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Eye Opener – August 16, 2012

Eye Opener

VOTER ID LAW HEADS TO STATE SUPREME COURT

According to an article in the Patriot News, the battle over the state’s controversial voter ID law now moves to the state Supreme Court. On Wednesday, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson rejected a suit to block the law, or delay enforcement of it. Simpson ruled that the law is constitutional because it applies to everyone. The Supreme Court will be mindful of the election cycle and “will rule in an expeditious manner,” said Art Heinz, a spokesman for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts. The state’s new voter ID law has garnered national attention and a raging debate. It was passed earlier this year and takes effect in the Nov. 6 general election. Click here to read the Patriot News article.

VOTER ID LAWYERS DISCUSS NEXT STEPS IN VOTER ID CHALLENGE

Following yesterday’s Commonwealth Court decision rejecting a challenge to the state’s new voter ID law, lawyers for Viviette Applewhite, the 93-year-old lead plaintiff, from the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP), the Advancement Project, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, and the Washington, DC, law firm of Arnold & Porter spoke with the press to explain the decision and review their next steps. The lawyers had argued that the law puts up unconstitutional barriers to the fundamental right to vote and threatens to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of people without valid ID. The groups announced they plan to appeal the judge’s decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Check out the Around the Capital section of the PLS Capitol Toolbox to read the full story.

SENATE DEMOCRATS COMMENT ON COMMONWEALTH COURT’S RULING ON VOTER ID LAW

Senators Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) and Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia) held a press conference outside the Senate Chamber denouncing the judge’s ruling that upheld Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law. Sen. Costa said this decision will have repercussions across the Commonwealth and impact the outcome of the presidential election. He stated the decision was rendered today by a Republican Commonwealth Court judge refusing to grant an injunction of the implementation of the Voter ID law. He emphasized “there is no question that this Voter ID law was designed, passed and will be implemented to disenfranchise voters and suppress the voting rights of people across this Commonwealth.” Check out the Around the Capital section of the PLS Capitol Toolbox to read the full story.

GOV. CORBETT, BUSINESS LEADERS DISCUSS TRADE MISSION TO SILICON VALLEY

Gov. Tom Corbett was joined by several Pennsylvania business leaders yesterday in a press conference call to discuss the governor’s ongoing trade mission to Silicon Valley, California. Gov. Corbett said the purpose of the various meetings can be described with one word – jobs. He stated the entire purpose of the mission is to bring jobs and investment to Pennsylvania. The governor relayed trade mission experiences including meeting the COO of Facebook, using video conferencing technology to talk with Google employees, and Skypeing with start-up computer companies in Pittsburgh while meeting with EA. Check out the Around the Capital section of the PLS Capitol Toolbox to read the full story.


Upcoming Meetings

Independent Regulatory Review Commission
10:00 a.m., 14th Floor Conference Room, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg
Public meeting to consider the following Regulation:

  • Regulation No. 2864 Environmental Quality Board #7-460: Noncoal Mining Fees

Senate Judiciary
10:00 a.m., Montgomery Township Municipal Building, 1001 Stump Road, Montgomeryville
Public hearing to receive testimony on: HB 2331 Stephens Amends Title 18 & 42 re firearms Hearing Agenda


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