Pennsylvania Perspective for Monday, September 25, 2023

September 25, 2023


PennDOT, Norfolk Southern Finalize Agreement to Expand Passenger Rail Service Between Pittsburgh, New York City

On Friday, Governor Josh Shapiro announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) had reached an agreement with the Norfolk Southern Corporation to increase the number of daily passenger rail trips offered between Pittsburgh and New York City. City & State Pennsylvania has more.

Delaware County Must Accept In-Person Ballots From Voters Whose Mail Ballots Were Rejected

Following the May 16 primary in which the Delaware County Board of Elections opted not to do so, a judge has now ruled that the County must count provisional ballots cast in person by voters whose mail ballots are rejected due to technical defects. Spotlight PA has more.

Pennsylvania DEP to Ramp up PFAS Monitoring Efforts

In light of a recent U.S. Geological Survey that found that more than 70% of Pennsylvania’s waterways contain toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced that it will be increasing PFAS monitoring. WHYY has more.

New Grant Program to Fund Nonprofits Focused on Addressing Racial Disparity in Opioid-Related Deaths 

The Racial Equity Advancement in Communities through Harm Reduction (REACH) — a new statewide grant program created by Vital Strategies and the Scattergood Foundation — will help fund nonprofits dedicated to harm reduction-related projects and addressing racial disparities in opioid overdose deaths. WHYY has more.



Recent WFP Endorsements by High-Profile Democrats Raise Concern Among Local Party Leaders

September has brought Philadelphia Working Families Party (WFP) City Council candidate endorsements from high-profile Democrats including U.S. Senator John Fetterman and Governor Shapiro, much to the chagrin of Philadelphia Democratic Party chair Bob Brady. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Rate of Shootings in Philadelphia Slows, Though There is Still Much Room for Improvement

Police data show a 20% decrease in shootings compared to this time last year, though the pace of gun-related deaths is still higher than it was in 2020 when the uptick in violence began nationwide. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.



University of Pittsburgh Willing to Freeze In-State Tuition in Exchange for Larger State Subsidy

In a letter of intent delivered Friday, the University of Pittsburgh indicated its willingness to freeze in-state tuition for the 2024-25 academic year should the state appropriate 9.25% more funding than usual. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

POGOH to Add Six New Adaptive Bikes to Fleet

POGOH, Pittsburgh’s bikeshare system, will be adding six new adaptive bikes to its fleet — including a recumbent bike, a tandem bike, a hand cycle, a cargo bike, an adult tricycle, and a side-by-side adult tricycle — in order to allow people of all abilities to ride. WESA has more.



Republican David McCormick Launches 2024 Senate Campaign

Republican David McCormick formally announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate last week at an event at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, where he emphasized his Pennsylvania roots. McCormick previously ran for the office in 2022, losing the party’s nomination to Dr. Mehmet Oz. Politico has more.

Representative Fitzpatrick: “We’ll Do Whatever it Takes to Get Compromise Funding Bill to House Floor”

House Problem Solvers co-chair Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) appeared on CNN’s State of the Union over the weekend to discuss the caucus’s efforts to avert a government shutdown. CNN has more.

Beltway Briefing: Americans Desensitized to the Government Shutdown

The dysfunction of government shutdown and party in-fighting may only matter as much as the media is willing to cover it. At large, the American people are more concerned about the 2024 presidential election outcome. Listen to the latest episode here.

New Reporting Details Relationship Between Representative Smucker, Ex-Con Top Political Donor

Adam Kidan, a leader in the temporary-staffing industry who has served time in federal prison for fraud and conspiracy, has emerged as one of U.S. Representative Lloyd Smucker’s top political donors. WITF has more.


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