Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, December 15, 2022

December 15, 2022


MV Realty Faces Legal Challenges in Pennsylvania

On Wednesday, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced a lawsuit against Florida-based real estate company MV Realty for alleged deceptive business practices targeting low-income and minority neighborhoods. The company regularly compels homeowners to sign contracts that guarantee MV Realty exclusive listing rights of their homes for up to 40-year terms with steep termination fees, recording mortgages against customer properties in order to do so. Signees allege the company does not fully explain the terms of the contract prior to signing or provide copies of the signed and processed paperwork. 6ABC has more.

Governor-Elect Shapiro Preparing for Role by Embracing Bipartisanship

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is well into his transition period to take over Governor Tom Wolf’s position. In preparation, the governor-elect is currently laying the groundwork for the bipartisan efforts he will need to undertake once he officially takes office in January. The Associated Press has more.

State Republicans Urge Senator Toomey to Support SAFE Banking Act

A group of Pennsylvania state Republicans penned a letter urging U.S. Senator Pat Toomey to support the SAFE Banking Act — a cannabis banking bill that has proven successful in the House but not in the Senate — before he retires at the end of this year. The bill would allow banks to provide services to regulated marijuana businesses and employees. Currently, such businesses primarily operate in cash, which many argue is a public safety concern. The Center Square has more.

State Senator Mastriano Still Had $1 Million On Hand After Conclusion of Gubernatorial Race

State Senator Doug Mastriano vocally struggled throughout his gubernatorial campaign to raise sufficient funds to keep pace with his Democratic opponent Josh Shapiro. However, after Mastriano’s loss in November, he still had more than $1 million left in his coffers. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

State Representative Cutler Moves $50 Million Out of Speaker’s Account, Reschedules House Special Elections

In the latest moves in the highly partisan battle over current control of the chamber, outgoing Republican House Speaker Bryan Cutler ordered $50 million in General Assembly operational funds to be moved into Republican leader accounts on Tuesday. While Republicans claim this is standard operating procedure, Democrats have called it a “looting of the Treasury,” citing concerns about the now inadequate reserves and operating budget, as well as transparency. Representative Cutler has also issued writs to reschedule special elections to fill vacancies in House Districts 34 and 35 from February 7 to May 17.

Astrobotic-Built Lunar Lander Ready for Takeoff in 2023

Pittsburgh-headquartered space robotics company Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander has been approved for an expected early 2023 mission after having passed a litany of critical tests. PennLive has more.

Juul to Pay State Health Department $38.8 Million Settlement

Earlier this week, e-cigarette company Juul agreed to pay a near $40 million settlement to the Pennsylvania Department of Health over its alleged targeting of products to the state’s youth. Juul maintains that it did not engage in such practices. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.



State Representative Brown to Launch Mayoral Campaign Tomorrow

After much speculation and a soft-launch during the weekend of the Pennsylvania Society dinner in New York, State Representative Amen Brown is expected to make a formal announcement of his candidacy for Philadelphia mayor on tomorrow. He will be the ninth Democratic candidate to enter the race, as well as the youngest. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Philadelphia Unlikely to Surpass Current Homicide Record, Despite Steady Levels of Gun Violence

Despite consistent rates of gun violence, Philadelphia has recorded 8% fewer homicides in 2022 than this time last year, making it unlikely that the city will surpass the grim record-breaking 562 homicide mark set last year. The finding comes from an analysis of police data recently released by the Office of the Controller. WHYY has more.

City Council President Clarke Introduces New Affordable Housing Legislation

On Thursday, City Council President Darrell Clarke proposed a limited 10-year property tax abatement to create a new incentive for developers to construct new affordable housing buildings on North Broad Street. The abatement would be available to developers who reserve 30% of their units for potential residents who make 60% of the area median income or less. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.



Former Lieutenant Governor Candidate Will Not Seek Republican 32nd House District Nomination 

Former Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor Carrie Lewis DelRosso has decided not to run for the 32nd state House District, which was left vacant after the death of longtime Democratic Representative Tony DeLuca in October. The Republican nomination meeting will be held this weekend for the special election. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

Former County Councilor Fawcett Enters Allegheny County Executive Race

Attorney and former County Councilor Dave Fawcett has officially declared his candidacy in the crowded race for Allegheny County Executive. Though a former Republican, he is the fourth Democrat to enter the race. WESA has more.



Text Exchanges Between Pennsylvania U.S. Representative Perry, President Trump Chief of Staff Meadows Released

U.S. Representative Scott Perry is currently being investigated by the January 6 Select Committee for his role in the alleged plot to overturn the 2020 election results, and his text message exchanges with President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows shed a tremendous amount of light on his actions that day. City & State Pennsylvania has published a timeline of Representative Perry’s texts from data obtained by the website Talking Points Memo.


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