Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, September 21, 2023

September 21, 2023


House Democrats Once Again Secure One-Vote Majority

State House Democrats have once again regained their narrow majority with the election of Democrat Lindsay Powell during this week’s special election in District 21. The seat was formerly held by Sara Innamorato, who resigned in July to focus on her campaign for Allegheny County Executive. Spotlight PA has more.

Governor Shapiro Introduces Automatic Voter Registration for Those Getting, Renewing Their Driver’s License

Governor Josh Shapiro marked National Voter Registration Day this week by announcing that Pennsylvanians will now be able to automatically register to vote while getting or renewing their driver’s license. Votebeat Pennsylvania has more.

Governor Shapiro Signs Executive Order to Prepare State Government to Utilize AI in Operations

On Wednesday, Governor Shapiro signed an executive order intended to help prepare the commonwealth to incorporate generative artificial intelligence (AI) into government operations. The order establishes a governing board composed of members of the administration and experts in the field to recommend appropriate AI policies and appropriate guardrails. The Associated Press has more.

Former Pennsylvania Governors Advocate for Open Primaries

All five of Pennsylvania’s living former governors — Tom Ridge, Mark Schweiker, Ed Rendell, Tom Corbett, and Tom Wolf — penned an open letter advocating for an open primary system. There is currently bipartisan legislation working its way through both the state House and Senate that would repeal closed primaries, which would allow for the commonwealth’s 1.2 million independent voters to cast their ballots during primary elections. City & State Pennsylvania has more.

State Senate Approves Moving 2024 Presidential Primary Election to March

On Wednesday, the state Senate voted 45-2 to approve legislation that would officially move the 2024 presidential primary election to March 19 from April 23. The move is intended to avoid interfering with Passover. The bill is now expected to be referred to the House State Government Committee. City & State Pennsylvania has more.

State Senate Passes Bill Allowing for More Marijuana Grower-Processors to Act as Dispensaries

On Wednesday, the state Senate voted 44-3 to approve legislation that would allow licensed cannabis grower-processors in Pennsylvania to be issued dispensary permits. Currently, state law caps the number of grower-processors that can also act as dispensaries at 25. PennLive has more.



Philadelphia Mayoral Candidates to Debate in October

KYW Newsradio will be hosting Democratic mayoral nominee Cherelle Parker and her Republican opponent David Oh for a debate on October 26. PoliticsPA has more.

Philadelphia City Council to Investigate 911 Dispatch System

District 3 Councilmember Jamie Gauthier introduced legislation today to authorize a hearing on the “ongoing challenges” face by the City’s 911 dispatchers, with particular focus on the botched response to a call that preceded a July mass shooting in Kingsessing. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Governor Shapiro Nominates Council President Clarke to State Liquor Control Board

Current Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke, who is wrapping up his final term in office, was nominated by Governor Shapiro to the state’s Liquor Control Board. The appointment would need to be confirmed by the state Senate. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Temple Community Mourns Sudden Passing of Acting President Epps

Members of the Temple University community gathered Thursday morning to mourn the loss of Acting President JoAnn Epps, who passed away unexpectedly after a University event Tuesday. WHYY has more.



First TV Ads of Allegheny County District Attorney Race Begin Airing

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. launched the first televised campaign ads of this campaign season, choosing to go negative against challenger and former chief public defender Matt Dugan. WESA has more.

Pittsburgh City Council Grants Preliminary Approval to Rental Registry Framework

Pittsburgh City Council is attempting for a fourth time to create a citywide registry for rental properties, having granted preliminary approval for a new framework for a registry on Wednesday. A previous attempt to create such a registry is still held up in court. WESA has more.



Republican David McCormick Expected to Launch Campaign for U.S. Senate This Evening

Republican David McCormick is expected to announce his candidacy for U.S. Senate this evening at an event at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. McCormick ran for the office in 2022, losing the party’s nomination to Dr. Mehmet Oz. The Associated Press has more.

Senator Casey Introduces Universal Child Health Care Access Bill

U.S. Senator Bob Casey, who serves as chair of Senate Special Committee on Aging, recently introduced the Medicaid for Every Child Act, which would automatically enroll children in Medicaid at birth, extending coverage until they turn 18. MyChesCo has more.

Beltway Briefing: Is the Government Shutdown Just a “Ritualistic Ceremony?”

As the CPS team returns from August Recess, the Beltway is in a downward spiral with a looming government shutdown, a crisis at the southern border, mounting indictments for former President Donald Trump and Hunter Biden, and a House impeachment inquiry into President Biden. Listen to the latest episode here.


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