Philadelphia’s State Legislative Races Were Contentious But Had Few Surprises
Despite infighting between progressive and establishment Democrats, incumbents were largely victorious in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for State House and Senate seats. Progressive incumbents secured commanding victories, despite not receiving the Philadelphia Democratic Party endorsement. To review a detailed analysis of election results across the Commonwealth, read Pennsylvania's Public Strategies Team’s alert.
City Council Reacts to Property Assessment Increase
Last Monday, the Office of Property Assessments released new assessment numbers for the first time in three years. Several Councilmembers across the political spectrum have expressed their chagrin and disappointment with the sharp increases, and they have vowed to lower the financial burden on homeowners. An in-depth analysis of this issue will be featured in an upcoming policy alert from the Philadelphia Public Strategies team.
Suburban Renters See the Highest Jump In Rent Prices
Renters in Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania suburbs saw the largest rent increases in the region, with some going up 15 percent since last year. New Jersey suburbs saw even larger average rate jumps, ranging from 15 to 20 percent. In Philadelphia, average rent went up a more modest 6 percent, though the actual average rent is higher than all but two suburban counties.
Councilmember Gilmore Richardson Introduces Bill to Encourage More Tree Canopy
Over recent years, the City has been losing trees. Councilmember Gilmore Richardson wants to increase tree cover throughout Philadelphia to help keep neighborhoods cool. Her proposed legislation would create a fund for tree planting and increase tree planting and preservation requirements for developers.
Bill Introduced to Give Registered Community Organizations More Power
Last week, Councilmember Jones introduced legislation that would create a fund for RCOs to obtain legal representation for hearings in front of the Zoning Board of Adjustments.
Rising Exports of Natural Gas Relying on Mariner East Pipeline
The two-year growth of natural gas exports from the Pennsylvania region is being fueled by the Mariner East 2 pipeline, the controversial pipeline which opened in 2018. Extra transportation capacity from the pipeline now means one ship a day arrives in Marcus Hook for processing.
Squilla Proposes Changes to Automatic Expiration of Unused Building Permits
Councilmember Mark Squilla is proposing a bill that would allow two permit extensions for a project that could last for up to one year. Read the proposed bill here.
Littering Law Updated to Include More Specific Language
After Council hearings on dumping and littering, a group of Council members introduced revisions to the city’s refuse and littering codes, which more clearly define infractions and add liability for dumpers. Read the proposed bill here.
Philadelphia City Council holds several hearings throughout the legislative calendar. You can watch the hearings here.
On Friday, May 20, at 10:00 a.m., The Committee on Rules will hold a hearing on the Affordable Housing Preservation Overlay District.
On Monday, May 23: The First Judicial District, Law Department, Art Museum, Public Testimony
On Tuesday, May 24: Department callbacks