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How Shapiro budget would prioritize ag development

Plus: Chat with reporters from Spotlight PA about local issues in Union County

This is Talk of the Town, a free weekly newsletter delivering top news from State College and the surrounding region.

April 18, 2024
Inside this edition: Shapiro budget proposal aims to address shortcomings that curdled Fairlife facility deal, Penn State Extension to leave 20% of positions unfilled, and what you need to know ahead of Tuesday’s primary election 🗳️
Georgianna Sutherland / For Spotlight PA 
Real quick: Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal invests in agricultural development and aims to address shortcomings that lost Pennsylvania a deal with a major milk brand looking to build a facility, Spotlight PA’s Marley Parish reports.

A little more: When major dairy brand Fairlife chose New York over Pennsylvania for its new production facility last year, lawmakers and industry figures didn’t bite their tongues.

They blamed the failed bid and the missed $650 million investment on challenges with Pennsylvania's permitting process, a lack of construction-ready sites, and a shaky supply chain.

While Gov. Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, didn’t mention Fairlife directly in his budget address, his $48.3 billion proposal reflects lessons from the experience. His spending plan earmarks hundreds of millions of dollars to prepare commercial and industrial sites for new owners, recruit new businesses, and fund agriculture grants.

Agriculture and business development officials say the budget plan — along with the development strategy Shapiro rolled out earlier this year that identifies agriculture as a sector to target for economic growth — makes strides toward supporting existing farming operations and making Pennsylvania an attractive place to operate a business.

The full story: Read more here.
» CANDIDATE QUIZ: Find the best AG candidate for you
» Find key dates and answers to voter FAQs here
» Guides to state attorney general, auditor generaltreasurer
» Guias de fiscal general del estado, auditor general y tesorero
» Races to watch: state Housestate Senate
» Elections 101: poll watchers, pollbooks, voting machines, mail ballots
» Pa. primary election 2024: How to vote, where to vote, and everything you need to know for April 23

» Pa. election 2024: What the latest fundraising reports tell us about the attorney general race
» BROKEN PRIMARIES: Join us Friday, April 19 from 6-7 p.m. ET on Zoom for a Spotlight PA members-only event with Nick Troiano, author of The Primary Solution, a new book on how our partisan primaries are fueling the political divide in America and what we can do about it. Become a Spotlight PA member here and you'll be automatically registered for the event.

» COMMUNITY LISTENING SESSION: Hey Union County readers! The Spotlight PA State College team will be in Lewisburg on April 25! Drop by Amami Kitchen & Espresso Bar (103 S. 6th St.) between 9 a.m. and noon to chat with us about what local issues are important to you. Coffee is our treat!
The view from the Musser Gap Greenway in Centre County, via Amy Z.

Have a north-central Pennsylvania photo to share? Send it to us by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
Our brand new ‘Now Brewing the Truth’ coffee/latte mugs are here! Matte black with white inside, perfect for every day use or as a gift! Proceeds from the Spotlight PA store benefit our nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. 

Please allow 1-2 weeks for shipping. Have an idea for a product you'd like to see? Send us a note at membership@spotlightpa.org

» CDT: Is Penn State shutting down its Multicultural Resource Center?
» SC: Bellefonte council introduces acting police chief

» WPSU: Penn State Extension leaving 20% of positions unfilled
» Mirror: DCED blasts Hollidaysburg over $400K bridge grant
» Daily News: Huntingdon school district has $1M budget deficit
» Mirror: Five incarcerated people at Blair prison overdose
Want us to list your event? Send it to us.

» April 20: Food, music, and live entertainment highlight the APIDA Heritage Festival Night Market in downtown State College, Centre County.

» April 20: Water Wheel Carriages offers Pride and Prejudice rides in Lycoming County.

» April 20: See live pro wrestling at Rusty Rail Brewing for the CommUnity Zone Fundraising Event, SlamFest Unity, in Union County.

» April 20-21: Browse furniture, books, collectibles and more at the Spring Antique Show & Sawmill Run, held at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, in Potter County.

» April 24-27: The Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous returns to Ridgway, Elk County, featuring live carving, food, entertainment, and an auction.
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Do you have events, community shoutouts, questions about our region, or tips on stories that we should pursue? Email our team.
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