Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, June 15, 2023

June 15, 2023


School Funding at the Center of FY24 Budget Negotiations

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court’s historic February ruling on the state’s school funding system is taking center stage during FY24 budget negotiations in Harrisburg, with Democrats favoring a significant boost in education spending while Republicans remain hesitant to spend down the existing budget surplus. Spotlight PA has more.

Pennsylvania’s Long-Term Care Providers Seek Additional Funding

On Wednesday frontline caregivers met with lawmakers in Harrisburg to request additional funding for the commonwealth’s long-term care facilities to address the needs of the rising senior population throughout the state. PennLive has more.

State House Passes Legislation to Increase 911 Funding, Establish 988 Funding

On Wednesday, the State House passed a bill to increase the phone fee that funds the state’s 911 systems and another to establish funding for its 988 suicide and crisis hotline system. PennLive has more.

State House Passes Bipartisan Minimum Wage Increase Legislation Out of Committee

On Tuesday, the State House moved a bill to increase Pennsylvania’s state minimum wage out of the Labor & Industry Committee. The legislation, which is being touted as a bipartisan compromise, is modeled after a similar bill introduced by Senate Republicans. Spotlight PA has more.


City, State Officials Outline Plan to Fix I-95

Yesterday, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro joined Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, to unveil the plan to fix the collapsed section of 1-95 in Northeast Philadelphia. While there is still no precise timeline for the project, Governor Shapiro announced a 24/7 PennDOT livestream for Pennsylvanians to keep tabs on progress. Meanwhile, as SEPTA continues to see an increase in ridership on some lines in the wake of the accident, City Councilmember Mike Driscoll, who represents the district where the collapse took place, introduced a resolution to hold hearings on the viability of the long-proposed Roosevelt Boulevard Subway project. Billy Penn has more.

Councilmember Gauthier Introduces Resolution to Explore Payment of Reparations

This morning, District 3 City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier introduced a resolution to establish a taskforce to explore whether the City would be able to pay reparations to its Black residents. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Drexel, Salus to Proceed With Merger, Pending Accrediting Body Approval

On Tuesday, Drexel University President John Fry and Salus University President Michael Mittelman announced the institutions’ intent to merge, pending approval by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.


County Executive Fitzgerald Vetoes Allegheny County Wage Floor Bill

On Tuesday, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald vetoed the County Council’s bill to raise the minimum wage for county employees to $20 per hour, noting a commitment on his part to increase the minimum wage to $18 per hour. Council is expected to override the veto. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

Pittsburgh Regional Transit Awarded $150 Million for Bus Rapid Transit Project

On Wednesday, Pittsburgh Regional Transit announced that it has received a $150 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration for its Downtown-Uptown-Oakland Bus Rapid Transit project, which is set to begin construction in the fall. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

Pittsburgh’s Leaked Draft Policy on Homeless Camps Worries Some Legal Advocates

As Pittsburgh’s Smithfield Street shelter prepares to close next week, legal advocates worry that the City’s planned policy to address homeless camps is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment. PublicSource has more.

Prosecutors Rest Case in 11th Day of Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting Trial

Prosecutors in Pittsburgh’s high-profile Tree of Life Synagogue shooting trial rested their case Wednesday after hearing a 911 call recording from the incident. The defense declined to call any of their own witnesses. WESA has more.


AFL-CIO to Endorse Joe Biden Ahead Philadelphia Visit With Union Leaders

The AFL-CIO is planning to endorse President Joe Biden ahead of his rally with union members in Philadelphia on Saturday, pending a vote of the body’s general board on Friday. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Pennsylvania Republican Voters Weigh Support of Former President Trump in Wake of Historic Federal Indictment

Following former President Donald Trump’s second indictment, Pennsylvania Republican voters are split over whether to continue to support him. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.


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