Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, June 27, 2024

June 27, 2024


Where PA Budget Negotiations Stand Now

Governor Josh Shapiro and state legislators have indicated that they are open to compromising on education funding. However, private school voucher discussions have complicated the dialogue. Advocates hope that the FY25 budget will also include necessary appropriations for historic building revitalization projects, paid medical and family leave, “momnibus” proposals, energy programs, and other economic reforms. City and State PA has more.

PA Bill Enhancing Contraception Access Pushes Forward with Some Bipartisan Backing

A bill that ensures access to contraception made it through the state House with several Republican votes behind it. While the proposal faced little pushback in the Democratic-majority House, its fate in the Senate remains uncertain. The Associated Press has more.

Pennsylvanians with Disabilities Request Capital for Medicaid Waiver Program

With budget negotiations entering a contentiously slim timeframe, support agencies renewed their calls to increase funding for Pennsylvania’s Medicaid waiver program. Bipartisan voices back the need for greater investment in the waiver program, providing hope that such funding will make it into the new budget when it is approved. Penn Live has more.

PA Oversight Board Approved Funds for Coroners, Drug Testing

While the board gave a green light to coroners, drug testing, and syringe services in some locations, members rejected $7.5 million in appropriations for Kensington. The thirteen-member oversight board that is tasked with disclosing how Pennsylvania counties can spend newly acquired funds from opioid settlements has yet to decide on a few remaining programmatic funding decisions. Spotlight PA has more.

Proposal to Ban Foreign Dark Money Advances Beyond House Committee

The House State Government Committee approved a bill that aims to prevent foreign money from infiltrating politics in the Commonwealth. With relatively lenient campaign finance laws, Pennsylvania permits corporations to channel money through Super PACs, allowing donors to remain undisclosed. The bill will target solely transactions conducted by foreign entities. WITF has more.

Bucks Planned Parenthood Location Shuts Doors

With federal and state abortion rights on his mind, Democratic state Representative Brian Munroe (D-Bucks) fears that the Warminster Planned Parenthood closure is a result of a national attack on abortion rights. Planned Parenthood Keystone has yet to provide a reason for the closure. WHYY has more.



City Plans for Year-Round School Pilot Program

Twenty-five schools in Philadelphia announced that they plan to implement before- and after-care programming and summer curricula during the 2024-25 school year. The optional programs will be supervised and staffed by outside providers. The Inquirer has more.

Judge Rules in Favor of Philadelphia’s Ban on Convenience Store Skill Games

Although the judge permitted Philadelphia to ban the casino-style games, the debate is not over. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court and state legislators continue to contemplate taking action on what seems to be a largely unregulated enterprise. The Inquirer has more.

Funding Changes Forthcoming to the William Penn Foundation

Philadelphia’s largest philanthropic foundation anticipates significant changes to come in the near future. With a generational transition at the forefront of these developments, the foundation said it will alter what it funds and how entities can apply for capital. The Inquirer has more.



Pittsburgh Contemplates Enhancing Garbage Code Enforcement

Pittsburgh City Councilor Bob Charland introduced a bill that would streamline the process of issuing sanitation citations. The current process requires trash inspectors to witness a violation three times before filing a ticket. If approved, the proposal would allow issuers to administer a ticket on-site upon the first violation. WESA has more.

Allegheny Controller Warns of County’s Unfavorable Financial Outlook

Allegheny County Controller Corey O’Connor pointed out that a 2023 county finance report indicated that expenses superseded revenues for the first time in a dozen years. Last year, Allegheny County spent $921 million while only gaining just shy of $900 million in revenue. WESA has more.

U.S. DOT Grant Shines Hope on Sharpsburg Development

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) allocated $25 million in grant money to the proposed development of a riverfront village at the former Sharpsburg scrapyard. The Allegheny Shores Project will feature approximately 52 acres of commercial and residential developments along a 1.5-mile Allegheny River shoreline. WESA has more.



2024 Election Nears, Prompting Poll Obsessions, Costly Campaigns

The Washington Post analyzed its Pennsylvania polling for the presidency, indicating that while President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump — who will face off in a historic debate tonight — are tied in the Keystone State, if past polling errors are taken into account, Trump would win Pennsylvania by less than one point. Pennsylvania’s nail biting numbers demonstrate why the House GOP plans to spend 25% of its $46 million in campaign funding on Maine, Washington, Alaska, Ohio, and Pennsylvania alone. Politico has more.

Biden Campaign, GOP Allies Appeal to Suburban Republican Women

Strategists have indicated that suburban women in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are the key to the state’s nineteen electoral votes. Models show that President Joe Biden won over just enough back in 2020 to turn the state from red to blue. He plans to replicate his success from four years ago by tapping into female Republican voters. The Associated Press has more.

Key Issues in U.S. House, Senate Races in Keystone State

Republican U.S. Senate nominee David McCormick boasts his “pro-family plan,” which expands school vouchers, makes the adoption tax credit fully refundable, supports IVF, lowers the cost of contraceptives, and bans children under the age of sixteen using social media. Meanwhile, Democratic U.S. House hopeful Ashley Ehasz campaigns on abortion and female reproductive rights in her fight for Republican Representative Brian Fitzpatrick’s (PA-01) seat. The Inquirer has more.


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