ISSUE 215 | July 21, 2023

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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

Worker shortage adds risk to provision of Medicaid benefits

As pandemic-era supports conclude, workers at Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services must reassess eligibility of residents covered by Medicaid.

At the same time, however, the department is struggling to recruit and retain enough employees to manage the heavy workload.

Advocates worry that this imbalance could lead to errors that cause eligible people to lose their benefits.

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Delaware County embraces land banking alongside other PA communities 


Delaware County leaders and other stakeholders have policies and procedures to guide the rollout of a new land bank.

It will facilitate the transformation of vacant and tax-delinquent properties into housing, green space, and commercial sites.

The county’s redevelopment authority will manage the land bank while raising community awareness about the benefits of tackling blight.

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Senators introduce new bill to reform cannabis use policy  

Another bipartisan effort is underway to legalize cannabis for recreational use.

Senators Sharif Street (D) and Dan Laughlin (R) assert that Pennsylvania stands to gain thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in tax revenue as a result of the legalization.

Their bill also includes safety and equity measures.

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Transportation systems await regulatory parameters for self-driving vehicles   

Self-driving cars are not yet widely used, but there is potential for large-scale adoption in the future.

In the meantime, it is important for policymakers to consider regulations that maximize benefits and minimize harm.

Such regulations may include manufacture mandates, alignment with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and data-sharing parameters. 

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The ‘bicibus’ emerges as a replicable and sustainable means of transportation to school


About 1,200 students in Spain have begun mass traveling to and from school each day.

These groups follow any of 90 routes, with stops where riders may join or depart.

Safety and infrastructure measures are in place for individuals who reside within one mile of 70 schools in 25 participating cities.


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The mission of an Oregon restaurant establishes its ownership  


Local Ocean Seafoods, a waterfront establishment in Newport, Oregon, is owned by a special purpose trust.

The trust protects the business’s mission to support the local seafood industry in a sustainable manner.

In some ways, the model functions as a co-op similar to Patagonia’s employee ownership structure.


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