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HARRISBURG — Gov. Josh Shapiro made many promises in his campaign. Now he faces a new challenge of maintaining them.
A month into his tenure as Pennsylvania’s top executive, Shapiro has so far avoided confrontation and focused on what he can do unilaterally.he appointed his cabinet and issued four presidential decrees. Updated management ethics rules, and those primarily focused on economic development. None of them caused much controversy.
But to tackle most of the larger issues on the long-term agenda Mr. Shapiro presented in his gubernatorial run, it would take some infamous problems, like regulating Pennsylvania’s energy industry and updating the state’s election laws. We need to work with a parliament that is divided on the issue.
He will also have to take a firm stand on topics he formerly avoided, such as whether to continue his predecessor’s commitment to keep Pennsylvania. organization This limits carbon emissions from fossil fuel power plants.
Over the next few months, Spotlight PA will track progress on several key commitments Shapiro has made on the campaign trail, highlighting specific promises for the following reasons:
Shapiro emphasized them when running for governor.
Passing them requires cooperation with Congress.
Or it could pit various factions of his supporters against each other.
one of the greatest focal points Shapiro’s platform It promised to strengthen the economy of Pennsylvania residents and lower consumer prices. But implementing nearly all of the major policies he has proposed for that purpose will require support from Congress.
promise: Against the backdrop of rising food and gas prices in 2021, Shapiro said: $250 gas tax refund All state-registered personal vehicles (up to 4 per household) and Eliminate 11% of state sales mobile phone service tax
What’s next: Such tax refunds or changes to the tax system are negotiated through the budget or legislation, both of which require Congressional cooperation.
promise: Shapiro says states need to pull up $15 hourly minimum wagea position the Legislative Democrats have long championed.
What’s next: The move requires congressional approval, and many Republicans in the state House of Representatives have previously opposed raising the minimum wage. Influential Shapiro. Republican-dominated state Senate previously agreed Decrease the minimum wage increase.
promise: During his campaign, Shapiro said Pennsylvania needed to attract more businesses. To do so, he announced the plan Lowers state net corporate income tax — paid by companies headquartered in the state and based on gross profits — 4% by 2025.
What’s next: This tax change is likely to be codified during budget negotiations. Last year, then-Governor Tom Wolfe and Congress agreed to lower the tax rate to 4.99% over the next 10 years. Shapiro’s plan cuts that timeline in half, further reducing CNIT.
Pennsylvania’s net corporate income tax was previously 9.99%, the second highest in the nation. A perennial topic of conversation when legislators negotiate state budgets.
energy and environment
During his campaign, Shapiro gained the support of two often opposing factions: environmentalists and the energy industry.
he repeats claimed The choice between the two was a false dichotomy, but having made commitments that could conflict with each other.
promise: Shapiro promised One of his most ambitious goals is for the Commonwealth to generate 30% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.
What’s next: Shapiro says this is The Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard Act requires companies to sell energy to the federal government. The Public Utilities Commission is increasing its share of energy from alternative sources.Current requirements are 8% to 10% It depends on the type of renewable energy source.
This law was previously amended under Wolf in 2020. To change the percentages again, Shapiro would have to take action in Congress.
promise: Shapiro said he puts Pennsylvania on track to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
What’s next: Shapiro says he wants to put money into plugging an abandoned well — Significant Source of Pennsylvania Emissions — and said that such efforts could create jobs. Likewise, he said he supports investments in “zero-carbon technologies” and tax incentives. These plans do not contain specific details or timelines.
At the same time, Shapiro is not committed to maintaining its predecessor’s greatest environmental achievement, its participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
RGGI is an agreement between state consortia to reduce emissions by requiring fossil fuel power plants to purchase carbon allowances.
During the election, Mr. Shapiro would not say whether he would stay with RGGI, but consulted experts in the fields of energy and the environment to determine whether the program would raise energy prices, sacrifice jobs, or improve the environment. only promised to see if it would protect them. .
