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Supply kits for new parents under 'momnibus' bill

Plus, school funding overhaul passes PA House.

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Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen

Tuesday, June 11, 2024
Today: Parenting supplies, school funding vote, water fouled, Kensington crackdown, carbon burials, J6 jeers, and SEPTA's war on grime.
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A "Momnibus" package championed by state House Democrats seeks doula coverage under Pennsylvania’s public health insurance program and starter kits containing diapers and onesies for new parents this budget season, the latter initiative projected to cost the state $36 million annually.

Democrats argue new investments around health care and maternal health are warranted given the state’s $14 billion surplus. But the state Senate's GOP majority, already squeamish about new spending, will need to sign off.

Read Spotlight PA's full report: ‘Momnibus’ bills would expand access to doulas, provide essentials to new parents.


"John was treated for a bruised shoulder and they were discharged that afternoon. They are doing well and happy to be back in Braddock."

The office of U.S. Sen. John Fetterman (D., Pa.) referring to Fetterman and his wife, Gisele, who were involved in a car crash in Maryland Sunday
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QUEERING THE NEWS: Join us Thursday, June 13 from 6-7 p.m. ET on Zoom for a free discussion with a panel of experts on Pennsylvania’s queer media landscape — past, present, and future. Register for the event here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org.
Starr B. sent in this photo of a fledgling bird with wet wings being transported to a dry log before flying off. Have a photo of your own to share? Send it to us by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania
Blueish bird being held in an outstretched hand.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.
SCHOOL MONEY: State House Democrats’ plan to fix Pennsylvania’s unconstitutional school funding system passed the lower chamber on Monday (107-94), with backing from an unusual coalition of public and charter school officials. The bill, which would funnel an additional $5.1 billion to underfunded school districts over seven years, heads to the GOP-controlled state Senate, where pushback is expected.
Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.
TOXIC TESTING: Nearly one-fifth of Pennsylvania drinking water sources contain toxic "forever chemicals" above new federal standards, WHYY reports. The testing was conducted between January and March and centered on Pennsylvania's less-stringent PFAS limits. A mobile home park in Columbia County had levels more than 500 times the new federal threshold and 100 times higher than the state's.
Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.KENSINGTON SWEEP: Phase II of Philly Mayor Cherelle Parker's Kensington crackdown will begin as soon as next week with 75 police cadets set to deliver heavier narcotics enforcement there. Some business owners and residents told The Inquirer (paywall) that last month's encampment clearings in the neighborhood simply shuffled drug activity around, feeding doubts about the longterm impacts.
Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.
CARBON CAPTURE: A bill with bipartisan support would allow carbon capture companies in Pennsylvania to bury the climate-altering emissions in underground geologic formations with permission from just 60% of nearby landowners, Capital and Main reports. Supporters say the technology could be key in tackling climate change. Opponents fear leaks — like this one — earthquakes, explosions, and more.
Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.
'SAY HER NAME': Democrats tell PennLive state Rep. Stephanie Borowicz (R., Clinton County) shouted “say her name” — a reference to Ashli Babbitt, the rioter fatally shot by U.S. Capitol police on Jan. 6, 2021 — during an appearance by two former U.S. Capitol officers on the floor of the state House in Harrisburg last week. Members of both parties say several members of the GOP walked out during the appearance.
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INCLINE DECLINE? Pittsburgh is the only U.S. city with two inclines. But TribLIVE reports persistent problems with one of them has officials pondering a more modern solution, such as an aerial tram, to replace it. 

TEST TIME: Test yourself with questions pulled directly from the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s social studies curriculum, via City & State, to see if you're "smarter than a Pennsylvania 5th grader."

'WAR ON GRIME': The Inquirer (paywall) goes inside SEPTA's "war on grime," which finds hardworking crews blasting trash, human waste, and dirt from transit stations. SEPTA is hiring 100 additional cleaners.

MAYFLY MAYHEM: Cedar Point, an Ohio amusement park frequented by lots of Pennsylvanians each year, is being swarmed by mayflies this season, as documented in viral videos (like this and this) over the weekend.

FEDERAL FIRST: When Pennsylvania teen Grace Ziegmont told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency it was time to create the agency's first-ever national youth council, the agency listened, the Bay Journal reports.
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