Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, September 15, 2022

September 15, 2022

Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies Welcomes John Reich to Minneapolis Office

Government relations professional John Reich is joining the Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies team in Minnesota as a senior principal. Reich comes to Public Strategies from Winthrop and Weinstein, where he served as Director of Government Relations for eight years. See more on our website.



House State Government Committee Holds Hearing on Election Preparations

Midterm elections are rapidly approaching, and the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee held a hearing Wednesday to demonstrate the steps that it is taking to ensure election integrity, combat misinformation, and implement recent changes to state election laws. City & State Pennsylvania has more.

Activists’ Plan to Force Vote on Gift-Giving Fails

An effort to ban lobbyists from giving gifts to lawmakers appears to have failed Wednesday, as the anonymous representative whom activists alleged would force a vote on the subject has so far failed to do so. Currently, Pennsylvania House rules only ban cash gifts and place no monetary restriction on the value of non-cash gifts. SpotlightPA has more.

Applications for Marijuana Pardon Project Now Open

The state’s new Marijuana Pardon Project, which was announced by the Wolf Administration last month, is now officially accepting applications through September 30. The project seeks to pardon Pennsylvanians with non-violent marijuana-related convictions. The Morning Call has more.

State Receives $25.4 Million to Install Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Pennsylvania has received the first tranche of what is expected to total $171.5 million in federal stimulus funds to install electric vehicle charging stations at approximately 50-mile intervals along 15 of its interstate highways. The $25.4 million payment was announced in a report released by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation on Wednesday. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.



City Council Reconvenes After Summer Recess

City Council is officially back in session — with four fewer councilmembers than before summer began, all of whom recently resigned their positions due to mayoral ambitions. The remaining councilmembers plan to address reproductive health, Social Security benefits for foster care children, and a potential extension of the city’s eviction diversion program. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Property Assessment Appeal Deadline Extended to October 14

The City of Philadelphia has extended the deadline for homeowners to appeal recently increased property assessments until October 14. The extension was granted due to delays in the notice mailing process in the Office of Property Assessment. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

PPD Officers’ Weekend Shift Hours Increased

Officers in the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) have been ordered to work 12-hour shifts this weekend instead of their typical eight-hour shifts. The demand for increased hours, which was announced Wednesday, is due to higher than usual incidents of crime as well as staff shortages. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Councilmembers Gym, Brooks, Gauthier Aim to Protect Abortion Rights at the City Level

City Councilmembers Helen Gym, Kendra Brooks, and Jamie Gauthier will be proposing a suite of legislation that is intended to combat state-level efforts to effectively ban abortion. The proposed laws address the right to privacy and “vigilante” lawsuits that have been proposed and passed by conservative lawmakers across the country. Billy Penn has more.



U.S. Education Secretary Cardona Visits Pittsburgh; Encourages Strategic Public-Private Partnerships

The American Rescue Plan has injected a significant amount of money into the nation’s education system. But U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona believes that public-private partnerships such as the preschool STEM classroom at the Carnegie Science Center — which was made possible by a partnership between the Center and the Pittsburgh Public School district, as well as funding from the Heinz Endowments — will be key to continuing investment in education. WESA has more.

Food Banks in Pittsburgh Struggling Due to Historic Rates of Inflation

Pittsburgh-area food banks have been feeling the negative impacts of historic rates of inflation, making it difficult for them to serve the increasing numbers of people who rely on these services. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.

Councilmember Bethany Hallam Banned From, Reinstated to Airbnb Travel

On Monday, Pittsburgh At-Large Councilmember Bethany Hallam was banned from booking travel on Airbnb due to a “criminal record match.” The Councilmember, who has been open about her history with substance use disorder and drug possession convictions, has since been reinstated through the company’s appeals process. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.



Lieutenant Governor Fetterman, Dr. Oz Quarrel Over October Debate

While both Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz agreed to a debate a week ago, the Democratic and Republican candidates for U.S. Senate have not yet come to a consensus on the terms of the debate. The debate will be held at and broadcast from a Harrisburg television station on October 25. The Associated Press has more.

Republicans Attack Lieutenant Governor Fetterman on Crime

Republicans in Pennsylvania and beyond have been increasingly critical of what they view as Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman’s weak stance on crime — and have been heavily reliant on this criticism in their campaign strategy as of late. This comes during a time when crime rates, especially those in Philadelphia, have been on the rise. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.


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