Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, December 22, 2022

December 22, 2022


State House Democrats, Republicans Still in Disagreement Over Special Election Dates

Yesterday, state House Democratic and Republican leaders met behind closed doors in the hopes of resolving once and for all the issue of chamber control before the new year — in particular, the scheduling of special elections to fill three vacant House seats. While Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton had previously attempted to schedule all three elections for February 7, Republican Leader Bryan Cutler sued in Commonwealth Court to prevent two of them from taking place on that date, favoring the existing May primary date. The two sides are still at an impasse. The Associated Press has more.

Republican Senator Laughlin Proposes Voter ID Requirement Legislation

On Wednesday, State Senator Dan Laughlin circulated a co-sponsorship memorandum declaring his intent to introduce legislation that would amend the state constitution to require that Pennsylvania voters provide valid identification at the polls. If approved, the question would be put to voters in the form of a ballot measure. The legislation has been approved by both the state House and Senate in a previous session. PoliticsPA has more.

State Mandated Raises of 7.8% to Be Applied More Broadly This Year

A 1995 state law requires that more than a thousand Pennsylvania government officials — including judges, executive branch officials, and state legislators — receive an annual cost-of-living pay increase. This year, this raise will also be applied to two statewide pension system leaders not articulated in the original law — the chairs of the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) and the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS). This year, the mandated raises will be 7.8% of current salaries. PennLive has more.


Philadelphia District Attorney Krasner Issues Formal Response to State Senate’s Impeachment Charges

On Wednesday, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner maintained in a formal response to the Pennsylvania Senate that state Republicans’ efforts to impeach him are meritless and illegal, citing similar increases in urban gun violence to Philadelphia’s across the country. DA Krasner filed a suit with the Commonwealth Court requesting an intervention on his behalf earlier this month. His impeachment trial is currently scheduled for January 18. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

New Business Improvement District Approved for North Broad Street

City Council recently approved a new business improvement district (BID) on North Broad Street, which is intended to help business and property owners in the neighborhood revitalize the area. The BID will be administered by North Broad Renaissance, a nonprofit dedicated to cleaning up and promoting the neighborhood, which hopes that the BID will provide a more stable source of funding for its efforts. Those who own property on Broad Street between Spring Garden and West Indiana Avenue will begin paying an annual fee based on the property’s assessed value in January 2024. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.


New Report Highlights Dozens of Pittsburgh-Area Bridges In Need of Urgent Repairs

In response to the high-profile Fern Hollow Bridge collapse earlier this year, Mayor Ed Gainey ordered an investigation into the integrity of Pittsburgh’s many bridges as a major part of his Comprehensive Bridge Asset Management Program. This week, the resulting report indicated that there are dozens of bridges with structural issues significant enough to warrant addressing in the next six months, with 27 requiring immediate attention. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.


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