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.

Republican lawmakers question 2020 deadline for voting machine replacements

By: - February 20, 2019

The exchange came during a budget hearing before the Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee. 

Unregulated gambling games cost Pa. Lottery $95 million in revenue, director says

By: - February 19, 2019

A new type of quick-thrill game is popping up in bars and gas stations across the state, and it’s causing big problems for the Pennsylvania Lottery. “Games of skill” — arcade-style betting games operated by private companies — have cost the state lottery an estimated $95 million in annual revenue, Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko said […]

In its quest for safer streets, Harrisburg budgets $60K for Capitol lobbying muscle

By: - February 19, 2019

An effort to reduce pedestrian fatalities in Pennsylvania’s capital city may soon have a new, high-powered ally. Harrisburg City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a 12-month, $60,000 contract with Maverick Strategies, a prominent lobbying shop and GOP campaign consultant. Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse told councilors last month that he wants Maverick to guide […]

What’s stopping municipal gun control laws across Pennsylvania? Costly lawsuits, for starters

By: and - February 17, 2019

As the state Legislature stalls on gun control, there seems to be no shortage of local officials who want to pass gun control laws at the municipal level.

Harrisburg Police herald recovery of more than 600 illegal firearms.

By: - February 15, 2019

Police in Pennsylvania’s capital city say that aggressive seizure of illegal firearms has contributed to a decrease in violent crime rates over the last three years. The Harrisburg Police Bureau took almost 200 illegally possessed guns off the streets in 2018 alone, chief information officer Gabriel Olivera said Friday. In all, officers have removed more […]

State lawmakers introduce ‘red flag’ gun bills on anniversary of Parkland shooting

By: - February 14, 2019

On the one-year anniversary of a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Pennsylvania lawmakers and activists renewed calls for a “red flag” law that would limit firearm access for troubled individuals. Two state senators introduced bills to create an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law, which would allow a judge to temporarily restrict a person’s […]

Schuylkill County teachers will continue legal fight against arming school staff

By: - February 14, 2019

A Schuylkill County judge says she needs more information from a local teachers union before ruling on a policy that would allow employees to carry firearms in schools. The Tamaqua Education Association said Thursday it will file an amended complaint in the coming days against the Tamaqua School District, which adopted a policy last year permitting some […]

Should lawmakers prop up Pennsylvania’s struggling nuclear industry? The debate, explained

By: - February 14, 2019

When you turned on the lights in your house this morning, there’s a good chance the electricity came from a nuclear power plant. Nuclear energy has been Pennsylvania’s largest energy source for decades. But the industry says it’s struggling to maintain its foothold as energy demand flatlines and natural gas prices plummet. The issue Two […]

Wolf panned Corbett’s education policies, but inherited his charter review board without complaint: report

By: - February 13, 2019

Gov. Tom Wolf ran for the state’s top spot in 2014 promising to improve education across the Commonwealth, but he’s had a light touch on charter school regulation during his first term in office. Wolf hasn’t made a single appointment to the state’s Charter Schools Appeal Board, according to a report in The Notebook, a […]

Pennsylvania congressman warns of ‘radical’ and ‘socialist’ infiltration in fundraising pitch

By: - February 12, 2019

Fresh off a successful re-election bid, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-11th District, is making a play for voters’ wallets by asking them to help him fight socialism. “We have self proclaimed Socialists serving in the Pennsylvania State House and in Congress,” Smucker wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday. “Socialist ideas are no longer just in […]

On the agenda for Pennsylvania’s DSA-backed freshmen: small steps toward a larger progressive vision

By: - February 12, 2019

Elizabeth Fiedler may be new to Harrisburg, but she’s well aware of the math equation that powers Pennsylvania’s capital. In the 253-member General Assembly, Republicans outnumber Democrats 110-91 in the House and 26-21 in the Senate. That fact makes it hard for any Democrat to get a bill passed without wide bipartisan support — let […]

Higher teacher salaries sound appealing, but can districts afford them long term?

By: and - February 8, 2019

Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal contains a provision that’s hard to argue with, at least on the surface: higher salaries for teachers. In his 2019-20 budget, Wolf provides nearly $14 million to bump up salaries in districts where teachers make less than $45,000 per year to start. According to state Department of Education records, 178 […]