News & Brews August 4, 2021

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Challenges ahead of university mergers

The chancellor of the State System of Higher Education told lawmakers on Tuesday that he expects declining enrollments at the universities this year and explained further challenges facing the schools in their final year of instruction before consolidation. Unsurprisingly, Chancellor Daniel Greenstein bemoaned the amount of funding these schools receive…though perhaps they could manage it better?

The Inquirer gets to know Jeff Bartos

The Philadelphia Inquirer spent the day with Republican Senate candidate Jeff Bartos, who previously ran for lieutenant governor in 2018. Though the writer seemed surprised that a candidate would talk about certain issues more frequently than he did four years prior (in this case, free speech, cancel culture, and critical race theory), in the piece Bartos explains his concern for small businesses and work to provide forgivable loans to more than 1,000 of them through the Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund nonprofit he cofounded. Read more.

The housing market microcosm

The housing crises that plagues cities like San Francisco or Detroit (for very different reasons) tend to get the most headlines, but, “Pennsylvania is a microcosm of such alarming housing trends, especially east of the Susquehanna River. …From the Keystone State’s middle-class suburbs to its post-industrial locales, the housing crisis is a major challenge.” RealClear Politics examines the housing market in the Lehigh Valley and its implications for the local economy.

Redistricting hearings underway

Due to the pandemic, the time to complete the redistricting process is tight, making every hearing seem especially weighted. In Tuesdays hearing, advocates testified about using municipalities or “communities of interest” as boundaries. However, these community interests, “can be anything,” which certainly wouldn’t seem to make the redistricting process less ambiguous. The Morning Call has more.

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