Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, June 3, 2024

June 3, 2024


Lawmakers in Harrisburg Revisit School Vouchers Debate

The renewed debate over school vouchers in Pennsylvania pits school-choice advocates against public school proponents, with both sides prepared for a contentious battle that could impact the state budget and the ongoing fight for equitable education funding. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Gov. Shapiro Unveils “Aging Our Way” 10-Year Strategic Plan

On Friday, Governor Josh Shapiro unveiled the “Aging Our Way, PA” 10-year strategic plan to address the needs of Pennsylvania’s growing senior population. The plan outlines five priorities, 36 strategies, and 163 tactics, with a request for $11.7 million to begin implementation. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

Sen. Comitta Introduces Gov. Shapiro’s PACER Program

State Senator Carolyn Comitta (D-Chester) has introduced the Pennsylvania Climate Emissions Reduction (PACER) Program, part of Gov. Shapiro’s energy strategy to reduce emissions, create clean energy jobs, and cut electricity costs by establishing a Pennsylvania-specific carbon pricing system, investing proceeds in utility rebates and clean energy projects. Chester County Press has more.

Envelope Redesign Results in Reduction of Rejected Ballots in PA; New Error Type Emerges

Recent analysis showed a decrease in overall rejected mail ballots due to voter errors in the recent primary election, attributed to a redesigned ballot return envelope. However, a new type of error concerning the date has emerged, leading to varied county responses and potential litigation ahead of the presidential contest in November. Votebeat Pennsylvania has more.

Investigation Reveals Impact of Neglect, Aging Infrastructure on Water Service in Central PA

A Spotlight PA investigation has revealed that customers in Rock Spring face ongoing failures due to neglect, with attempts to find new ownership stalling and concerns of higher bills thwarting potential solutions.

PA Pharmacists Cite PBMs as Reason for Increase in Pharmacy Closures

Some Pennsylvania pharmacists blame pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) for forcing them to sell drugs at a loss, leading to the closure of more than 100 pharmacies across the Commonwealth since early 2023.The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

Wait is on for Commonwealth Court Rulings in HD 117

The outcome of the tight race for the Republican 117th House District is pending Commonwealth Court rulings as all necessary court briefs have been submitted, with incumbent Michael Cabell and challenger Jamie Walsh separated by just three votes. The Times Leader has more.



UArts Stuns City with Sudden Closure Announcement

Friday’s announcement of the imminent closure of the University of the Arts (UArts) due to declining enrollment and financial issues has shocked and angered the community, prompting calls for investigation and legal action, while efforts are being made to transition affected students to other institutions. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

CDC Warns About Potential Adverse Impact of Discontinuing Syringe Services

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that discontinuing syringe services in Philadelphia could lead to new HIV outbreaks and other bloodborne illnesses among people who use drugs. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Philadelphia’s Life Sciences Industry Is Bouncing Back

Philadelphia’s burgeoning life sciences industry, renowned for cell and gene therapy breakthroughs, faces challenges but is expected to rebound with increased promotion, investment, and support for innovative companies and talent. The Philadelphia Business Journal has more.



FLOTUS Makes Surprise Visit to Pittsburgh Pride Event

First Lady Jill Biden visited Pittsburgh’s Pride celebration, emphasizing the importance of the 2024 election for LGBTQ rights and criticizing former President Donald Trump while urging voters to support President Biden. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

Pittsburgh Buildings Lowering Carbon Emissions, Though More Can Be Done

The Pittsburgh 2030 District’s latest annual report reveals a 48% reduction in carbon emissions among participating properties in 2023, part of a collaborative effort to make buildings greener and reduce environmental impact. WESA has more.

High Temps Force PPS Move to Remote Learning

Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) will transition 39 facilities to remote learning this week due to high temperatures, marking the second such move in two weeks, as parents express frustration over inadequate air conditioning. KDKA has more.

Healing Tree of Life Mosaic Mural Unveiled at Frick Park

A new mosaic mural at Frick Environmental Center, created from pieces of the Tree of Life Synagogue, nature, and personal tokens, transforms grief into healing art. WPXI has more.



How Will PA Voters’ Response to Former President Trump’s Conviction be Measured at the Ballot Box?

The impact of former President Donald Trump’s recent conviction on Pennsylvania voters remains uncertain, potentially influencing the closely contested battleground state’s upcoming election. Despite the former president’s guilty verdict, many of his staunch supporters in Pennsylvania remain motivated, viewing the trial as a witch hunt and a catalyst for increased activism and fundraising. WITF has more.

Rep. Smucker Among Republicans Asking SCOTUS to Revive Lawsuit Against President Biden, PA Gov. Shapiro Over Election Policies

Republican U.S. Representative Lloyd Smucker (PA-11) of Lancaster is part of a congressional effort urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lawsuit challenging get-out-the-vote efforts in Pennsylvania, despite claims of frivolity and lack of evidence of widespread fraud by the Pennsylvania Department of State. LancasterOnline has more. WITF has more.


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