Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, February 8, 2024
February 8, 2024
February 8, 2024
On Tuesday, Governor Josh Shapiro delivered his second annual Budget Address, where he unveiled his $48.34 billion FY25 Executive Budget, a 6.2% increase over last year’s. Highlights include $1.1 billion into new funding for K-12 education, a $975 million investment in creating a comprehensive three-part plan to transform higher education, and a $282.8 million investment in public transit systems across the Commonwealth — including $161 million in funding for SEPTA. The Governor also strongly urged his colleagues in the General Assembly to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, legalize recreational marijuana, and codify a 42% tax on skill games. Read Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies’ recap here.
Following his Tuesday Budget Address, Governor Shapiro and Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding visited the New Holland Agriculture plant in Lancaster County, emphasizing the $10.3 million Agriculture Innovation Fund for its crucial role in supporting rural communities and farmers. He also defended his budget proposal against criticism, inviting state legislators to “come forth with their own [ideas]” if they disagree with those proposed. PoliticsPA has more.
With only five days left until the deadline to submit nomination petitions to get on this year’s ballot, PoliticsPA has compiled a list from the Pennsylvania Department of State of this year’s statewide candidates.
The state Senate passed a resolution in support of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s controversial border security efforts, urging Governor Shapiro to follow suit. PennLive has more.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services (DHS) is expanding doula access to address maternal health disparities in marginalized communities, aiming to improve birth outcomes, with simplified certification processes and subsidies offered, while working toward full recognition and coverage of doula services by 2025 or 2026. WESA has more.
Mayor Cherelle Parker has announced the separation of the Streets and Sanitation Departments, a move intended to help the City tackle each in a more efficient and functions-based manner. She also announced an independent investigation into the Office of Homeless Services (OHS) due to its overspending in recent years. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
A resolution establishing a new Kensington Caucus was unanimously approved by City Council on Thursday. Legislation that would implement new protections for “displaced” subcontracted building services workers was reintroduced after having been pocket vetoed by Mayor Jim Kenney, while another bill was introduced legislation that would ban “tag flippers,” which can hide a car’s license plate and thwart police investigations and toll booths.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has launched a task force to combat organized retail and home theft, addressing a surge in retail theft incidents in the city, particularly targeting repeat offenders and criminal organizations involved in reselling stolen goods. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
The Philadelphia Democratic Party removed no fewer than 16 ward committee members for supporting Working Families Party (WFP) candidates in the 2023 City Council elections. Billy Penn has more.
Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato’s implementation of a pay raise for county workers is projected to increase personnel expenditures by nearly $9.9 million over three years, less than estimated for a similar plan previously proposed by County Council. WESA has more.
On Tuesday, Pittsburgh City Council approved Mayor Ed Gainey’s $6 million proposal for a citywide comprehensive plan, including a $3.25 million contract for plan development and $2.6 million for community engagement. The plan aims to address zoning rules, racial disparities, and climate change. WESA has more.
A proposal for tiny house villages for homeless individuals faced criticism from a Pittsburgh Department of City Planning official but received mixed feedback from planning commissioners ahead of an upcoming public hearing. PublicSource has more.
Pittsburgh Public Schools officials are warning of potential revenue reduction due to ongoing property tax appeals and exacerbated by a court-ordered reduction in the Common Level Ratio, which may pose budgetary challenges. WESA has more.
Project Veritas and its former leader acknowledge the falsity of claims about ballot mishandling at a Pennsylvania post office in 2020, settling a lawsuit filed by a Pennsylvania postmaster, thus debunking allegations of election fraud in Erie during the 2020 presidential election. The Associated Press has more.
U.S. Senator Bob Casey anticipates a close race in Pennsylvania, reflecting on its pivotal role in national politics and reflecting on the state’s recent political dynamics. NBC has more.
Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, an affiliate of the international law firm Cozen O’Connor, is a bipartisan government relations practice representing clients before the federal government and in cities and states throughout the country. With offices in Washington D.C., Richmond, Albany, New York City, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Chicago, and Santa Monica, the firm’s public strategies professionals offer a full complement of government affairs services, including legislative and executive branch advocacy, policy analysis, assistance with government procurement and funding programs, and crisis management. Its client base spans multiple industries, including healthcare, transportation, hospitality, education, construction, energy, real estate, entertainment, financial services, and insurance.
Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has over 775 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle-market companies, Cozen O’Connor serves its clients’ needs through 31 offices across two continents.
February 22, 2024
February 22, 2024