Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, May 22, 2023

May 22, 2023


More State House Special Elections on the Horizon

It seems that every few months Pennsylvania House Democrats and Republicans must compete in yet another special election to determine the chamber’s control. While Heather Boyd’s recent victory in Delaware County means that Democrats will hold onto the House for now, two key victories — those of state Representatives Sara Innamorato in the Allegheny County Executive Democratic primary race and John Galloway in a district court judge race — may mean as many as two more House special elections are coming down the pike. City & State Pennsylvania has more.

Election Officials Who Have Denied 2020 Results Win Republican Primaries Across the Commonwealth

Among the winners of last Tuesday’s primary elections were several county election officials who have refused to certify 2020 elections results, citing incidents of election fraud that have since been proven false, including one Allegheny County official who went so far as to sign up as a fake Trump elector. Bolts has more.

Residential Electric Rates Increasing in June, Says PUC

Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) warned customers last week that the price of electric generation will be increasing beginning June 1. Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to shop for a supplier at a lower rate through the PA Power Switch website. WTAE has more.

Gun Owners’ PAC Challenges Lower Merion Gun Sale-Restricting Zoning Ordinance

Firearms Owners Against Crime (FOAC), a PAC centered on gun owners’ rights, is challenging a zoning ordinance passed last month by the Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners that places limitations on where guns can be sold within the township, alleging that the law violates Pennsylvania’s preemption statute. WHYY has more.



Parker Makes First Public Appearance as Official Democratic Mayoral Nominee

Following her historic victory last week, former City Councilmember Cherelle Parker has already hit the ground running to prepare for the November general election. She made her first public appearance since her primary win this afternoon — after a morning meeting with Governor Josh Shapiro — where she emphasized a need for unity across the city. In recent days, there has been much discussion about what Parker’s win means for Philadelphia, including how she may leverage her connections in Harrisburg as mayor and how she may handle the proposed Center City Sixers arena. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Superintendent Watlington to Test Parker-Endorsed Year-Round School Concept

Philadelphia School District Superintendent Tony Watlington is expected to unveil a year-round school pilot program as part of his five-year strategic plan in an address to the Philadelphia Board of Education this week. The idea has been a key part of Cherelle Parker’s mayoral campaign platform. KYW has more.

FIFA World Cup 26 Philadelphia Brand Unveiled

On Thursday, Philadelphia celebrated its upcoming FIFA World Cup hosting duties with the unveiling of a new brand and flag raising ceremony. Philadelphia is one of 11 U.S. cities hosting the international event in 2026. WHYY has more.



Focus on Both City, Suburbs Helped Allegheny County Progressives Win

Last Tuesday was a big moment for Pittsburgh-area progressives, who scored decisive Democratic primary victories in races for Allegheny County district attorney, executive, and Council at-large. Key to these victories was a wide-ranging coalition that focused on turning out both suburban and urban voters. The Pittsburgh Union Progress has more.

Pittsburgh City Council to Vote on Police Chief Nominee

Pittsburgh City Council will be voting tomorrow on Mayor Ed Gainey’s nominee to be the city’s next police chief, Larry Scirotto. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

Health Care Union Files Antitrust Complaint Against UPMC

SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, the largest union for health care workers in the commonwealth, and its partners have requested that federal prosecutors investigate UPMC for potential violations of antitrust laws. WESA has more.



Pennsylvania Lawmakers on Debt Ceiling: Senator Fetterman Believes 14th Amendment Should Be Kept on the Table; Representative Fitzpatrick Sees “Wiggle Room” for June 1 Deadline 

Late last week, freshman U.S. Senator John Fetterman of Pennsylvania spoke out in favor of a plan wherein President Joe Biden could invoke the 14th Amendment to bypass Congressional authorization to raise the debt ceiling. Meanwhile, his moderate Republican colleague from Pennsylvania U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, who favors a bipartisan solution, stated Sunday that he sees “wiggle room” in the proposed June 1 deadline to raise the debt ceiling and prevent a national default.

Senator Casey Spearheads Bipartisan Medicare Enrollment Bill

Today, U.S. Senators Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Todd Young of Indiana introduced legislation with the goal of simplifying Medicare enrollment for seniors and people with disabilities. The Williamsport Sun-Gazette has more.

State Senator Mastriano Expected to Announce Decision on Whether to Run for U.S. Senate This Week 

Current State Senator and former gubernatorial hopeful Doug Mastriano is expected to announce whether he will be running for U.S. Senate in 2024, an announcement that he has billed as “crazy good news.” Senator Mastriano lost to now Governor Josh Shapiro by 15 percentage points in 2022, and is widely rumored to have lost the support of one time ally, former President Donald Trump. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Pennsylvania’s Section of Lake Erie May Become State’s First National Marine Sanctuary

Last week, President Joe Biden’s administration took the first step toward designating the Pennsylvania-owned section of Lake Erie as the state’s first national marine sanctuary. The Associated Press has more.


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