State

0 64

Yesterday, Speaker Mike Turzai (R – Allegheny County) announced the House majority chairs for the 2019–20 legislative session. The Republicans control the Pennsylvania House in the General Assembly and will be in charge of the legislative calendar. The following are the majority chairs:

Aging and Older Adult Services:
Rep. Thomas Murt, 152nd Legislative District, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

Agriculture and Rural Affairs:
Rep. Martin Causer, 67th Legislative District, Cameron, Potter, and McKean counties.

Children and Youth:
Rep. Karen Boback, 117th Legislative District, Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wyoming counties.

Commerce:
Rep. Mark Keller, 86th Legislative District, Cumberland and Perry counties.

Consumer Affairs:
Rep. Brian Ellis, 11th Legislative District, Butler County.

Education:
Rep. Curt Sonney, 4th Legislative District, Erie County.

Environmental Resources and Energy:
Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, 12th Legislative District, Butler County.

Ethics:
Rep. Frank Farry, 142nd Legislative District, Bucks County.

Finance:
Rep. Michael Peifer, 139th Legislative District, Pike and Wayne counties.

Game and Fisheries:
Rep. Keith Gillespie, 47th Legislative District, York County.

Gaming Oversight:
Rep. Jim Marshall, 14th Legislative District, Beaver and Butler counties.

Health:
Rep. Kathy Rapp, 65th Legislative District, Forest and Warren counties.

Human Services:
Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, 18th Legislative District, Bucks County.

Insurance:
Rep. Tina Pickett, 110th Legislative District, Bradford, Sullivan, and Susquehanna counties.

Judiciary:
Rep. Rob Kauffman, 89th Legislative District, Franklin County.

Labor and Industry:
Rep. Jim Cox, 129th Legislative District, Berks and Lancaster counties.

Liquor Control:
Rep. Jeff Pyle, 60th Legislative District, Armstrong, Butler, and Indiana counties.

Local Government:
Rep. Dan Moul, 91st Legislative District, Adams County.

Professional Licensure:
Rep. Dave Hickernell, 98th Legislative District, Lancaster and Dauphin counties.

State Government:
Rep. Garth Everett, 84th Legislative District, Lycoming and Union counties.

Tourism and Recreational Development:
Rep. David Millard, 109th Legislative District, Columbia County.

Transportation:
Rep. Tim Hennessey, 26th Legislative District, Chester and Montgomery counties.

Urban Affairs:
Rep. Sue Helm, 104th Legislative District, Dauphin and Lebanon counties.

Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness:
Rep. Stephen E. Barrar, 160th Legislative District, Chester and Delaware counties.

Questions, please contact Jack Phillips, RCPA Director of Government Affairs.

0 162

In the last week, State Representative Seth Grove (R – York) drafted and is circulating a co-sponsorship memo that will possibly eliminate the behavioral health carve-out. Additionally, State Representative Aaron Kaufer (R – Luzerne) spoke with Jack Phillips, RCPA’s Director of Government Affairs, expressing his interest in drafting similar legislation. On the Senate side, Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R – York) has also drafted and is circulating a co-sponsorship memo that would eliminate the behavioral health carve-out.

RCPA President/CEO Richard Edley and RCPA Director of Government Affairs Jack Phillips spoke with staffers from the House Human Services and Health Committees about this legislation. The House staff asked for RCPA’s feedback within the next few weeks, because staff will be working on the draft legislative language. During the discussion with House staff, RCPA requested stakeholder meetings and possibly a House hearing on the legislation. The House staff was open to RCPA’s recommendations, and they indicated a willingness for a robust discussion on this legislation.

Additionally, Richard and Jack met with Rep. Mike Sturla (D – Lancaster), Chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee, and his staff to discuss the impacts of eliminating the behavioral health carve-out.

RCPA supports the behavioral health carve-out and has drafted a position paper in favor of continuing the carve-out. RCPA staff will use the position paper when they discuss this issue with legislators and members of the administration on this issue. Questions, contact Jack Phillips.

