Did you know Spotlight PA is a nonprofit? Learn more about our nonpartisan journalism »
Skip to main content
Main content

State's 911 fee hike won't spare taxpayers

Plus, President Joe Biden continues to visit Pennsylvania.

The logo of PA Post, a free daily newsletter delivering the top news from across Pennsylvania every day.

A daily newsletter by The logo of Spotlight PA, an independent, nonpartisan newsroom producing investigative journalism for Pennsylvania.
Your Postmaster: Spotlight PA staff

Tuesday, January 16, 2024
A message from our sponsor:
Join the PA Chamber's legislator's forum on Jan. 24.
Today: 911 hike, Biden visits, PA-10 forum, Cutler's challenge, cannabis classification, UPMC merger watch, and a Poconos prediction.

An increase to the monthly phone fee users pay to support emergency services will help fill staff vacancies and upgrade infrastructure.

Approved in December as part of the state budget, the increase to $1.95 takes effect in March, helping fund staffing and infrastructure upgrades at 911 call centers statewide.

Despite the increase, elected county officials who wanted a boost to $2.30 are disappointed, saying the rate — which landline and cellphone users pay as part of their monthly bill — still isn’t enough.

Without more funding from the 911 phone fee, the remaining cost of maintaining emergency services will likely fall on property owners.

Read Spotlight PA's full report: Officials say lawmakers’ increase to the 911 phone fee isn’t enough to alleviate taxpayer burden.


"Even before the primary I was like, ‘I’m not a progressive.’ It’s just strange why people want to ignore that. It’s not new news."

—U.S. Sen. John Fetterman (D., Pa.) addressing critics who say he's abandoned progressive ideals on Gaza, immigration, and more

Shop Spotlight PA's exclusive Pennsylvania designs and apparel.Get our Exclusive Tote Design, Made Only for Us

Get exclusive Spotlight PA apparel and accessories now on sale, including the return of our famous tote bag! SHOP NOW »

All proceeds benefit Spotlight PA's nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism.
GRADING SHAPIRO: Join us at 6 p.m. Thursday to grade Gov. Josh Shapiro’s first year in office with our expert reporters and one of the state’s top pollsters. This is an exclusive event for Spotlight PA members, but you can join by making a tax-deductible gift of any amount now. We’ll send you a special RSVP link once we receive your gift.

RICHEST LITTLE CITY: Join us Thursday, Jan. 25 from 6-7:15 p.m. on Zoom for a free panel on the corruption case rocking this small Pennsylvania city and how local government can protect against wrongdoing. Register for the event here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org

A divided sky over Pittsburgh after last week's heavy rains, via Theresa C. Have a Pennsylvania photo to share? Send it to us by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.

A sky split between heavy rain clouds and bright sunlight and partially obscured by a bank of trees.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.BIDEN IN PA: President Joe Biden's full-court press in must-win Pennsylvania continued with stops in the Lehigh Valley on Friday and Philadelphia on Monday — his second and third visits in less than two weeks. New polling suggests the strategy may be working.Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.EIGHT DEBATE: Saturday's forum with eight Democrats running to unseat U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R., Pa.) saw them largely in agreement on issues like abortion, health care, and voting. Capital-Star reports they disagreed on loyalty pledges and Israel's war in Gaza.
Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.PRIMARY MOVE: State House Minority Leader Bryan Cutler (R., Lancaster) is facing an anti-establishment-framed primary challenge from landscaper Dave Nissley, who LNP (paywall) reports is seeking the nomination with little support from county GOP officials.
Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.SCHEDULING CONFLICT: Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry has joined calls for cannabis to be federally rescheduled, citing the rise of unregulated grey markets and a desire for more state control. Federal researchers agree the current scheduling is wrong.

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.FTC SCRUTINY: The Federal Trade Commission is looking at UPMC's planned merger with Washington Health System in Washington, Pennsylvania, a deal opposed by unions and workers who point to past UPMC acquisitions that resulted in hospital closures.
🤔 PA NEWS QUIZ: Think you know what's happening in Pennsylvania? Prove it with the latest Great PA News Quiz: William Penn removal, Shapiro's futuristic tech alliance, and moon mission marred.
MOST WANTED: New clues in the D.B. Cooper skyjacking case — one of America's most enduring mysteries — point toward Pennsylvania, Popular Mechanics reports. One private eye is looking at Pittsburgh.

THIRD BIRD: Pennsylvania’s Third Bird Atlas needs you. The five-year project is looking for a few good volunteers to document breeding and wintering species statewide, Erie Times-News reports, via Yahoo.

DRONE ON: State Sen. Jarrett Coleman (R., Lehigh) says a Lancaster County sting operation convinced him it's time to change a policy that bars hunters here from using drones to track wounded deer, via PennLive. 

SMALL TOWNS: A state legislative agency says the population of the Poconos could drop 24% by 2050, as deaths outpace births, The Inquirer (paywall) reports. Some local officials are skeptical.

LAKE EFFECT: Erie's fragmented football fanbase faced a bit of a dilemma during this past weekend's NFL playoff games, per the Buffalo News: Bills or Steelers? Or Browns? In Erie, Pa., it's complicated.
Are you a Berks County resident? We're seeking community input! Join one of our upcoming Spotlight PA - Berks County listening sessions:

Jan. 23: 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Fleetwood Public Library | Register Here

A listening session is an informal, small-group discussion in which we are seeking your thoughts, opinions, and concerns on local news coverage, information access, community information needs, and news consumption habits. Visit spotlightpa.org/berks for more information.
Unscramble and send your answer to scrambler@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag. Answers submitted by 5:30 p.m. on issue date will be counted.

Friday's answer: Retrograde

Congrats to our weekly winner: Gail D.

Congrats to our daily winners: Stacy S., Vicki U., Eric F., Jody A., Don H., Tracy S., Bob C., Lynne E., Mike B., Judith D., Barbara F., Julie K., Richard A., Jon W., Carol S., Elaine C., Susan N.-Z., Mark C., Ted W., Rick W., Kim C., Marty M., Cosette J., Starr B., Daniel S., Daniel M., Alan B., Marie B., Kevin M., William Z., Adara C., Steve H., Kimberly D., Craig E., Tom M., Sharon B., Wendy A., Dan A., Stanley J., Tish M., David T., David W., Kim B., and John P.
Like PA Post? Share it with a friend.

Love PA Post? Support it with a tax-deductible gift.

Forwarded this newsletter? Subscribe here.
Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan & nonprofit newsroom producing investigative and public-service journalism that holds the powerful to account and drives positive change in Pennsylvania.

For sponsorship inquiries, email membership@spotlightpa.org.

Copyright © Spotlight PA, All rights reserved.

Spotlight PA
PO Box 11728
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728


You're receiving this email because you subscribed to PA Post, a daily newsletter by Spotlight PA.

This email was sent to: <<Email Address>>

Receiving too many emails from Spotlight PA?

To change your newsletter subscriptions and frequency, you can update your preferences.

To stop receiving fundraising messages, you can update your preferences and select "Opt out of Fundraising."

To stop receiving ALL EMAILS from Spotlight PA, including all of our investigations and newsletters, you can completely unsubscribe here.