Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, August 14, 2023

August 14, 2023


Federal, State Officials Announce $33.8 Million in EV Funding Projects

On Monday, federal and state officials announced 54 projects in 35 Pennsylvania counties that have been selected to receive a collective $33.8 million in National Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Formula Program funds. The funding is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

PDBA Approves Plan to Distribute $1.16 Billion in Federal Broadband Funds

Last week, the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) unanimously approved a five-year action plan to deploy $1.16 billion in federal funding to expand broadband access to nearly 300,000 unserved and underserved areas of the commonwealth. The plan must receive federal approval for it to be implemented. City & State Pennsylvania has more.

Level-Up Funding Held Up Despite Signing of FY24 State Budget

Level-Up, a $100 million program aimed at providing supplemental funding for the commonwealth’s poorest schools, has not yet received its annual backing, the latest casualty of this year’s budget negotiations. While the FY24 budget was signed by Governor Josh Shapiro earlier this month, approximately $1.1 billion was held back and will require additional legislation in order to be deployed. WITF has more.

Commonwealth Court Ruling on PUC Acquisition Approval May Impact Future Privatization Efforts

A July ruling by a Commonwealth Court panel — which found the Public Utility Commission (PUC) should not have allowed Aqua Pennsylvania to buy a municipal sewer system because it failed to prove how the acquisition would benefit the public — may have raised the bar for such privatization efforts for the foreseeable future. Spotlight PA has more.

The Cost of Holding up Pennsylvania’s RGGI Participation

Pennsylvania’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a key policy effort by former Governor Tom Wolf’s administration, has been held up by the courts for more than a year, costing the commonwealth $1 billion by some estimates. WESA has more.

State Department of Aging Seeks Public Input on Strategic Plan

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging is seeking input — through online and in-person public listening sessions — on its recently unveiled strategic plan aimed at improving the lives of older Pennsylvanians. WESA has more.

Former Pennsylvania First Lady Passes Away

Ellen Casey, First Lady of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1995 and mother of U.S. Senator Bob Casey, passed away Friday morning at 91 years old. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.



WFP Candidate Off Ballot for City Commissioner

Jarrett Smith, former labor lobbyist and Working Families Party (WFP) candidate for City Commissioner, was removed from the ballot Friday after a legal challenge due to his failure to properly file his financial disclosure paperwork with the Philadelphia Department of Records. WFP candidates for City Council survived legal challenges to their own candidacies. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

State Senator Street Wants to Address Crime, Violence Through Revival of Operation Safe Streets

State Senator Sharif Street is calling on fellow Philadelphia officials to revive Operation Safe Streets, a public safety initiative created by his father, then-Mayor John Street. WHYY has more.

City’s Investment in Cell, Gene Therapy Workforce Development Benefits Local Companies

As Philadelphia looks to build upon its reputation as a growing hub for cell and gene therapy research, local employers are benefitting from the city’s investment in workforce development, including a unique certificate program offered by the Community College of Philadelphia to train aseptic technicians and manufacturing associates. WHYY has more.

SEPTA, Amtrak to Connect Local, Regional Rail Stations at 30th Street

SEPTA and Amtrak have announced plans to reconnect the passage between the Market-Frankford Line and trolleys to Amtrak and SEPTA regional rail trains. Currently access is only available at the street level and wayfinding signage is minimal. Billy Penn has more.



Pittsburgh Convenes Roundtable Discussion Regarding City’s Efforts to Become National Workforce Hub

In its most recent efforts to be designated one of five national Workforce Hubs by the Biden Administration, officials from the City of Pittsburgh have convened a roundtable discussion with representatives from the White House on how to further this goal. Pittsburgh Business Times has more.

URA Aims to Attract Developers to Downtown Pittsburgh

On Thursday, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) approved several tax-funded housing development initiatives throughout the city, with a special focus on the downtown area. The URA aims to bring developers downtown by offering tax breaks for development projects to convert office space into apartments. PublicSource has more.



Anticipating McCormick Senate Run, Politicos Speculate About Viability of Potential Campaign

David McCormick has yet to announce his widely anticipated candidacy for U.S. Senate. However, this hasn’t stopped speculation about how the amount of time he spends in Connecticut or his choice to share a stage with a Republican operative tied to former President Donald Trump’s fake elector scheme may impact a potential campaign.


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