Fees, climate change sticking points in House Environmental Resources hearing

Fees, climate change sticking points in House Environmental Resources hearing

Fees collected by the state Department of Environmental Protection and the ongoing debate on the effects of climate change are slated to be major issues for the House Environmental Resources committee this session, if a Tuesday hearing with top DEP staff is any indication.

DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell presented his agency’s budget overview before the committee but spent most of his time fielding questions from members related to how his program spends money gained from fees it charges for permit applications, including for companies seeking to drill in the Marcellus Shale formation.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Optimistic tone takes the Capitol as Wolf inaugurated for second term

Optimistic tone takes the Capitol as Wolf inaugurated for second term

With a warm, bipartisan tone referencing Pennsylvania’s long history at the center of America’s evolution and painting a picture of a Commonwealth on the comeback, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf was sworn in for his second term, setting the table for a second term surrounded with question marks.

After running and winning his first term as a political outsider, Wolf asked for a slew of tax increases that were rebuffed by ranking Republicans, leading to drawn out budget battles.

However, the second half of the term was marked by bipartisan bills, including pension restructuring, a loosening of liquor sales and the state’s clean slate law.

“As [Senate Majority Leader Jake] Corman said, we’re not like Washington. We can work together here in Harrisburg,” Wolf said during his inaugural address. “We can get things done.”
Tuesday, January 15, 2019/Author: Stephen Caruso
Following wave of vacancies, House GOP chairmanships face shake up

Following wave of vacancies, House GOP chairmanships face shake up

Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) was named new chief of the powerful House Judiciary Committee while Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) will take over the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, two of the many shuffles needed to cover nine openings from retirements and electoral defeats in caucus committee leadership.

Kauffman had previously been chair of the House Labor and Industry Committee, while Metcalfe chaired State Government.
Wednesday, January 2, 2019/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Can't fight against the youth? House mulls bringing fresh faces to chairs, leadership

Can't fight against the youth? House mulls bringing fresh faces to chairs, leadership

Ambitious new lawmakers looking to run their own committee for years may have their dreams dashed before they even hold a gavel.

House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) contemplated moving a House resolution he introduced in spring to limit senior members to three sessions at the head of individual committees.

In the co-sponsor memo from the time, which also announced a redistricting commission and open primaries, Reed said his proposed changes would not change who is eligible and due for a chair, but is instead aimed to continually shake up committees.
Friday, October 19, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
With amendments drawn, standoff over redistricting develops in House

With amendments drawn, standoff over redistricting develops in House

In light of the still-increasing, seemingly record 585 amendments filed on the General Assembly’s main redistricting bill, advocates and lawmakers have expressed skepticism that the bill would actually get a chance on the floor.

Part of the problem is the sheer quantity of filed amendments on SB 22, which passed the Senate two weeks ago with compromise language as well as a Republican-backed measure to elect statewide appellate judges by district.

Sunday, June 24, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
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