Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, July 28, 2022

July 28, 2022


Pennsylvania Universities to Increase Tuition Despite Pleas From Senator Mastriano, Other Republican Lawmakers

After calls from Republican lawmakers — including current gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano — to refrain from increasing tuition, on Wednesday, four Pennsylvania universities announced intentions to do just that. While Senator Mastriano highlighted the additional federal funds the schools will be receiving, Penn State, University of Pittsburgh, Lincoln, and Temple argue that because these additional funds are only one-time payments, they will not satisfy all operational needs. The 2022-23 state budget did not include a bump in funding for these institutions. The Associated Press has more.

Historic School Funding Trial Draws to a Close

On Tuesday, the Commonwealth Court saw closing arguments for the historic four-month school funding trial. The case was originally filed jointly in 2014 by a group comprised of Pennsylvania school districts, concerned parents, and education advocacy organizations to challenge the constitutionality of the state’s current funding structure. The plaintiffs argue that the current system has created and upheld inequitable funding gaps between rich and poor districts, while Republican legislators argue that they have met the necessary standard. Chalkbeat Philadelphia has more.

Governor Wolf Files Lawsuit Against Pennsylvania General Assembly Over Abortion Rights

Earlier today, Governor Tom Wolf filed a lawsuit against the General Assembly for its recent efforts to limit abortion access in Pennsylvania. The Republican-majority body recently passed multiple constitutional amendments that would appear on voters’ ballots in 2023. See the announcement here.



Community College of Philadelphia to Offer New Commercial Truck Driving Program in September

The Community College of Philadelphia is introducing a new non-credit program in September that will teach students the fundamentals of commercial truck driving. The four-week Commercial Truck Driving program, offered by the school’s Corporate Solutions Department, will combine classroom and behind-the-wheel lessons to prepare students to take the Commercial Driver’s License Class A exam. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.



Attorney General Shapiro Touts Economic Plan on Campaign Trail in Pittsburgh

During a Wednesday campaign stop in Lawrenceville, Democratic candidate for governor Josh Shapiro spoke about his recently unveiled plan to attract businesses to Pennsylvania. The focal point of the plan is the creation of a new office of economic growth and workforce development to help businesses navigate the state’s often complicated and cumbersome licensing and permitting process. WESA has more.

Pittsburgh Public Schools Approve Wayne Walters as New Superintendent

Following a unanimous vote by the Pittsburgh Public Schools board, longtime district administrator Wayne Walters is set to become the district’s next superintendent on August 1. Walter has been serving as interim superintendent since October 2021. His new contract will run through July 2027. WESA has more.

Recent Supreme Court Decision on Abortion Rights Impacting Providers in Western Pennsylvania

Following the historic Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe vs. Wade last month, abortion-restricting trigger laws in neighboring states have significantly increased the demand for abortion procedures in Western Pennsylvania. Demands for long-term contraceptives have also experienced an uptick. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.



Pennsylvania Mortgage Company Engaged in Illegal Redlining Practices, Say DOJ, CFPB

The Department of Justice and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have reached a settlement with Pennsylvania-based Trident Mortgage Company, a HomeServices of America affiliate, which itself is a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway. The company allegedly intentionally discriminated against Black and Latino homeowners by refusing to write mortgages in minority-majority neighborhoods in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Delaware. The settlement, which was announced Wednesday, is being called the second largest redlining settlement in history. The Associated Press has more.

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