Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, August 11, 2022

August 11, 2022

Pennsylvania

Governor Wolf, State Economic Leaders Celebrate Recently Lowered Corporate Tax Rate

On Monday, Governor Tom Wolf visited the York County Economic Alliance in celebration of the new Corporate Net Income Tax rate, a key component of the most recently passed state budget. The new rate — which was halved from 9.99% to 4.99% — is intended to make Pennsylvania more business friendly and economically competitive. Governor Wolf’s website has more.

Pennsylvania Democrats Hope to Follow Kansas’ Example on Abortion Rights

Politicos across the country were stunned last week when Kansas voters struck down a proposed constitutional amendment that would have essentially ended abortion access in the state. Now, Pennsylvania Democrats and abortion rights activists are looking at Kansas’ example and drawing parallels with an eye toward May 2023, when a similar measure seems likely to appear on Pennsylvanians’ ballots. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

New Mixed-Use Development Hopes to Bring Growth to Hershey

A brand new village-style development is currently under construction in Hershey. The developer, Hershey Trust Co., anticipates that the 550 single-family homes and additional retail and commercial will help the township accommodate the growing workforce at the neighboring Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, as well as foster a sense of community among current residents. Penn Live has more.

Pennsylvania Candidates Utilize Social Media as Key Campaign Strategy

Social media has played an undeniable, ever-growing role in the political communications landscape for the past decade or so, with campaign strategies adapting to new platforms and increasingly creative approaches being taken with each election cycle. As senate and gubernatorial races heat up with mere weeks until election day, Pennsylvania candidates have continued in the tradition of innovative social media tactics, creating news-worthy content in an attempt to win over voters. WESA has more.

Philadelphia

Opinion: Matt Rader on How Urban Green Spaces Can Help Quell Violence, Improve Community Health

Philadelphia is currently on track to have another record-breaking year in terms of homicides, which disproportionately impacts Black and brown communities. That’s precisely why, according to Pennsylvania Horticultural Society President Matt Rader, City leaders should embrace a Green Equity Initiative, which would harness the power of simple but effective environmental solutions to make Philadelphia neighborhoods not only more pleasant but safer for all. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Federal, Local Officials Meet to Discuss Collaboration in Opposing Gun Violence

During a closed-door meeting on Wednesday spearheaded by Dr. Ala Stanford, regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, local and community leaders pledged to address the city’s growing gun violence epidemic. The meeting was just the beginning, with meetings to be held on a quarterly basis moving forward. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

City to Begin Mailing Out Property Assessment Notices

The City has confirmed that it will begin mailing assessment notices to property owners after months of delays. The average property value will be increasing by 31%, resulting in a steep tax increase for many Philadelphians. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Philadelphia Department of Public Health Launches COVID-19 Variant Sequencing, Tracking Lab

As pandemic restrictions have eased across the country, the newest phase of the pandemic has turned our collective attention to tracking new COVID-19 variants. In response, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health has opened a new lab to answer questions about how quickly the virus is changing, how different variants behave, and where certain variants originated. WHYY has more.

Pittsburgh

Future of Allegheny County Ballot Drop Boxes, Satellite Voting Centers Uncertain

Currently, there are no plans for ballot drop boxes and satellite voting centers — both of which were used in unprecedented numbers during the 2020 general election — to be brought back for future Allegheny County elections, though many would like to see their return. The primary reason cited by officials is the high cost. Though the state’s Act 77 has brought in additional funding to facilitate mail-in voting, according to Administrative Services Director Jessica Garofolo, this is only sufficient to help pay down the existing election department deficit. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

Water, Sewer Upgrades Coming to Westmoreland County

On Wednesday, the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County approved more than $2 million for upgrades to county water lines and sewer systems. These projects will impact approximately 90 customers. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

Penn Hill School District to Establish Its Own Police Department

The Penn Hills School District is in the early stages of establishing its own police force to supplement its current school safety and security measures. The county hopes to create the department within the next two months, which will require approval by the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

Federal

Multiple Pennsylvania Legislators Subpoenaed by the FBI 

Earlier this week, the FBI delivered subpoenas to several Pennsylvania lawmakers in relation to former President Donald Trump’s alleged attempt to utilize fake electors to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Some of the legislators — including U.S. Representative Scott Perry, whose cell phone was seized by the FBI on Tuesday — have been told that they are not the primary targets of the investigation, but may have information of interest. Penn Live has more.

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