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Pa.’s looming dementia care crisis, by the numbers

Colin Deppen of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. Pennsylvania is headed for a profound eldercare crisis, experts warn, as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia rates continue to climb, the state’s …

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Pa. GOP lawmakers to subpoena personal information on every voter in controversial 2020 election review

Danielle Ohl of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — Republican lawmakers in the Capitol are pushing to collect personal information on every registered Pennsylvania voter, as well as …

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Pa. school mask lawsuit backed by group that challenged 2020 election results

Jamie Martines of Spotlight PA and Angela Couloumbis of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — Just before the start of the holiday weekend, the top Republican in the …

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Pa. to refund $19 million to 109,000 people it overcharged in unemployment error

By Angela Couloumbis of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — The state Department of Labor and Industry will pay out more than $19 million in refunds after it …

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The Supreme Court’s decision on a Texas abortion ban raises the stakes for the Pa. governor’s race

By Danielle Ohl of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania abortion-rights advocates and their opponents agreed Wednesday that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to let a Texas …

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Pa.’s legislative leaders wield extraordinary power, and the audit fight proves it

Angela Couloumbis of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — It’s a throwback to the hardball politics of the Capitol’s past: a powerful legislative leader stripping one of his …

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What we know about the renewed push for a ‘forensic audit’ of Pennsylvania’s 2020 election

By Danielle Ohl of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — The 2020 election continues in Pennsylvania, at least in the minds of key state Senate Republicans who late …

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How to get involved in Pa.’s pivotal redistricting process

This article is part of a yearlong reporting project focused on redistricting and gerrymandering in Pennsylvania. It is made possible by the support of Spotlight PA members and Votebeat, a project focused on election integrity and voting access. Sarah Anne Hughes of Spotlight PA It’s an event that comes just once every ten years. No, …

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The Pa. counties that lost and gained the most population in the last 10 years, ranked

Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — Data released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that Pennsylvania’s population grew by a sluggish 2.4% between 2010 and 2020. Among the …

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What renters in Pa. need to know about available relief, the new eviction ban

Charlotte Keith of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — It’s been a nerve-racking few weeks for many Pennsylvania tenants, after the expiration of a federal freeze on evictions, …

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Pa. is trying county fairs, text messages, and door-knocking to raise the vaccination rate. Success is slow coming.

By Jamie Martines of Spotlight PA Nicole Diehl attended the Wayne County Fair in northeastern Pennsylvania last weekend, not for the livestock exhibitions, carnival games, demolition derbies, or tractor pulls. Instead, the registered nurse was on hand as part of an effort to make it as easy as possible to get vaccinated — a goal …

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Theft charges brought down a state lawmaker. But Pa.’s taxpayer-funded system for perks was already ripe for abuse.

(By Angela Couloumbis of Spotlight PA and Sam Janesch, Mike Wereschagin, and Brad Bumsted of The Caucus) HARRISBURG — Theft charges against a Philadelphia-area Democrat highlight Pennsylvania’s lax rules for reimbursing lawmakers with taxpayer and donor money, two state-run systems with little transparency and even less oversight. Former State Rep. Margo Davidson was charged in …

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Nursing homes to provide more direct care for residents under proposed Pa. rule

(By Jamie Martines and Sarah Anne Hughes | Spotlight PA) HARRISBURG — The Wolf administration on Wednesday released a long-awaited update to Pennsylvania’s decades-old nursing home regulations, acknowledging it must raise low quality care requirements experts have called dangerous. The state currently requires nursing homes to provide residents with only 2.7 hours of direct care …

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Pa. requested $340 million in emergency contracts in 2020 with little oversight

(By Jamie Martines | Spotlight PA) HARRISBURG — Lawmakers this week will probe whether state agencies had too much leeway in securing emergency contracts during the pandemic, following controversy over a data breach with a vendor hired to administer Pennsylvania’s contact tracing program. Rep. Jason Ortitay (R., Allegheny) on Tuesday will lead a House hearing …

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Philadelphia and Pittsburgh move ahead with plastic bag bans as Pennsylvania’s preemption nears its end

(By Lindsay Weber | Spotlight PA) HARRISBURG — Cities and townships hoping to ban plastic bags within their borders may finally have the legal authority to do so in Pennsylvania. When the Republican-controlled legislature passed the state budget last week, it didn’t renew a statewide preemption on single-use plastics, opening the door for cities and …

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As Pa. House advances doomed election overhaul, Senate GOP charts different course to voter ID, other changes

(By Marie Albiges | Spotlight PA) HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania House passed an election overhaul bill Tuesday that creates stricter voter ID requirements and early voting in 2025, despite opposition from most Democrats and a promised veto from Gov. Tom Wolf. The state Senate is poised to take up the measure in the coming days, …

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Pa. GOP proposes major election overhaul, including stricter voter ID and in-person early voting

This article is made possible through Votebeat, a nonpartisan reporting project covering local election integrity and voting access. This article is available for reprint under the terms of Votebeat’s republishing policy. Pennsylvania Republicans proposed a sweeping overhaul of the state’s election system Thursday, with lawmakers in the state House calling for stricter voter identification requirements, …

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Wolf, Pa. Democrats again push for passage of LGBTQ discrimination protections

(Sarah Anne Hughes of Spotlight PA and Colin Deppen of Spotlight PA) HARRISBURG — As people around the country celebrate Pride month, Gov. Tom Wolf again called on the state’s Republican-led legislature to pass non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians. Joined by Democratic lawmakers on the steps of the Capitol, Wolf on Tuesday said the legislation, …

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Legislature votes to immediately end Pa.’s coronavirus disaster declaration while keeping waivers in place

By Sarah Anne Hughes of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania legislature has voted to immediately end Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus disaster declaration using a new …

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Anxiety runs high as Pa. begins massive overhaul of 60-year-old unemployment computer system

Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — “I feel like I am a sinking ship right now.” “Next month will be a year that they have been putting me through this.” …

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America’s richest school serves low-income kids. But much of its Hershey-funded fortune isn’t being spent.

