Rep. Mike Turzai, Majority Leader, led the movement that resulted in a bill that would sell the state liquor stores to private industry. Gov. Corbett wants a liquor privatization bill along with a state budget bill by June 30. But he’s indicated he’s ready to work beyond the deadline if that’s what it takes.
Rep. Joe Markosek is the Minority Chairman of the Appropriations Committee. After Bill Adolph, Majority Appropriations Chairman, said the House budget plan shouldn’t be considered a final plan, Rep. Markosek said, “Thank God.”
Rep. Frank Dermody, Minority Leader in the PA House, disapproves of the House budget bill that was sent to the PA Senate. He’s unhappy because it didn’t include an expansion of Medicaid.
(VIDEO) Now that the House budget bill is in the Senate, debate will soon be under way. Sen. Jake Corman, Majority Appropriations Chairman, has a chair at the negotiating table with Governor Corbett.
Sen. Vincent Hughes, Minority Appropriations Chairman, says the governor’s budget plan hits poor schools the hardest. He and other Senate Democrats have come up with an alternative to the governor’s spending plan.
Sen. Dominic Pileggi, Majority Leader, has to consider a House budget bill, liquor store modernization, and imminent meetings with the governor that focus on the budget.
(VIDEO) Secretary Julia Hearthway’s department runs the state’s unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits programs. The secretary tells us about Pennsylvania’s recovery from the Great Recession, unemployment compensation funding, an amnesty program, and how the unemployed can use state resources to get back on their feet.
(VIDEO) The Majority Leader covers a wide range of issues including the state budget, liquor store privatization, the state pension system, the recently-passed transportation package, and more.
(VIDEO) Sen. Jay Costa says the governor’s and House majority’s budget proposals are “short-sighted and ill-advised.” So Senate Democrats came up with their own plan. News media are pointing out, however, that the plan relies on two issues that remain unresolved: the fate of the state liquor stores, and the expansion of Medicaid.
(VIDEO) Rep. Brian Sims has a bill that bans discrimination because of sexual orientation in the areas of employment, housing, credit, and public accommodations. Sims, elected in 2012 and Pennsylvania’s first openly-gay lawmaker, has a decades-long history of involvement in gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender causes. During a recent floor debate, Sims said he was elected to uphold the constitution, not the bible.
(VIDEO) Announced at the end of last month, the PA House’s budget plan calls for $110 million less than the governor’s plan. Charles Zogby, the state budget secretary, takes time to review the administration’s proposal and what Gov. Corbett calls the “Big Three” : liquor store privatization, transportation funding, and reform for the state’s pension system.
(VIDEO) The annual state budget cycle began when the House presented their spending proposal at the end of May. Rep. Bill Adolph, Appropriations Chairman, says the House GOP’s plan amounts to about 85% of what the governor proposes. The biggest difference has to do with savings that might result from pension reform.
(VIDEO) The governor wants to see action on selling the state stores when the budget is due at the end of the month. But any privatization plan has to clear the Senate first. If it does, Rep. Ryan Aument has a plan for the revenue that would be generated. His “Passport for Learning” bill, patterned after the governor’s plan, could fund school security programs. But some Democrats are concerned about what could happen when the money from the one-time sale runs out.
(VIDEO) Back in February, Gov. Corbett announced his plan to move new state hires into a defined contribution plan, similar to that of a 401(k) plan. Rep. Chris Ross, taking the lead in the House, says the plan will be “a little unpopular.”
(VIDEO) State government still has some catching up to do when it comes to the most efficient and up-to-date methods for storing its records. Sen. Matt Smith’s bill authorizes the use of optical imaging, an electronic scanning and storage process, for the preservation of Pennsylvania’s court records.