Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, April 24, 2023

April 24, 2023


State-Related Universities Navigate Affordability During Budget Process

In his proposed FY24 budget, Governor Josh Shapiro requested a 7.1% budget increase for each of Pennsylvania’s four state-related universities — Lincoln University, Penn State University, Temple University, and the University of Pittsburgh. But it is unclear whether, if the legislature grants this increase, it would mitigate the higher education institutions’ need to raise tuition. SpotlightPA has more.

Pennsylvania Human Services Department Seeks Assistance From Attorney General in Recouping Federal COVID-19 Aid

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is asking that the Office of the Attorney General demand back the $7.3 million in federal COVID-19 aid awarded to 189 home-health and other long-term care companies throughout the state that failed to report on how they spent the funding as required. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Where Do Marijuana Legalization Efforts Stand in Pennsylvania?

Despite recent developments such as the recent flipping of the State House to Democratic control, a budget proposal from Governor Shapiro that indicated openness to legalization in the future, and successful efforts in neighboring states, legalized recreational marijuana is no closer to becoming reality in Pennsylvania, according to reporting by City & State Pennsylvania.

Maryland Reaches Settlement With EPA Over Lack of Enforcement of Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Plan in Pennsylvania

Last week, Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown announced a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the agency’s alleged failure to enforce the Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan in Pennsylvania. The Baltimore Sun has more.

Lower Merion Township Board Passes Gun Sale Restriction Ordinance

The Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners passed a zoning ordinance last week that places limitations on where guns can be sold within the township in an attempt to regulate gun sales despite Pennsylvania’s preemption statute. WHYY has more.



Philadelphia Mayoral Candidates Spell Out Potential Solutions for Opioids in Kensington, Police Disability Benefits Abuse 

With only weeks left until the May 16 mayoral primary, candidates are continuing to outline potential solutions to some of the city’s most crucial challenges, such as the notorious open-air drug market in Kensington and rampant abuse of Pennsylvania’s Heart and Lung benefits by police officers.

How New City Council Members May Influence Philadelphia’s Business Tax Rates

With so many candidates vying for only seven at-large City Council seats, opinions on how to proceed with the City’s business taxes, which are among the highest in the nation, vary widely. While many candidates are in favor of lowering the tax, others believe there may be better alternatives to making Philadelphia more business-friendly. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

First Independent Opinion Poll Comes Relatively Late in Mayoral Campaign Cycle

Last week, the Committee of Seventy announced that it would be partnering with the Urban Affairs Coalition, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, FairVote, and the Philadelphia Citizen to conduct a mayoral poll — the first such poll during this cycle. The results are set to be published this Friday, and while some voters have been itching for an accurate accounting of their fellow Philadelphians’ political opinions, others have expressed concern that this is too soon before the primary to be useful. Billy Penn has more.

Temple Faculty Union Votes “No Confidence” in Board Chair, Provost

Earlier today, the Temple Association of University Professionals announced that its members had voted “no confidence” in Board of Trustees Chair Mitchell Morgan and Provost Gregory Mandel. The vote comes weeks after the resignation of former President Jason Wingard, who also would have been subject to the no-confidence vote. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.



Which Candidate Is Allegheny County Executive Fitzgerald’s Preferred Successor?

Term-limited Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s endorsement of Joanna Doven for County Council last week highlighted the fact that he hasn’t yet endorsed a candidate in the race to be his successor. With less than a month remaining until the election, he is expected to make his endorsement soon, likely of Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb. WESA has more.



State Representative Kenyatta, State HR Commission Executive Director Lassiter Named to Presidential Commission

President Joe Biden has named Philadelphia State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Chad Dion Lassiter to his Presidential Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity. City & State Pennsylvania has more.

U.S. Representative Shuster Passes Away at 91

Former Republican U.S. Representative Bud Shuster passed away last week on his farm in Everett at 91 years old. He is best remembered for his deft use of earmark spending and advocacy of national transportation projects such as I-99. The Altoona Mirror has more.

Beltway Briefing: DeSantis v. Trump

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Rodney Davis, Towner French, and Kaitlyn Martin ponder if this week’s announcements underscore Trump’s enduring strength among Republicans and discuss President Biden’s likely announcement of his 2024 re-election bid next week and the possibility of a Trump-Biden rematch in 2024. And, as the federal government is expected to run out of cash as early as June, they also revisit the status of debt-ceiling negotiations. Listen to the latest episode here.


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