Gov. Tom Wolf is extending last call for bars and restaurants beginning Monday, when those establishments can move to 50-percent capacity. Beginning Monday, alcoholic beverages can be sold up to 11pm, rather than the 10pm cutoff initially ordered by the governor. Customers won't be able to be served after 11pm, but will be given until midnight to finish drinking their last beverage. The governor says he made the change after getting feedback from the hospitality industry and to align with other states' policies.
In a 5-2 decision, Pennsylvania's Supreme Court has allowed a Democrat Party request to allow three more days to receive and count mail-in ballots. Gov. Tom Wolf is pleased. "I think it really makes the access to voting better and so I welcome the decision," the governor says. The mail-in ballots must be postmarked by 8 pm on Election Day, November 3. They’ll be counted as long as they arrive by November 6. The Court also authorized the use of satellite election offices and drop-off boxes. Republican leaders say the ruling “jeopardizes election security and timely results.”
The Green Party will not have a candidate for President on the General Election ballot in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins didn't strictly follow the required procedures to appear on the ballot. In 2016, Donald Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton by about 44,000 votes, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein picked up nearly 50,000 votes. All five Democrats on the Court ruled against Hawkins appearing on the ballot. Both Republican justices ruled for it.
Joe Biden discussed mandatory mask rules at a CNN town hall event in Moosic Thursday night. "I would like to see the governors enforce mask wearing. Period. I can do that on federal property. I can do that and as president I will do that," Biden said. A day earlier, Biden said his legal team believed he would have the authority as president to issue an executive order imposing a nationwide mask mandate. While Biden was in northeast Pennsylvania, his running mate, Kamala Harris campaigned in Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania Department of Health officials are adding 933 new COVID-19 cases to the state's total, which is now at 147,923. Another ten deaths attributed to coronavirus complications were added Thursday. That overall number is now at 7913.
The Committee to Protect Medicare is blaming Pennsylvania Republicans for backing the lawsuit which led to a federal judge's ruling that Gov. Tom Wolf's COVID-19 restrictions are unconstitutional. The group says as physicians, they're concerned that blind, unquestioning loyalty to President Trump by elected officials in Harrisburg is getting in the way of good health policies and endangering people's lives. The committee says it's their job as physicians to speak out when they see harm being done and they say it's being done right now to the people of Pennsylvania.
Gov. Tom Wolf is calling for additional hazard pay for essential workers amid the pandemic. Wolf is asking the state legislature to use an additional $225 millino from CARES Act funds to fund the hazard pay program. He says it would cover a $3-an-hour increase in pay for more than 200,000 essential workers in Pennsylvania and compensate them for the additional risks they take working amid the pandemic.
A new art gallery space is open in downtown Allentown. It's at the Art-Haus Gallery at 645 West Hamilton Street. The first exhibition being featured in the new space is a collection of works from local artists and collectors called "Transformation Decoded: Unimagined Possibilities."
Bail is modified for nine of the 13 people charged following protests in Lancaster this week. Judge Bruce Roth initially set bail at $1 million, saying Lancaster police requested high bail. Several organizations along with Lt. Gov. John Fetterman called those bail amounts unconstitutional, leading Roth to decrease bail on some of those charged to between $50,000 and $100,000.
President Trump is expected to make another campaign stop near Pittsburgh next week. The President will stump at Pittsburgh International Airport Tuesday. The event is ticketed with people able to register online for two per mobile number.
New Jersey lawmakers have reached a deal to reinstate the so-called "millionaire's tax," while some other families are in line for a tax rebate. Gov. Phil Murphy says the funds raised will go towards schools, communities and property tax relief. "In this unprecedented time when so many middle-class families and others have sacrificed so much, now is the time to ensure the wealthiest among us are also called to sacrifice," Murphy says. Part of the deal provides a $500 tax rebate for families with at least one child, earning below $150,000, or less than $75,000 for single parents.
New Jersey residents aren't the only ones annoyed with the long lines outside Motor Vehicle centers. Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick is criticizing Gov. Phil Murphy for the delays, telling him the long lines are no way to treat New Jerseyans. This comes about a week after the governor signed legislation in hopes of relieving wait times outside the MVC, but no luck. Motor Vehicles is asking people to check available online services to see if they can avoid a trip to centers.
"I'm thankful and appreciative that we have this opportunity," says Penn State football coach James Franklin, who says he needs to avoid trying to make this year like any other year he's experienced, because it isn't and when he tries to pretend that it is, frustration sets in. Penn State and the rest of the Big Ten football teams begin play five weeks from now.