Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024


June 30 Deadline Rapidly Approaching for PA Budget Negotiations 

With fewer than ten days left for negotiations on Governor Josh Shapiro’s $48.3 billion budget proposal, school vouchers are expected to be a leading topic of the funding talks this week. Gov. Shapiro’s spending plan also includes a $600 million economic development plan and $283 million for public transportation. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

PA House GOP Seeking Income Tax Cuts 

The Pennsylvania Senate approved a Republican-led proposal to cut income taxes by 9% and completely remove the state’s electricity tax. House Republicans have fewer than ten days to advance the plan in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. WVIA has more.

Bipartisan Discussions Arise Over Legalizing Cannabis in PA

While likely not to be included in this year’s budget, Representatives Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne) and Emily Kinkead (D-Allegheny) plan to introduce legislation that would legalize cannabis for adult use in Pennsylvania. The legislators indicated that they want to follow Ohio’s recent legalization of cannabis with legislation that comprehensively maximizes social equity, helps bring about criminal justice reform, and increases public safety. PoliticsPA has more.

PA One of Politico’s 5 State Legislative Faceoffs to Watch in November

Politico has named Pennsylvania — as well as Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, and New Hampshire — as a “state to watch” in November regarding its state legislative races, thanks to its unique split of House Democratic and Senate Republican control and competitive races with potential down-ballot impacts. Politico has more.

What to Know About PA’s AG Race

The race for Pennsylvania’s highest legal office will feature a fierce fight between former Democratic state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and Republican York County District Attorney Dave Sunday. City & State Pennsylvania has more.

IFO Releases Initial Revenue Projections for FY25

The Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) has released its initial revenue projections for FY25. The report can be viewed here.



Mayor Parker Prioritizes Public Safety

Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker signed a bill that will ban bump stocks in the city, install speed cameras on Broad Street, and establish a licensing process that involves more than 200 hours of training for eviction officers in Philadelphia. WHYY has more.

20 Businesses to Receive $50K from the City 

The Department of Commerce’s Boost Your Business Program has enough funds to award $50,000 to twenty historically disadvantaged businesses around the city. The forgivable loans, which will convert to grants later in the year, are aimed to boost businesses with significant growth potential but have suffered capital shortages. Billy Penn has more.

SEPTA Aims to Deter Bad Behavior with Increased Penalties

SEPTA is intensifying enforcement against minor offenses such as smoking and littering on its transit system with fines up to $100, aiming to restore order and deter antisocial behavior that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

East Fairmount Park to Host 2026 World Cup Official Fan Festival  

The festival will take place on Lemon Hill, featuring a jumbo screen, food, and entertainment for FIFA enthusiasts who wish to view the games but do not have tickets to Lincoln Financial Field. Billy Penn has more.



Pittsburgh Zoning Board Declines Developer’s Request for Exemptions

TKA Architects requested that Pittsburgh’s zoning board greenlight the development of an apartment building in the Troy Hill neighborhood that violates the community’s height code. The current zoning regulations permit buildings that are up to 45 feet and three stories, whereas TKA’s proposed building has four stories and maxes out at 49 feet tall. TWESA has more.

Indoor Pickleball Facility Coming to Homewood

The “Pickleball Warehouse,” which will feature fifteen courts, is poised to be Pittsburgh’s largest pickleball facility. The courts will have a soft opening at the end of June. WTAE has more.



Gun Debate Takes Front-Row Seat in Swing State Legislatures

Lawmakers in Pennsylvania and Michigan have sought to increase gun control in their states with new sales and storage regulations, while legislators in Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina have considered loosening purchase and carrying rules. The state debate has intensified since the Supreme Court struck down a Trump-era bump stock ban last week. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

Democrats Optimistic in Congressional Elections but Barely Breaking Even in Presidential Race

With reproductive rights at the forefront of democratic congressional campaigns, incumbent Senate Democrats have taken the lead in some of the nation’s most contentious Senate races. Special elections have also overwhelmingly favored the Democratic ticket. However, President Joe Biden remains tied with former President Donald Trump in the national polls. Politico has more.

Sen. Casey Joins Democratic Colleagues in Support of Reproductive Rights

Senator Bob Casey, in an unprecedented rebuke of his opponent, took aim at Republican challenger David McCormick, claiming that McCormick wants to illegalize abortion across the board. Sen. Casey, who once called himself a pro-life Democrat, has seemingly shifted his tone as abortion has taken center stage in the 2024 race. The Associated Press has more.

Democrats Eyeing Big Upset in Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District

Planning to spend a whopping $186 million nationally, Democrats have indicated that they will delegate $2.4 million to their campaign in the Central Pennsylvania race between Janelle Stelson and Republican incumbent U.S. Representative Scott Perry. Although the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee put the race on their “Red to Blue” list, the GOP is confident in Rep. Perry’s ability to keep his seat red. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

A Congressional District to Watch in the Lehigh Valley

With a unique rural and urban mix, the Lehigh Valley often provides vital insights into how candidates in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country will fare during an election. Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, which sits in the Lehigh Valley, features a close race between Democratic incumbent U.S. Representative Susan Wild and Republican state Representative Ryan Mackenzie. City & State Pennsylvania has more.


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