Rank #1: Episode 2: Prisons, drugs and inmates’ rights
Sep 27 2018
Rank #2: Episode 47: Abuse in the church, and other stories
In recent weeks, there’s been a lot of talk in Harrisburg about what the legislature might do to reform statute of limitations laws. It’s a discussion that’s been especially active in the last year, in the wake of a massive report on abuse and cover-ups in the commonwealth’s Roman Catholic dioceses.
We bring you two angles on that this week: a look at some of the people who have used church-provided compensation funds, from WHYY’s Laura Benshoff, and a story explaining why some abuse survivors can’t do that, from WITF’s Brett Sholtis.
We’ll also bring you stories about redistricting, the impact climate change might have on Pennsylvania’s birds, and a new development that affects a contentious proposed constitutional amendment.
Oct 11 2019
Rank #3: Episode 48: More on Marsy’s Law
This week we’re focusing on a topic that has come up a lot lately, and with good reason: Marsy’s Law. If you’re not familiar, Marsy’s law is a proposed amendment to Pennsylvania’s constitution that will be on the ballot for a statewide referendum on November 5th.
Versions of the proposed law have been adopted in a bunch of states. In Pennsylvania’s case, it would basically insert an existing bill of rights for crime victims into the state constitution.
As it stands, that bill of rights already does a lot for victims. It gives them the ability to make impact statements, to almost always be present at trial, and to be notified if a perpetrator gets out of prison. Putting those rights in the constitution is designed to give a victim more recourse if they feel they’ve been mistreated. They would be able to motion a court for a new or extended trial if, say, they weren’t given time to make an impact statement.
But the American Civil Liberties Union is adamantly opposed to Marsy’s Law—saying it’s too broad, too vague, and could set up conflicting rights between victims and the accused. The state chapter of the ACLU is also bringing a lawsuit, arguing Marsy’s should be multiple amendments, and is unconstitutional in its current form.
WITF’s morning show Smart Talk, hosted by Scott Lamar, recently had on several of the people who have been most vocal on Marsy’s. So in the interest of spreading the word on this potential amendment as much as possible, we’re re-broadcasting a particularly informative part of that episode.
Oct 22 2019
Rank #4: Episode 38: What a state-run insurance marketplace means for you
Jul 08 2019
Rank #5: Episode 35: Staying mum on the minimum wage
Jun 14 2019
Rank #6: Episode 32: Rachel Carson and the fall and rise of the peregrine falcon
May 24 2019
Rank #7: Episode 46: Air quality, child abuse, and the Sacklers’ Pa. resort
We take a look at some of our most important stories of the last week.
This week, for your convenience, we have a roundup of the top stories we’ve been following lately.
First, we hear from PA Post reporter Ed Mahon, who traveled to Erie last month to talk to the people who live there about a plant that turns coal into a crucial ingredient for steel manufacturing. It creates a lot of jobs for the area, but also has a long history of air quality violations.
We also looked into an unusual situation that has unfolded in York County, at Roundtop ski mountain. It’s not a big mountain, and it’s known mostly to people in the area. But it’s wrapped in a much bigger story about opioid addiction and some of the people who have profited off it. Brett Sholtis, with WITF’s Transforming Health project, had that story.
Finally, we have a story from Capitol reporter Katie Meyer (the host of this fine podcast) who looked into renewed debate over changing statute of limitations laws to let victims of child sexual abuse sue more easily. The proposed overhaul has a lot of support, but it has always gotten held up in the state Senate—and it’s unclear if that will change.
Oct 08 2019
Rank #8: Episode 41: Pennsylvania’s big gun debate
Aug 12 2019
Rank #9: Episode 8: The election is over; what lies ahead for Pennsylvania?
Nov 09 2018
Rank #10: Episode 7: Pittsburgh
Nov 02 2018
Rank #11: Episode 6: Countdown to the midterms
Oct 26 2018
Rank #12: Episode 5: Legislative session ends, election run-up (and polling) intensifies
Oct 19 2018
Rank #13: Episode 4: Congressional races that should be on your radar
Oct 12 2018
Rank #14: Episode 3: Does PA owe the poor better criminal defense? An investigation.
Oct 04 2018
Rank #15: Episode 39: There’s a reason PA’s congressional maps are weird
Jul 16 2019
Rank #16: Episode 33: State forest drilling and the gas cash impasse
Jun 03 2019
Rank #17: Episode 37: The (sometimes tumultuous) path to passing PA’s budget
Jul 01 2019
Rank #18: Episode 34: Telling the story of a Pennsylvania soldier rescued on D-Day +1
Jun 06 2019
Rank #19: Episode 44: The senator has resigned
Former state senator Mike Folmer vacated his seat last week after an arrest for alleged child pornography possession. We discuss what happens now.
Late last Tuesday, the state attorney general released a statement saying the office had arrested state Senator Mike Folmer and charged him with possession of child pornography. By the next afternoon, the Republican had left office.
The episode shook the Capitol. It also left a hole in one of the Senate’s highest-profile committees. As head of the Senate State Government Committee, Folmer had been intricately involved in negotiations on a major push to overhaul redistricting, and had been helping piece together a package of significant changes to state election law.
This week, PA Post reporters Ed Mahon and Emily Previti join us to explain how Folmer’s abrupt resignation affects those initiatives.
Sep 24 2019
Rank #20: Episode 40: Congressional cash
Aug 05 2019