Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, October 3, 2022

October 3, 2022


Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Baer Dies at 74 Years Old; Nominating Successor May Pose Political Challenge

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Max Baer died unexpectedly near his home in Pittsburgh last week, only a few months shy of the mandatory retirement age of 75. With the state’s gubernatorial election only a month away, it is unlikely that the position will be filled before the next Governor assumes office in January. PennLive has more.

State Legislators Working on New Prior Authorization, Step Therapy Bill

With the final days of the legislative session looming, lawmakers are hustling to pass a bill that would address problems with prior authorizations and step therapy in the state’s health care system. The bill could be hugely beneficial to patients with chronic illnesses, as it would remove the requirement for prior authorization for emergency care, standardize insurance approval timelines for treatment, and allow doctors to request that insurers cover medications without having to try the cheaper option first. SpotlightPA has more.

Pennsylvania’s Gubernatorial Race Drew in More Than $28 Million Over Recent Months

The Pennsylvania gubernatorial race has been the subject of much national attention — and national dollars. In the past few months alone, more than $28 million was donated to the campaigns of Attorney General Josh Shapiro and State Senator Doug Mastriano, the Democratic and Republican candidates, respectively. City & State Pennsylvania explains where many of these donations came from here.

State Senate Judiciary Committee Votes to Advance Public Defender Standardization Measure

The right to legal counsel is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. But in Pennsylvania — the only state that does not directly fund its public defenders — actually funding said legal counsel for those who cannot afford it is another story entirely. Bill 1317, which was approved by the state Senate Judiciary Committee last Tuesday, is the state’s first step toward implementing standards for Pennsylvania’s public defenders, including addressing the current funding disparity. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

IFO Releases September Update of Revenue Projections for FY 2022-23

The Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) has released its September revenue projections for fiscal year 2022-23. Actual revenue collections were $422.2 million higher than originally projected, and General Fund revenues show a 5.4% increase compared to September 2021. The update can be viewed here.

Governor Wolf Vetoes “Markie’s Law”

Last Friday, Governor Tom Wolf vetoed a bill that would have postponed consideration of a violent inmate’s parole for each additional conviction the inmate received while incarcerated, calling the bill “misguided.” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.



Republican Gubernatorial Hopeful Mastriano Hosts Campaign Stop in Philadelphia

Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano visited Philadelphia over the weekend for what he called Philadelphia’s 1st Hispanic Town Hall, which focused primarily on the city’s crime rates and local economy. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Dr. Oz Hosts Discussion on Gun Violence With Philadelphia’s Black Clergy Members

U.S. Senate hopeful Dr. Mehmet Oz visited Philadelphia’s Black clergy members on Sunday to discuss the city’s epidemic of gun violence. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Could 2023 Be the Year Philadelphia Elects Its First Openly LGBTQ Councilmember?

Philadelphia is used to being a city of firsts, but is the last remaining large city in the country to elect an openly LGBTQ person to its City Council. Many Philadelphia Democrats are hoping that changes with the next City Council elections in 2023, and several openly LGBTQ candidates may have a shot. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

PoliticsPA Hones in on Philadelphia’s Northern Suburbs in House Preview Series

PoliticsPA has updated its series profiling Pennsylvania State House candidates, with the most recent installment focusing on races in Philadelphia’s northern suburbs. Read more about the races to watch here.



Pittsburgh City Council May Allow for Councilmanic Discretion Over Small Grants

Pittsburgh City Council is considering a measure that would allow individual councilmembers the discretion to provide small grants to community and sport groups within their districts. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.

Wilkinsburg Annexation Process Kick-Started Once Again

Last Thursday, a petition was filed in the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court to restart Pittsburgh’s annexation of neighboring Wilkinsburg. The petition has signatures from more than 1,200 of Wilkinsburg’s registered voters who wish to be given a choice for annexation. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

U.S. Senate Candidate Fetterman Hosts Rally in Pittsburgh

Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and his supporters braved the rain over the weekend during a campaign stop in Pittsburgh. The race between the Democratic candidate and his Republican opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz has continued to tighten over recent weeks. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.

How Are Pittsburgh’s Restaurants Dealing With Labor in the Pandemic Age?

Dining and hospitality establishments across the county have been coming to terms with the new realities of engaging with labor regulations and workers in the waning days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more on how Pittsburgh’s restaurants are dealing with recent changes.



Beltway Briefing: How Should the Government Respond to Hurricane Ian?

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Towner French, Kaitlyn Martin and Joe Hill discuss how President Biden and Governor DeSantis are managing the Hurricane Ian crisis on the federal and state levels. They also breakdown the high-profile, high-stakes races in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and extrapolate the trends that could have nationwide implications and affect the country’s political makeup in November.

Dr. Oz Tries to Combat “Out-of-Touch” Narrative in Personal Appeal to Voters

Accusations of Dr. Oz’s alleged “out-of-touch” nature have been prevalent throughout the race for U.S. Senate. Now, the Republican candidate is trying to appeal to voters by sharing his personal story. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Pennsylvania Electoral Map

Today, The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of Pennsylvania’s Congressional Electoral Map. Reuters has more.


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