A Report on the Legislative Session Week of January 22, 2013
Important Harrisburg Happenings:
2013-14 Legislative Session Floor Activity Begins
The Senate kicked off its 2013-14 Legislative Session floor activity the week of January 22. Senate floor activity focused primarily on accepting annual reports from various state agencies, formalizing standing committee assignments and referring legislation to committees.
Committee Hearing Report:
Majority Policy Committee Considers Special Education Challenges
The Senate Majority Policy Committee held a public hearing on Wednesday, January 23, to hear from school officials and experts on special education and the challenges faced by school districts.
During the hearing, I reaffirmed my commitment to the reintroduction of legislation I drafted that would reform the state’s formula for special education funding to better reflect and respond to the needs of individual school districts.
Other speakers, including superintendents and education advocates, discussed specific cost drivers in special education and the inequities in the state funding formula. Among the school districts testifying were the Upper Darby School District (Delaware County), the Lewisburg Area School District (Union County) and the North Allegheny School District (Allegheny County).
Audio, video and written testimony from the hearing are all available online at: https://policy.pasenategop.com/special-education-challenges-facing-pennsylvania-school-districts/.
Lottery Privatization Contract Reviewed by Committee
The Senate Finance Committee, which I serve on, held a public hearing on Monday, January 14, on the privatization and future of the Pennsylvania Lottery. The hearing focused on negotiations between the Corbett Administration and Camelot Global Services, a firm which operates Britain’s national lottery and is the sole bidder to privatize management of the Pennsylvania Lottery.
The Committee heard from Secretary of Revenue Dan Meuser, Secretary of Aging Brian Duke and Pete Tartline from the Governor’s Office of the Budget as well as Diane Thompson, chief executive officer, and Alex Kovach, president, of Camelot Global Services PA LLC.
Audio, video and written testimony from the hearing are all available online at:https://finance.pasenategop.com/privatization-of-the-pennsylvania-lottery/.
Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Prison Closings
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 22, to receive testimony on the planned closing of the State Correctional Institution at Cresson and the State Correctional Institution at Greensburg. Testifiers at the hearing included Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, municipal officials from Cresson Township, Cresson Borough and Hempfield Township and union representatives.
Audio and video from the hearing are available at:http://judiciary.pasenategop.com/house-bills-27-714-764-1356-and-1594/