Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, November 2, 2023

November 2, 2023


Commonwealth Court Strikes Down Governor Wolf’s RGGI Executive Action

Yesterday, the Commonwealth Court found that former Governor Tom Wolf’s attempt to have Pennsylvania join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) constituted an overstep in executive power. It’s unclear whether current Governor Josh Shapiro will appeal the decision. Spotlight PA has more.

Governor Shapiro’s “PAyback” Refund Program Goes Into Effect

On Wednesday, Governor Shapiro’s “PAyback” policy went into effect, meaning businesses whose permit- or license-related paperwork isn’t processed by the state within the promised timeframe will receive full refunds. The program, which is intended to cut down on unnecessary bureaucratic delays, is the first of its kind in the nation. PennLive has more.

Nearly $900 Million Added to State Rainy Day Fund

Thanks to HB735, which has been approved by both the House and Senate, nearly $900 million has been added to the state’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing the current total above $6 billion and putting Pennsylvania above the national median. FOX43 has more.

House Panel Considers Recreational Marijuana Legalization

On Wednesday, the state House Subcommittee on Health Care held the chamber’s first-ever hearing on recreational adult-use marijuana legalization. PennLive has more.

House Approves Anti-Hate Crime Bills

On Tuesday, the state House passed three bills intended to expand and strengthen Pennsylvania’s anti-hate crime statutes. WESA has more.

Delaware County DA Candidates Focus on Public Safety

As Delaware County deals with the “spillover” effect of Philadelphia’s uptick in crime, public safety has taken center stage in the county’s district attorney race. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

State Republicans Urge Voters to “Bank” Their Vote in Reversal on Mail-In Ballots

Pennsylvania Republicans have reversed their position on mail-in ballots, with party chair Lawrence Tabas now calling on voters to “bank” their votes. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Giant to Donate 15,000 Thanksgiving Turkeys to Help Feed Families in Need 

The Giant Company will be donating 15,000 turkeys to families in need in Pennsylvania and several other states this holiday season by through partnerships with local food banks and community partners. Read more here.

IFO Releases Monthly Revenue Update

The Independent Fiscal Office (IFO), the state agency responsible for providing revenue projections and impartial analysis for state legislators, has released its monthly revenue update for October. View the report here.



Philadelphia City Council Candidates Focus on Abortion, Middle East Conflict in Final Days of Campaign

Attention has turned toward abortion rights and the current conflict in the Middle East — topics typically reserved for the state or national political stage — in the final days of the contentious race for City Council. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Councilmember Lozada Advocates for Stronger Law Enforcement in Kensington

Councilmember Quetcy Lozada (District 7) is advocating for Philadelphia police to more aggressively enforce drug laws in Kensington. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Former City Budget Director Assumes Executive Director Role at PICA

Marisa Waxman, who stepped down from her role as Philadelphia budget director earlier this year, now serves as executive director of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), a state-controlled agency that was created in the 1990s to oversee Philadelphia’s finances. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Philadelphia to Receive $4 Million From EPA to Support Environmental Justice

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Philadelphia will be receiving $4 million in Inflation Reduction Act funding to fight environmental inequity. The funding will be used for community-based projects including tree planting, lead paint awareness, and installation of A/C units. WHYY has more.



District 13 Allegheny County Council Race Between Democrat, Progressive Independent

Though David Bonaroti ran unopposed in the Democratic primary race for Allegheny County Council District 13, independent Sam Schmidt has emerged as a sort of spiritual successor to current Councilor Liv Bennett, who was unable to run again due to problems filing for the Democratic primary. WESA has more.

City of Pittsburgh to Begin Clearing Out Downtown Homeless Camp Next Week

The City will begin clearing out a homeless camp in Downtown Pittsburgh next week, following through on a policy that city officials drafted this summer. The Office of Community Health and Safety has been working to arrange other options for those currently living there. WESA has more.



Biden Kicks Off “Investing in Rural America” Tour

This week, President Joe Biden and administration officials kicked off a two-week “Investing in Rural America” tour in Minnesota. The tour — which will cover more than a dozen states, including Pennsylvania — will bring attention to the nearly $5 billion in funding to be distributed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for conservation, economic development and “climate smart” agriculture projects. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.


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