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.

Doug Mastriano and Joe Pittman.

Representing a majority, elected by a minority: Low voter turnout persists in special state Senate elections

By: - May 24, 2019

Paltry voter turnout Tuesday in a pair of special elections for the Pennsylvania state Senate means the Republican-controlled chamber will gain two new members who were voted into office by a sliver of their constituents. Only a quarter of registered voters in the Indiana County-based 41st District, and a scant 17 percent of voters in […]

Sen. John DiSanto announces a licensing reform bill on Wednesday, May 22.

Ex-offenders in Pa. can be denied professional licenses because of old convictions. Bipartisan lawmakers want to change that

By: - May 23, 2019

One year after Pennsylvania passed its landmark Clean Slate Law, which shields certain criminal records from the view of employers, lawmakers hope to eliminate yet another barrier to employment for ex-offenders.

Doug Mastriano and Joe Pittman.

Republicans cruise to victory in two state Senate special elections

By: - May 21, 2019

Republicans held on to two state Senate seats in central and western Pennsylvania on Tuesday, as GOP candidates in the 33rd and 41st districts cruised to easy victory. 

Pa. state senator introduces another bill to ban abortion based on Down syndrome diagnosis

By: - May 21, 2019

A Republican state senator from Lancaster County has introduced legislation that would prohibit abortion based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome, just one week after a similar measure passed through the state House. A bill from state Sen. Scott Martin, R-Lancaster, would amend Pennsylvania’s criminal statute to prohibit doctors from performing abortions “sought solely” because […]

Acting Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar speaks at the PEMA headquarters on May 21.

‘These are key elections’: State officials pledge safe and secure voting on Pennsylvania primary day

By: - May 21, 2019

Polling places across Pennsylvania saw modest voter turnout but no major issues in the early hours of the May 21 primary, the state’s top election official said Tuesday.

With budget season in full swing: Five things to know about the state of Pa.’s finances

By: - May 21, 2019

Five takeaways from Pennsylvania’s newest revenue report

‘Well intentioned but impossible:’ Why critics say Marsy’s Law will undermine the rights of the accused

By: - May 13, 2019

The constitutional amendment pins crime victims rights against the rights of the accused.

‘We can’t ask any questions:’ Environmental official gets OK from Senate committee over pipeline objections

By: - May 8, 2019

A committee advanced Secretary Patrick McDonnell’s nomination to the full Senate, over the objections of Sens. Andrew Dinniman, D-Chester, and Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery.

Bipartisan senators want a ‘lead free environment’ for Pa.’s children

By: - May 7, 2019

Almost every child in Pennsylvania could potentially encounter toxic lead in their homes, day cares, schools, or public water supplies, a report commissioned by the Joint State Government Commission found. That’s why a group of bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday announced a package of bills designed to increase public awareness of lead contamination and […]

Daryl Metcalfe wants to impeach Pittsburgh’s mayor over guns. House leadership isn’t interested

By: - May 7, 2019

State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe said Mayor Bill Peduto “brazenly” violated the state Constitution when he signed gun control bills.

A meme shared to Doug Mastriano's campaign Facebook page. The image was among those that emerged after the Notre Dame fire in Paris to suggest it was an act of terrorism.

Conspiratorial, anti-Muslim memes populated Facebook page of state Senate candidate

By: - May 6, 2019

Ed Note: This story was updated on May 6 with new information about Mastriano’s personal Facebook page. A previous version of this article also misspelled the name of Sarah Hammond, Mastriano’s Democratic challenger in the 33rd district race. A decorated military veteran who’s running to represent parts of south-central Pennsylvania in the state Senate has […]

Pa. U.S. Reps. Boyle, Fitzpatrick want to force federal action on PFAS

By: - May 3, 2019

Two Pennsylvania congressmen joined forces this week with a colleague from Michigan to try to compel federal action on PFAS, an industrial chemical compound that’s contaminated drinking water across the state and nation. A bill introduced by U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-1st District, and Brendan Boyle, D-2nd District, along with U.S. Rep.  Dan Kildee, D-Mich., […]