Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, April 10, 2023

April 10, 2023

Pennsylvania

Luzerne County’s In-Person Voters to Use Hand-Marked Ballots During Upcoming Primary

Come the March 16 primary, Luzerne County voters will be hand-marking their ballots instead of utilizing electronic ballot-marking machines as they have during previous elections. The Sunday Dispatch has documented the logistics that have gone into preparations for the switchover.

$200 Million in Federal Dollars to Be Invested in State Broadband Infrastructure

Republican Representative Carl Walker Metzgar announced on behalf of the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority last week that $200 million in federal funding from the Pennsylvania Broadband Infrastructure Program would be invested in bolstering Pennsylvania’s broadband infrastructure. WTAJ has more.

38 Elementary Schools in North-Central Pennsylvania Have Closed Over the Past Decade

Over the past decade, nearly 40 elementary schools in north-central Pennsylvania have been forced to close due to budget shortfalls and shrinking student populations, causing longer commutes and larger class sizes in the schools that remain. SpotlightPA has more.

Pennsylvania Lawmakers to Consider Incentivizing Participation in Four-Day Work Week Pilot Program

Last week, three Democratic representatives circulated a co-sponsorship memo detailing a piece of legislation they intend to introduce that would offer a tax credit to businesses who participate in a Department of Industry & Labor four-day work week pilot program. ABC27 has more.

Pennsylvania Legislature Has History of Politically Motivated Expulsions

Tennessee House Republicans’ largely politically motivated expulsion of three of their Democratic colleagues last week begs the question: Could this happen in Pennsylvania? As it turns out, it already has. PennLive has more.

 

Philadelphia

Quiñones Sánchez Drops Out of Mayoral Race, Citing “Obnoxious” Amount of Money

Former District 7 Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez announced over the weekend that she was suspending her mayoral campaign, citing an “obnoxious” amount of money in the race with which her campaign was not able to keep pace. Her withdrawal coincides with a larger citywide conversation about campaign fundraising and financing, with local publications like the Philadelphia Inquirer keeping tabs on where certain monies have been coming from — both in terms of types of funding as well as how much has been funneled in from outside of the city.

Two More Philadelphia Schools Shut Down Due to Asbestos

Last week, two more Philadelphia School District schools — Frankford High School and Mitchell Elementary — were shut down due to the discovery of damaged asbestos. The latter will likely be closed for the remainder of the academic year. ABC6 has more.

Some Philadelphia Landlords Oppose Proposed State Legislation Banning Private Firms From Enforcing Evictions

The recent shooting of a tenant facing eviction by a deputy landlord-tenant officer, whose services are paid for by a for-profit law firm, prompted Philadelphia-area state legislators to introduce a bill to ban this practice last week. However, many Philadelphia landlords are speaking out against the proposed legislation, claiming it would burden them with untenable costs and unnecessary barriers to rightful enforcement of evictions. WHYY has more.

 

Pittsburgh

Polling Data Shows Relatively Tight Allegheny County Executive Race

Polling data collected from a survey conducted by Pittsburgh Works Together, a consortium of local businesses and labor organizations, suggest that the race for Allegheny County executive is still fairly wide open, with County Treasurer John Weinstein and City Controller Michael Lamb vying for first and second and Representative Sara Innamorato in a close third. WESA has more.

PCRG Analysis Shows Racial Disparities in Pittsburgh-Area Mortgage Lending

A recent analysis by the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG) shows that racial disparities in mortgage lending still persist, despite the upward trend in the number of home loans given to Allegheny County borrowers between 2018 and 2021. WESA has more.

 

Federal

Senator Casey Announces Run for Fourth Congressional Term

U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania Bob Casey announced this morning that he would be seeking a fourth term in office. The announcement comes in the wake of his diagnosis with and subsequent surgery for prostate cancer, which his office has stated will not require further treatment at this time. The Washington Post has more.

Ehasz to Run Against U.S. Representative Fitzpatrick for Second Time

Democrat Ashley Ehasz, who unsuccessfully faced off against U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick during the 2022 midterm elections, has formally announced that she is mounting a second campaign. This time around, her election efforts may be further boosted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s prioritization of Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District in Bucks County as one of 31 identified seats across the nation that they intend to flip. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Beltway Briefing: From a New York Courtroom to the Taiwan Strait

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Rodney Davis, and Patrick Martin ponder the legal and political implications of the former President’s arraignment. And, as tensions mount between Washington and Beijing, they also discuss the ramifications of the meeting in California on Wednesday between House Speaker McCarthy and Taiwanese President Tsai. Listen to the latest episode here.

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