Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, February 13, 2023

February 13, 2023


Educators Release “PA Needs Teachers” Report to Combat Challenges Presented by Statewide Staffing Shortage

A report recently assembled and released by attendees of the PA Needs Teachers Summit in Harrisburg this September has detailed the “dire and worsening teacher shortage crisis” that has been ongoing across the commonwealth, as well as specific recommendations to address short-term challenges that educators have been facing. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.

Several Pennsylvania Legislators to Introduce Marijuana Legislation This Session

Marijuana legislation has been top of mind for lawmakers across the country, as several states have opted to either legalize or decriminalize the substance for various purposes and circumstances in recent years. Pennsylvania legislators are no exception, with several members of the General Assembly putting forth co-sponsorship memos signaling their intent to introduce legislation to expand eligibility requirements for medical marijuana, increase protections against DUI charges for patients, and more. Spotlight PA has more.

Special Elections: How Do They Work? Why Do They Matter?

Last week, Democrats declared victory in all three Allegheny County House special elections, giving them a one-vote majority. But why were these special elections called in the first place, how does voter turnout compare to regularly scheduled elections, and what is the actual process of putting them together? Spotlight PA helps answer some of these questions — and delves into a proposed bill that could change the process moving forward — in its inaugural edition of “How Harrisburg Works.” Watch here.

How One District Judge’s Retirement Could Impact Democrats’ House Majority

Longtime District Judge Jan Vislosky has announced that she plans to retire at the end of her term early next January. Democratic Representative John Galloway has expressed interest in running for the open seat, citing his experience serving on the House Judiciary Committee. If he wins the primary, a special election would be held for his seat in House District 140, potentially impacting Democrats’ already narrow majority. has more.



Councilmember Oh Resigns, Becomes First Republican to Enter Mayoral Race

Though Philadelphia’s next mayor is very likely to be one of the ten Democratic candidates in the race, Republican David Oh is challenging those odds, resigning his at-large seat on City Council and becoming the first member of his party to declare his candidacy. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Some Community Leaders Balk at Mayoral Candidates’ Proposed Plans to Improve Kensington

For the past few decades, Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood has increasingly become a hotspot for drug selling and use, presenting significant legislative and policy challenges for city officials to grapple with. The current mayoral race has brought this issue into sharp focus, and some Philadelphians have expressed concerns that many of the candidates’ plans to address this pressing issue sound too much like the same ineffective song and dance that has failed to yield any improvements, or lack specificity altogether. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

More Than 36,000 People Applied for Housing Choice Vouchers in January, Says City Housing Authority

At the beginning of this year, the Philadelphia Housing Authority announced that it would be opening up the waitlist to apply for housing choice vouchers for the first time in more than a decade. More than 36,000 Philadelphians applied for only 10,000 available vouchers, demonstrating what many already know anecdotally — that the demand for affordable housing options in the city is extremely high. WHYY has more.



Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Representatives Meet for Bargaining Session; Little Progress Made

On Friday, representatives of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette met with the intention of hashing out a bargaining agreement for the first time since the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling in favor of the Guild in January. The Guild has accused the Post-Gazette of failing to bring forth any substantive changes, meaning little progress has been made during the negotiations so far. Pittsburgh Union Progress has more.


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