Angela Couloumbis of Spotlight PA

Gov. Josh Shapiro’s Office Quietly Settled Sexual Harassment Allegation Against Top Aide

Gov. Josh Shapiro’s Office Quietly Settled Sexual Harassment Allegation Against Top Aide

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Josh Shapiro’s office quietly entered into a settlement agreement to resolve allegations of sexual harassment against one of his most trusted senior aides weeks before the staffer resigned, Spotlight PA has learned.
New Pa. Budget Injects $125M into Private School Tax Credit Program That Lacks Basic Accountability

New Pa. Budget Injects $125M into Private School Tax Credit Program That Lacks Basic Accountability

HARRISBURG, Pa. – When Gov. Tom Wolf and the Republican-led legislature hammered out the $45.2 billion budget deal in early July, they delivered a historic windfall to a popular tax credit program that underwrites scholarships for Pennsylvania students to attend private schools.
Pa. Primary 2022: Candidates for Governor Raised $12.8 Million in April Alone

Pa. Primary 2022: Candidates for Governor Raised $12.8 Million in April Alone

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Hollywood personalities, sports magnates, deep-pocketed entrepreneurs, and other high-profile donors poured nearly $12.8 million just last month into propping up the crowded field of candidates vying to become Pennsylvania’s next governor, campaign finance records show.
Pa. Election Day 2022: See How Much Money Democrat Josh Shapiro Has Raised in the Race for Governor

Pa. Election Day 2022: See How Much Money Democrat Josh Shapiro Has Raised in the Race for Governor

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro has raised nearly $18 million in campaign contributions over the past 15 months  — more than all nine of his potential Republican opponents combined.
Pa. Election 2022: A Guide to the Primary Race Few Voters Are Paying Attention To

Pa. Election 2022: A Guide to the Primary Race Few Voters Are Paying Attention To

HARRISBURG, Pa. – By now, most voters have likely heard about the congested, double-digit field of contenders jockeying in this year’s primary race for the chance to snag the state’s top job of governor.
A Court Just Struck Down Pennsylvania’s Mail Voting Law. Here’s What You Need to Know.

A Court Just Struck Down Pennsylvania’s Mail Voting Law. Here’s What You Need to Know.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s mail voting law, known as Act 77, was ruled unconstitutional Friday by a state court after a challenge brought by Republicans, but it will remain in place for the time being as the Wolf administration pursues an appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Pa. GOP Strategist Running for Governor Being Investigated for Fatal Crash on Turnpike

Pa. GOP Strategist Running for Governor Being Investigated for Fatal Crash on Turnpike

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Gerow was involved in a crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Chester County this week that killed a motorcyclist and shut down the highway for nearly seven hours, according to law enforcement and other officials.
‘Human Error,’ Lack of Oversight Led To Multimillion-Dollar Unemployment Mistake, Wolf Admin Discloses

‘Human Error,’ Lack of Oversight Led To Multimillion-Dollar Unemployment Mistake, Wolf Admin Discloses

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration completed its internal investigation into a multimillion-dollar unemployment mistake in mid-2017, but failed to make the findings public until this week, according to newly released documents.
Internal PSERS Documents Show How Pa.’s Biggest Pension Fund Got Key Financial Calculation Wrong

Internal PSERS Documents Show How Pa.’s Biggest Pension Fund Got Key Financial Calculation Wrong

After Pennsylvania’s biggest pension plan botched a crucial financial calculation, the FBI launched an investigation, the fund’s board began its own probe, and 100,000 public school employees suddenly faced paying more into the retirement system.
Lawmakers Report Receiving Fewer Gifts During Pandemic as Push for Ban Continues

Lawmakers Report Receiving Fewer Gifts During Pandemic as Push for Ban Continues

Every May, state legislators and other public officials are required to file reports detailing, among other items, whether they received pricey gifts, transportation, or hospitality from lobbyists, businesses, nonprofit groups, or others with a stake in government.
Relief for Child Sex Abuse Survivors Revived in PA Senate After Wolf Administration Error

Relief for Child Sex Abuse Survivors Revived in PA Senate After Wolf Administration Error

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A key state Senate committee on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved legislation to temporarily allow survivors of decades-old child sexual abuse to sue the perpetrators, an alternative path to justice after a Wolf administration error derailed a previous effort.
Major Pennsylvania State Contractor Accused of Fleecing Employees to Pump Up Profits

Major Pennsylvania State Contractor Accused of Fleecing Employees to Pump Up Profits

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A major Pennsylvania government contractor has been accused of siphoning millions of dollars in retirement and health benefits from its employees, state authorities said Thursday.
Child Sex Abuse Survivors in Pa. Denied Legal Relief As Emergency Effort Fails

Child Sex Abuse Survivors in Pa. Denied Legal Relief As Emergency Effort Fails

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Survivors of child sexual abuse will have to wait until at least 2023 for the public to consider whether to grant them a special window to sue their perpetrators over conduct that happened many years ago and was, in many cases, systematically covered up.
Hopes Dim That PA. Lawmakers Will Push Through Emergency Relief for Clergy Abuse Victims

