Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, August 15, 2022

August 15, 2022


Resolution to Repeal No-Excuse Mail-In Ballot Law Defeated

Last week during an annual meeting in Lancaster, members of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania voted against making the repeal of the state’s current no-excuse mail-in ballot law a legislative priority. The resolution, which was proposed by Lancaster County Commissioners Ray D’Agostino and Josh Parsons, was soundly defeated by a margin of 112-68. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Considering Change to Liquor Lottery Policy for Board Members, Employees

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is reportedly considering banning its employees from participating in lotteries for limited-release, highly sought-after bottles of liquor. The intended goal is to restore the public’s confidence in the legitimacy of such lotteries. PennLive has more.

U.S. Army Reaches Out to Mastriano Campaign Regarding Potential Violation of “Imagery” Policy

The U.S. Army allegedly reached out to Republican gubernatorial hopeful Doug Mastriano in regards to photos that appeared on his campaign website featuring the candidate in camouflage and formal uniform. While Senator Mastriano is a retired Army colonel according to his campaign website, the Army has strict rules governing how titles and imagery may be utilized by armed forces members in political campaigns. NBC 10 has more.

Recreational Marijuana Legalization in Pennsylvania Could Face Federal Roadblocks

The legalization of recreational marijuana has been the topic of much debate among Pennsylvania General Assembly members in recent years, including not only whether but also how to do so. However, the federal hurdles that lawmakers could potentially encounter — such as conflicts with the Second Amendment, banking and insurance issues, and driver and workplace safety considerations — could complicate legalization at the state level. The Center Square Pennsylvania has more.


At-Large Council Member Domb Resigns Ahead of Expected Mayoral Run

Two-term City Council Member Allan Domb resigned today signaling his possible intent to run for mayor in 2023. The Councilmember is the first of potentially many city elected officials to step down due to the resign-to-run rule in Philadelphia’s city charter. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

African American Museum in Philadelphia to Relocate to Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Last week, officials announced that the African American Museum in Philadelphia will move to the long-vacant former Family Court Building at 1801 Vine Street. The move closer to Philadelphia’s “Museum Mile” is expected to increase visitorship, as well as secure the museum’s rightful place among the city’s most venerable cultural institutions. WHYY has more.

Orientation Begins for 700 New Philadelphia Teachers

New-hire orientation began on Monday for more than 700 new Philadelphia School District educators, a sight for sore eyes in a city that has been feeling the effects of a national teacher shortage exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Superintendent Tony B Watlington Sr. — himself a new hire who began his tenure in June following the departure of William R. Hite Jr. — underscored the district’s commitment to supporting its employees. The district still has approximately 3% unfilled teaching jobs. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

SEPTA Adding Service in Attempt to Boost Ridership

SEPTA has announced that it will be increasing its regional rail service frequency beginning August 21. While ridership has been gradually increasing since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, SEPTA hopes that adding additional service will bring even more riders back. SEPTA has recently made several other rider-focused improvements to its system, including upgrades to security and the extension of service to the recently announced new Wawa Station on the current Media line. WHYY has more.


GlobalPittsburgh Executive Director Gail Shrott to Retire

Gail Shrott, the Executive Director of GlobalPittsburgh, a nonprofit devoted to connecting Pittsburgh to the world through citizen diplomacy, has announced her retirement after more than 30 years of service to the organization. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.

Proposed Changes to Ordinance May More Strictly Regulate Latrobe’s Vacant, Rental Properties

The Latrobe Planning Commission has recommended expanding upon an ordinance intended to address blight by enacting stricter rules regarding vacant and rental properties. The changes — which would allow the code enforcement officer more leeway in ordering the demolition of hazardous vacant buildings, as well as impose minimum safety inspection requirements for rental properties — would need to be approved by Latrobe City Council. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

Armstrong County Purchases Old Railroad Bridge for $3.5 Million for Trail Expansion

Armstrong County has purchased a $3.5 million railroad bridge that crosses the Kiski River, allowing for the expansion of Armstrong Trails. The trail will be developed over the next two years and will serve as a connecting point of over 100 miles of continuous, off-road, ADA-compliant trails. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

Allegheny County Jail Inmate Death Marks Fifth This Year for Facility

An Allegheny County Jail inmate was pronounced dead after being found unresponsive in his cell on Sunday afternoon. Ronald James Andrus, who had been recently released from a 10-day hospital stay, is the fifth inmate to have died in the facility this year. The most recent inmate death occurred only one month ago. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.

Pittsburgh Nonprofit Founder Injured During Salman Rushdie Attack

Author Salman Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and abdomen at what was to be a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York over the weekend. The event moderator, Henry Reese — founder of Pittsburgh’s City of Asylum, a nonprofit that offers residencies to authors facing persecution — was also attacked, suffering a facial injury. The Associated Press has more.


New Federal Farm Bill Could Have Far-Reaching Impacts 

The impacts of the 90-year-old Farm Bill extend well beyond agriculture itself into multiple policy realms, from wildlife conservation and climate change to nutrition and food and fuel costs. If Republicans regain control of the House during the upcoming midterm elections, U.S. Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania would assume leadership of its Agriculture Committee, giving him tremendous influence over what has morphed into a hugely important “political football” as Congress embarks on the process of drafting a new federal farm bill. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

Dr. Oz to Appear in at Least Five Scheduled Debates Leading up to Midterms

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Dr. Mehmet Oz announced Friday his intent to participate in no fewer than five debates across Pennsylvania leading up to election day in November. His Democratic opponent, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, has reportedly received invitations to all five debates, but has not yet agreed to take part in any of them. City & State Pennsylvania has more.


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