Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, February 23, 2023

February 23, 2023

Pennsylvania

Former Governor Wolf’s RGGI Regulation May Be Undone by Proposed House Republican Bill

Earlier this month, Republican Representatives James Struzzi and Dallas Kephart circulated a co-sponsorship memo about their intent to introduce legislation that would eliminate the RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) regulation imposed by former Governor Tom Wolf. If passed, the legislation would also prevent similar proposals from being introduced in the future. Pennsylvania’s joining of the RGGI, a multi-state compact with the intent of reducing the state’s carbon footprint, has been blocked by the Commonwealth Court until it can rule on the regulation’s constitutionality. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

State Democrats, Republicans Propose Competing Legislation Surrounding Pennsylvania’s Death Penalty

A week after Governor Josh Shapiro encouraged members of the General Assembly to officially abolish the death penalty in Pennsylvania, House and Senate Democrats reintroduced bills that, if passed, would do just that. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans have set their sights on legislation intended to protect law enforcement by introducing a mandatory death sentence for anyone who murders a police officer. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

 

Philadelphia

City Council President Clarke Not Seeking Reelection

This morning, Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke announced that he will not be seeking another term and will be retiring when his current term comes to an end this year. Council President Clarke also took the time to endorse his former chief of staff, Curtis Wilkerson — who has already begun soliciting petition signatures for a potential run — for the 5th Councilmanic District seat. City Council has already experienced a high amount of turnover in recent months due to mayoral run-related resignations, and will now also be under new leadership for the first time since 2012. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council Endorses Parker for Mayor

Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council announced that it will endorse former City Councilmember and State Representative Cherelle Parker for mayor. The Council of 30 city unions endorsed current Mayor Jim Kenney in 2015 and 2019. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Former Philadelphia Schools CEO a Frontrunner in Chicago Mayoral Race

While most eyes have been on our own city’s race for mayor, one of the emerging front-runners in the Chicago mayoral race is a familiar, if controversial, figure in Philadelphia. Paul Vallas, who is currently well positioned for the Windy City’s top executive position, served as chief of Philadelphia schools in the early 2000s, in the immediate aftermath of the state’s takeover. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Jodie Harris Named Next President of PIDC

The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) has announced that, after an extensive national search, Jodie Harris will serve as the organization’s next president beginning in June. With experience gleaned from her time as director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund — as well as other public, private, and nonprofit organizations — she will be responsible for leading PIDC’s mission to help drive economic growth throughout the city. Al Día has more.

 

Pittsburgh

Recalculation of CLR in Allegheny County Results in Steeper Than Usual Increase in Property Taxes

Many Allegheny County homeowners were in for a rude awakening when they discovered that recent changes to the way the county’s property assessments are calculated have resulted in steep increases in what they owe in property taxes. Last year, a judge ruled that the Common Level Ratio (CLR), which is intended to equalize assessments determined through appeals compared to those determined by the county, had been skewed by the county a decade ago. Homeowners have until March 31 to appeal their tax bills. WESA has more.

State Senators Seek Federal Funding for Mon-Fayette Expressway Extension Project

A bipartisan group of state senators have proposed utilizing federal funding to complete that ongoing Mon-Fayette Expressway extension project. The project will extend the currently 54-mile toll road that connects Jefferson Hills and Morgantown, West Virginia, northward six miles to Duquesne. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

 

Federal

Governor Shapiro Expresses Public Support for U.S. Senator Fetterman During Senator’s Mental Health Hospitalization

This week, Governor Josh Shapiro publicly expressed his confidence in U.S. Senator John Fetterman’s ability to do his job following his hospitalization for clinical depression, stating that he would not support outside calls for the senator’s resignation should they arise. If Senator Fetterman did choose to resign, Governor Shapiro would be responsible for appointing a replacement until a special election could be held. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

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