Hopes Dim That PA. Lawmakers Will Push Through Emergency Relief for Clergy Abuse Victims

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Prospects are dimming in the legislature to employ a rarely used, emergency tactic so voters can decide this spring whether survivors of decades-old sexual abuse should have a chance to sue the perpetrators and institutions that covered up the crimes.
During Height of Coronavirus Pandemic, Pa. Lawmakers Still Cashed in Big on Meals, Lodging

During Height of Coronavirus Pandemic, Pa. Lawmakers Still Cashed in Big on Meals, Lodging

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Within weeks of the first coronavirus cases last spring, as large swaths of Pennsylvania’s economy shut down, the state legislature followed suit, allowing most of its members to vote remotely.
As Pandemic Continues, Lawmakers Prepare for Retreat at Pricey ‘Bachelor’ Resort

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

HARRISBURG, Pa. — When Republican lawmakers come together for their annual retreats this month and next to talk politics — and maybe some policy — there will be no need to create virtual backgrounds featuring bucolic landscapes to spice up their image.
The Placeholder: Meet the Man Wolf Taps to (Temporarily) Hold Key Appointments

The Placeholder: Meet the Man Wolf Taps to (Temporarily) Hold Key Appointments

HARRISBURG, Pa. — On paper, Thomas Yablonski Jr. is a man of many talents.
Spotlight PA, Inquirer Sue to Unseal Records in Ex-Democratic State Lawmaker’s Embezzlement Case

Spotlight PA, Inquirer Sue to Unseal Records in Ex-Democratic State Lawmaker’s Embezzlement Case

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Five years after former State Rep. Leslie Acosta quietly pleaded guilty in an embezzlement scheme, much of the case against her remains under a shroud of secrecy.
Wolf Administration Refuses to Release Details After Failure Derails Pa. Clergy Sex Abuse Relief

Wolf Administration Refuses to Release Details After Failure Derails Pa. Clergy Sex Abuse Relief

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Wolf administration had no system in place to prevent an apparent administrative mistake like the one that derailed a statewide vote on legal recourse for survivors of decades-old sexual abuse, Spotlight PA has learned.
There’s Another Path for Survivors of Clergy Sex Abuse to Get Justice. It Faces an Uphill Climb in the Legislature.

There’s Another Path for Survivors of Clergy Sex Abuse to Get Justice. It Faces an Uphill Climb in the Legislature.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — When Republican state Rep. Jim Gregory learned Monday from Gov. Tom Wolf that an administrative error will delay a decision on whether survivors can sue for decades-old sexual abuse, he broke down and sobbed uncontrollably.
A Pa. Dept. of State Error Means Some Sex-Abuse Victims Will Again Have to Wait for Justice

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

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s top election official will resign after her agency made a mistake that will delay a statewide vote on whether survivors of decades-old sexual abuse should be able to sue the perpetrators and institutions that covered up the crimes.
Acting Pa. Victim Advocate Resigns After Rejection by GOP-Led Senate

Acting Pa. Victim Advocate Resigns After Rejection by GOP-Led Senate

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s chief advocate for crime victims announced Friday that she will resign her position, saying it was “untenable” to remain in the high-profile job amid a political feud with legislative Republicans.
New Pa. GOP Leader Pushes Transparency Reforms Despite Party’s Past Reluctance, Obstruction

New Pa. GOP Leader Pushes Transparency Reforms Despite Party’s Past Reluctance, Obstruction

HARRISBURG, Pa. — In his first speech as top leader of the Pennsylvania Senate last week, Republican Sen. Jake Corman positioned himself as a reformer seeking to restore faith in government by greatly increasing transparency in the legislature and by elected lawmakers.
‘Mistakes Were Made’ at Maskless Election Hearing Held by COVID-Positive Lawmaker, Pa. Senate Leader Says

‘Mistakes Were Made’ at Maskless Election Hearing Held by COVID-Positive Lawmaker, Pa. Senate Leader Says

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The top Republican in the Pennsylvania Senate acknowledged Wednesday “mistakes were made” and necessary coronavirus safety precautions were ignored during a controversial public hearing in Gettysburg last week on unsubstantiated claims of election fraud.
Pa. Victim Advocate Claims Senate Rejection Was ‘Vindictive,’ Could Remain on the Job for Weeks or Longer

Pa. Victim Advocate Claims Senate Rejection Was ‘Vindictive,’ Could Remain on the Job for Weeks or Longer

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Despite a Senate vote denying her another six years in office, Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm could remain on the job for weeks — and possibly longer.
U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Expedite Pa. Mail Ballot Case, But Could Still Intervene

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Expedite Pa. Mail Ballot Case, But Could Still Intervene

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an eleventh-hour plea by Pennsylvania Republicans to strike down a three-day extension for counties to accept mail ballots, but has left open the possibility that it will hear the case and that those votes might not ultimately be counted.
Counties Cannot Reject Mail Ballots Because of Mismatched Signatures, Pa. Supreme Court Rules

