Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, January 18, 2024
January 18, 2024
January 18, 2024
On Wednesday, Governor Josh Shapiro outlined key priorities for the upcoming budget year, including increased funding for public safety and education, improved accessibility to higher education, expanded support for senior citizens, a renewed push to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, and continued investment in vocational-technical education. The annual budget address will take place February 6. PennLive has more.
Governor Shapiro announced an increase in the maximum rebate amount for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program from $650 to $1,000, along with raised income limits to $45,000, benefiting hundreds of thousands more older adults and individuals with disabilities. Lehigh Valley Live has more.
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee advanced gun control measures along party lines, including a proposal to ban sales of automatic and semi-automatic guns, marking the second time they’ve used their majority to push such measures. While the bills have a good chance of passing the Democratic-controlled House, they would face resistance in the Republican-controlled state Senate. WESA has more.
Divided control of the Pennsylvania legislature is hindering the advancement of proposed constitutional amendments, with Democrats and Republicans unable to reach a consensus on key issues such as giving survivors of childhood sexual abuse the opportunity to sue their abusers. Spotlight PA has more.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) has faced criticism for not aligning staff numbers with the significant drop in college student enrollment, with a policy brief suggesting that staffing expenses contribute to PASSHE’s ongoing challenges. The Center Square has more.
Pennsylvania’s newly established Indigent Defense Advisory Committee will soon be convened to determine the allocation of the state’s inaugural funding for public defense. WESA has more.
Mayor Cherelle Parker discussed federal assistance for public safety, affordable housing, and the opioid crisis with President Joe Biden during his third visit to Philadelphia this year in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Philabundance. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
The Sheriff’s Office has not held an auction of tax-delinquent properties since April 2021, leading to disagreement over who is responsible for this failure and leaving the City’s ability to collect revenue and redevelop blighted land in limbo. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
Longtime President of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Jerry Jordan is retiring after leading the 13,000-member union since 2007. Arthur Steinberg, current president of the American Federation of Teachers Pennsylvania, will succeed him. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
Colossal troll sculptures by Danish artist Thomas Dambo made of repurposed wood and inspired by Scandinavian folklore will make their East Coast debut at the Philadelphia Zoo in February. The works tell a story about protecting the planet through sustainable practices, with each troll having a unique name, story, and environmental mission. Philadelphia Magazine has more.
A coalition of 35 organizations and 37 individuals is urging Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato to prioritize social determinants of health, equity, and transparency in selecting a health director for the County Health Department, a position which has been vacant for a year. PublicSource has more.
In the local tech space, Pittsburgh founders and executives anticipate trends such as increased emphasis on cybersecurity across industries, expansion of the commercial space industry with more NASA collaborations, integration of robotics into manufacturing to fill workforce gaps, and the use of autonomous ground vehicles in government defense efforts, particularly in navigating challenging terrains at high speeds, with drones and autonomy becoming a priority for soldiers. PublicSource has more.
Efforts to reduce violence and disruption on Pittsburgh’s South Side, including the establishment of the South Side Entertainment Patrol, have proven effective, according to Pittsburgh Public Safety officials and local business owners. WESA has more.
While President Joe Biden is narrowly leading former President Donald Trump in his birth state of Pennsylvania according to several recently conducted polls, his low approval ratings may prove a challenge for his re-election prospects. Newsweek has more.
U.S. Senator John Fetterman and members of the Philadelphia-area congressional delegation are urging the Biden Administration to prioritize SEPTA, which is facing deep service cuts due to a $240 million structural deficit. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
U.S. Senator Bob Casey has written to Comptroller General Dodaro requesting that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigate the impact of corporate greed on American consumers, citing reports on “greedflation” and “shrinkflation” by large corporations that raise prices and reduce product sizes. GoErie has more.
Democratic U.S. Representative Summer Lee has garnered support from top House Democrats, including New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, as she faces a challenging primary contest. WESA has more.
Over the weekend, a forum featuring eight Democratic candidates vying to challenge Republican U.S. Representative Scott Perry (PA-10) resulted in widespread consensus on issues including abortion, healthcare, and voting. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star 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