Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, November 6, 2023

November 6, 2023


James Sipe Named State CISO

Secretary of Administration Neil Weaver announced Friday that cybersecurity leader James Sipe will serve as Pennsylvania’s next Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). PoliticsPA has more.

House Approves $642 Million for Tuition Freeze at State-Related Universities

The state House has approved bipartisan legislation that would provide $642 million to Pennsylvania’s four state-related universities — Lincoln, Penn State, Pitt, and Temple — for discounted tuition for in-state students. The bill’s future in the state Senate is uncertain, and officials at Penn State have expressed disapproval of a last-minute provision freezing tuition for all students for the 2024-25 school year. Spotlight PA has more.

Dollars Flood Into Pennsylvania for Commonwealth, Superior Court Races

A potentially record-breaking number of dollars have flooded into Pennsylvania to support candidates for tomorrow’s Supreme Court and other statewide appellate courts. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

Secretary of State Al Schmidt Discusses AI, Election Misinformation

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt recently sat for an interview with City & State Pennsylvania to discuss artificial intelligence (AI) and the ongoing impact of election misinformation.

Pennsylvania DEP Redefines “Environmental Justice Area”

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has updated the 20-year-old criteria for how it defines “environmental justice areas,” communities that are more vulnerable to climate and health risks and that get special attention from the state. Spotlight PA has more.

AI Improves Safety, Efficiency of Traffic Counting

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission has been using four recently purchased iTHEIA traffic-counting systems to count traffic and classify vehicles, making the process safer and more effective, according to officials. The Pittsburgh Union Progress has more.



Publications, Politicians, Polls Aim to Shed Light During Last Pre-Election Push

Tomorrow, Philadelphians will go to the polls to elect the city’s 100th mayor, new City Council members, and other statewide and municipal officials. News outlets including Billy Penn, the Philadelphia Citizen, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and WHYY have published their final election guides and endorsements, and the New York Times has run a feature on Democratic mayoral nominee Cherelle Parker, who is heavily favored to win due to a 7-1 voter registration advantage. While high-profile Democrats like President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have endorsed Parker, many Philadelphians are focused on the challenges that lie ahead for the winner of tomorrow’s election, including increasing city support for small business owners and determining how best to ensure public safety.

Roosevelt Poplar to Head Philadelphia FOP

Roosevelt Poplar, a longtime vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 (FOP), will succeed McNesby, who is leaving for a position with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Holiday Travelers Can Expect Cheaper Round-Trip Fares to, From PHL

Despite higher demand overall, round-trip airfare to and from the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) around Thanksgiving and Christmas is down more than 20% compared to last holiday season. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Sheriff’s Office Owes Millions to Philadelphians in Excess Funds, According to Recent Lawsuits

Millions of dollars in excess funds — or the remaining amount or after the payment of back taxes, utility bills, and other expenses — are reportedly owed to Philadelphians whose properties have been sold by the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.



Innamorato, Rockey Seek Remaining Votes in Last Stretch of Allegheny County Executive Race

Over the weekend, Allegheny County executive Democratic candidate Sara Innamorato and Republican candidate Joe Rockey each attended events and knocked doors in attempts to persuade any undecided voters in the county ahead of Election Day on Tuesday. Though Rockey has maintained a sizable fundraising advantage in recent months, Innamorato is favored to win due to a 2-1 voter registration edge. WESA has more.

Pittsburgh City Council Changes Procurement Rules Amid Scrutiny Over No-Bid Contracts

Pittsburgh City Council has passed an ordinance that would require the city solicitor sign off on any no-bid contracts. Recently, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala has openly scrutinized the way the city of Pittsburgh hires vendors. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.

HCEF Launches First U.S. Mobile Classroom to Address Learning Gaps Among Housing Insecure Children

Pittsburgh nonprofit the Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF) has launched the country’s first mobile classroom, which will bring free, one-on-one tutoring to K-8 students who have missed long stretches of school due to housing instability. WESA has more.



Trump Leads Biden in Pennsylvania, Four Other Swing States

A recent New York Times/Siena poll found President Joe Biden trails former President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania by four points a year out from the 2024 election, with similar findings in other critical swing states. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Is New Biden Administration Mandate Enough to Address Nursing Home Understaffing?

A proposed Biden Administration mandate would impose new minimum staffing standards on nursing homes throughout the country. However, many industry experts in Pennsylvania and beyond worry that without additional funding for workforce development, the mandate would not have the desired impact. WESA has more.

U.S. Senator Fetterman Proposes Sanctions Against Senate Members Under Indictment for Certain Crimes

Pennsylvania U.S. Senator John Fetterman — who was among the first to call on his colleague New Jersey U.S. Senator Bob Menendez to resign following his indictment on federal corruption charges — has introduced a resolution that would sanction members of the Senate who are under indictment for certain crimes. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Beltway Briefing: Nikki Haley: A 2024 GOP Alternative?

As the new speaker moves forward with an Israeli aid package, antisemitism is spreading across the globe. Meanwhile in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, Donald Trump’s façade begins to crumble under the weight of mounting indictments, positioning Nikki Haley as a formidable alternative to the former president. Listen to the latest episode featuring CPS’ Howard Schweitzer, Patrick Martin, and Towner French here.


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