HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On This Week in Pennsylvania with Dennis Owens:
- Students across the state are struggling amidst the pandemic. In many instances, they’ve fallen behind and summer school is a very real possibility to catch them up.
- Pennsylvania schools have the flexibility to postpone standardized tests until the fall and also allow them to be taken online.
- A senator is co-sponsoring a bill requiring the state to establish a statewide vaccine registry that will link participants with providers in a one-stop-shop.
- Pennsylvania’s former Health Secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, had a confirmation hearing on Thursday before the U.S. Senate. President Biden nominated Levine to become Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services. As Pennsylvania’s Health Secretary, Levine was both applauded and criticized for her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. When asked Thursday, she defended her tenure.
- During the Appropriations Committee as Allison Beam tried to defend the struggles with the vaccine rollout. Complaints about choosing to expand the number of people in 1A knowing there wasn’t enough vaccine. And she was blasted for a March 18 order requiring nursing homes in the state to accept and keep COVID positive patients, an order that likely pushed up the death toll.
- Budget hearings continued in the State House and so did the heated exchanges. Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin had a few pointed questions about the business shutdowns early on in the pandemic, and his department’s granting of waivers to some and not others. Cumberland County State Rep Greg Rothman, a business owner himself, took exception to the entire concept.
- The Governor and Lt. Gov. has been pushing for legalizing recreational marijuana for months. But this week got unexpected support from a Republican who’s now high on the idea. But not everyone is.