According to Michael Mann, a climate scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, if Shapiro withdraws from RGGI, it would show a “lack of seriousness.”
Mann says it’s possible to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, but Shapiro “used the bully’s pulpit” to urge legislative Republicans to “make efforts to create a livable future.” It is necessary to convince voters to stop it.
Justice system and security
Violent crime and public safety are popular issues in the 2022 election cycle, with Shapiro was often the subject of discussion during his campaignHe made pledges that reflected the priorities of various political factions in Pennsylvania, stating,data driven” Not only the changes in the policing policy, Self-proclaimed “police”
Many of Shapiro’s proposed criminal justice changes focus more on the prison system than law enforcement.
promise: Shapiro said,pledged Helps recruit 2,000 more police officers across the Commonwealth. “
What’s next: Shapiro has not disclosed how he plans to achieve this goal, but it will involve working with Congress during budget negotiations and working directly with counties.
promise: Shapiro said he would Include item With his first budget to fund the legal representation of impoverished Pennsylvanians. Pennsylvania is the only state that does not allocate state funds to criminal defense of the poor.
What’s next: Shapiro could easily include such a proposal in the budget bill, but Congress would ultimately have to agree to that budget.apart from some bipartisan support No proposal to fund the poor defense in the past has ever received attention.
promise: Shapiro wants to implement a new program on exchanges and recidivism. One, to elderly incarcerated people apply for geriatric paroleShapiro also said he would sign the bill. expunge records of those offering time for non-violent marijuana convictions.
What’s next: Any of these policy proposals must come from Congress, as the governor does not have the power to introduce legislation. However, the governor’s office can grant amnesty and commutation of sentences.
promise: Shapiro has made several promises to tighten gun control. He said He closed loopholes for “ghost guns” that allowed the sale of gun parts that could be assembled into untraceable firearms, enacted universal background checks as a condition of gun purchases, and temporarily removed guns from people. plans to pass a “red flag” law to withhold He is going through a mental health crisis.
What’s next: Many of these proposals require congressional approval. Harrisburg Republicans have generally been reluctant to strengthen gun laws, despite being open to some of Democratic criminal justice priorities in the past. A new Democratic majority gave Shapiro an edge in the legislative branch.
Last Significant Changes to Federal Firearms Control came in 2018when the General Assembly passed a bill that would make it easier for law enforcement to disarm people convicted of domestic violence.
Throughout the campaign, Shapiro highlighted his work defending Pennsylvania against former President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election, and framed his victory as a rejection of radicalism and misinformation. .
Legislation has been reluctant to consider a single election law in the past, so Shapiro agreed to a more comprehensive bill that included his priorities and the compromises he was willing to accept in exchange for Republican support. It is likely that you will have to
promise: Shapiro said he would sign the bill Allows counties to begin counting vote-by-mail ballots before Election Day. This is a process known as pre-survey, which is common in states where mail-in ballots are widespread. County leaders have been calling for this change since 2020. The lack of pre-research in Pennsylvania is often blamed for the state’s slow election results.
What’s next: Republican lawmakers and Wolff have tried intermittently to pass the election bill over the past two years. That never happened, but not because there is serious opposition to the bill.
The effort stalled as Republican lawmakers called for other major election changes to be included, such as expanding ID requirements on ballots.
Shapiro sent a signal He is likely to accept some kind of stricter voter identification requirements to enact his priorities.
promise: As part of the election campaign, Shapiro promised to improve access to ballot boxes.He announced a plan that said he would sign the bill to pass automatic voter registration, sign up a qualified person when applying for a state ID or driver’s license. a Pre-registration flow For 16 and 17 year olds.and Firearm Bans at Polling Places.
What’s next: As with pre-surveys, these types of changes can be included in the broader election package. A compromise is probably essential.
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https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2023/02/pennsylvania-shapiro-environment-economy-justice-elections/ Is Pa. Gov. Shapiro keeping his election promises? Spotlight PA