Pennsylvania Perspective for Thursday, September 8, 2022

September 8, 2022


Governor Wolf Signs Executive Order to Expand Availability of Voter Registration Forms, Information by Agencies

Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order that requires voter registration forms and information to be made publicly available by seven additional Pennsylvania government agencies. This is an expansion of the number of agencies that are already obligated to do so under the 1993 federal National Voter Registration Act. The Associated Press has more.

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Requires Immediate Legislative Attention, Says Auditor General DeFoor

A mandated quadrennial audit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike commission released yesterday revealed a dire financial situation that, according to Auditor General Timothy DeFoor, requires immediate legislative action to remedy. Currently, the commission has racked up $13.2 billion in debt, due in large part to a requirement that the commission annually contribute $450 million to assist in the funding of other state transportation needs through 2022. PennLive has more.

Many Pennsylvania Police Officers, State Constables Among Oath Keepers Membership

The Oath Keepers — a far-right, anti-government political group with ties to the January 6 Capitol insurrection — has attracted membership from multiple Pennsylvania police officers and state constables over the past decade, according to a WITF analysis of registration data, public records, and interviews. The findings raise concerns among many Pennsylvanians about the general rise in political extremism. WITF has more.

Pennsylvania Broadband Improvement Funding on the Line With Release of Updated FCC Maps

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to unveil updated maps that track broadband accessibility in November, which will then determine how much federal funding Pennsylvania will receive to address this issue, as well as which areas of the state have the highest need. States will also have the opportunity to challenge these maps with their own data in order to potentially secure more funding. SpotlightPA has more.

Which Seats Pennsylvania Democrats, Republicans Hope to Flip

As the nation moves full steam ahead toward the midterm elections in November, Pennsylvania Democrats and Republicans are determined not only to defend currently held seats, but to flip seats held by the opposing party. While state Republicans are aiming for a veto-proof Senate majority, state Democrats hope to gain new ground due to newly redistricted maps. GoErie and the Beaver County Times have more.



Councilmember Parker Resigns for Likely 2023 Mayoral Run

City Council Majority Leader Cherelle Parker resigned her position yesterday, paving the way for her to announce a potential mayoral run in 2023. Her announcement marks the fourth such resignation from City Council in the past month, with former colleagues Derek Green and Maria Quiñones Sánchez officially announcing their respective mayoral runs on Tuesday and Allan Domb having resigned in August in order to explore a potential run. Billy Penn has more.

Philadelphia to Spend $7.6 Million to Address Tangled Titles Issue

On Wednesday, Philadelphia City Council announced that it will be spending $7.6 million to help low-income residents resolve the issue of tangled titles thanks to the Neighborhood Preservation Initiative. The goal is to clear a significant amount of Philadelphia’s more than 10,000 tangled titles, which can be a costly process. WHYY has more.



Pittsburgh Relaunching “Disruptive Properties” Program

Pittsburgh will be relaunching a program that will penalize what it deems to be “disruptive properties” — or properties that receive three or more citations within the span of a year. The intended goal of the program is to help reduce crime, particularly on the city’s South Side. WESA has more.

Pitt’s Lobbying Spending Soared During Recent Budget Debate

According to recently released lobbying disclosure reports, the University of Pittsburgh spent $750,000 on lobbying efforts in the quarter leading up to the passing of the 2022-23 state budget — a staggering $670,000 to $700,000 increase from typical quarterly spending. The approximate nine-fold increase was due primarily to Republican opposition to the University’s fetal tissue research. WESA has more. 

PRT Hopes to Have Entirely Zero-Emission Bus Fleet by 2045

On Wednesday, Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) announced that it intends to replace its entire current bus fleet with zero-emissions vehicles over the next two decades. The timeline accounts for the 12-year lifespan of currently utilized buses, and the total cost of replacing the fleet is expected to total $1 billion over 20 years. While the transition to an electric fleet has support, it is largely dependent upon the outcomes of several upcoming elections. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.



UPS to Add More Than 100,000 Workers During Holiday Season

The United Parcel Service (UPS) announced this week that it expects to hire more than 100,000 additional workers to assist during the holiday season to accommodate for higher package delivery volumes. The planned staff increase is consistent with holiday season increases in 2020 and 2021. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

Lieutenant Governor Fetterman, Dr. Oz to Share Debate Stage in October

After a contentious back-and-forth on the matter between the two campaigns — on social media and in the press — Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman has agreed to participate in a televised debate with his Republican opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz in either mid- or late October. The Lieutenant Governor has previously declined invitations for debate as he continues his recovery from the stroke he suffered in May. The Associated Press has more.


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