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.

Wolf nominates Veronica Degraffenreid as Secretary of State

By: - March 26, 2021

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday that he would nominate veteran election administrator Veronica Degraffenreid to serve as Pennsylvania’s next Secretary of State, making her the official head of the agency that she’s been leading on an interim basis since February.  Degraffenreid joined the Department of State last year as a senior advisor on elections, according […]

Burnt out and beleaguered, county elections officials ask lawmakers for help ahead of this year’s election season

By: - March 23, 2021

Local officials said they felt defeated by vagaries and tight deadlines in the law the General Assembly passed in 2019, which they spent much of the last year asking lawmakers to amend. 

Abuse survivors dealt another setback, as GOP Senate says it won’t take up emergency reform

By: - March 22, 2021

The decision means that victims must wait at least two more years to bring abusers and institutions to court. 

Pa. Sen. Mike Regan hospitalized after motorcycle accident

By: - March 22, 2021

Regan, R-York, was recovering at Milton S. Hershey Hospital as of Monday morning, his chief of staff, Bruce McLanahan, told PennLive.

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‘We’ll be there, masks and all’: Closed out of the Capitol for months, sex abuse survivors reluctantly return to push for emergency reform

By: - March 21, 2021

With the Capitol set to reopen Monday, activists say they'll be there as lawmakers work to provide justice to the survivors of childhood sexual assault.

Faced with limited Republican backing, statute of limitations reform on thin ice in House

By: and - March 18, 2021

The Republican division could sink the emergency amendment, which requires a two-thirds majority, or 136 votes in the House and 34 in the Senate, to pass.

Will public institutions be held liable for decades-old abuse claims? Pa. Senate bill wants to make sure they can

By: - March 17, 2021

An amendment that a key state Senate committee approved Tuesday seeks to put to rest a separate debate: whether public institutions, such as local government and schools, can be held liable for abuse that took place decades ago. 

Wolf nominates veteran attorney Suzanne Estrella to run Office of Victim Advocate

By: - March 16, 2021

If she wins two-thirds confirmation by the state Senate, Estrella would be the first Black woman to lead the Office of the Victim Advocate.

Lawmakers want to use emergency powers to pass sexual abuse reform. Can they find the votes to pull it off?

By: and - March 15, 2021

The margin for error is slim. To invoke the emergency powers, the House and Senate will need two-thirds agreement on a measure that has eluded action for years. 

Monthly checks to flow to Pa. children, families under tax credit tweak in new federal stimulus

By: - March 14, 2021

The sweeping legislation includes billions of dollars to support child care facilities, expand food assistance benefits, and send cash straight to families' bank accounts.

State on track to vaccinate school employees by end of March, officials say

By: - March 12, 2021

Pennsylvania’s plan to vaccinate up to 200,000 school employees is on track to wrap up by the end of the month, as long as the state receives its anticipated allocations of Johnson & Johnson vaccines from the federal government, state officials said Friday.  The announcement from Acting Education Secretary Noe Ortega came one year after […]

The debate over tolling Pennsylvania bridges, explained 

By: - March 12, 2021

Pennsylvania’s infrastructure is in trouble.  Lackluster tax collections during the COVID-19 pandemic nearly put a halt last year to hundreds of road projects across the commonwealth, which were kept alive only after the state floated short-term debt to pay contractors and suppliers. Now, lawmakers are trying to prevent a plan by the Department of Transportation […]