Govt. Affairs

Source: Capitolwire, Nov. 3, 2021

Municipal Elections were held yesterday in the Commonwealth. A few special elections were held to fill vacant State House seats.

In the 164th District, representing Delaware County, Democrat Gina Curry, president of the Upper Darby School board, won the race to succeed former Rep. Margo Davidson who resigned in July after being charged with filing false expense reports. Curry had almost 85 percent of the votes counted by this morning, according to unofficial results.

In the 113th District, representing Lackawanna County, Democrat Thom Welby was elected to succeed Sen. Marty Flynn, a Democrat. Welby, who had been Flynn’s chief of staff, got almost 69 percent of the vote.

Other statewide races were judge races for PA Supreme Court, PA Superior Court and PA Commonwealth Court. Republican Commonwealth Court Judge Kevin Brobson won election to the state Supreme Court Tuesday, beating Democratic nominee Superior Court Judge Maria McLaughlin.

Democrats will retain their 5–2 majority on the court because the race was a contest to fill the seat being vacated by one of the two Republicans who’d been on the court — Thomas Saylor, who was forced to retire due to hitting the mandatory retirement age for judges of 75.

Republican Megan Sullivan won a race for a seat on Superior Court, and Republicans Drew Crompton and Stacy Wallace won seats on the Commonwealth Court.

In a historic first, Rep. Ed Gainey won his race for Mayor of Pittsburgh. Rep. Gainey will be the first African-American to serve as the Mayor of Pittsburgh. A special election will be held in the future to fill his State House seat.

Advocacy Alert

Do you believe older adults and individuals with disabilities should have easier access to mental health services? (We certainly do).


Currently, marriage and family therapists and licensed mental health counselors are not eligible Medicare providers, despite the important role they play in delivering treatment, recovery, and prevention services.


However, there is new legislation to change that – and it needs your support!


On March 18, Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) reintroduced the Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S. 828). This legislation would allow marriage and family therapists and licensed mental health counselors to participate in the Medicare program, dramatically expanding access to care for older adults and individuals with disabilities.


This simple change would immediately increase patients’ access to needed care, particularly in underserved communities, rural areas, and areas with a mental health workforce shortage.


Will you take two minutes today to urge your Senators to cosponsor the Mental Health Access Improvement Act? 

Thank you to those of you who already took action to ask your Representatives to cosponsor the House version.


Chuck Ingoglia
President and CEO
National Council for Behavioral Health

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

Governor Wolf announced his intention yesterday to nominate Meg Snead to be the next Secretary of the Department of Human Services (DHS). RCPA President/CEO Richard Edley remarked, “With Ms. Snead’s broad, extensive background in the human services community, we are confident that positive change will continue, in our mutual goals towards serving the most vulnerable residents of our Commonwealth. RCPA has worked with Ms. Snead in the past on several key issues and we look forward to continuing this collaboration with her in this new role as Secretary.” View the official press release.

Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller has announced that she is vacating her position at the end of April, to pursue an opportunity out of state. Governor Wolf has also made public his plan to nominate Meg Snead, Secretary of Policy and Planning, to assume these responsibilities. RCPA President/CEO Richard Edley notes, “RCPA is extremely grateful to Secretary Miller for all of her hard work on behalf of the human service providers and those individuals they serve in the Commonwealth. She will be missed, and we wish her the best in her new endeavor.” View the official press release here.