Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, October 17, 2022

October 17, 2022

Pennsylvania

Shapiro Campaign Breaks Pennsylvania Campaign Spending Record

Pennsylvania’s two-decade-old campaign spending record was recently broken by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro’s campaign. It is estimated that, by election day, the attorney general will have spent approximately ten times as much money as his Republican opponent, State Senator Doug Mastriano. The Associated Press has more.

Former Pennsylvania Governor Remembered at Memorial Service

Nearly 200 family, friends, and admirers gatherers at Shadyside Presbyterian Church on Sunday to celebrate the life and legacy of former Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh. Though the former governor had passed away in December 2020, the public memorial service was postponed due to pandemic restrictions. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.

State-Level Politics May Prevent IRA From Reaching Full Potential Impact

This summer, the Biden Administration made history with the passage of its ambitious Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which will invest hundreds of billions of dollars into climate solutions and environmental justice priorities across the country. While this could have potentially huge implications for Pennsylvania, a state still largely tethered to the fossil fuel industry, state-level politics may hinder the extent to which the funding is able to have a measurable impact in the commonwealth. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

State Funding for Counties’ Election Costs Comes With Strings Attached

Sixty-four of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties applied for a share of $45 million in state funding to help cover election costs, including staff salaries, ballot printing, and postage. Now, these counties must prove that their workers processed and counted all mail-in ballots they receive — beginning on election day, without stopping — in order to qualify for their share of the grant money. WITF has more.

Lancaster County Trans Student Thrives Despite State-Level Politics Surrounding LGBTQ Issues in Schools

Despite attempts by Pennsylvania lawmakers to introduce anti-trans legislation to regulate participation in sports and discussion of gender and sexuality in schools, some of the state’s LGBTQ students — like Ollie Wenditz of Landisville Middle School — have encountered much love and support from their communities and are thriving in their identities as a result. WITF has more on Ollie’s story.

 

Philadelphia

Philadelphia Voters to Consider Two Ballot Questions in Upcoming November Election

While Pennsylvania’s high-profile U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races have taken up a lot of the spotlight in the months leading up to the midterm election in November, there are also two local ballot questions for Philadelphians to consider. The first will determine whether Philadelphia’s airports will get their own cabinet-level department, allowing for airport officials’ input on budget discussions. The second will determine whether graduates of the Philadelphia school district’s Career and Technical Education program should be given preference — similar to veterans and descendants of Philadelphia firefighters and police officers who died in the line of duty — during the city’s hiring process.

City Council Votes to Extend Eviction Diversion Program

Last Thursday, Philadelphia City Council voted to extend its nationally lauded eviction diversion program through June 2024. The program, which was initially created in 2020 as an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, allows for landlords and tenants to settle disputes outside of court and has reduced the number of evictions in the city by 75 percent. The Philadelphia Tribune has more.

Philadelphia Officials Respond to Wawa Center City Store Closures, Safety Concerns

Last week, Wawa announced that it would be closing two more of its Center City stores due to “safety and security concerns.” However, amid a fair amount of concern over the implications of these closures, some city officials — including Mayor Jim Kenney and Center City District President and CEO Paul Levy — are pushing back on the narrative that Center City is becoming unsafe, citing outside trends that may have played a role in Wawa’s decision. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Philadelphia Museum of Art Reaches Contract Deal With Unionized Workers

After two weeks of striking, unionized staff members at the Philadelphia Museum of Art have reached a contract agreement with museum management which includes salary and hourly wage increases, longevity pay increases, and improvements to benefits such as parental leave and assistance with health insurance costs. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

 

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s Aging Home Stock Partially Responsible for Blight, Crime

According to U.S. Census data, Pittsburgh’s housing stock is the nation’s third oldest, with approximately half of all homes having been constructed before 1940. Some attribute the city’s blight and increased crime rates to the state of disrepair that many of these homes are in. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.

What Happens if Late State Representative DeLuca Wins His Election?

Longtime Democratic State Representative Tony DeLuca, who passed away last week after a brief battle with lymphoma, is still on the November ballot. This begs the question: What happens if he wins posthumously? The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

Pittsburgh Department of Mobility, Infrastructure Releases Move PGH Mid-Pilot Report

In July 2021, Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure announced a two-year pilot program of Move PGH, which aims to improve accessibility of newer modes of transportation, such as e-scooters, car-share services, and mopeds. Now a year in, the Department has released its mid-pilot report, which highlights the program’s positive outcomes thus far. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

 

Federal

Beltway Briefing: Countdown to the 2022 Midterm Elections

As Republicans and Democrats battle it out with just weeks of campaigning left before election day, Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Patrick Martin, Towner French, and Kaitlyn Martin break down the electoral map and discuss the impact of the last January 6 Committee hearing. Listen to the episode here.

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