This Spotlight PA article was produced in partnership with ProPublica and The Philadelphia Inquirer, which is a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network. Sign up for Spotlight PA’s free newsletters. Long ago, and to great fanfare, business tycoon Milton Hershey revealed that he had given away his world-famous chocolate company, a gift to the …

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‘Internal systemic failures’ led to Wolf administration blunder that derailed child sex abuse amendment

Angela Couloumbis of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — “Internal systemic failures” were behind the Wolf administration’s bungling of a statewide referendum that would provide legal recourse to …

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After citing privacy law, PA backtracks and discloses wasted vaccine details

Jamie Martines of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. After refusing to release details about wasted coronavirus vaccine, citing a decades-old disease prevention law, the Wolf administration has reversed course …

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Experts say Pa.’s 2021 primary was typical, but GOP lawmakers are seizing on issues

(Marie Albiges of Spotlight PA) This article is made possible through Votebeat, a nonpartisan reporting project covering local election integrity and voting access. This article is available for reprint under the terms of Votebeat’s republishing policy. HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s primary this week hardly resembled the election of six months ago, when local officials were furiously …

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A new wave of election directors step in to fill Pa.’s many vacancies — with little training and varying experience

This article is made possible through Votebeat, a nonpartisan reporting project covering local election integrity and voting access. This article is available for reprint under the terms of Votebeat’s republishing policy. HARRISBURG — Among the most stressed-out folks in local government this week will be the former manager of the USA Field Hockey team, a …

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Workers in Pa. prisons, COVID-19 hotspots, aren’t getting vaccinated. Here’s why that’s dangerous.

Joseph Darius Jaafari of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — A delayed upgrade to the state Department of Corrections’ dashboard on COVID-19 rates in prisons has revealed that …

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You’re invited! A free reader Q&A on how to fight back against misinformation in Pa.

Spotlight PA Staff Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. With the continued decline in local news across Pennsylvania, partisan groups are taking advantage by launching efforts that mimic traditional news operations but …

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Pa. Cannabis Legalization Remains Unlikely As Neighboring States Go For It

Sarah Anne Hughes of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. A version of this story originally appeared in our free weekly newsletter. New Jersey. New York. Virginia. One by one, Pennsylvania’s neighbors are moving to legalize …

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Ballot Questions Should be Clear, but Two Written by the Wolf Administration Don’t Pass the Test

Sarah Anne Hughes Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. A version of this story originally appeared in our free weekly newsletter. HARRISBURG — Amending the Pennsylvania Constitution is a lengthy process that ends at the ballot box, where …

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Partisan Pa. Websites Masquerading as Local News Threaten Trust in Journalism, News Report Finds

Colin Deppen of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — The majority of news outlets in Pennsylvania rank high on trustworthiness, but there is a growing crop of digital …

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As Pandemic Continues, GOP Lawmakers Prepare for Retreat at Pricey ‘Bachelor’ Resort

Angela Couloumbis of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. A version of this story originally appeared in our free weekly newsletter. HARRISBURG — When Republican lawmakers come together for their annual retreats this month and next …

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Vaccination Clinics for Pa. Teachers Could Open as Soon as Next Week. Here are the Details.

Colin Deppen of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — Vaccination sites for teachers and school support staff will begin operating as soon as next week, Pennsylvania officials said …

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The $1 Billion Plan to Close the Gap Between Growing and Shrinking Pa. School Districts

Cynthia Fernandez of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — When Pennsylvania passed a new formula to distribute money for public schools in 2016, it was hailed as a …

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The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Pa.’s Frustrating Vaccine Rollout

Ese Olumhense of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. Pennsylvania is in the midst of a frustrating vaccine rollout, and that might put it lightly. This has primarily been driven …

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Lack of Targeted Outreach, Translated Materials Leaves Latino Community Behind as Pa. Struggles With Vaccine Rollout

Ese Olumhense of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — In the weeks since Pennsylvania began its coronavirus vaccine rollout, the Wolf administration has stood by its localized, do-it-yourself …

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In race for COVID-19 vaccinations, older residents in rural Pa. face tough obstacles

Jamie Martines of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. SULLIVAN COUNTY — Robert Keen figured his year of dodging the coronavirus was over. At 84, the retired ambulance driver — …

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A Pa. Dept. of State Error Means Some Sex-abuse Victims Will Again Have to Wait for Justice

Angela Couloumbis of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG— Pennsylvania’s top election official will resign after her agency made a mistake that will delay a statewide vote on whether …

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Pa. could become a national outlier in how it elects appellate judges. Here’s why experts are worried.

By Marie Albiges of Spotlight PA This article is part of a yearlong reporting project focused on redistricting and gerrymandering in Pennsylvania. It’s made possible by the support of Spotlight PA members and Votebeat, a project focused on election integrity and voting access. HARRISBURG — A proposal moving through the GOP-led Pennsylvania legislature could soon …

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Top Pa. election official calls for end to ‘lies’ as GOP launches 2020 hearings

(By Marie Albiges of Spotlight PA) This article is made possible through Votebeat, a nonpartisan reporting project covering local election integrity and voting access. This article is available for reprint under the terms of Votebeat’s republishing policy. HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s top election official spent nearly three hours Thursday defending her handling of the 2020 presidential …

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Spotlight PA Template

(by Cynthia Fernandez of Spotlight PA) Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — Democrats in the Pennsylvania legislature are calling for the state Senate to investigate a Republican member who attended …

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