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Lt. Gov. Davis says legislation needed to address gun violence, current approach isn’t enough

Austin Davis announcing his campaign for lieutenant governor on Jan. 4., 2022.
Chris Potter
90.5 WESA
Austin Davis announcing his campaign for lieutenant governor on Jan. 4., 2022.

On today’s episode of The Confluence:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average 1,600 people die from gun violence in Pennsylvania each year. Here in Pittsburgh, there were 71 homicides in 2022, a 39% jump from the previous year. Lt. Gov. Austin Davis, a McKeesport native, is looking to explore what community-based initiatives are addressing gun violence. He started his “Safer Communities Tour” last week here in Pittsburgh and concluded it in Erie yesterday.

The state budget also includes $40 million for violence intervention grants. The budget has been passed first by the Senate and then by the House, but not sent to the governor for his signature. Davis says it’s being held up by the GOP-led Senate, which is not scheduled to reconvene until September.

“I think, quite frankly, Senate Republicans are playing politics and trying to shift the blame away from their inability to work with House Democrats,” says Davis. (0:00 - 13:48)

Legislation that could open a two-year window in the statute of limitations for survivors of sexual abuse in the state of Pennsylvania is also in limbo. The expansion of a window has been proposed as a constitutional amendment, and as a bill, and both are stalled. Marci Hamilton, founder and CEO of Child USA — a nonprofit working to end child abuse and neglect — says she would like to see Pennsylvania be more like other states that have opened an even broader window for survivors. (13:49 - 22:30)

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Friday at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here for wherever you get your podcasts. 

Addison is a Junior at Point Park University, majoring in Broadcast Reporting. She is the News Director for Point Park's campus station, U-View Television and reports on the show Daybreak. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her cat, Soup.
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