In case you missed it: This week’s best reads from Pennsylvania cities

    Faculty members Juliet Wunsch

    Faculty members Juliet Wunsch

     Legislation, elections and strikers striking back. 

    Updated Friday at 4:45 p.m.

    Fast and furious: Pennsylvania legislators

    In a series of short sessions before the election, the Pennsylvania legislature has been cranking through some tough and contentious bills. 

    Two bills are advancing that would allow municipalities to be sued, one for restrictive gun laws and the other for protecting immigrants here illegally. 

    On the issue of body cameras for police officers, the senate passed a bill that would allow police departments to hold onto footage that is more than two weeks old or is being used for investigative purposes. Critics say this interferes with transparency, the ultimate goal of these cameras. 

    The senate may also consider a bill that would allow police officers to use radar to catch speeding drivers. Similar legislation has been considered every year since 1985, and Pennsylvania is the only state that doesn’t use radar. 

    Lawmakers are divided on the issue of gambling revenues, and running out of time. The state supreme court ruled that the state has to charge less in fees to smaller casinos. Now some see this is a chance to get revenue dollars into their district.

    The University Strikes Back

    Professors at Pennsylvania’s 14 state universities went on strike on Wednesday after nearly four months without a contract. As of Friday at 4:45 p.m., the state system and its largest union said they reached a tentative agreement.

    What happened to those students when professors were on the picket line? They were told to show up for class on Wednesday to see if their professors were participating or not, but after that, the schools had to find alternate teachers or cancel classes. The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education will decide how to handle the missed days of class. 

    While some schools are debating contracts, others are helping students get out from under them. One private college in Northeastern Pennsylvania is the first in the state to offer loan repayment for students earning less than $40,000 a year. It’s part of the Loan Repayment Assistance Program, which helps students build good credit while also reimbursing their loan payments. 

    To vote or not to vote, that is the question

    We chug ever closer to election day here in the great U.S. of A. 

    There’s the presidential election, with its concerns about poll-watchers and vote rigging.

    There’s the Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race — the most expensive U.S. Senate race ever. Incumbent Republican Senator Pat Toomey debated democratic challenger Katie McGinty for the first time this week. 

    Then there are, you know, the voters. WHYY has been checking in with families facing poverty across the Philadelphia region for a series on the working poor

    Make sure you know who you’re voting for on Tues., Nov. 8.  Turns out Pennsylvania has some of the toughest recall election laws in the country. We mapped it out so you can see how we stack up compared to other states.

    West York found out about these recall laws the hard way after some racist Facebook posts from the mayor. He has since stepped down.

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