Thursday, March 23, 2023


A proposed flavored tobacco ban is back on the table in Minnesota, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must testify in the documents probe, and a "clean slate" bill in Missouri would make "expungement" automatic.


The Fed raises interest rates and reassures the banking system is sound, Norfolk Southern reaffirms a commitment to the people of East Palestine, and TikTok creators gather at the Capitol to support free expression.


Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Public Hearing Set to Allow Independents to Vote in PA Primaries


Monday, August 15, 2022   

Opening up Pennsylvania's primary elections to voters who aren't registered either as Democrats or Republicans is the topic of a State House of Representatives hearing tomorrow.

The House State Government Committee convenes Tuesday to hear testimony on House Bill 1369. Sponsored by state Rep. Chris Quinn - R-Middletown Township - it would allow the almost 1.3 million Pennsylvanians not affiliated with the major political parties to vote in the primaries.

David Thornburgh, chair of Ballot PA - a project of the Committee of Seventy - said it's a historic occasion that a bill to end "closed" primaries is even getting a hearing in the House.

"This is a chance for advocates - like myself - of the idea," said Thornburgh, "to share our thoughts and our research and our polling and what we've learned about this issue with members of the House State Government Committee."

More than 8.7 million Pennsylvanians are registered to vote.

Backers of keeping primaries closed say the political parties have the right to allow only their members to participate. But opponents say they produce candidates that are more loyal to their parties than their constituents.

Thornburgh pointed out that Pennsylvania is one of only nine states that excludes independent voters from primary elections. He said most recently, Maine and Colorado adopted these changes to open their primaries.

He added that if HB 1369 passes, it would make way for unaffiliated and independent voters by next year's elections.

"Our hope is that we could get this bill passed this fall, by the end of November," said Thornburgh, "that it would be implemented in the primaries of 2023 - so, next spring's primaries - in which case this would affect the 2024 presidential election."

As it stands now, independent voters in Pennsylvania can only cast primary ballots for state constitutional amendments, local initiatives, or referendums. HB 1369 has cosponsors from both major parties, but still faces votes in both chambers of the General Assembly.

get more stories like this via email
In 2020, 35% of Idaho mothers had Medicaid at the time of their child's birth. (WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

With concerning trends emerging for pregnant and postpartum women, frustration is growing that Idaho lawmakers could end the session without …

Health and Wellness

Health advocates are promoting a package of bills this legislative session to make health care easier to get - and more affordable. The Care 4 All …

Social Issues

A new study from the University of New Hampshire found New England's LGBTQ+ residents experience higher rates of food insufficiency, the measure of …

According to the Center for American Progress, nearly nine in 10 employers, four in five landlords, and three in five colleges use background checks to screen for applicants' criminal records. (Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A large percentage of Missourians who could to have their criminal records "expunged" have not done so, despite the effects expungement -- referred …

Social Issues

A person's work personnel file can be important to review, but some Washingtonians are finding them hard to obtain. A bill in Olympia would ensure …

The most recent Farm Bill covered areas such as agricultural conservation, trade and foreign food assistance, farm credit and research. (Adobe Stock)


The U.S. Farm Bill is up for reauthorization, and Congress faces calls to avoid any delays so certain programs can keep helping farmers and consumers …

Social Issues

Youth advocates continue to sound the alarm over the impact flavored tobacco products have on teenagers, and hope Minnesota lawmakers take another …


As wildfire seasons in Colorado and across the American West become longer, less predictable and increasingly destructive, a new report aims to …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021