0 145

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives announced the dates for the 2019/20 House Appropriations Committee Budget hearings. All House Appropriations Budget hearings will be held in the Main Capitol Building, Room 140. Please mark your calendars with the upcoming important dates.

The hearing schedule is as follows:

 

Monday, February 11, 2019 

10:00 am – Independent Fiscal Office

1:00 pm – Department of Revenue (including Lottery)

3:00 pm – Department of Aging

 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 

10:00 am – PSERS/SERS

1:00 pm – State System of Higher Education

3:00 pm – Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency

 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

10:00 am – Treasury Department

1:00 pm – Auditor General

3:00 pm – Attorney General

 

Thursday, February 14, 2019 – Thursday

10:00 am – Department of Environmental Protection

1:00 pm – Department of Conservation & Natural Resources

3:00 pm – Department of Labor and Industry

 

No Hearings Week of February 18–22

 

Monday, February 25, 2019 

10:00 am – Pennsylvania State Police/Homeland Security

1:00 pm – Criminal Justice: Corrections, Board of Probation & Parole, Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission

3:00 pm – Department of Health/Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs

 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

10:00 am – Office of Administration–Office for Information Technology

1:00 pm – Department of Transportation

3:00 pm – Department of General Services

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

10:00 am – Gaming Control Board

1:00 pm – Department of Community & Economic Development

3:00 pm – Liquor Control Board

 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

10:00 am – Department of Human Services

 

Monday, March 4, 2019 

10:00 am – Department of Education

 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 

10:00 am – Department of Agriculture

1:00 pm – OPEN

 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 

10:00 am – Budget Secretary – Office of the Governor/Executive Offices

1:00 pm – Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

 

Thursday, March 7, 2019 

10:00 am – Snow Make–up Date

 

Questions, please contact Jack Phillips, RCPA Director of Government Affairs.

0 172

Please mark your calendars with these upcoming important dates. The specific Senate and House budget hearing schedule should be released in early January.

  • Swearing-in Day will be on January 1, 2019
  • Governor Wolf will deliver his annual budget address on Tuesday, February 5, 2019
  • Senate budget hearings will be held from February 19, 2019 to March 7, 2019 (March 8 is a make-up day in case of snow)
  • House budget hearings will be held from February 11, 2019 through March 7, 2019

Questions, please contact Jack Phillips.

0 145

Both Houses of the Pennsylvania General Assembly announced their respective legislative days for the Spring of 2019. Please find below the days when the General Assembly will be in session.

2019 SENATE SESSION SCHEDULE

January           1, 15, 16, 28, 29, 30
February         4, 5, 6
March              18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27
April                 8, 9, 10, 29, 30
May                 1, 6, 7, 8
June                3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

2019 HOUSE SESSION SCHEDULE

January           1, 15, 16, 28, 29, 30
February         4, 5, 6, 19, 20, 21
March              11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27
April                 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 29, 30
May                 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 22, 23 (Cancelled)
June                3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

*Bold indicates changes made when last updated on 12/6/18

Questions, please contact Jack Phillips, RCPA Director of Government Affairs.

Earlier this week, State Representative Seth Grove (R – York) drafted and has been circulating a co-sponsorship memo that will possibly eliminate the behavioral health carve out. Additionally, State Representative Aaron Kaufer (R – Luzerne) spoke with Jack Phillips, RCPA Director of Government Affairs, expressing his interest in drafting similar legislation.

Today, Richard Edley, RCPA President/CEO, and Jack Phillips spoke with staffers from the House Human Service and Health Committees about this legislation. The House staff asked for RCPA’s   feedback within the next few weeks, because staff will be working on the draft legislative language. During the discussion with House staff, RCPA requested stakeholder meetings and possibly a House hearing on the legislation. The House staff was open to RCPA’s recommendations, and they indicated a willingness for a robust discussion on this legislation.

The elimination of the behavioral health carve out will be discussed at the upcoming RCPA Open Board Meeting on Wednesday, December 12. The RCPA Open Board meeting will take place at RCPA, 777 E Park Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17111. Questions, contact RCPA Director of Government Affairs Jack Phillips.

