Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, July 17, 2023

July 17, 2023


What Previous State Budget Impasses Can Tell Us About the Current One

Pennsylvania’s FY24 budget is more than two weeks overdue, and legislators have shown no signs that the impasse will be remedied anytime soon. Spotlight PA has taken a look back at previous delayed spending plans to compare past sticking points and consequences to those of the current day.

State Lawmakers Decrease Anti-Violence Spending After $75 Million Boost From Federal Pandemic-Relief Funds

While the yet-to-be-approved $45.5 billion state budget includes more funding for anti-violence programs and initiatives than those of the pre-pandemic era, nonprofits and community organizations across the state are grappling with the fact that last year’s injection of federal pandemic relief funding gave them significantly more to work with than it will next year. Last year, a whopping $105 million was allocated to violence intervention and prevention, whereas this year lawmakers have only approved $40 million. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

State Representative Brown Introduces Police Safety Bill Package

State Representative Amen Brown (D-Philadelphia) has introduced a package of bills intended to bolster police safety. The package is dubbed “Fitzgerald’s Law” after Rep. Brown’s cousin, the late Temple University police officer Christopher Fitzgerald, who was killed in the line of duty in February. The Center Square has more.

State House to Consider Prohibiting Candidates From Running for More Than One Office Simultaneously

Last week, State Representative Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) circulated a co-sponsorship memo for legislation that would prevent Pennsylvania candidates from seeking more than one office at a time. The goal of the legislation is to reduce the number and expense of state special elections — such as the ones resulting from the simultaneous electoral victories of both U.S. Representative Summer Lee (D-12) and Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis in their current and previously held offices. PoliticsPA has more.

State DEP Receives $3 Million to Develop Building Code Training Programs

Last week, the federal government awarded the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) $3 million to expand energy code and building science training programs at commonwealth schools. The funding comes from 2021 the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. City & State Pennsylvania has more.

Train Derails in Whitemarsh Township

This morning, approximately 15 to 20 cars of a freight train operated by CSX derailed on Norfolk Southern tracks in Whitemarsh Township in Montgomery County. While police report that there is no known hazard to the public, precautionary evacuations and road closures have taken place. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Flash Flooding in Bucks County Claims Five Lives

This weekend, flash flooding due to abnormally heavy rainfall in Bucks County led to the tragic deaths of five people. Officials are still actively searching for two missing children. WHYY has more.



Philadelphia Mental Health Nonprofits Receive Collective $6.55 Million in Grants From Pew Charitable Trusts

Pew Charitable Trusts has announced that it is awarding $6.55 million to five local children- and adolescent-focused mental and behavioral health nonprofits: the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center, the Center for Families and Relationships, Child Guidance Resource Centers, Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, and Penn Medicine’s Pediatric Anxiety Treatment Center at Hall-Mercer. WHYY has more.



Commonwealth Court Rules That Potential Wilkinsburg-Pittsburgh Merger Must Be Put to Voters

On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled that residents of both Wilkinsburg and Pittsburgh would have to approve a proposed merger of the two communities. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.



Pennsylvania Secretary of State Schmidt Questioned by Federal Prosecutors Regarding Alleged Trump 2020 Election Interference

According to sources familiar with the federal probe into former President Donald Trump’s alleged interference in the 2020 election, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt and New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver have met with prosecutors on the impacts of misinformation about widespread voter fraud. CNN has more.

Opinion: Governor Shapiro Touts I-95 Repair Success, Outlines Lessons for Future U.S. Infrastructure Projects

Following the speedy repair of a collapsed section of I-95 in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro has been widely seen as a beacon of hope for all proponents of infrastructure projects. In a recent opinion piece for the Washington Post, the governor outlines four key takeaways from the intergovernmental success story that can serve as a playbook for future infrastructure projects elsewhere in the country.

How Dr. Jill Biden’s Popularity Could Be a Boon to Her Husband’s Presidential Re-Election Ambitions

As eyes turn toward the 2024 presidential election and a potential rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, Philadelphia’s own Dr. Jill Biden may prove to be one of the Biden campaign’s strongest surrogates. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Pennsylvania Congressional Candidates Report Second-Quarter Fundraising Numbers

Earlier this month, incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Casey made headlines in his home state with his campaign’s personal record-setting second-quarter fundraising numbers. PoliticsPA has since compiled second-quarter fundraising totals for all current seat-holders and candidates running to represent Pennsylvania in Congress.

Beltway Briefing: Popcorn Time: Bidenomics, NDAA, WH Drug Policy

With the 2024 elections on the horizon and the August recess approaching, CPS’s Mark Alderman, Rodney Davis, Towner French, and Kaitlyn Martin discuss whether Bidenomics is a winning or losing 2024 campaign message, the significance of the NDAA and what happened with the House Freedom Caucus last week, and whether the Biden White House has a double standard with cannabis and cocaine. Listen to the latest episode here.


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