Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024


House Approves Health Incentives for Food Stamp Applicants

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would significantly reduce the price of fruits and vegetables for food stamp recipients. Approved with overwhelming support, the bill would authorize the Food Bucks Program, a credit-based initiative that incentivizes healthy eating among Pennsylvania’s lower income residents. PennLive has more.

Opioid Crisis Funding Nears Final Approval

$7.5 million for media campaigns, drug testing, overdose prevention initiatives, county coroners, and Philly parks awaits reconsideration after failing to pass in May. The Pennsylvania Opioid Misuse and Addiction Abatement Trust plans to reconvene on June 20 to discuss the funding and potentially vote on final approval. Spotlight PA has more.

Study Indicates Racial Disparities in Pennsylvania’s Opioid Crisis 

A study conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Health showed that Black overdose deaths increased by 50% between 2019 and 2021. Nonetheless, Black Pennsylvanians are 50% less likely to receive Naloxone, a life-saving drug that helps prevent overdose fatalities. WHYY has more.

PA Voting Laws in Limbo

With Pennsylvania lawmakers seeking amendments to the state’s voting laws, partisan gridlock has prevented any legislative progress from happening. Democrats propose pre-canvassing and early in-person voting, while Republicans remain steadfast in opposing Democratic proposals. Officials fear that the gridlock will leave out-dated laws unamended and important questions unanswered, ultimately opening the door to electoral skepticism and conspiracy theories in one of America’s most contentious election battleground states. The Associated Press has more.

PA House Bill Aims to Ban Spreading Waste Water on Streets

Although regulators banned the practice of spreading contaminated oil and gas water on roadways, many rural areas of the state continue to see it. The bill in the House will essentially make it illegal for entities to spread the wastewater on roadways as a means of disposal. StateImpact Pennsylvania has more.

Allentown City Council to Consider “Unsheltered Bill of Rights”

Allentown City Council will consider a symbolic “unsheltered bill of rights” resolution, aiming to codify the rights of the city’s homeless population, though critics argue it is unnecessary and raises concerns over specific language. The Morning Call has more.



DRPA Board Considering 20% Toll Hike for NJ-PA Bridges

Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) board members are considering a 20% toll hike for the four bridges connecting New Jersey and Pennsylvania, raising automobile tolls to $6 from $5 to address inflation and ensure infrastructure safety, marking the first increase since 2011. The Philadelphia inquirer has more.

City Officials See Potential for Traffic-Safety Spending Despite Vision Zero Cuts

Mayor Cherelle Parker’s FY25 budget includes significant cuts to the Vision Zero traffic-safety program, reducing funding from $2.5 million to $1 million despite advocacy from pedestrians, cyclists, neighborhood groups, and some City Council members aiming to restore the funds. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Mayor Parker Scores with Positive Citywide Credit Rating

Fitch Ratings recently increased Philadelphia’s credit rating from an A to an A+, citing a foreseeably stable financial outlook. The increase serves as Philadelphia’s greatest combination of credit ratings in decades, eliciting optimism from officials who oversee the city’s infrastructure borrowing. Read the City’s press release here.

Shootings Decline in Philadelphia

After three years of record gun violence, shootings in Philadelphia have sharply declined in 2024 to their lowest levels in nearly two decades, despite ongoing challenges and uncertainty about the reasons for the decrease. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.



Fundraising Indicates a November Nailbighter in the Keystone State

Democrats possess a one-seat majority in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives, hinting that any PA house race could undercut Democratic control. Allegheny County. One of those races already has the Democrat fundraising $120,367 and the Republican $716,328, setting the stage for an expensively contentious race.  and contains two tight Senate races. WESA has more.

Shuman Juvenile Detention Center to Acquire New Oversight Panel

The Shuman Juvenile Detention Center, poised to open at some point in June, will have a new oversight panel. Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato has nominated five individuals for City Council confirmation. WESA has more.

Second Avenue Fire Spawns Shelter System Crisis

Allegheny County Department of Human Services fears that it could take multiple months to restore service at the Second Avenue Commons homeless shelter. With more than 130 Second Avenue residents sleeping at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the Department of Human Services has looked at over 100 potential emergency shelter locations to quell the crisis. WESA has more.



Former President Trump to Visit Temple

Former President Donald Trump will mark his fourth trip to Pennsylvania in two months with a June 22 campaign stop at Temple University. With a Marist poll showing Trump leading President Joe Biden by two points in the Keystone State, the former president’s campaign aims to capitalize in Philadelphia, one of Pennsylvania’s most notable blue strongholds. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

Key Takeaways From New Poll of Black Voters in PA, MI

President Biden’s declining support among Black voters, especially in swing states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, has raised concerns for Democrats and hopes for Republicans, as polls show a complex dynamic within this key demographic ahead of the November election. USA Today has more.

SCOTUS Bump Stock Decision Might not Put PA’s Debate to Rest 

Pennsylvania’s latest attempt at banning bump stocks failed 101-102 last month. However, after the high court legalized the sale of bump stocks in 33 states, CeaseFirePa implores the General Assembly to redraft a proposal that would prohibit the sales of the devices in Pennsylvania. PennLive has more.

Beltway Briefing: The Politicization of the Bench

Returning to Capitol Hill for the first time post-presidency, Trump found support among Republican leaders and members aiming to emulate the party’s 2016 success. Immigration and economic challenges remain top concerns for American voters, mirroring the recent rise of the far-right in Europe. Shifting focus to the Supreme Court, concerns about judicial politicization, ethics, and impartiality underscore the need for reform to preserve the system’s credibility. Listen to the latest episode featuring Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, and Patrick Martin here.


Explore Articles and News

See All News