Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, April 17, 2023

April 17, 2023


Governor Shapiro’s Climate Change Working Group Meets for First Time

Last Tuesday, a working group assembled by Governor Josh Shapiro met for the first time — behind closed doors, drawing criticism from some — to devise a statewide plan to combat climate change. The administration’s primary challenge is to balance sustainable statewide initiatives without alienating or antagonizing businesses or workers. The Associated Press has more.

House Democrats Propose Solar for Schools Grant Program

House Democrats have introduced legislation that would establish a state Solar for Schools Grant Program, which aims to simultaneously take on the issues of energy costs for K-12 districts and colleges while making more sustainable investments. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

Unlike Other Departments, Pennsylvania Courts Will Not Take Questions From State Lawmakers for Fourth Consecutive Year

Hearings on Governor Josh Shapiro’s proposed $44.4 billion budget are ongoing in the General Assembly, meaning officials from various departments within the Commonwealth are tasked with defending their budget requests to state legislators. However, despite their requested 12% budget increase over last year, the Pennsylvania courts will not be making an appearance for the fourth year in a row. SpotlightPA has more.

Republican Legislators Speak Out About Shapiro Administration’s Abortion Access Website

The “legality and appropriateness” of a website launched by the Shapiro Administration to help Pennsylvanians access abortion-related services is being questioned by some Republican lawmakers in the General Assembly. PennLive has more.

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus To Tackle Discrimination, Protect Same-Sex Marriage at State Level

Members of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus have introduced a bill to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and circulated a co-sponsorship memo announcing their intent to introduce legislation enshrining the right to same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania law. City & State Pennsylvania has more.



Fashion District Age Restrictions Go Into Effect

Following the large, rowdy gathering of teenagers that disrupted an otherwise normal Wednesday evening a few weeks ago, the Fashion District — a Center City shopping center which was the starting point of the commotion — has instituted a curfew for minors, who must be accompanied by a guardian after 2 p.m. starting today. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

With Three Asbestos-Related School Building Closures This Year, District Must Prepare for the Possibility of More

After the closure of two more Philadelphia schools due to the discovery of damaged asbestos, officials have announced that both will remain closed for the rest of the school year. While local and state lawmakers are working to formulate a response, some fear that more building shutdowns potentially lie ahead. Chalkbeat Philadelphia has more.



County Controller Publishes Report Following Audit of Pittsburgh Tourism Agency

A report published last Thursday by the Allegheny County Controller calls for Visit Pittsburgh, the city’s tourism promotion agency, to commit to transparency and improve its financial management practices. WESA has more.

Urban Redevelopment Authority Authorizes Property Sale for New Commercial Space

Last Thursday, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh board voted unanimously to approve the sale of an Uptown site to be developed into a commercial and outdoor community space, which will also feature space for food trucks. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

Jury Selection for 2018 Synagogue Shooter’s Trial to Begin Next Week

Jury selection for the high-profile trial of the Tree of Life synagogue shooter is set to begin next week. The shooting, which killed 11 in October 2018, is believed to have been the deadliest attack against Jewish people on U.S. soil. WESA has more.



Senator Fetterman Returns to Congress

This week marks the return of U.S. Senator John Fetterman to Capitol Hill after several weeks of receiving inpatient treatment for severe depression at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The Senator has not voted in the chamber since February 15. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Beltway Briefing: Battles In and For the Senate

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, and Kaitlyn Martin ponder whether Dave McCormick may be the GOP’s ticket to a 2024 win in Pennsylvania and discuss how Senator Dianne Feinstein’s temporary replacement or permanent resignation could impact the Senate Democrats. Listen to the latest episode here.


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