ISSUE 249 | March 21, 2024

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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

PA Housing Shortage Prompts $80 Million Proposed Budget Boost


The government’s office has proposed an $80 million budget for anti-homelessness initiatives, as well as public legal defenses against evictions for at-risk individuals.

Another proposed goal of the budget is to revitalize the Whole Homes Repair Program, a grant program that received such demand since its creation last year that it became overwhelmed with waitlists.

One study suggests that Pennsylvania has a shortage of 100,000 housing units. 

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In Mentorship Program, NEPA High School Girls Pedaling Towards Careers in STEM 


The STEM Bridges Mentorship Program is helping girls in NEPA pursue careers in STEM fields.

Students are partnered with local mentors who provide guidance and support for higher education and career opportunities.

According to the National Science Foundation, STEM careers remain male dominated, although more women have entered the field in the last several years. 

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Philly Lost 50,000 Residents During Pandemic, Census Shows

According to the Census, Philadelphia has lost more than 50,000 residents in the last three years.

This follows a statewide trend, with the overall population of Pennsylvania shrinking from 13 million to 12.9 million during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although several cities have reported losses during the pandemic years, there have been reports of suburban growth in areas such as Chester and Montgomery County.  

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Unpacking the American Revenue Plan’s “Revenue Loss” Provision for Local Governments

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has been in operation for three years, allocating funds for local governments to address the economic and health-related impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new Revenue Loss Provision implements a classification that reduces the restrictions on how SLFRF funds can be spent.

From efficiency to stability, Brookings Research examines the ways in which local governments can benefit from the Revenue Loss Provision.   


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Coastal US Cities Top Ranking of Climate-Friendly Transportation

A new report suggests that Costal cities in the United States have the highest national green transportation system ranking, while metro areas in the Sun Belt rank the worst.

This ranking takes into account factors such as emissions reduction, bicycle and pedestrian activity, and infrastructure.

Recent vehicle transmissions have returned to pre-pandemic levels, posing a challenge for urban areas as they pursue new solutions for existing transportation patterns. 

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Poll Shows Small Businesses are Interested in and Benefit from AI 

The small business market makes up approximately 44 percent of all national economic activity.

With the rapid rise in Artificial Intelligence use in business and technological operations, 83 percent of small business owners who have adopted early AI use report that it has been helpful in improving systems and efficiency.

The Bipartisan Policy Center partnered with the Morning Consult to conduct an analysis poll on small businesses to identify the pros and cons of AI use.  

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