News & Brews June 19, 2023

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Senate lawmaker introduces Lifeline Scholarships 

On Thursday, Republican state Sen. Judy Ward (Blair, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, and Mifflin counties) introduced legislation to establish Lifeline Scholarships in Pa. These scholarships would offer alternative educational opportunity to students restricted by zip code to low-performing traditional public schools. During his campaign, Gov. Shapiro expressed support for Lifeline Scholarships. He’s been noticeably inactive on the issue since taking office, however.

Shapiro says I-95 will reopen within two weeks

After touring the collapsed stretch of I-95 via helicopter with President Joe Biden on Saturday, Gov. Josh Shapiro said the roadway will reopen “within the next two weeks.” The AP reports that the plan “involves trucking in 2,000 tons of lightweight glass nuggets for the quick rebuilding.” Then, “crews will use the recycled glass to fill in the collapsed area to avoid supply-chain delays for other materials.” After this, “a replacement bridge will be built next to it to reroute traffic while crews excavate the fill to restore the exit ramp.”

Are environmentalists souring on Shapiro? 

Some environmentalists who sidled up to Gov. Josh Shapiro during his campaign and immediately after his inauguration are having second thoughts. Inside Climate News reports that while campaigning for governor, “Shapiro spoke of taking ‘real action’ to address climate change.” He also spoke of “ensuring” “reliable, affordable and clean power.” Now, however, “the fear is that … Shapiro’s term will be marked by middle-of-the-road climate and environmental policy rather than the drastic action on emissions, pollution and energy that activists say is needed.” Of course, not everyone would agree that Shapiro is going middle-of-the-road, given his refusal to withdraw from the harmful Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

A look at Biden’s re-election kickoff in Philly

President Joe Biden kicked off his re-election campaign at a union rally in Philly on Saturday. Relying on the hyperbole that’s endemic in politics, he claimed Republicans “are coming for” union jobs, the Washington Times reports. Meanwhile, “Polls show most voters are giving Mr. Biden poor marks for his handling of the economy as inflation remains stubbornly high.”

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