Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, August 7, 2023

August 7, 2023


Governor Shapiro Signs New Rent, Property Tax Rebate Program Into Law

On Friday, Governor Josh Shapiro signed a major expansion of Pennsylvania’s existing state property tax rebate program, which provides residents a partial refund on rent or property taxes paid the previous year. Thousands more older and disabled Pennsylvanians will now qualify for assistance from the program. Spotlight PA has more.

Governor Shapiro Terminates State Contract With Real Alternatives

The Shapiro administration has announced the termination of the state’s contract with Real Alternatives — a Pennsylvania-based, anti-abortion organization that partners with so-called crisis pregnancy centers. The commonwealth has provided funding to the organization for the past 30 years. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

General Assembly Misses Deadline to Add Proposed Constitutional Amendment to November Ballot

The deadline for the General Assembly to add a proposed constitutional amendment — which would provide survivors of childhood sexual abuse a two-year window to seek monetary damages against their abusers — to this November’s ballot. Spotlight PA has more.

Commonwealth Court Reverses PUC Decision on Aqua Acquisition of East Whiteland Sewer System

Late last week, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court reversed an earlier approval by the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for Aqua Pennsylvania’s acquisition of East Whiteland Township’s sewer system, as PUC failed to clearly articulate the public benefit of the acquisition. WHYY has more.

Healthy Soil May Be Key to Mitigating Impacts of Climate Change for Pennsylvania Farmers

About 200 “citizen scientist” farmers are participating in a Soil Health Benchmark study, conducted by Harrisburg-based Pasa Sustainable Agriculture, to help potentially mitigate the impacts of climate change through sustainable agricultural practices. WESA has more.

Penn State Study Suggests Outreach Based on Gender, Race May Help Curb Opioid-Related Deaths

A study conducted by researchers at Penn State University has found that minority communities are disproportionately impacted by drug overdose deaths due to contamination from synthetic opioids like fentanyl, suggesting that direct outreach to these populations may be crucial to saving lives. WESA has more.



Kensington Business Owners Encounter Challenges Unique to the Neighborhood

Business owners who have long been trying to help improve Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood through their local presence have encountered myriad challenges that increase the cost of doing business in the area. Colloquially known as the “Kensington tax,” these challenges include encampments, trash collection service interruptions, and insurance coverage denials. Billy Penn has more.

OACCE Asks Public to Vote for New Harriet Tubman Statue Design

The Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE) recently unveiled five designs for a new Harriet Tubman statue, and is asking for public input as to which design should be officially commissioned. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.



Allegheny County Councilmember Hallam Sues Fellow Members of Jail Oversight Board

Allegheny County Councilmember Bethany Hallam has filed a lawsuit against her colleagues on the Allegheny County Jail Oversight Board, due to what she claims are their inappropriate use of designees and surrogates at Board meetings. City & State Pennsylvania has more.



Republican Mark Houck Enters U.S. House Race

This week, Republican pro-life activist Mark Houck announced his candidacy for Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District. The seat is currently held by Republican U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick. PoliticsPA has more.


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