Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, October 9, 2023

October 9, 2023


How Pennsylvania’s FY24 Budget Helps Shrinking Rural Counties

Last week, the Pennsylvania legislature passed several code bills necessary to inch the FY24 budget toward the finish line. This included funding for programs that help sustain Pennsylvania’s rural communities and economies, such as outdoor recreation, housing programs, and other efforts. WESA has more.

Tax Bill Allocates Increased Share of Sales Tax to Public Transit

Also included in the tax bill passed last week is an increase of the share of state sales taxes dedicated to public transit, which could potentially save SEPTA from having to make additional cuts to service or increase fares. The news is welcome, especially as more workers are returning to the office — and often rely on public transit to get them there. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

WFP Endorses Democratic State Supreme Court Candidate

The Working Families Party (WFP) has endorsed Democrat Daniel McCaffery for Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The move comes amid an influx of contributions and national attention to the race. City & State Pennsylvania has more.

Republican State Representative Announces Run for Attorney General, Comes in Conflict With RAGA

State Representative Craig Williams (R-Delaware) announced last week during a meeting of the Pennsylvania Republican Party that he will be seeking its nomination for attorney general. During his announcement, Representative Williams implied that he is supported by the Republican Attorney Generals Association (RAGA), which the organization denies. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Supporters, Opponents of Pennsylvania’s Participation in RGGI React to Climate Working Group Report

Though a state climate change task force created by Governor Josh Shapiro recently failed to reach a consensus regarding how the state should move forward with reducing greenhouse gasses, supporters and opponents of joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have each interpreted the outcome as validation. WESA has more.

State Launches “Teach in PA” Website to Combat Teacher Shortage

Last week, the Shapiro administration introduced a new website called Teach in PA in an effort to combat the growing teacher shortage in Pennsylvania. KDKA has more.



Building Trades Council Backs Four Democrats, One Republican in City Council At-Large Race

The Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council announced its endorsement of four Democrats — Nina Ahmad and incumbents Isaiah Thomas, Katherine Gilmore Richardson, and Jim Harrity — and Republican Jim Hasher for City Council last week. Their support largely hinged on support of the proposed 76ers arena in Center City. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Former Councilmember Domb Aims to Fix the City Through Business Rather Than Politics

Former Councilmember At-Large and mayoral candidate Allan Domb remains “laser-focused” on improving the quality of Philadelphia’s schools, neighborhoods, and local economy —  this time as a private citizen. Billy Penn has more.



Spin Scooters May Soon Be Returning to Pittsburgh Streets

Spin scooters may soon be spotted on Pittsburgh streets again, as state legislators have revived negotiations to pave the way for their return. WESA has more.

Pittsburgh to Receive $9 Million to Boost Urban Forest

Pittsburgh will be receiving $9 million in federal dollars over the next five years to mitigate urban heat islands. The funding is part of a larger $1 billion nationwide investment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service through the Urban and Community Forestry program. WESA has more.



President Biden Issues Statement Denouncing Terrorist Attacks in Israel

President Joe Biden released a statement that the U.S. “unequivocally condemns” the terrorist attacks perpetrated over the weekend against Israel by Hamas. In a call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Biden expressed his deep sympathy for all those missing, wounded, and killed, and pledged the full support of the U.S. government to the people of Israel. The White House has more.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Announces He Will Be Seeking Presidency as Independent

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. chose Independence Mall in Philadelphia as the backdrop for his announcement this afternoon that he will be running for the presidency in 2024 as an independent rather than as a democrat. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Beltway Briefing: Help Wanted: Speaker of the US House of Representatives

With government funding running out in less than 40 days, the House Republican Conference is scrambling to find a Speaker that can reach the 218-vote threshold. At the same time, the crisis at the southern border is intensifying, forcing the Biden Administration to continue former President Trump’s border wall. Listen to the latest episode featuring CPS’s Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Patrick Martin, Hon. Rodney Davis, Towner French, and Kaitlyn Martin here.

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