Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, December 21, 2023

December 21, 2023

Pennsylvania

State Budget Includes Expansion of Child Care Tax Credit

Included among the code bills signed into law by Governor Josh Shapiro last week is the expansion of Pennsylvania’s child care tax credit, which provides financial support for families with children in child care. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

Pennsylvania Democrats Postpone Vote on Private School Vouchers

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party postponed a vote on an anti-private-school-voucher resolution, a priority for Governor Josh Shapiro, after the Democratic National Committee expressed concerns about party division leading into the 2024 election. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Pennsylvania Population Decline Could Lead to Loss of Another Congressional Seat

According to recently released U.S. Census Bureau data, Pennsylvania may be on track to lose another congressional seat by 2030 due to population decline. PoliticsPA has more.

State Government Job Openings Filled Quicker Thanks to Streamlined Hiring Process

Streamlining of the hiring process for job openings in Pennsylvania state government — part of an ongoing effort to make state government hiring more efficient and competitive — has resulted in a reduction in the average time it takes to fill positions. PennLive has more.

Pennsylvania State Police Expands, Modernizes Academy

This week, the Pennsylvania State Police broke ground on a new $387.7 million academy in Hershey, featuring 366,000 square feet of multiple buildings and large tactical training villages, with the goal of providing the best training environment for state troopers for decades to come. WITF has more.

 

Philadelphia

Mayor-Elect Parker Announces More Cabinet Appointees

This week, Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker announced the appointment of Alba Martinez as commerce director, Robert McDermott as budget director, and Ami Patel as deputy budget director. The Parker Administration will also retain current Finance Director Rob Dubow. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Chinatown Stitch Design Selected

The Chinatown Stitch Project has unveiled its selected design for the partial highway cap that will reconnect areas currently bisected by the Vine Street Expressway. Additional funding is still being secured. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Philadelphia Area Housing Market Expected to Boom in 2024

The National Association of Realtors has ranked the Philadelphia region’s housing market among its top 10 in terms of potential for strong growth in the coming year. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Center City Sixers Arena Project Approval Process Begins

The Civic Design Review (CDR) committee held a special meeting on Monday to review the most recent plans for the Philadelphia 76ers’ proposed $1.55 billion Center City arena, kicking off the official approval process. Meanwhile, the Kenney Administration confirmed that the City’s studies on economic and community impact will be released sometime in 2024. WHYY has more.

Jefferson Announces Plans to Acquire Lehigh Valley Health Network

Thomas Jefferson University has announced its plans to acquire Lehigh Valley Health Network, which would extend its reach beyond the immediate Philadelphia region and create a 30-hospital system. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

 

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh City Council Passes $845 Million 2024 Budget

On Monday, Pittsburgh City Council approved a nearly $845 million spending plan for 2024 — a $2.3 million increase over Mayor Ed Gainey’s initial proposal. notable changes include a 7% pay raise for all council members, a decrease in the number of police officer positions, and additional funding for initiatives such as park upgrades and economic development plans. WESA has more.

Pittsburgh School Board Passes $719 Million 2024 Budget

On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Public Schools Board unanimously approved a $719 million budget for 2024, a 5% increase from the previous year, which includes funding for plans to implement “long-term fixes” in the new year. WESA has more.

Westmoreland Commissioners Expected to Pass 32.5% Tax Hike

Westmoreland County commissioners are expected to implement a 32.5% property tax increase — the largest in over two decades — to fund general government operations and address the County’s growing debt. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

Senators Casey, Fetterman, Representative Deluzio Express Concern Over U.S. Steel Sale Deal

The announcement of U.S. Steel being purchased by Nippon Steel Corporation for $14.9 billion elicited mixed reactions in Pittsburgh, with concerns ranging from national security implications to outrage from the United Steelworkers union. Among the deal’s critics are U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D) and John Fetterman (D), as well as U.S. Representative Chris Deluzio (D-17). PoliticsPA has more.

Astrobotic Lunar Lander Set for January Launch

The launch of Peregrine — the lunar lander created by Pittsburgh-based space company Astrobotic — has been rescheduled to January 8. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

 

Federal

Could Colorado Supreme Court’s Disqualification of Trump From Primary Ballot Happen in Pennsylvania?

The Colorado Supreme Court ruling disqualifying former President Donald Trump from appearing on the state’s primary ballot has begged the question of whether similar legal challenges could succeed in other states, including Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Judge Orders Representative Perry to Turn Over Cell Phone Records to Federal Prosecutors In Election Subversion Case

On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that the special counsel’s office may access more than 1,600 communications from Republican U.S. Representative Scott Perry’s (PA-10) cell phone, including messages about his interest in assisting former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. CNN Politics has more.

NBC News Picks Erie County as “Decider” in 2024 Election

NBC News has identified Erie County, Pennsylvania, as one of seven key “decider” counties to watch during the 2024 presidential race due to its significance as a blue-collar swing county. PoliticsPA has more.

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