Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, March 27, 2023

March 27, 2023


Shapiro Administration Unveils Officer Recruitment, Retention Plan

Last week, Governor Josh Shapiro unveiled his administration’s state police recruitment and retention plan, which includes a $2,500 three-year tax credit to incentivize officers to work for the state and $16.4 million to train four new cadet classes. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

Pennsylvania Has Recovered All Jobs Lost During COVID-19 Pandemic

A report released by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry on Friday has revealed that, as of January 2023, all of the 1.1 million jobs that had been lost across the Commonwealth due to the global COVID-19 pandemic have been recovered. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

New Majority Chair of State Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Vows to Reach Across the Aisle in New Role

State Representative Greg Vitali is the new majority chair of Pennsylvania’s Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and he is already distinguishing himself from his Republican predecessors by committing to finding “areas of bipartisan agreement” while working to address climate change. StateImpact Pennsylvania has more.

State Legislators Plan to Combat Hospital Closures

Pennsylvania legislators reportedly plan on introducing a bill that would place a moratorium on private equity and for-profit firms from purchasing hospitals throughout the Commonwealth. The move is intended to combat hospital closures such as the several that have occurred in suburban Philadelphia in recent years. Bloomberg CityLab has more.

Pennsylvania Counties Present Voters With Varying Degrees of Opportunity to Vote, Correct Ballots

A recent study conducted by Spotlight PA and Votebeat found that not all Pennsylvania voters had equal opportunity to cast or correct their ballots during the November 2022 midterm elections due in large part to patchwork election policies that vary from county to county. Spotlight PA has more.

Match-Up Set for State House District 108 

Democrat Montour County Commissioner Trevor Finn will be facing off against Republican Shikellamy Director Mike Stender for the former House seat of now-Senator Lynda Schlegel Culver. PoliticsPA has more.

Meet the Candidates for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Pennsylvania is one of only 20 states throughout the country where voters select their state’s Supreme Court justices. Spotlight PA has a rundown of the current Democratic and Republican candidates for the upcoming closed-primary elections here.

West Reading Explosion Kills Seven

On Friday afternoon, an explosion at the R.M. Palmer Co. chocolate factory rocked West Reading, killing seven and destroying several nearby buildings. NPR has more.



City Continues to Test Drinking Water Following Bucks County Chemical Spill

Over the weekend, Philadelphia residents received an emergency text notification alerting them not to drink the tap water following a latex spill in the Bucks County segment of the Delaware River that authorities believed may have contaminated the water supply. While officials have since retracted the advisory, saying that the tap water should be safe to drink until 11:59 p.m. Monday evening, the city is continuing to test the water at its Northeast Philadelphia treatment plant. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

2023 Mayoral Race Update: What Voters Are Looking For vs. What Candidates Are Offering

  • As a part of the Lenfest Institute for Journalism’s Every Voice, Every Vote collaboration, Grid Magazine has published its mayoral voter guide, which includes candidates’ responses to questions about sustainability.
  • Also part of the Every Voice, Every Vote collaboration, the Philadelphia Inquirer has published its deep-dives into how residents feel about housing and methods of combating the opioid epidemic based on survey data.
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer has published the first profile in its Meet the Candidate series featuring former Councilmember At-Large Helen Gym.

One Candidate Makes Ballot in Battle for District 5 City Council Seat

Following several back-and-forth legal challenges to candidates’ petition signatures, only one of the seven candidates who had been vying for outgoing City Council President Darrell Clarke’s seat in District 5 has made the ballot — notably, not his chosen successor. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Black Clergy, Business Leaders Announce Support of Center City Sixers Stadium

Late last week, a coalition of Black clergy and local business leaders threw their support behind the development of the proposed Center City Sixers arena, saying that it is a “historic opportunity” for Philadelphia’s Black-owned businesses. Billy Penn has more.



Meet the Candidates for Allegheny County Executive

City & State Pennsylvania has published its rundown of the seven Democratic and one Republican candidates running for Allegheny County Executive.

Pittsburgh Officials Delay Implementation of Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban

Last year, Pittsburgh lawmakers passed legislation to ban the use of single-use plastic bags, which was set to go into effect in April 2023. However, following pushback from local businesses who say they need more time to prepare, the ban has been postponed until October. WESA has more.



Senator Fetterman To Return to D.C. Office “Soon”

Junior Senator from Pennsylvania John Fetterman, who has been receiving inpatient mental health treatment for the past few weeks, is expected to rejoin his colleagues in Washington soon according to his staff. There is no certain timeline for his return yet. The Associated Press has more.


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