Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, December 28, 2023

December 28, 2023

Pennsylvania

State Legislature to Study Role Of 911 in Mental Health Emergencies

Pennsylvania state legislators have approved a study to explore ways the 911 system can better assist individuals experiencing a mental health crisis, which eventually result in recommendations for standards and procedures for routing behavioral health crises to the 988 suicide and crisis hotline. Spotlight PA has more.

State Implementing Solutions to Prevent Election Issues That Affected Northampton County

The Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt has stated that his department is enhancing training and support for county election officials ahead of the 2024 presidential election cycle, including helping Northampton County in avoiding the issues experienced during the 2023 general election. WITF has more.

Pennsylvania Legislators Discuss Proposal to Increase the State’s Renewable Energy Target

A bill in the state House proposes increasing Pennsylvania’s renewable energy goals from the current 8% to 30% by 2030, with new targets for in-state grid-scale solar, community solar, and rooftop solar, fulfilling one of Governor Josh Shapiro’s campaign promises. StateImpact Pennsylvania has more.

Pennsylvania Turnpike Initiates Testing of EV Charging Parking Spaces 

The Pennsylvania Turnpike plans to advance its electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure by installing inductive charging pads at its headquarters near Harrisburg in 2024, aiming to offer electrified stretches along the toll road. The Pittsburgh Union Progress has more.

 

Philadelphia

Mayor-Elect Parker Announces Several Cabinet Appointments Ahead of Inauguration

This week, Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker announced the appointment of several Adam Thiel as managing director and Adam Geer as public safety director as well as the retention of Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams.

President Biden to Visit Philadelphia on January 6th

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will be visiting Philadelphia on January 6, the third anniversary of the 2021 insurrection. The specific purpose of the visit has yet to be disclosed. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Incoming CCD President Wants to Change Perception of Center City in New Role

Prema Katari Gupta, the incoming president and CEO of Philadelphia’s Center City District (CCD), sat down with The Philadelphia Inquirer to discuss the current state of Center City, the need for cleanliness and safety, the challenges posed by remote work on business improvement districts, and more.

 

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Downtown Conversion Program Picks Up Speed

This year has seen the Pittsburgh Downtown Conversion Program — a $9 million pilot project aimed at converting underused or vacant offices into affordable homes announced in 2022 — pick up momentum, with several new projects currently in the pipeline. WESA has more.

 

Federal

Stories to Watch in 2024

Pennsylvania will no doubt play an outsize role in next year’s presidential election. The Philadelphia Inquirer is tracking the most important stories to watch heading into 2024, including the impact of Donald Trump’s dominance in the Republican primary and his potential effect on Pennsylvania Republicans, President Joe Biden’s dwindling approval ratings, and the importance of the suburbs for Democrats.

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