Toomey Visits Pennsylvania Factory To Tout GOP Tax Overhaul

Feb 21, 2018
Laura Benshoff / WHYY

New Hudson Facades in Linwood, Pennsylvania, makes the glass and aluminum skins that cover skyscrapers. On Tuesday, it was also the most recent stop in a string of appearances by Republicans to highlight the GOP-championed tax law, which passed in December.

The events are part victory lap — and part pep rally — and they coincide with rising approval ratings for the law.

After a tour of New Hudson Facades’ high-tech manufacturing facility, Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey credited the tax bill, which he helped author, with strengthening the company.


After hearing oral arguments Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is expected to rule quickly on a lawsuit challenging the state’s congressional district boundaries.

Measures Of Gerrymandering — Real Or Bogus?

Dec 29, 2017
screengrab via youtube

As courts in Pennsylvania and around the country consider cases charging partisan political gerrymandering, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia recently assembled prominent experts and participants in the battles to talk about the political and constitutional issues.

Courts have long acknowledged gerrymandering exists, but they have lacked a reliable standard for measuring just how much of a political edge a particular legislative map gives to one party.


After a coal-fired power plant in Pennsylvania closed, early-life health outcomes improved for babies across the border, in New Jersey.

The Portland Generating Station sits on the Delaware River, about two hours north of Philadelphia and right across the border from New Jersey. While in operation, it was one of the most prodigious emitters of sulfur dioxide in the nation, primarily affecting Jersey’s Warren, Sussex, Morris, and Hunterdon Counties. It stopped burning coal in 2014, after the Environmental Protection Agency demanded it reduce its pollution levels.

Emma Lee / WHYY

After abandoning plans to end the tax deduction for student loans, Republicans in the U.S. House are moving forward with a highly partisan proposal that would revamp the federal government’s student loan programs.

Dubbed the PROSPER Act, it’s intended to simplify the student loan process by consolidating some confusing government loan programs while also removing some regulations. The bill also calls for doing away with the decade-old Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that wipes out college debt for public servants after they put in 10 years on the job.

Emma Lee / WHYY

About 4,000 DACA recipients who tried to renew their participation in the program before October 5, 2017 missed that deadline.

Some of those applications — no joke — got lost in the mail.

Twenty-six-year-old Osman Enriquez, a stone mason and construction worker in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is one of them. Last week, that postal carrier snafu landed him in immigration detention.

PA Sets New Guidelines In Prescribing Opioids To Kids

Dec 4, 2017
Emma Lee/WHYY

Pennsylvania’s top health official visited the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Friday to introduce new guidelines for prescribing painkillers to kids. It’s one of the state’s most recent efforts to address the growing opioid epidemic.

Susan Walsh / AP

Democrats and some Republicans from the Philadelphia region are worried that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is trying to gut his agency from within.

The EPA has worked overtime to undo many Obama-era environmental regulations, while also scrubbing its website of any mention of “climate change.”

That’s triggered several red flags for U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, who said he and other Democrats warned the GOP not to tap Pruitt to lead the agency.

Kris Hart

If there's a checklist for starting a political campaign, one item would have to be, "Am I qualified to run?"

Businessman Kris Hart planned to announce his candidacy for governor of Pennsylvania in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, Thursday, but quickly changed his plans after he learned — from me, I'm afraid — that he didn't meet the state residency requirement to serve as governor.

Dake Kang / AP

City leaders say they want to streamline tax abatement programs for developers willing to take risks in historically underserved neighborhoods.

Pamela Au / Bigstock, via WHYY


Birth certificates, U.S. passports, Social Security cards — these are just some of the official documents on which a trans person's gender or legal name might not match their identity.

Shawn DeVault of Easton, Pennsylvania, who uses the pronoun "they," said the election pushed them to finally change their legal name.

Patrick Semansky / AP Images

Reports have surfaced saying that radio transmissions distracted the engineer at the helm of a train that ran off the tracks last year in Philadelphia.

The train was moving at more than twice the recommended speed of 50 mph when entering a curve, leading to a derailment that resulted in the deaths of eight people and injured more than 200.

U.S. Department of Education / flickr

A current funding lawsuit alleges that Pennsylvania has broken its constitutional obligation to provide a "thorough and efficient" education. We'll talk with Cheryl Kleiman, Staff Attorney for the Education Law Center, one of the attorneys in the case. And Kevin McCorry WHYY Senior Education Writer who is contributing to the NPR reporting project "School Money" exploring how states pay for their public schools and why many are failing to meet the needs of their most vulnerable students.          

Ashley Hahn / PlanPhilly

How will climate change affect the Delaware watershed and the region's water supply? That's the "elephant in the atmosphere," as the Academy of Natural Sciences' Roland Wall put it, and part of the focus of a multimillion-dollar research initiative launching this week.

Researchers know that changes in temperature and precipitation will impact the Delaware River and the areas that surround it, but Wall, director of the academy's environmental initiatives, said much less is known about the best approaches to prepare for this and protect the water supply in general.

Five public media stations spanning Pennsylvania have joined forces to form a collaborative reporting center called Keystone Crossroads.

Keystone Crossroads will explore urban decline and solutions in Pennsylvania and examine topics such as aging infrastructure, immigration, local government, neighborhood life, poverty and tax policy. The initiative aims to offer connected, statewide reporting on urban challenges in the Keystone State.