Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, April 27, 2023

April 27, 2023


State House Judiciary Committee Passes Anti-Discrimination, Gun-Related Legislation 

This week, Democrats in the State House Judiciary Committee passed a 22-year-old anti-discrimination bill to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians — a move that garnered praise from Governor Josh Shapiro — as well as four gun-control bills. The pieces of legislation were passed along party lines, and may be voted on in the full House as soon as next week.

State Senate Panel Seeks Statewide Ban on Supervised Injection Sites

The state Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced legislation that would criminalize supervised injection sites throughout the state.

State House Democrats Introduce “Pre-Canvassing” Legislation

State Representative Scott Conklin (D-Centre) introduced a bill this week that would allow for “pre-canvassing,” or the counting of mail-in ballots before Election Day, which is intended to speed up the tabulation process. While the legislation is popular among state election administrators, it faces opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Regulation of Games of Skill Has Bipartisan Support in General Assembly

On Tuesday, State Senator Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) and State Representative Danilo Burgos (D-Philadelphia) spoke out in favor of regulating games of skill, such as video gaming machines common in bars, restaurants, and convenience stores. The proposed legislation, which has yet to be officially introduced, would also impose a 16% tax on such games, which could potentially bring in an additional $200 to $300 million in annual revenue to the state. City & State Pennsylvania has more.

October Update in Corporate Filing System Caused Response Delays in Pennsylvania Department of State

The Pennsylvania Department of State’s transition to a new corporate filing system in October 2022 caused a major backlog in the registration of new companies throughout the commonwealth. SpotlightPA has more.

How Much Should Pennsylvania Spend on Public Defense?

Pennsylvania is currently the only state in the nation that does not fund public defense, a right that is constitutionally guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. Governor Shapiro has proposed allocating $10 million of his first budget in office toward no-cost legal representation for those who need it, but many legal and civil rights experts say this is not enough. SpotlightPA has more.



Former Councilmember Green, Former Governor Rendell Make Mayoral Endorsements

This week, former City Councilmember At-Large Derek Green — who was himself a mayoral contender until recently — endorsed fellow Northwest Coalition member and former District 9 Councilmember Cherelle Parker for mayor. Meanwhile, former City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart achieved an ex-mayor hat-trick with the endorsement of former Governor of Pennsylvania and Mayor of Philadelphia Ed Rendell.

City Council Considers Two Affordable Housing Bills

On Monday, City Council’s Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development & The Homeless reported two component bills of the “People’s Preservation Package” favorably. The legislation which would, among other things, implement restrictions on the sale of affordable housing properties throughout the city. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.



Allegheny County Executive Fitzgerald Endorses City Controller Lamb as Chosen Successor

As expected, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, currently serving his third and final term, has endorsed City Controller Michael Lamb as his preferred successor for the upcoming primary election. WESA has more.

Jury Selection Ongoing for 2018 Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Trial

This week marked the beginning of the jury selection process for the high-profile trial of the alleged Tree of Life synagogue shooter. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.



President Biden’s Reelection Will Require All Pennsylvania Democrats’ Hands on Deck

President Joe Biden — a Scranton native — formally launched his reelection campaign this week. A second Biden victory will likely be dependent, once more, upon a win in Pennsylvania, making support from fellow Democrats in the crucial battleground state key. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

U.S. Senators Casey, Fetterman Request GAO Examination of Transit Accessibility for Aging, Disabled People

U.S. Senators Bob Casey and John Fetterman — both Pennsylvania Democrats — have requested that the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) identify potential gaps in accessibility to transit services for older adults and people with disabilities in rural areas. Senator Casey serves as the Chair of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. The Indiana Gazette has more.

U.S. Representative Smucker Speaks in Support of GOP Spending Plan

On Wednesday, Republican U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania Lloyd Smucker spoke out in favor of a GOP spending plan to address what he sees as an “unsustainable” increase in the national debt. LancasterOnline has more


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