October 18: Bag tax ban? | RICO, battery suit against Doughterty | New Urban Agenda

Will Harrisburg ban a tax on plastic bags? WITF reports in the waning days of this legislative session Bucks county Republican Frank Farry has sponsored the bill, arguing that it could cost jobs to Pennsylvanians who manufacture plastic bags. Democratic Senator Daylin Leach, meanwhile, vows to reintroduce his bill to tax plastic bags to curb waste and litter.

GroJLart peels back layers of history at the Bonbright Building on the 1500 block of Locust, once a hub for architecture and contractor offices.

As the Electrician’s Union leader John Dougherty is being investigated by the FBI, a new federal lawsuit brought by electrician Joshua Keesee brings new ugliness to light. The Inquirer reports the suit alleges that before a January brawl with Dougherty and other Local 98 members, Keesee says he was called the N word (he is Native American) and ultimately intimidated off his job site for being non-union. The suit accuses the men of battery and violating the RICO Act.

Pittsburgh wants to replicate Philadelphia’s Housing Trust Fund, the Post-Gazette reports. Philly’s Housing Trust Fund was founded in 2005 and is funded through a mortgage recording fee on each new deed, bringing in about $14 million annually. The fund can be used for repair and rehabilitation, housing preservation, and building new affordable housing.

Meanwhile in Quito, Equador thousands of urban leaders are participating in the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development, aka Habitat, which takes place every 20 years. Habitat III is focused on setting the New Urban Agenda, a non-binding agreement toward greater urban livability. CityLab has a handy beginner’s guide to Habitat III and the New Urban Agenda.

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