Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, February 15, 2024

February 15, 2024


Gov. Shapiro’s Proposed FY25 Budget Would More Than Double State Public Defense Funding

Pennsylvania’s newly established Indigent Defense Advisory Committee anticipates distributing funds mid-year, potentially more than doubling the total available amount if Governor Josh Shapiro’s full FY25 budget request is approved, marking a significant step towards providing routine funding for public defenders in the state. Budget hearings begin next week. PennLive has more.

Democrats Strengthen State House Majority Following HD140 Special Election

Democrat Jim Prokopiak’s victory in Tuesday’s Bucks County special election further strengthens Pennsylvania House Democrats’ majority, securing their control over the lower chamber and enhancing their leverage in upcoming budget negotiations. Spotlight PA has more.

Special Election for HD139 to Coincide With 2024 Primaries

A special election for the 139th District seat formerly held by Republican Joe Adams has been set for April 23, coinciding with the 2024 primary elections. This will be the eighth special election during this legislative session. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

Nomination Petition Signing Season Draws to a Close

This Tuesday marked the deadline for candidates in statewide races to submit nominating petitions to make it onto the primary ballot in April. PoliticsPA has a list of those who succeeded. While the presidential race is expected to pull focus, the race for Pennsylvania attorney general will also be closely watched.

Nonpartisan Organization Fighting Election Misinformation, Rebuilding Trust Ahead of 2024 Elections

Amid lingering doubts about U.S. elections fueled by the pervasive conspiracy theory that Trump won the 2020 election, Keep Our Republic — a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization chaired by former Governor Tom Corbett — is working to rebuild trust and educate voters on election processes, with the goal of demystifying procedures and combating misinformation. WITF has more.

State Senate to Consider Repealing RGGI Carbon Tax

State Senator Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) has introduced legislation to repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) carbon tax, citing concerns about increased electricity rates, job losses, and grid reliability amidst ongoing legal battles and bipartisan opposition. The Delaware Valley Journal has more.

Pennsylvania Airports to Receive Federal Dollars for Terminal Upgrades

The Biden Administration has allocated nearly $1 billion to upgrade terminal facilities at airports nationwide, with Pennsylvania receiving funding for terminal improvements at Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Lancaster airports. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.



Council President Johnson Urges Harrisburg to Increase Minimum Wage

In an opinion piece published by City & State Pennsylvania, City Council Johnson argues why state legislators should raise the state minimum wage after 25 years of stagnation.

PPD to Begin Crackdown on Drug Offenses in Kensington in April

As Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel ramps up enforcement of drug laws in Kensington, the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) will begin to inform individuals through community outreach ahead of an anticipated crackdown in April. The goal is to address the neighborhood’s rampant open-air drug market and associated issues. The Philadelphia inquirer has more.

City Wins $1.47M Federal Grant for EV Workforce Development Program 

The City received $1.47 million in federal funds for its Plug In Philly initiative aimed at training 45 diverse Philadelphians for electric vehicle supply and equipment careers. Supported by partnerships with organizations like IBEW Local 98, the program is focused on bolstering America’s electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Updated SEPTA Wayfinding Signage Installed at 30th Street

New signage for SEPTA’s updated wayfinding system — aimed at simplifying navigation and improving clarity and visibility — debuted earlier than expected at Drexel Station at 30th Street. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.



Allegheny County Considering Tax Cuts to Revitalize Downtown

Allegheny County is considering tax cuts for downtown developers to stimulate economic growth and bolster affordable housing. WESA has more.

Southwestern Pennsylvania Municipal Project Hub Launched

This week, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Municipal Project Hub was launched to assist local governments, school districts, and nonprofits access federal dollars — particularly from the Inflation Reduction Act — for projects focusing on clean energy. WESA has more.

Pittsburgh Planning Commission Grapples With Tiny Home Village Proposal to Combat Homelessness

A proposal for tiny home villages for people experiencing homelessness faces challenges from the Pittsburgh Planning Commission over zoning changes, despite assurances from experts. WESA has more.

VP Harris to Visit Pittsburgh Next Week

Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Pittsburgh next Tuesday to discuss the Biden Administration’s clean water initiatives alongside Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, marking her 11th trip to Pennsylvania since taking office. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.



House Republicans to Propose Ukraine, Border Security Legislation

U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) is leading fellow House Republicans’ efforts to introduce an alternative bill focusing on Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and border security as a response to the package passed by the Senate on Tuesday. Politico has more.

Six Democrats Running Against Rep. Perry in PA-10

Six Democrats have filed nominating petitions to challenge Republican U.S. Representative Scott Perry (PA-10), making it the most crowded Congressional race in the state this cycle. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.


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