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

Possible impacts of Pa.'s latest budget impasse

Plus, fireworks aren't leaving Pa. despite complaints.

🇺🇸 Our 4th of July FLASH $5K matching campaign won't last long, so support Spotlight PA today and get your gift DOUBLED. Our fearless investigative reporting for Pennsylvania can't continue without your tax-deductible support. Thank you and Happy Fourth! — Colin

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: Colin Deppen

Tuesday, July 4, 2023
📣 PROGRAMMING NOTE: No newsletter tomorrow (we're off for the holiday) but we'll be back in your inbox first thing Thursday.
Budget breakers, conditional cannabis, boom times, $130M about-face, ratio rules, Toomey stint, and Gettysburg's aftermath. This is PA Post.

Pennsylvania's state budget is late, but what might that mean for the public services Pennsylvanians rely upon?

Spotlight PA reports the impacts aren't likely to be felt immediately, but if the stalemate lasts for months, schools, and nonprofits such as libraries and domestic violence shelters could face serious cash flow issues. 

Schools could feel the effects as soon as next month when teachers and students begin to return to the classroom. 

Read Spotlight PA's full report: Pennsylvania's budget is officially late. Here’s what you need to know about the impasse.

THE CONTEXT: A survey by the United Way of Pennsylvania found employees in impacted sectors had been furloughed, lost benefits, or taken salary cuts during a long 2015 impasse under Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

This time, a $100 million private school voucher proposal included in a $45 billion budget plan passed by the GOP-led state Senate last week has been declared a deal breaker by Democrats controlling the state House.

House lawmakers will return to Harrisburg for a voting session tomorrow — five days past the budget deadline — per a notice issued Monday.


"I don't think Pennsylvania's doing the [work] necessary to really both plan for and help promote the transition to electric vehicles."

— Peter Huether, author of a new report scoring U.S. states on EV transition work; Pennsylvania's lag could owe in part to its reliance on gas taxes
Support Spotlight PA's independent, nonpartisan journalism for Pennsylvania and for a limited time, your gift will be DOUBLED.
» Pa. revenue $44.9B in FY23, ahead of estimates, via PoliticsPA

» Gov. Shapiro charts Pennsylvania playbook for Democrats, via Axios

» Pa. Freedom Caucus flubs "school choice" meme, via Inky (paywall)

» Shapiro on SCOTUS rulings: "bad week for freedom," via MSNBC

» Rep. Zimmerman eyes bill to expand sheriff powers, via LNP (paywall)

» Rep. Burns bills target car insurance, registration fines, via WTAJ

» Pa. House narrowly backs severance tax study, via PBT (paywall)

» U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna tours Lehigh Valley, via Lehigh Valley Business

» 1st woman Pa. prisons chief confirmed, via Republican Herald (paywall)

View of the Susquehanna River and Veterans Memorial Bridge from Lancaster County, via Spotlight PA reporter Ed Mahon. Send us your photos by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag @spotlightpennsylvania.

A photo of water under a bridge with the sun setting between trusses.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.POT SHOPS: Billy Penn reports Philadelphia is preparing for the possibility of legalized recreational cannabis in Pennsylvania with zoning bills restricting where it could be sold, a move industry advocates call shortsighted. Pennsylvania is moving slowly on legalizing adult-use cannabis as more neighboring states go for it.
  • RELATED: Can Pennsylvanians buy pot in Maryland?, via YDR
Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.BOOM TOWNS: Attempts to undo the opening of Pennsylvania's fireworks laws and once again restrict consumer-grade options have made little headway in Harrisburg despite a bevy of complaints from officials, residents, and their pets. Spotlight PA reports lawmakers looking to reapply the clamps are debating how far to go.

Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.PENSION PIVOT: A venture capital firm walked away from a $130 million investment by the embattled Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System pension fund, the state's largest. The Inquirer (paywall) reports the pivot followed SEC action against the firm and Gov. Shapiro's unusual request to revisit its PSERS hire.

Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.PATIENT RATIOS: As of July 1, nurse-to-patient ratios in Pennsylvania nursing homes have been updated for the first time in 25 years, the Observer-Reporter notes. Spotlight PA has the background on the Wolf-era policy change meant to ensure better care as a legislative push targets lopsided ratios in hospitals statewide.

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.REVOLVING DOOR: The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says former U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.)'s post-retirement stint advising a cryptocurrency exchange after killing regulations opposed by the industry while in office makes a strong case for ending Washington D.C.'s revolving door.
Support Spotlight PA's investigative journalism for Pennsylvania and for a limited time, your gift will be DOUBLED.

TURTLE POWER: @DrewSav confirms U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D., Pa.) doesn't have a favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, despite having been 13 when the first movie came out. Other congresspeople answered.

PA ROYALTY: The AP spent a year following drag queens and kings in Pennsylvania coal towns, like Nescopeck, and found a "contrast to the fierce political winds ripping at drag performances" in other states.

STORM DAMAGE: A 200-year-old tree in Dauphin County is among the collateral damage from fierce storms that pushed through the region over the weekend, WGAL reports. There were no reports of injuries.

CIVIL WAR: Fighting in the Civil War's Battle of Gettysburg lasted from July 1-3 and claimed tens of thousand of lives. The Pennsylvania in the Civil War blog describes the aftermath as surveyed 160 years ago.

LOST, FOUND: A French woman found a bag belonging to Thomas Madden Foltz, a WWII soldier from Pittsburgh, in her attic during home renovations and is trying to track his family down using the power of the internet.

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.

Yesterday's answer: Pyrotechnics or phenocrystic

Congrats to our daily winners: Craig W., Barbara F., Becky C., Jon W., Susan N.-Z., Kim C., Don H., Stacy S., Dianne K., Elaine C., James B., Dennis M., Tom M., Dan A., David W., Lynne E., and William Z.
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, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and WITF Public Media.

Copyright © Spotlight PA / The Philadelphia Inquirer, 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.