Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, October 31, 2022

October 31, 2022

Pennsylvania

Stock Market Impacting PSERS Pensions

With more money going out than coming in during recent months, the value of the state’s Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) pension fund dropped about 6% from June 30 to March 31, closely following the volatility of the stock market during those months. While the news is a bit disconcerting, Pennsylvania’s pensions are showing “very strong” returns compared to those in other states. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Next Week’s Election to Decide Control of Seven Southcentral Pennsylvania House Seats

Next week’s elections will see seven southcentral Pennsylvania state House seats filled that will be vacated by Republican incumbents, some of whom have held their seats for decades. PennLive has a detailed rundown of the candidates who are vying for these seats.

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Demand Audit of Phillies, Pirates Stadium Rental Payments

Republican State Representatives Jim Gregory and Tim Bonner are calling for an audit of tax credits claimed by the state’s two Major League Baseball teams — the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Under a 1999 deal, the teams are required to make rental payments of $25 million every decade, though this amount can be reduced by tax deductions based on how much tax revenues the teams’ stadiums bring in. Lawmakers are citing concerns regarding declining attendance. WHTM has more.

State Gubernatorial Candidates Compete for Catholic Votes

In Pennsylvania, Catholics represent approximately a quarter of the voting population, meaning Catholic perception of the state’s gubernatorial candidates may have a fair amount of influence over the outcome of the election. While Republican state senator Doug Mastriano has long accused his opponent of needlessly antagonizing the Catholic Church in his role as the state’s Attorney General, Democrat Josh Shapiro maintains that he intends to represent all Pennsylvanians, regardless of faith. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.

 

Philadelphia

Cozen O’Connor Executive Chair, CEO Michael Heller Named Among City & State Pennsylvania’s 2022 Philly Power 100

We’re proud to announce that Cozen O’Connor’s very own Executive Chair and CEO Michael Heller has been named among City & State Pennsylvania’s 2022 Philly Power 100. The Philly Power 100 are considered the most influential political players in the city. Read more here.

Norristown High Speed Line KOP Extension Continues to Draw SEPTA Funding, Criticism

The King of Prussia (KOP) extension to the Norristown High Speed Line has long been a topic of debate among the region’s transit riders and non-transit riders alike. However, as SEPTA has plowed through with its most recent $390 million investment into the $2 billion project, the controversial extension has continued to draw criticism, especially as pertains to what is constructed around the planned stations. Billy Penn has more.

The Documented History of Abuse, Cover Ups at Norristown State Hospital 

Former patients and employees of the Norristown State Hospital have recently been speaking out about the abuse they endured or witnessed at the hands of the facility’s staff — as well as an ingrained culture of extensive cover ups. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

 

Pittsburgh

Special Election to Determine Control of 5th City Council District

Next week, Pittsburgh voters will decide among four special-election candidates — a Democrat, a Republican, and two Independents — whom the replacement for the City Council’s 5th District seat will be. The position was vacated earlier this year when former City Councilmember Corey O’Connor assumed the role of Allegheny County Controller. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

What Does the Closure of Argo AI Mean for Pittsburgh’s Robotics Industry?

Last Wednesday, Pittsburgh-based driverless car company Argo AI announced that it would be closing its doors, the latest in a string of tech news that has prompted some concern over the health of the city’s growing robotics industry. However, some argue that this most recent news is more reflective of unique challenges within the niche driverless car industry. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.

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