Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, June 13, 2022

June 13, 2022

Pennsylvania

State Republicans Begin Process to Impeach Philly DA Larry Krasner

Three Republican members of the State House of Representatives say they will begin the process of impeaching Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, saying spikes in the city ’s violent crime are grounds for dismissal. The impeachment would require a simple majority support in the Pennsylvania House and two-thirds approval in the State Senate. NBC Philadelphia has more .

FOIA Requests for Broadband Nonprofit Threatens Avoidance of State Regulations

A southwestern Pennsylvania nonprofit was created to avoid a clause in state law that gives telecommunication companies a say in public broadband expansion. However, this may have accidentally inhibited its ability to operate altogether. Read more from Spotlight PA.

Legislators Target Unregulated Cannabis Derivative Delta-8 For Safety Oversight

Members of the state legislature are looking to regulate Delta-8, a cannabinoid which can induce similar effects to other cannabinoids which are closely regulated. Legislators say there are significant health risks due to the lack of required health and safety disclosures during the sale of Delta-8. Spotlight PA has more .

IFO Brief Finds Gas Tax Not Keeping Pace with Road Maintenance Costs

A study by the State Independent Fiscal Office finds that despite being among the highest in the nation, Pennsylvania ’s gasoline tax does not keep pace with road maintenance costs because the tax ’s rate is tied to the 2018 average wholesale price of gas. Read the report here .

 

Philadelphia

Huge Water Bills Are Part of City ’s Transition to Smart Meters, Agency Says

Some Philadelphia Water Department customers who are receiving bills in the thousands of dollars should blame their new smart meters, the agency says. The large bills are a result of undercounts as the meters were installed. BillyPenn has more .

Trump Supporter Arrested Outside of Convention Center with Guns Could Face Jail Time

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said his office was moving to revoke bail from Joshua Macias, founder of Vets for Trump, who was arrested outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center last August with handguns, a rifle, and ammunition, after it was revealed that he attended a meeting with Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio the day before January 6. Read more from The Inquirer.

 

Pittsburgh

Allegheny County Democratic Party Chair Won ’t Run for Reelection

Eileen Kelly announced that she would not run reelection as chair of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee, a position she has held for four years. With the seat now open, committee members quickly endorsed Sam Hans-Greco, a Pittsburgh ward committee leader. The Tribune-Review has more .

Some Community Members and Legislators Ask for More Specifics on Mayor Gainey ’s Gun Violence Plan

After Mayor Ed Gainey released the preliminaries of his plan to counter gun violence, entitled the “Plan for Peace, ” some community advocates are asking for more details on how the plan will operate, and what it will target. Read more from the Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review .

 

Federal

Beltway Briefing: Is There Any Way to Unite America?

On Wednesday, the Democratic-controlled House passed a broad set of gun-control measures, largely along party lines, making it a nonstarter in the evenly split Senate. The bill, called the Protecting Our Kids Act, would raise the age for purchasing semi-automatic rifles and shotguns to 21 from 18. On Thursday, after nearly a year of investigation and more than 1,000 interviews, the House Jan. 6, 2021 committee held its first prime-time public hearing on the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and the events leading up to it. Meanwhile, U.S. consumer inflation hit 8.6% in May – its highest level in more than four decades, as surging energy and food costs pushed prices higher, with little indication of when the upward trend could ease.

Public Strategies ’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Patrick Martin, and Towner French discuss the proposed legislation and key takeaways from the hearing, and ponder how the burden of inflation on the Biden Administration, along with the President ’s falling approval ratings and Americans ’ pessimism about the economy and the nation ’s political system, may spell trouble for Democrats in the midterm elections later this fall. Listen here .

Senators Strike Bipartisan Deal on Gun Reform

Ten Democrats and ten Republicans agreed on a proposed package of gun reform measures, including additional scrutiny for gun buyers under 21, federal encouragement for red flag laws, and more spending on mental health and school security. Among the senators supporting the measure is Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey. Politico has more .

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