Counties Cannot Reject Mail Ballots Because of Mismatched Signatures, Pa. Supreme Court Rules

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Counties cannot reject mail-in and absentee ballots if a voter’s signature on the outer envelope does not match what’s on file, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Friday, making drawn-out challenges on Election Day less likely.
Pa. Could Become ‘Ground Zero’ for Court Battles on — and After — Election Day

Pa. Could Become ‘Ground Zero’ for Court Battles on — and After — Election Day

HARRISBURG, Pa. — In the weeks leading up to November’s historic election, there has been one constant: lawsuits and court decisions that have shaped the way Pennsylvanians can cast ballots, and how their votes will be counted.
Pa. Democratic State Senator Tests Positive for the Coronavirus

Pa. Democratic State Senator Tests Positive for the Coronavirus

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Democratic state Sen. Anthony Williams has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the second Pennsylvania legislator to contract the virus.
Prospects Dimming for Behind-the-Scenes Push to Expand Video Gaming in Pa.

Prospects Dimming for Behind-the-Scenes Push to Expand Video Gaming in Pa.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Despite intense lobbying in recent days, prospects are dimming for top Republican senators to push through a controversial proposal to vastly expand gambling in Pennsylvania before lawmakers leave the Capitol for a summer of campaigning.
Pa. House Democrats Say They Were in the Dark for a Week About Republican’s Positive Coronavirus Test

Pa. House Democrats Say They Were in the Dark for a Week About Republican’s Positive Coronavirus Test

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Republican state lawmaker from Central Pennsylvania confirmed Wednesday that he tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month, leading at least one of his House colleagues to self-quarantine.
Facing Nearly $5 Billion Shortfall, Pa. Lawmakers Plan to Pass Short-Term Budget

Facing Nearly $5 Billion Shortfall, Pa. Lawmakers Plan to Pass Short-Term Budget

HARRISBURG, Pa. — With the true financial fallout from the coronavirus still unknown, and the prospects for recovery uncertain, the Pennsylvania legislature is on track this week to approve a temporary, five-month spending plan that does not raise taxes and keeps funding level for all state departments.
Pa. Officials Revoked Business Waivers the Night before Publishing List of Recipients

Pa. Officials Revoked Business Waivers the Night before Publishing List of Recipients

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Late in the evening last Thursday, Tiffany Kuhn was at her home outside Harrisburg reading an e-book on her cell phone when a notification popped up that she had an email from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration.
Pa. Officials Revoked Business Waivers the Night before Publishing List of Recipients

Pa. Officials Revoked Business Waivers the Night before Publishing List of Recipients

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Late in the evening last Thursday, Tiffany Kuhn was at her home outside Harrisburg reading an e-book on her cell phone when a notification popped up that she had an email from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration.
Some Pa. Counties Push to Exclude Nursing Home Cases From Reopening Formula, But Experts Caution Against It

Some Pa. Counties Push to Exclude Nursing Home Cases From Reopening Formula, But Experts Caution Against It

HARRISBURG, Pa. — As the coronavirus continues to tear through Pennsylvania’s nursing and personal-care homes, pressure is mounting on the Wolf administration to exclude those cases when deciding which counties can relax restrictions so people can begin resuming some of the normal patterns of daily life.
Some Pa. Counties Push to Exclude Nursing Home Cases From Reopening Formula, But Experts Caution Against It

Some Pa. Counties Push to Exclude Nursing Home Cases From Reopening Formula, But Experts Caution Against It

HARRISBURG, Pa. — As the coronavirus continues to tear through Pennsylvania’s nursing and personal-care homes, pressure is mounting on the Wolf administration to exclude those cases when deciding which counties can relax restrictions so people can begin resuming some of the normal patterns of daily life.
Gov. Tom Wolf Rejects GOP Subpoena for Business Waiver Records, but Releases Some Information Online

Gov. Tom Wolf Rejects GOP Subpoena for Business Waiver Records, but Releases Some Information Online

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday rejected a GOP subpoena for records related to the administration’s coronavirus waiver process, potentially sparking a constitutional showdown in the courts, but did release a list of which businesses received approvals to reopen amid the shutdown.
Gov. Tom Wolf Rejects GOP Subpoena for Business Waiver Records, but Releases Some Information Online

Gov. Tom Wolf Rejects GOP Subpoena for Business Waiver Records, but Releases Some Information Online

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday rejected a GOP subpoena for records related to the administration’s coronavirus waiver process, potentially sparking a constitutional showdown in the courts, but did release a list of which businesses received approvals to reopen amid the shutdown.
Pa. to Set Coronavirus Testing, Contact Tracing Benchmarks Just Days Before Gradual Reopening Is Set to Begin

Pa. to Set Coronavirus Testing, Contact Tracing Benchmarks Just Days Before Gradual Reopening Is Set to Begin

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania officials on Friday will unveil the state’s goals for coronavirus testing and contact tracing, standards the Wolf administration has so far shied away from specifying despite insisting that a robust system is key to its plan to reopen the state.