Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, January 8, 2024

January 8, 2024


State Legislature’s Top Priorities in 2024 Include Permitting Improvements, Constitutional Amendment, School Funding Reform

While any major legislative activity has been postponed until the spring due to renovations to a leak in the State House, lawmakers are reportedly planning to focus on improving the permitting processes, advancing a constitutional amendment that would open a window for people to sue over sexual abuse they suffered as children, and reforming the state’s unconstitutional education funding system. Advocates for equitable school funding are requesting a hefty initial investment of $2 billion — followed by an additional $1 billion annually for four years — from Governor Josh Shapiro to bridge the gap and fulfill the court’s mandate for a constitutionally adequate education. Spotlight PA has more.

Governor Shapiro Announces $500,000 in Farm Bill Agriculture, Youth Grants at 108th Pennsylvania Farm Show

The 108th Pennsylvania Farm Show began this weakening, drawing in agriculture leaders and lawmakers alike, including U.S. Representative Glenn Thompson, U.S. Senator Bob Casey, and Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis. This morning, Governor Shapiro took the opportunity to announce nearly $500,000 in Pennsylvania Farm Bill Agriculture & Youth Grants to 47 organizations across 24 counties, supporting projects that prepare youth for success in Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

Democratic State Treasurer Candidate Questions Incumbent’s Alleged Promotion of Election Misinformation

State Representative Ryan Bizzarro (D-Erie), a Democratic candidate for state treasurer, has criticized Republican incumbent Stacy Garrity for her alleged promotion of election misinformation at a pro-Trump rally. PennLive has more.

State Funding State-Related Universities Hasn’t Kept Pace With Inflation

Over the past decade, public funding for Pennsylvania’s state-related universities, including Penn State, Temple, and the University of Pittsburgh, has not kept pace with inflation, with state spending per student decreasing when adjusted for inflation. Spotlight PA has more.



Mayor Parker’s First Week in Office

While some of both of the physical and metaphorical aspects of her administration are still coming together, Mayor Cherelle Parker’s first week in office saw her hold her first official cabinet meeting, calls with President Joe Biden and Governor Josh Shapiro, and the issuing of three executive orders, including one focused on public safety. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Former Mayor Jim Kenney “Pocket Vetoed” Several Bills

According to City Council’s legislative tracking website, former Mayor Jim Kenney “pocket vetoed” — or declined to sign passed legislation into law — several bills on his way out of office, including a plastic bag ban. The Philadelphia inquirer has more.

SEPTA Forced to Consider Service Cuts, Fare Increases As Result of Chronic Underfunding

SEPTA is facing the potential of deep service cuts and fare increases due to severe underfunding at the state level. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.



Allegheny County Executive Innamorato Attends County Jail Oversight Board Meeting

New County Executive Sara Innamorato’s attendance at the Allegheny County Jail Oversight Board meeting, a departure from her predecessor’s practice, signals a potential shift in addressing jail reform concerns, with advocates expressing hope for productive dialogue and noting the positive change in board dynamics. PublicSource has more.



President Biden Blasts Former President Trump’s “Assault on Democracy,” Marking Third Anniversary of January 6 Attack on U.S. Capitol

During a campaign speech at Montgomery County Community College last Friday, President Joe Biden framed his re-election bid as a quest to save democracy, criticizing what he called former President Donald Trump’s “assault on democracy.” Senator Bob Casey echoed these sentiments in his comments observing the third anniversary of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Republican Senate Hopeful McCormick Raised $5.4M in Last Quarter

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate David McCormick raised $5.4 million in his first quarter as a 2024 candidate, signaling a competitive race against three-term incumbent Senator Bob Casey, with control of the U.S. Senate potentially at stake. Axios has more.

Democrat Laurie MacDonald Enters PA-12 Congressional Race

Laurie MacDonald, President and CEO of the Center for Victims, has declared her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, the seat currently held by Representative Summer Lee. PoliticsPA has more.


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