Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, October 19, 2023
October 19, 2023
October 19, 2023
Legislators in the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate have been in a months-long stalemate over the passing of code bills necessary to finalize the FY24 state budget once and for all, with each chamber putting forth a vastly different proposal from the other. So far this week, Governor Josh Shapiro has signed legislation to boost Medicaid subsidies for hospitals and ambulance services. WESA has more.
In fewer than three weeks, Pennsylvanians will head to the polls to determine whether Democrat Dan McCaffery or Republican Carolyn Carluccio will fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the sudden passing of Chief Justice Max Baer last October. The high-stakes race has brought in millions of dollars from outside groups hoping to influence the makeup of the court. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
In the latest development in a drawn-out scheduling saga, the state House passed an amended Senate bill on Wednesday to move up Pennsylvania’s 2024 presidential primary by one week to April 16. The future of the legislation is uncertain, as Governor Shapiro and the Senate have each proposed different, earlier dates, and election officials have warned about potential administrative and logistical challenges of rescheduling. The Associated Press has more.
On Tuesday, the House State Government Committee passed two bills that would do away with Pennsylvania’s closed primary system. Advocates say an open primary system would allow for millions of independent and unaffiliated voters across the commonwealth to have more of a voice in the democratic process. City & State Pennsylvania has more.
In the month since Governor Shapiro implemented automatic voter registration at Pennsylvania’s driver and photo license centers, three times as many Republicans have reportedly used the new system to register compared to Democrats. WESA has more.
An analysis by PennEnvironment shows Pennsylvania toward the bottom of a list of states’ renewable energy growth over the last decade, though some bills currently being considered by the General Assembly may soon change this. WESA has more.
An investigation by Spotlight PA and WESA found wide variation in opioid settlement payments to individual Pennsylvania counties. A spokesperson from the state attorney general’s office attributes the disparity to an assessment of levels of need per county. Spotlight PA has more.
In the past 10 months, Pennsylvania has plugged one hundred of its orphaned and abandoned wells, marking slow but sure progress on reducing the state’s methane emissions. KDKA has more.
The Independent Fiscal Office (IFO), the state agency responsible for providing revenue projections and impartial analysis for state legislators, has released an analysis of 20 tax credit programs, only seven of which have accomplished their legislative intent. View the report here.
The primary objective of Philadelphia’s Republican Party during the upcoming election is to maintain a presence on City Council, despite serious challenges from the Working Families Party for at-large seats and a viable Democratic candidate in District 10. For more information on the candidates running for City Council and other municipal positions, check out the Philadelphia Inquirer’s voter guide and Billy Penn’s upcoming candidate forums. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
On Tuesday, the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity announced its support of the proposed Center City 76ers Arena, citing the potential benefits for Philadelphia’s Black community. WHYY has more.
According to a recent report from the Center City District, Philadelphia lags behind its peer cities in terms of private-sector job growth. Many are hoping the next mayor will work to more radically reduce Philadelphia’s business income and receipts tax.
Many view the upcoming Allegheny County executive election between Democratic nominee Sara Innamorato and her Republican counterpart Joe Rockey as a test of the region’s traditionally moderate, centrist tendencies. Like many areas across the country, the overall trend seems to be toward increased polarization. WESA has more.
The Builders Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh has widened a court challenge to a zoning regulation that requires new developments in the “Urban Center Employment” to include affordable housing for lower-income residents. WESA has more.
On Wednesday, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh held a meeting to update community members on plans for a 15-acre solar farm between Squirrel Hill South and Swisshelm Park, as well as a possible extension of Frick Park. WESA has more.
This week, Allegheny County opened a second round of applications for its Whole-Home Repairs Program, which is funded by the state but administered by Action Housing in the county and funds up to $50,000 in major home repairs for households earning less than 80% of the area’s median income. WESA has more.
This week, Ohio U.S. Representative Jim Jordan failed two ballots to become the speaker of the House, with U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-16) — who has advocated for an expansion of powers for House Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry of North Carolina — the sole holdout among Pennsylvania Republicans. Republican U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) announced Thursday morning that he would not vote for Representative Jordan again. Representative Jordan announced Thursday that he would not force a third vote before reversing the decision hours later.
According to a recent campaign finance report, incumbent U.S. Representative Scott Perry (PA-10) has spent significant dollars on fundraising for his campaign, which has had less than stellar return on investment so far. He is also facing a federal probe into his alleged involvement in efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, an affiliate of the international law firm Cozen O’Connor, is a bipartisan government relations practice representing clients before the federal government and in cities and states throughout the country. With offices in Washington D.C., Richmond, Albany, New York City, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Chicago, and Santa Monica, the firm’s public strategies professionals offer a full complement of government affairs services, including legislative and executive branch advocacy, policy analysis, assistance with government procurement and funding programs, and crisis management. Its client base spans multiple industries, including healthcare, transportation, hospitality, education, construction, energy, real estate, entertainment, financial services, and insurance.
Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has over 775 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle-market companies, Cozen O’Connor serves its clients’ needs through 31 offices across two continents.
December 5, 2023
December 5, 2023
December 5, 2023