General Assembly

Here's what's on deck this week in the Harrisburg political arena

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month Angiola Harry | Unsplash

In the fall, there’s never a dull week in the Keystone State. The end of September brought us a rare bipartisan moment when Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law a bill extending hundreds of regulatory waivers and suspensions after the legislation received unanimous support in the General Assembly. The agreements didn’t last long though, as Republicans and Democrats exchanged blows over abortion rights, charter school reform and more. This week will be a little more of the same. Education debates aren’t going away anytime soon, and that’s not it. 

Here’s what we’ll be watching this week. 

Constitutional amendments

There’s been plenty of constitutional amendment talk in Harrisburg thanks to the election reforms introduced last week. This week’s conversation, however, will be on the botched amendment process that would have given child sexual abuse victims a two-year window to file claims. The Senate Judiciary and State Government committees are holding a joint public hearing Monday to discuss the Department of State’s failure to properly advertise the amendment. 

School mask mandates

The mandate debate continues. After House Republicans failed to pass a controversial school voucher bill that would have allowed parents to change schools with taxpayer dollars due to COVID-19 measures, their efforts to bypass the mask mandate will continue. Sens. Doug Mastriano and Judy Ward are looking to pass SB 846, which would allow parents to opt their children out of school mask mandates. The bill is expected to be voted on third consideration. 

Breast cancer awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it might mean a little more to some members of the General Assembly this time around following Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward’s bout with breast cancer. Lawmakers will gather around the Capitol fountain on Tuesday to watch the water be dyed pink, an annual tradition in Harrisburg. The pink fountain will kick off a variety of breast cancer awareness events in the commonwealth this month.