Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, January 29, 2024

January 29, 2024

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Issues Ruling On Reproductive Rights

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a groundbreaking reproductive rights ruling Monday , sending a case on Medicaid coverage for abortion costs back to a lower court. This marks the first such consideration since the 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Governor Shapiro Proposes $282.2 Million in State Transit Funding 

Governor Josh Shapiro suggested a 1.75% boost in transit funds, amounting to a $282.8 million investment, which could total almost $1.5 billion over the course of five years. If accepted, it would be the first increase in the state’s share of public transit funding in more than 10 years. WHYY has more.

Governor Shapiro Unveils Proposed Higher Education System Overhaul 

Last week, Governor Shapiro unveiled his plan to overhaul Pennsylvania’s higher education system, addressing its current ranking as one of the least affordable in the nation. The plan includes reducing tuition at state-owned universities, coordinating degree programs with community colleges, and implementing performance-based funding, with more details to be disclosed in the February 6 budget address. The Associated Press has more.

Shapiro Administration Approves New Cyber Charter School

For the first time in eight years, the Shapiro administration granted approval to a new cyber charter school in the state, marking a departure from the Democrats’ longstanding disapproval of underperforming virtual schools. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

State Representative Freeman Announces Re-Election Bid

State Representative Bob Freeman (D-Northampton) has announced his candidacy for a 20th term, highlighting his commitment to representing Pennsylvanians and emphasizing achievements in economic development, environmental protection, and urban revitalization. LehighValleyNews.com has more.

Easton Councilmember Announces Run for State House Seat

Easton City Councilmember Taiba Sultana announced her candidacy for the 136th House District, challenging incumbent Robert Freeman in the Democratic primary, emphasizing key issues like LGBT rights, gun safety, abortion access, and criminal justice reform. LehighValleyNews.com has more.

More Than 16,000 Pennsylvania Employees Owed More Than $16 Million in Unpaid Wages

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor has revealed that more than 16,000 Pennsylvania workers are owed $16.4 million in back wages. KDKA has more.

 

Philadelphia

Superintendent Watlington Expresses School District Budget Concerns

Superintendent Tony Watlington warns of a financial crisis for the School District of Philadelphia as $1.2 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds is set to expire in September, potentially leading to a structural deficit and position cuts unless additional state resources are secured after the next academic year. ABC News has more.

Councilmember Landau Proposes Using Data to Address Gun Violence

During last week’s meeting, Councilmember At-Large Rue Landau — the newly appointed chair of the Committee on Technology and Information Services — proposed a resolution that would assign the committee the responsibility of utilizing data to address the city’s gun violence crisis. Technical.ly has more.

 

Pittsburgh

Transportation Secretary Buttigieg Announces $142 Million Federal Grant to Reduce Traffic, Accidents on I-376

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited Pittsburgh last week to announce a $142 million federal investment in I-376 that will address flooding concerns, reduce traffic, prevent landslides, and implement safety improvements. WESA has more.

 

Federal

Senator Casey Acknowledges “Long, Tough Race” Ahead of Him in Matchup With McCormick

At a campaign rally in Philadelphia last week, U.S. Senator Bob Casey acknowledged the tough race against well-funded Republican challenger Dave McCormick ahead, while highlighting his focus on issues such as women’s reproductive rights, democracy, and Biden’s policies during the rally held at the Laborers’ District Council Training Institute. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Representative Lee, Patel Engage in Heated Debate During Lively Forum

On Sunday, a heated exchange occurred at the Barbara Daly Danko Political Forum between U.S. Representative Summer Lee and primary challenger Bhavini Patel over the Israel-Hamas conflict. WESA has more.

Beltway Briefing: Biden-Trump Rematch: The Unamused Voters

Following Iowa and New Hampshire, the path to the Republican nomination narrows for Nikki Haley, moving former president Donald Trump one step closer to securing the nomination. As the reality of a Biden-Trump rematch weighs heavy on the minds of voters, the Public Strategies team pulls back the curtain on a hypothetical second Trump term. Listen to the latest episode here.

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