ISSUE 136| December 8, 2021
The Institute is an economic research and applied research and consulting group that provides customized client solutions and strategies to facilitate decision making and planning that enhances growth, impact, and sustainability for organizations.
From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
Pittsburgh offers new and affordable housing in blighted neighborhood 
The fourth phase of a redevelopment plan is underway in Pittsburgh’s North Shore neighborhood.

The process involves replacement of blighted and abandoned properties with new and affordable homes and apartment complexes.

Its objective is to keep families in the city. 

Two PA municipalities consolidate for the benefit of citizens
Constituents in DuBois City and Sandy Township voted to consolidate into a new third class city.

The consolidation allows for more economic development opportunity and greater cost efficiencies.

Residents are invited to participate in the restructuring process. 

Proposed legislation would ban police stops for minor traffic violations 
Pittsburgh’s counsel has proposed legislation to ban police stops for secondary violations (such as burned out lights, etc.).

Proponents of the measure argue that it will help create a more equitable environment by reducing traffic stops of Black and Hispanic or Latino drivers.

Similar bans already exist in Philadelphia and a number of cities around the country.  

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
NY creates equity with its own city broadband network
With its new Internet Master Plan, the city is creating a publicly-owned broad band network to serve 1.6 million people without mobile or home broadband connections.

Equity-based public policy has helped level the playing field for small providers in order to begin implementation.

Advocates suggest that such efforts will likely extend across the state.

Decriminalization of drugs presents challenges as well as benefits 
More states are following Oregon’s lead to decriminalize drugs, but are discovering limited access to behavioral health services without connection to the criminal justice system.

Money saved from the decriminalization and marijuana tax revenue is being used to build a stronger infrastructure.

That development cannot keep pace with demand for services, however.   

States may be moving away from preemption laws 
Preemption laws, which prevent local governments from enacting gun control ordinances stricter than what their states have in place, are currently active in 42 states.

Colorado is the latest to reverse preemption laws given major increases in gun violence, and more states are moving in similar directions.

Cities are also adopting gun safety policies to circumvent state preemption laws.

In the Spotlight: The Institute's latest policy brief highlights the value of a national infrastructure bank - including impact on broadband access. Legislation such as HR 3339 presents opportunities for substantial economic impact.
Research Institutions
Relaying Relevant News & Research to Local Stakeholders