Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, July 6, 2023

July 6, 2023


House Democrats Approve FY24 Budget; Governor Shapiro Cedes School Voucher Funding

A controversial school voucher program — dubbed “lifeline scholarships” by proponents — has remained the primary sticking point in the debate over Pennsylvania’s FY24 budget, which is now approaching the end of its first full week past its June 30 deadline. Yesterday, House Democrats passed the $45.5 billion state budget after Governor Josh Shapiro agreed to veto the $100 million line item for the voucher program — a program he worked across the aisle to help create. In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, the Governor called on the legislature to finalize a spending plan. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Property Tax, Rent Rebate Program Bill Heads to Governor Shapiro’s Desk

An amendment to the Taxpayer Relief Act intended to help keep low-income seniors and people with disabilities in their homes is heading to Governor Shapiro’s desk for his signature. The legislation, part of the Governor’s initial budget proposal, will increase the income cap and rebate amounts for the program for the first time in 17 years. Spotlight PA has more.

Pennsylvania Republicans File Appeal to Mail-In Voting Ruling

Several state Republican legislators are appealing to overturn Act 77, a law which allows voters to cast their ballots by mail, after the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court denied their request to invalidate it. PennLive has more.



Philadelphia Takes Legal Action Against Manufacturers of Firearm Kits

On Wednesday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced that the City is suing Polymer80, Inc. and JSD Supply, two gun manufacturers of firearm kits — which are used to create so-called “ghost guns” — that the City alleges have played a significant role in its ongoing gun violence crisis. The announcement follows the tragic mass shooting in Kingsessing that claimed the lives of five people in which ghost guns were used. President Joe Biden has also urged state and congressional leaders to implement gun reform in the wake of a more violent than usual Fourth of July holiday weekend. WHYY has more.

Philadelphia’s Own Dr. Leaphart to Lead Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

This week, Governor Josh Shapiro’s administration announced the confirmation of Dr. Keith Leaphart, a Philadelphia native, by the state Senate to lead the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. The Philadelphia Tribune has more.



Pittsburgh City Council Moves on Affordable Housing, Creation of “Food Justice Fund”

This week, Pittsburgh City Council kicked off the process of green-lighting Mayor Ed Gainey’s proposed affordable housing bond and introduced a plan to create a “food justice fund.”

How Pittsburgh Progressives’ Recent Wins Can Serve as a Beacon for the Movement Nationally

Recent high-profile electoral wins have garnered national attention for Pittsburgh’s progressive movement, which many see as a case study for other smaller, traditionally blue-collar cities. NBC has more.



Senator Casey Bests Own Quarterly Campaign Fundraising Record

Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey, who is currently seeking a fourth term in office, reportedly raised $4 million last quarter, his best fundraising quarter to date. While the Senator is currently running unopposed, Jeff Yass, the wealthiest person in Pennsylvania, has begun investing in a potential run by Republican David McCormick. The Associated Press has more.

PoliticsPA Begins Assessment of Congressional Vulnerability in Pennsylvania

While there are no congressional districts deemed highly vulnerable in the upcoming 2024 election cycle, PoliticsPA has already begun to assess which districts are likely to be competitive.


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