Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, October 5, 2023

October 5, 2023


State House Passes Bill to Change 2024 Primary Date

On Thursday, the state House passed legislation that would move Pennsylvania’s 2024 primary date from April 23 — which would conflict with the Jewish holiday of Passover — to April 2. The 102-100 vote occurred entirely along party lines, with Republicans arguing that a March 19 primary — which was approved by the state Senate in September but failed in the House after being heavily amended by the State Government Committee to include changes to voter identification requirements and mail-in voting rules — would give Pennsylvania voters more of a say in deciding presidential nominees. Election officials have expressed concerns about the logistical challenges of moving the primary date up. The bill now heads back to the Republican-controlled Senate, where its future is uncertain. The Associated Press has more.

State House Advances New Tax Code Bill

On Tuesday evening, the state House passed legislation intended to accelerate Pennsylvania’s corporate tax reduction and expand existing tax credits. City & State Pennsylvania has more.

State Senate Approves Bill That Would Allow Revenue Department to Divert Lottery Winnings, Tax Returns of Turnpike Toll Scofflaws

On Wednesday, the state Senate unanimously approved legislation that would authorize the Department of Revenue to divert money from lottery prizes of more than $2,500 or income tax returns of turnpike toll scofflaws. The Associated Press has more.

Senate State Government Committee Chair Voices Concern About Automatic Voter Registration

After a visit to a PennDOT service center to see its new automatic voter registration system in action, state Senator Cris Dush (R-Jefferson) — who chairs the Senate State Government Committee — voiced concern that the Shapiro administration’s newly implemented policy constitutes a misuse of power over the driving public. PennLive has more.

DLCC to Invest Six Figures Into Pennsylvania Supreme Court Race

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) is set to invest a significant amount of money into the campaign to fill the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacancy left by the passing of Chief Justice Max Baer last year. The Messenger has more.

Center for Rural Pennsylvania Projects Population Decline in Rural Counties

According to population data presented by the bipartisan, bicameral Center for Rural Pennsylvania on Wednesday, the population of the commonwealth’s rural counties is projected to decline 5.8% over the next 30 years, with the state projected to grow just 1.6% based on increases in urban population. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.



Philadelphia Democrats Endorse WFP City Council Candidates, Drawing Ire of Democratic City Committee Chair

An increasing number of Philadelphia Democratic officials have endorsed Working Families Party (WFP) City Council candidates, incumbent Kendra Brooks and Nicolas O’Rourke, despite threats from Democratic City Committee Chair Bob Brady to have the ward leader and committee members replaced ahead of the November 7 general election. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Building & Construction Trades Council Endorses Four Democrats, One Republican in City Council Race

On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council announced its endorsement of four Democrats — Nina Ahmad and incumbents Isaiah Thomas, Katherine Gilmore Richardson, and Jim Harrity — and Republican Jim Hasher for City Council, due to his support of the proposed 76ers arena in Center City. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Councilmember Johnson Leads Public Safety Walk Following Shooting Death of Local Journalist, Policy Advocate

City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson led a “Peace-Not-Guns Public Safety Walk” Wednesday after award-winning Philadelphia journalist and community activist Josh Kruger was killed in his Point Breeze home earlier this week. WHYY has more.

SEPTA to Expand Zero Fare Pilot Program

SEPTA is expanding its Zero Fare program following initial success. The pilot, which will run throughout the next two years, is designed to offer transportation relief for those who couldn’t previously afford to ride mass transit. WHYY has more.



Mayor Gainey Proposes Investing in Infrastructure, Reworking Public Safety in 2024 Budget Plan

Mayor Ed Gainey’s 2024 budget proposal includes investment for infrastructure improvements, fewer police officers, and the continuation of a controversial use of park tax money. WESA has more.

Allegheny County Executive Candidates Innamorato, Rockey Participate in Second Debate

On Tuesday, Democrat Sara Innamorato and Republican Joe Rockey, both candidates for Allegheny County Executive, met for their second televised debate, which was dominated by talk of crime and the justice system, including discussion about the Allegheny County Jail and the shuttered Shuman Juvenile Detention Center. The debate came shortly after Innamorato began airing her first television ads of the general election season. Rockey has been airing ads since September. WESA has more.



Quinnipiac Poll Shows Biden, Trump Tied in Pennsylvania

A recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University shows President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump virtually tied in the crucial state of Pennsylvania. With all eyes likely to be on the commonwealth in coming months, President Biden has begun airing television ads emphasizing his Scranton roots. NBC News has more.

Though Running Against Senator Casey, McCormick Targets Senator Fetterman in Attempt to Motivate Base

While Republican U.S. Senate candidate David McCormick is running against incumbent Senator Bob Casey in 2024, attacks against Senator John Fetterman — who was elected during the midterms in 2022 — are reportedly more motivating for his base. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Former News Anchor Janelle Stelson Enters U.S. House Race

Former WGAL News 8 news anchor Janelle Stelson announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District. The seat is currently held by Republican U.S. Representative Scott Perry. PennLive has more.

Beltway Briefing: Democracy or Dysfunction? The Shutdown That Wasn’t

Explore how Speaker McCarthy kept the government open and what to watch for in the coming weeks as the battle with the House Freedom Caucus, debate over Ukraine funding, and the fight over the Speaker’s gavel continue. Listen to the latest episode featuring CPS’s Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Hon. Rodney Davis, and Towner French here.


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