to expand who is eligible for a coveted dose during the initial rollout, the same can’t be said of personal care homes and assisted living facilities, where thousands of people have died of the coronavirus, Spotlight PA reports.
* Pennsylvania child care providers, advocates, and key legislators renewed pleas to Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration last week to release $302 million in federal aid – but change how it is distributed to child care centers, Chalkbeat reports.
* The Republican-controlled state Senate passed a measure Tuesday to take some emergency management power away from Pennsylvania’s governors as lawmakers struck out at Gov. Tom Wolf’s handling of the pandemic response. The Senate voted, 28-20, in a clash that fell largely along partisan lines. Every Republican backed it, while every one of Wolf’s fellow Democrats, except for one, opposed it, the AP reports.
* The House State Government Committee will meet at 8 a.m. this morning to consider a package of GOP-sponsored bills that seek to reduce eight state agencies into four, PennLive reports.
* Hundreds of members of the Pennsylvania National Guard will be in Washington for the next two months to help with crowd management, assist with traffic control and perform other duties, the AP reports.
* Two legal observers – the trained volunteers who take detailed notes and monitor public demonstrations for civil-rights violations – filed a lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Police Department last week over allegations of brutality during the October protests against the police killing of Walter Wallace, Jr., the Inquirer reports.
* The Capital-Star has an op-ed by Elizabeth A. Bolden, the president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, who makes the argument for why Gov. Wolf and the legislature must fully fund the commonwealth’s community colleges.
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8 a.m. - the PA House State Government Committee will meet. Room G50, Irvis Office Building, Harrisburg.
9 a.m. - the PA House Commerce Committee will meet. Room 205, Ryan Office Building, Harrisburg.
9:15 a.m. - the PA House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee will meet. Room B31, Main Capitol, Harrisburg.
9:30 a.m. - the PA House Labor & Industry Committee will meet. Room G50, Irvis Office Building, Harrisburg.
9:45 a.m. - the PA House Labor & Industry Committee will meet. Room G50, Irvis Office Building, Harrisburg.
10 a.m. - the Pittsburgh City Council Standing Committee will meet. Council Chambers, City-County Building, Pittsburgh.
10 a.m. - the PA House Labor & Youth Committee will meet. Room 205, Ryan Office Building, Harrisburg.
10 a.m. - the PA House Judiciary Committee will meet. Room 60, East Wing, Harrisburg.
11 a.m. - the PA House will reconvene. Main Capitol, Harrisburg.
11 a.m. - the PA Senate will reconvene. Main Capitol, Harrisburg.
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KICKER: “If Andrei Doroshin is giving out vaccines, I would want to know that because then we would shut them down.” – City of Philadelphia Health Department spokesperson James Garrow. From WHYY.