0 108

The Senate and House Democrat Caucuses as well as the House Republican Caucus (currently, the Senate Republican Caucus does not have an announcement of new members) announced the new members of their respective caucuses for the upcoming 2019–20 General Assembly Session. All members will be sworn into office on January 1, 2019.

Questions, contact RCPA Director of Government Affairs Jack Phillips.

Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) Acting Deputy Secretary Kristin Ahrens has officially been named Deputy Secretary of ODP.

Deputy Secretary Ahrens formerly served as Director of Bureau of Policy and Quality Management. She was instrumental in developing the ODP waivers and has been responsible for policy development, training, quality, and communications for the past two years. Prior to her appointment at ODP she served as the Policy Director at Temple University, where she was responsible for directing all policy-related activities for the institute, including policy analysis; training and technical assistance to staff, community groups, and policymakers; and creating and/or disseminating briefs on local, state, and federal policy issues that affect people with disabilities and families. Ahrens also provided consultation to ODP on fiscal policy and the HCBS settings rule, served on the Adult Protective Services Coalition, Disability Budget Coalition, DHS Regulatory Revision Work Group, and Association for University Centers Legislative Affairs Committee. She also has experience in Person-Driven Services, including her work at Self Determination Resources (SDRI) for six years, where she was instrumental in the growth of SDRI from a pilot project to a fully operational model brokerage which was replicated statewide. In addition, Ms. Ahrens served as a consultant on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Transformation Transfer Initiative for building sustainable self-directed services in PA’s mental health system.

RCPA extends our congratulations to Deputy Secretary Ahrens and we look forward to continuing collaborative work in her role at ODP. Contact Carol Ferenz, RCPA IDD Division Director, with questions.

0 757

On Wednesday, members of the Senate Republican and Democratic caucuses chose their respective leadership teams for the upcoming 2019-20 Legislative Session. When the Senate re-convenes in January, the Senate Republicans will hold a 29-21 majority, with the possibility of that number going to 28-22 on the outcome of a “too close to call” election in Bucks County.

The Senate leadership elections did not provide any changes to either caucus’ leadership team for the 2019-20 Session. The Senate Republican Caucus will consist of the same leadership team of:

Senate Pro-Tempore – Joe Scarnati (Jefferson). Sen. Scarnati was chosen by the full Senate to be the nominee for Senate President Pro Tempore. His nomination will be voted by the full Senate when the chamber convenes on swearing-in day, which will be Jan. 1, 2019.

  • Senate Majority Leader – Jake Corman (Centre)
  • Senate Majority Whip – John Gordner (Columbia)
  • Senate Majority Appropriations Committee Chair – Pat Browne (Lehigh)
  • Senate Majority Appropriations Committee Vice-Chair – Kim Ward (Westmoreland)
  • Senate Majority Caucus Chair – Bob Mensch (Montgomery)
  • Senate Majority Caucus Secretary – Rich Alloway (Franklin)

Two positions are still vacant — those positions of Senate Majority Caucus Administrator and Senate Majority Policy Committee Chair will be appointed by Senator Joe Scarnati once he is officially elected Senate Pro-Tempore.

The Senate Democrat Caucus leadership team did not have any changes. The Senate Democrat Caucus leadership team is as follows:

  • Senate Minority Leader – Jay Costa (Allegheny)
  • Senate Minority Whip – Anthony Williams (Philadelphia)
  • Senate Minority Appropriations Committee Chair – Vincent Hughes (Philadelphia)
  • Senate Minority Appropriations Committee Vice-Chair – Judy Schwank (Berks)
  • Senate Minority Caucus Chair – Wayne Fontana (Allegheny)
  • Senate Minority Caucus Secretary – Larry Farnese (Philadelphia)
  • Senate Minority Policy Committee Chair – Lisa Boscola (Northampton)
  • Senate Minority Caucus Administrator – John Blake (Lackawanna)

Questions, contact RCPA Director of Government Affairs Jack Phillips.