Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, May 4, 2023

May 4, 2023

Pennsylvania

Three Governor Shapiro Cabinet Nominees Confirmed by State Senate

On Wednesday, Governor Josh Shapiro cabinet nominees Mike Carroll, Rick Siger, and Jason Kavulich were confirmed by a unanimous vote of the State Senate as transportation secretary, community and economic development secretary, and aging secretary, respectively. PennLive has more.

Governor Shapiro’s FY24 Budget Includes Proposal to Update Rent, Property Tax Rebate Program

If Governor Josh Shapiro’s FY24 budget is passed as proposed, the number of Pennsylvanians who would be eligible to benefit from the state’s rent and property tax rebate program — which has been declining for more than a decade — would increase by 173,000 people. SpotlightPA has more.

Pennsylvania House Passes Bills on LGBTQ+ Protections, Constitutional Workers’ Rights

The Democratic-controlled state House flexed its new progressive muscles again this week by passing legislation intended to broaden protections for LGBTQ+ people on Tuesday and to guarantee the right to organized labor and collective bargaining in Pennsylvania’s constitution on Wednesday. Both bills will likely face an uphill battle in the state Senate.

Pennsylvania Senate Passes Ban on Safe Injection Sites

On Monday, the state Senate passed legislation that would ban safe-injection sites throughout the commonwealth. It is uncertain whether the bill will come up in the state House. The Associated Press has more.

What to Know About the Practice of “Cross-Filing”

Pennsylvania is one of nine states in the country that has closed primaries, which has led to an idiosyncrasy known as “cross-filing” — the act of a candidate concurrently running on two different parties’ tickets during the primary to increase their odds of making the general election ballot — for positions wherein the practice is not prohibited, such as many local school boards. While advocates claim that cross-filing can help bridge the partisan divide, others argue that it generates unnecessary confusion for voters. SpotlightPA has more.

Clean Water Advocates Call for Legislation to Protect State Waterways From Pollution 

On Wednesday, state legislators met with clear water advocates at the Capitol in Harrisburg in observance of Clean Water Education Week and in support of crafting legislation to reduce pollution in state waterways. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.

Thousands Left Pennsylvania in 2020, According to IRS Data

According to 2021 tax data recently released by the Internal Revenue Services (IRS), approximately 14,000 people moved out of Pennsylvania in 2020, representing $1.86 billion in adjusted gross income. The Center Square has more.

 

Philadelphia

Philadelphia Mayoral Endorsements Keep Rolling In

After today, there are only 11 full days left before the Philadelphia mayoral primary, which means political influencers from the city and beyond are racing to add their two cents before the final buzzer. The following candidates have received the following notable endorsements within the past week:

Philadelphia City Council Likely to Cut BIRT for Second Consecutive Year

This year’s budget hearings drew to a close this week, marking the real beginning of budget negotiations. As part of the budget, City Council leaders are discussing a 0.16% cut in Philadelphia’s Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT) proposed in Mayor Jim Kenney’s FY24 budget. If passed, this would mark the second consecutive year BIRT has been lowered, though it would be by a considerably smaller amount. WHYY has more.

Pennsylvania Senate Passes Bill That May Threaten Philadelphia’s Commuter Tax

A bill recently passed by the Pennsylvania Senate may threaten Philadelphia’s ability to impose a commuter tax — part of the larger wage tax that the City relies on heavily — on suburban residents. The Associated Press has more.

Philadelphia’s Housing Market Faces Challenges Heading Into Summer

According to Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi, Philadelphia’s housing market is “about as weak as it gets” due to increasing mortgage rates, home overvaluation, and an overall lack of inventory. WHYY has more.

Building 21 Closed Due to Water Damage

The recently reopened Building 21 has been closed once more, this time because of water damage. The West Oak Lane high school closed in March due to the discovery of damaged asbestos. ABC6 has more.

 

Pittsburgh

State Representative Innamorato Leads In Allegheny County Executive Democratic Primary Race

According to the results of a poll conducted by Pittsburgh Works and Public Opinion Strategies, progressive state Representative Sara Innamorato currently holds the lead in the Democratic primary race for Allegheny County Executive, with 32% of likely voting Democrats polled indicating their preference for her. Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb and Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinstein each received 20%, with 18% still undecided. PoliticsPA has more.

Pittsburgh City Council Discusses Mental, Behavioral Health Services; Requests Update on Homeless Shelter

Pittsburgh City Council heard testimony from mental and behavioral health services experts on Tuesday in a discussion that included an update about Second Avenue Commons, a homeless shelter that opened last year. WTAE has more.

Former HACP Board Member Publicly Criticizes Agency’s Leadership

Current leadership of the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) has come under fire for bad customer services and management by a former member of its Board of Commissioners, Catapult Greater Pittsburgh Executive Director Tammy Thompson. WESA has more.

 

Federal

Senator Fetterman Gives First Pennsylvania Television Interview Since Recent Hospitalization

This week, U.S. Senator John Fetterman of Pennsylvania gave his first home-state television interview since his treatment for clinical depression at Walter Reed National Medical Center. During the interview, the senator opened up about his experience and affirmed his fitness for office, stating that he is “grateful to be feeling great.” KDKA has more.

Pennsylvania Proud Boys Member Convicted Alongside Three Others for Sedition for Participation in January 6 Capitol Insurrection

Former head of the Philadelphia Proud Boys chapter Zachary Rehl was convicted Thursday morning for seditious conspiracy for his alleged orchestration of the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

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