Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, December 11, 2023

December 11, 2023

Pennsylvania

Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies’ Beth Brennan Named One of City & State’s Most Influential Pennsylvanians

Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies Principal Beth Brennan has been named one of City & State Pennsylvania’s 2023 Impact 75, a list of some of the commonwealth’s most influential difference-makers.

State Legislators Return to Harrisburg to Finalize FY23 Budget Code Bills

This week, state lawmakers return to Harrisburg with the goal of passing several code bills that will hopefully end several months of partisan disagreement — which has held up funding for state programs like the in-demand Whole-Home Repairs Program — and finalize Pennsylvania’s $45.4 billion FY23 budget once and for all. The year-end deadline is made more real by impending roof repairs that will close the state House for an estimated 12 weeks. Spotlight PA has more.

State Senator DiSanto Will Not Run for Re-Election

State Senator John DiSanto (R-Dauphin), who represents the newly redrawn 15th District, has announced that he will not be seeking re-election in 2024. Democrats will likely be heavily targeting the district during the upcoming election as they fight for control of the chamber. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

William Petulla Announces Candidacy for North Hills House Seat

William Petulla, a top lieutenant to District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr., has announced his candidacy for the 28th state House District seat, soon to be vacated by Rob Mercuri (R-Allegheny), who himself will be challenging Democratic U.S. Representative Chris Deluzio in 2024. WESA has more.

Republican Party Appeals Recent Mail Ballot Ruling

The Republican Party has appealed a recent ruling on the counting of undated or misdated mail-in ballots to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. Some expect that the case could reach the U.S. Supreme Court. PennLive has more.

State Senators Looking to Reintroduce Bipartisan Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

State Senators Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) and Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington) are seeking support for bipartisan legislation that would decriminalize marijuana in Pennsylvania. The bill would be a reintroduction of SB107 from last session. Marijuana Moment has more.

Meet the “Mil”: How Municipalities Determine Property Taxes

In the latest edition of its “How Local Government Works” series, Spotlight PA sheds light on the unit of measurement local government officials use to calculate property taxes — a “mil” — and how it varies across the commonwealth.

 

Philadelphia

Interfaith Rally Against Antisemitism Held at Congregation Rodeph Shalom

On Sunday, U.S. and state government officials and faith and community leaders, including Governor Josh Shapiro, held an Interfaith Rally Against Antisemitism at Congregation Rodeph Shalom in North Philadelphia. The rally comes amid rising tensions in relation to the Israel-Hamas War and in the wake of the Saturday resignation of University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill following her testimony in front of the U.S. House Committee on Education. WESA has more.

CHOP’s Role in First FDA-Approved Gene-Editing Treatment

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) played a key role in the development of a breakthrough gene-editing treatment called CRISPR, which was recently approved by the Federal Food & Drug Administration to treat sickle cell disease. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

President Biden Visits Fairmount Fire Department

President Joe Biden visited Philadelphia today to pay tribute to the 12 people killed during last year’s Fairmount rowhouse fire and mark the receipt of a $22.4 million federal grant to the Philadelphia Fire Department. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

SEPTA Bus Revolution Changes to Be Implemented Late Next Year

After two years and several rounds of public feedback, SEPTA is expected to launch its Bus Revolution, a comprehensive redesign of the city’s public bus system, sometime late next year. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

 

Pittsburgh

County Executive-Elect Innamorato’s Transition Team Strikes Balance Between Progressives, Moderates

Allegheny County Executive-Elect Sara Innamorato’s transition team strikes a balance between progressive activists and moderates, and includes a few veterans of Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey’s transition team. WESA has more.

Allegheny County Designates Emergency Shelter for Unhoused People Facing Dangerously Low Temperatures

The Ammon Recreation Center will serve as an emergency shelter this winter when temperatures drop below 26 degrees and there isn’t room at other facilities, Allegheny County officials say. WESA has more.

Tree of Life Memorial Design Unveiled

A design for a proposed memorial to honor victims of the 2018 Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh has been unveiled. WESA has more.

 

Federal

Beltway Briefing: The College Presidents Fail the Test

The presidents of Harvard, Penn and MIT refused this week to declare in congressional testimony that calling for the genocide of Jews constitutes harassment under their codes of conduct. Their failure to do so supports the GOP narrative about biased institutions. Meanwhile, the economy continues to chug along but companies still struggle to find workers. Listen to the latest episode featuring CPS’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Patrick Martin, and Towner French here.

Senate Hopeful McCormick Hopes to Reform U.S.-China Relationship

Last Thursday, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick unveiled a six-point plan aimed at reforming the United States’ relationship with China, in part focusing on reducing the amount of fentanyl entering the U.S. from China. City & State Pennsylvania has more.

U.S. Representative Perry on Georgia Election Fraud Case Witness List 

Pennsylvania U.S. Representative Scott Perry is reportedly on a list of nearly 200 witnesses whom Fulton County prosecutors could call in their investigation into former President Donald Trump’s election interference case. WITF has more.

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