Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, August 10, 2023

August 10, 2023

Pennsylvania

Certain Programs Remain in Limbo Following Signing of FY24 State Budget

While many across the commonwealth breathed a sigh of relief when Governor Josh Shapiro signed the state budget into law last week, several programs — ranging from the Whole-Home Repairs Program and some state agriculture programs — will require additional legislation in order to receive their allotment of a collective $1.1 billion in funding that has been held back.

Efforts to Impeach Philadelphia DA Krasner Have Cost Pennsylvania Taxpayers Millions

According to information released in response to a Right to Known request, Pennsylvania taxpayers have collectively spent at least $2.8 million on House Republicans’ efforts to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. ABC27 has more.

How DEP Has Responded to Shell Cracker Plant Malfunctions, Violations

The Shell petrochemical complex in Beaver County has been mired in controversy since it began operations last fall. An investigation by PublicSource reveals that the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been inconsistent in its responses to the plant’s myriad malfunctions and violations.

 

Philadelphia

Wawa, Philadelphia Eagles Unveil Plans to Open Center City Popcorn for the People Location

Wawa and the Philadelphia Eagles have announced plans for a new Popcorn for the People location in Center City. The business will be entirely staffed by workers on the autism spectrum, and will pop and bag popcorn to sell at a new concession stand at Lincoln Financial Field. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Eagles Autism Foundation. Billy Penn has more.

New 76 Place Renderings Include Plans for Residential Tower, Affordable Housing

The latest conceptual renderings of 76 Place, the proposed Center City arena for the Philadelphia 76ers, now includes a 20-floor residential tower — 79 units of which will be reserved for affordable housing. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Cancellation of Made in America May Impact Local Businesses

While scheduled Made in America headliners Lizzo and SZA aren’t likely to take a financial hit from the festival’s cancellation, many local laborers, food vendors, cultural institutions, and small businesses that look forward to the annual event to boost profits are bracing for the financial impact of missing out. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Philadelphia Funder Collaborative Will Award $9 Million to Local Nonprofits

The Philadelphia Funder Collaborative — a partnership between the Connelly Foundation, the William Penn Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Neubauer Family Foundation — has announced that a total of $9 million in funding will be made available to local nonprofits to mark the nation’s 250th birthday in 2026. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Temple Unveils Increased Security Measures for Upcoming Academic Year

Temple University has announced plans for increased campus security measures for the upcoming academic year, including cameras, increased bike and foot patrols, improvements to an existing safety app, and new gun-detection and license plate-reading technologies. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Court Ruling Allows The Barnes Foundation to Lend Out Art

A recent ruling by the Montgomery County Orphans’ Court will allow the Barnes Foundation to lend its artworks to other institutions for the first time, barring approval by the Foundation’s board of trustees. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

 

Pittsburgh

Steel City’s Evolution Into Space City

Pittsburgh’s highly skilled workforce, manufacturing base, and top universities make the Steel City an excellent hub for the space industry. In fact, one of Pittsburgh’s top start-ups, Astrobotic, will be instrumental in two upcoming lunar missions. City & State Pennsylvania has more.

Where Will Wilkinsburg Go From Here?

After a July Commonwealth Court ruling indefinitely stalled efforts to annex Wilkinsburg to its larger neighbor, Pittsburgh, Wilkinsburg residents and officials are tasked with finding other ways to meaningfully address challenges such as low revenue and blight. One possibility is the drafting of a home rule charter, which would allow the borough increased taxing power. PublicSource has more.

Pittsburgh Water, Sewer Authority Invests in Wind Power

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and the Western Pennsylvania Energy Consortium recently amended an agreement with their current electricity supplier to significantly increase investment in wind power. WESA has more.

A City Program to Pressure Landlords of Problem Bars Still Hasn’t Been Used

Despite the city’s implementation of a program to pressure landlords into reigning in nuisance tenants, the program has not yet been officially used, leaving bars on Pittsburgh’s South Side as rowdy as ever. WESA has more.

 

Federal

Pennsylvania’s Fake Electors: Where Are They Now?

The Pennsylvania “fake electors” scandal features heavily in the most recent indictment against former President Donald Trump for his alleged attempts to overthrow the results of the 2020 election. Billy Penn has published a look into what these electors — many of whom remain influential in Pennsylvania politics — are up to now.

OSHA Fines Norfolk Southern for Worker Safety Violations During East Palestine Chemical Cleanup

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined rail company Norfolk Southern nearly $50,000 for workforce safety violations following the February train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, and subsequent chemical cleanup efforts. WESA has more.

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