Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, August 21, 2023

August 21, 2023


Wawas, Other Pennsylvania Businesses to Receive Federal Funding for EV Charging Infrastructure

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recently announced that businesses — including a number of Wawas — in 35 counties across the commonwealth will be awarded a collective $34 million to install new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The funding comes from the 2021 bipartisan federal Infrastructure Law. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Pennsylvania Department of State to Require Counties to Publicly Track Voting Machine Malfunctions

Beginning this November, the Pennsylvania Department of State will require counties to publicly report voting machine malfunctions. The new policy — the first of its kind, according to some election experts — is the result of a settlement between the commonwealth and a coalition of election security groups who allege that the new voting machines adopted in some counties were flawed. Votebeat Pennsylvania has more.

Making the Case for the Importance of Pennsylvania’s Judicial Elections to Voters

Voter turnout for Pennsylvania’s judicial elections tends to be lower than during midterm, presidential, and other statewide elections. However, the outcomes of these judicial elections are increasingly impacting the daily lives of Pennsylvanians. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

Bipartisan Effort to Reschedule 2024 Presidential Primary Underway

Republicans and Democrats in Harrisburg are considering moving the 2024 primary election up to April 2 from April 23 as currently scheduled, which falls on Passover and may interfere with Jewish Pennsylvanians’ ability to exercise their right to vote. There is currently legislation in both chambers of the General Assembly to address the issue. WESA has more.

Bills In Legislature May Soon Allow Local Governments Hire Firms as Managers

Three sets of bills may soon amend the governing laws for Pennsylvania boroughs, second class townships, and third class cities to allow local governments to hire professional firms — rather than individuals — to serve as municipal managers, which proponents argue could save taxpayer dollars while improving services. First class townships have had this option since 2020. Spotlight PA has more.

State House to Consider Regulating Child Influencers, Celebrities on Video-Sharing, Social Media Sites

State Representative Torren Ecker (R – Adams/Cumberland) has circulated a co-sponsorship memo for legislation that would impose regulations on child influencers and celebrities on social media. has more.

Unemployment in Pennsylvania Fell to New Record Low in July

According to the July jobs report released Friday, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate fell to a new record low and is now consistent with the national rate. Payrolls also hit a new record high, while the overall labor force shrank. The Associated Press has more.



Democratic City Committee Chair Brady Hosts Annual “Brady Bash” in Wildwood

This weekend, longtime Democratic City Committee Chair Bob Brady hosted his annual “Brady Bash” at the Jersey Shore, with hundreds of Philadelphia elected officials, Democratic ward leaders, and other politicos in attendance. This year’s event is seen as a celebration of the recent success of Philadelphia’s Democratic establishment in the face of a growing national progressive movement. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

SEPTA Piloting Contactless Payments Program

SEPTA has launched a pilot for a program that will allow direct contactless payments to be used to pay fare on buses, trolleys, and subways. While the timeline for an official rollout is unclear, SEPTA riders can apply to participate in the pilot program. Billy Penn has more.

Greater Philadelphia Biotechnology, Precision Medicine Groups Compete for Federal Regional Tech Hub Designation

Two biotechnology and precision medicine groups in the Philadelphia area are competing for designation by — and funding from — the U.S. Commerce Department that will be awarded to at least 20 regions under the CHIPS and Science Act. The goal is to create globally competitive industry clusters. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.



Several Key Labor Organizations Back Innamorato in Allegheny County Executive Race

Former State Representative Sara Innamorato, the Democratic candidate favored to win the Allegheny County Executive race in November, was recently endorsed by several key local labor organizations, including the Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council, the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Operating Engineers Local 66. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

Pittsburgh LGBTQIA+ Commission Still Struggling to Get Off the Ground

Three years after its inception, the Pittsburgh LGBTQIA+ Commission is reportedly struggling to develop its infrastructure and communicate with the mayor’s office, leading to stagnation and limited public displays of action. PublicSource has more.



Senators Casey, Fetterman Urge Norfolk Southern to Join C3RS

U.S. Senators Bob Casey and John Fetterman penned a letter to the CEO of Norfolk Southern Friday encouraging participation in the Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS), an anonymous system that would allow rail employees to report near-misses or close calls on railroads. The company committed to joining in March shortly after a high-profile train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, but has yet to follow through. City & State Pennsylvania has more.

Justice Department Seeks 30-Year Federal Prison Sentence for Philadelphia Proud Boys President

Federal prosecutors are seeking three decades in federal prison for Zachary Rehl, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Proud Boys — a punishment they argue is commensurate with the severity of his actions on and leading up to the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. The sentence would be one of the longest given to any participant in the insurrection so far. The sentencing hearing will take place later this month. The Associated Press has more.

Bucks County Commissioner Race Could Serve as Predictor for 2024 Suburban Politics

While Democrats and Republicans in Bucks County are focused on winning the upcoming board of commissioners election in November, political observers across Pennsylvania and beyond are looking to the local election as a bellwether for suburban voting habits heading into the 2024 presidential race — which could very well be a determining factor. Politico has more.

Republican Candidate for U.S. House Scrubs Anti-Abortion Stance From Campaign Website

A journalist from the Keystone recently verified — through use of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine — that current state Representative Rob Mercuri (R-Allegheny), who recently announced his candidacy for Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District, has allegedly scrubbed any mention of his anti-abortion stance from his campaign website. PoliticsPA has more.


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