Elizabeth Hardison

Elizabeth Hardison

Elizabeth Hardison covered education policy, election administration, criminal justice and legislative news for the Capital-Star from Jan. 2019-April 2021. You can find her on Twitter @ElizHardison.

Senators Camera Bartolotta, R-Washington, and Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia, announce their probation and parole reform bill in the Capitol rotunda on Jan. 28.

This is every way the state Senate plans to reform criminal justice this session

By: - March 16, 2019

Over the last decade, lawmakers from both political parties have worked to overhaul punitive criminal justice practices.

Senate says defamation lawsuit against Leach accuser will not affect investigation

By: - March 15, 2019

As a state senator’s defamation lawsuit against a woman accusing him of sexual assault advances through court, Democratic Senate leaders in Harrisburg insisted this week it won’t affect their independent investigation of the accuser’s claims. Cara Taylor, 44, sparked an investigation by Senate Democrats earlier this year when she said that state Sen. Daylin Leach, […]

‘Bad public policy and an unfair burden:’ Electric utility PPL warns that nuke bailout will cost customers $130M a year

By: - March 14, 2019

*This story was updated on Thursday afternoon with new comments from a PPL spokesman. The nuclear industry bill introduced in the Republican-controlled state House this week can count one more member on its long list of critics: Central Pennsylvania’s main power supplier. Pennsylvania Power and Light (PPL), a utility company headquartered in Allentown, told customers […]

Senate security employee escorted out of Capitol as harassment suit works through court: report

By: - March 14, 2019

*This story was updated on Wednesday afternoon to include comments from senate secretary Megan Martin. More than a year after she accused her then-supervisor for sexual harassment, a top official with the state Senate security force isn’t sure if she still has her job or not, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday. Two sources told the […]

Local officials would be able to ban guns on public grounds under state Senate proposal

By: - March 14, 2019

Guns may be banned in Pennsylvania’s courthouses and the Capitol, but they’re fair game in municipal buildings, parks, and playgrounds across the state. A state senator from the Philadelphia suburbs wants to change that. Sen. Maria Collett, D-Bucks, plans to introduce a bill that would let municipalities outlaw guns on public property — something that […]

Rep. Thomas Mehaffie unveils his proposal for Pennsylvania's nuclear industry at an ironworkers' union hall in Harrisburg.

Consumers would foot the bill to prop up Pa.’s ailing nuke plants under state House proposal

By: - March 11, 2019

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP — Capping years of effort and millions of dollars in lobbying by the energy industry, a Pennsylvania lawmaker on Monday rolled out his plan to keep the state’s nuclear power plants open. Speaking from a union hall in suburban Harrisburg, Rep. Tom Mehaffie, R-Derry, unveiled House Bill 11, which would effectively require […]

Erie County senator seeks support for e-scooter bill

By: - March 8, 2019

After gaining some momentum in the House, a movement to legalize e-scooters in Pennsylvania has spread to the state Senate. Sen. Daniel Laughlin, R-Erie, plans to introduce legislation that would classify electronic scooters as bicycles under the state’s vehicle code, he announced in a memo Thursday. A companion bill was introduced in the House last […]

Former senators Don White (L) and Richard Alloway (R)

Special elections for Senate seats slated for May 21

By: - March 8, 2019

Special elections for two state Senate seats will be held on Pennsylvania’s primary day on May 21, the lieutenant governor announced Friday. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman signed the Writ of Election for Senate Districts 41 and 33 on Thursday, officially kicking off races for seats formerly held by Sens. Don White, of Indiana County, and […]

Most of Pa.’s sick and elderly inmates die in prison. Medical parole could change that

By: - March 8, 2019

Pennsylvania’s prison population grows older by the day, but only a handful of people are released from state corrections facilities each year due to failing health. That’s according to state Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, who told senators last week that Pennsylvania’s program to release elderly inmates from prison is underused and ineffective. Now, state lawmakers […]

Mental health services decline in schools as police presence grows: report

By: - March 7, 2019

Students in 2019 are more stressed and anxious than ever before, but new research suggests they're not getting the mental health services they need in school.

Education group wants Wolf to prevent Corbett-appointed charter school board from making rulings

By: - March 4, 2019

A leading education organization is calling on Gov. Tom Wolf to prevent a state board from ruling on charter school appeals until he works with the state Senate to fill its six seats. According to Wolf’s office, the governor is not empowered to place a moratorium on the board’s actions. Public Citizens For Children and […]

Opioid use is ‘waning’ in Pa. hotspots as other drugs rise in popularity, Drug and Alcohol secretary says

By: - March 4, 2019

One of Pennsylvania’s top drug watchdogs said Monday opioid use is showing signs of decline as other drugs appear more popular in hotspots across the state. “The notion of the opioid crisis is starting to wane,” Jennifer Smith, secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, told the Senate Appropriations Committee. “We have seen an uptick […]