Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, June 8, 2023

June 8, 2023


Two More Shapiro Cabinet Nominees Confirmed by State Senate

Yesterday, the state Senate confirmed Cynthia A. Dunn to once again lead the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Reginald B. McNeil to head the Department of General Services. City & State Pennsylvania has more.

House Finance Committee Approves Several Tax Cuts, Credits; Likely to Become Bargaining Chips In Budget Negotiations

On Tuesday, the House Finance Committee advanced legislation that enacts Governor Shapiro’s proposed $2,500 tax credit for new teachers, nurses, and police officers; eliminates taxes on cell phone services; creates a child care tax credit for working parents; and creates a state tax break for low- and moderate-income families. The bills will likely be key bargaining chips as legislators work to pass the FY24 budget later this month. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

Former Federal Prosecutor, Bucks County Solicitor Announces Candidacy for Attorney General

Former federal prosecutor and Bucks County solicitor Joe Khan announced Wednesday that he would be running for Pennsylvania attorney general. He is the second candidate to enter the race, as former Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced his candidacy last week. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Pennsylvania’s Orphaned Oil, Gas Wells Harmful to Individuals as Well as the Environment, New Study Shows

A new study released in ACS Omega, a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Chemical Society, has found that unplugged oil and gas wells — such as the upwards of 200,000 that can be found in Pennsylvania — release cancer-causing benzene and other toxic gasses in addition to polluting the atmosphere. Inside Climate News has more.



Philadelphia City Council Grants Initial Approval to FY24 Budget, Including $32 Million in Tax Cuts

This afternoon, Philadelphia City Council gave initial approval to a more than $6.2 FY24 budget deal — the last for both term-limited Mayor Jim Kenney and City Council President Darrell Clarke, who is retiring at the end of his term. The deal includes larger tax cuts for both businesses and workers than what Mayor Kenney had initially proposed. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Sixers Release New 76 Place Renderings

The Sixers have released additional architectural renders of the proposed 76 Place Center City arena, which sheds more light on plans for the inside of the building, as well as how it will fit into existing buildings and transit infrastructure. WHYY has more.

Recent FIFA Council Amendment to Lengthen Tournament May Land Philadelphia With Opportunity to Host Additional World Cup Matches

As the result of an amendment passed by the FIFA Council, Philadelphia may be able to host more World Cup 2026 matches than initially anticipated. The Philadelphia Business Journal has more.

Bike Lane Violation Tickets Issued by New PPA Unit Have Increased Tenfold

A new Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) unit introduced last month has distributed approximately 400 tickets for bike lane violations in Center City, University City, and  South Philadelphia, representing a tenfold increase in the rate of ticketing for such violations. The unit was created to combat the danger posed to cyclists and pedestrians. WHYY has more.



Allegheny County Council Passes Minimum Wage Increase for County Workers

On Tuesday, Allegheny County Council passed a bill to increase minimum wage for county workers to $20 an hour by 2026. Council has the requisite 10 votes to override a potential veto from County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.

Proposed Affordable Housing Bond Less Than Amount Originally Envisioned

In the midst of an affordable housing crisis, similar to those being experienced by many cities across the nation, the City of Pittsburgh and Urban Redevelopment Authority are hoping to issue a bond to raise millions of dollars to preserve and create new affordable housing options. However, critics say the $25-$40 million estimate falls short of the $60-$100 million bond issues once proposed. WESA has more.



Senators Casey, Fetterman Take Aim at Spotted Lanternflies

On Wednesday, U.S. Senators John Fetterman and Bob Casey — along with colleagues from impacted neighboring states — helped introduce the bipartisan Spotted Lanternfly Research and Development Act, which would declare the spotted lanternfly an invasive species worthy of immediate federal research by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. It is estimated that lanternflies — which have so far been found in 51 of Pennsylvania’s 66 counties — could inflict $324 million in agricultural losses on Pennsylvania if not contained. PennLive has more.


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