State House Split Causes Confusion Over Leadership in Immediate Future
While it is likely that the Democrats will claim a victory and a one-vote majority after special elections early in the year, with the state currently House locked in a 101-101 split between Democrats and Republicans, it remains unclear which party will take control of the House in January — including who will become the body’s majority speaker. Spotlight PA has more.
Contrary to National Party Platform, Many Pennsylvania Republicans Now Embrace Mail-In Voting
Following the party’s underwhelming performance in the midterm elections, Pennsylvania Republicans have begun to embrace the concept of mail-in voting, viewing this as the only path forward for the party, with many voicing this option at this weekend’s Pennsylvania Society in New York. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
State Announces New $12.7 Million Environmental Grant Program
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has announced a new state grant program that aims to reduce the number of diesel trucks operating on its roads, polluting air, and negatively impacting the health of residents. The grants will help fund the purchase of electric vehicles, as well as the infrastructure required to support their use. WHYY has more.
Legality of Pennsylvania’s Cannabis Industry Labor Peace Agreements Called Into Question
As marijuana legalization becomes increasingly more widely accepted across the country and in the state and the nascent legal cannabis industry continues to grow, so, too, do unionization efforts. However, the industry still largely exists in a regulatory gray area, leaving confusion over whether, for example, labor peace agreements can be enforced in Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.
Parents of 2014 Sniper Attacker Settle Negligence Lawsuit
In 2014, Eric Matthew Frein shot two state troopers, killing one and seriously injuring the other, in a sniper attack. While Frein was convicted of the crime in 2017, his parents were also sued for their negligence and failure to prevent the attack in a lawsuit that has now officially been settled. Yahoo News has more.
Injured Parties in November Car Crash Involving Then-State Representative Brian Sims Seek Assistance in Paying for Damages
Two drivers who were injured in a car crash involving former State Representative Brian Sims that occurred in November are now requesting assistance in covering the cost of damages to their vehicles. The state-owned car driven by Sims during the accident is likewise insured by the state, which alleges it is not liable to pay for damages. Fox 43 has more.
DA Krasner, Lawyers Ask Commonwealth Court to Declare State GOP-Led Impeachment Efforts Unlawful
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner — who is currently the subject of impeachment by state Republicans, with a trial set to begin in January — has requested that the Commonwealth Court declare the impeachment illegal. His lawyers argue that the articles of impeachment levied against DA Krasner are “null and void” as of the last day of the 2021-22 legislative session, that they do not include adequate evidence of “misbehavior in office,” and that state legislators do not have the authority to remove local elected officials from office. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
State Representative Brown Soft-Launches Mayoral Campaign at Pennsylvania Society Event in New York
West Philadelphia State Representative Amen Brown is expected to announce his candidacy for mayor of Philadelphia this Thursday. However, he made his plans clear during an event hosted by supporter and New York real estate developer Marty Burger. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
As Carousel House Demolition Looms, City Considers New Recreation Center for People With Disabilities Amidst Implementation of Larger Inclusion Plan
Carousel House, the groundbreaking community and recreation center primarily for Philadelphians with disabilities located in Fairmount Park, is set to be demolished after the building was declared unsafe in 2021. While Philadelphia’s Department of Parks and Recreation has assured residents that an inclusion plan is underway, many people with physical and intellectual disabilities and their families have expressed concerns about what the future holds. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
33rd District Representative DelRosso Contemplates Running for Neighboring 32nd District Seat
Republican State Representative Carrie Lewis DelRosso, who most recently failed to become Pennsylvania’s next Lieutenant Governor, is allegedly considering running for the vacant 32nd District in Allegheny County. The special election for the seat, which was held by Democrat Tony DeLuca until his death in October, is scheduled for February 7 and will likely decide which party wins the coveted state House majority. LancasterOnline has more.
U.S. Steel Incurs $458,000 in Air Pollution Fines
The Allegheny County Health Department announced that U.S. Steel has been issued $458,000 in Penalty Fines for violating air pollution regulations. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.
Pittsburgh Public Schools to Hold Public Hearing on 2023 Budget
Pittsburgh Public Schools will be holding a public hearing today at 5 p.m. regarding the proposed 2023 budget. The proposed budget includes a $10 million increase in spending, but does not include a tax increase, and will be largely allocated toward security and staff salaries. The decision of whether or not to adopt this budget will occur on December 21. CBS Pittsburgh has more.
Beltway Briefing: Looking Towards 2023
Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Patrick Martin, and Towner French share their thoughts on the first post-COVID state dinner. They also break down end-of-the-year partisan maneuvering over key government appropriations bills, including the National Defense Authorization Act and the shutdown deadline-facing 2023 Omnibus spending package, before current funding expires on December 16. Listen to the latest episode here.