Winners & Losers for the week ending August 24
Tom Wolf: It was a long time coming, but the governor’s 2015 executive order that effectively allowed home health care workers to unionize was upheld by the state Supreme Court.
Fair-funding advocates: a landmark lawsuit brought by school districts and parents of students from across the state challenging the way that public schools are funded is now one step closer to trial after a Commonwealth Court judge dismissed a last-ditch attempt by lawmakers objecting to the case.
Philly bike advocates: In perhaps the first victory of its kind in Philadelphia, a courtroom decision produced a win for bicycle safety, with a parking company agreeing to foot the bill for putting up plastic safety cones for a bike lane outside a hotel so that cars will no longer block the lane by parking in it – a solution long sought after but never achieved by the city.
Scott Wagner: Refusing to release his tax returns. Indicating support for possible future legislation banning same-sex marriage – and then indicating just the opposite via spokesperson the next day. Winking jokes about scandals surrounding Russian election tampering and how Paul Manafort might boost his campaign – just before Trump’s former campaign chair was found guilty on eight counts. Not a good week for the GOP gubernatorial candidate.
David Zimmerman: The state rep from Lancaster County found himself in hot water with both his town and county officials over his renting out a one-bedroom suite at his East Earl home on Airbnb. He was found to have skirted township rules by operating without a vacation house permit and to have run afoul of Lancaster County by failing to pay hotel taxes associated with such rentals.
Jamal Knox: The state Supreme Court found that Knox’s free speech rights were not violated by his conviction over threatening rap lyrics he wrote and performed under the name Mayhem Mal of the Ghetto Superstar Committee. Knox was convicted for witness intimidation and terroristic threats in the video for the song, which specifically named two Pittsburgh police officers and contained lyrics on how he would kill them.