Senate Appropriations Subcommittees to Hold Hearings

Focus on more in-depth review of Gov. Budget Proposal and department programs

Similar to hearings held during last year’s budget discussions, the Senate Appropriations Committee will once again be holding Subcommittee hearings starting this month, according to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne and Democratic Appropriations Committee Chairman Vincent Hughes.

The subcommittee structure within the Senate Appropriations Committee was established last year by Senators Browne and Hughes as a way for members of the Appropriations Committee to further review department and agency spending as well as other proposals in the Governor’s budget. 

“Given the size and scale of the Commonwealth’s fiscal operations, we felt there needed to be a more in-depth conversation with each department and agency beyond what was possible during the three weeks of Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings,” Senator Browne said. “These subcommittee hearings provide an opportunity for our members to gain a clearer picture and more thorough understanding of how and where departments and agencies are spending taxpayer money.”

Each subcommittee is charged with:

  • Performing increased administrative and program area analysis.
  • Developing initiatives to promote efficiencies in program administration and delivery.
  • Developing and analyzing Unified Program Area Budget Statements.

            “The subcommittees will give members an opportunity to drill down and examine particular line items and categories to help develop better policies that serve all citizens of Pennsylvania,” Hughes said. “The members of the subcommittees will be able to undertake a more thorough review to gain a greater understanding of specific spending initiatives. With Pennsylvania facing stiff fiscal challenges, it is important to offer members a new way to analyze how policy choices and financial realities impact budget decision-making.” 

The subcommittees will have the opportunity to study specific line items within each department’s budgets and make recommendations to the full Appropriations Committee regarding ways to improve operations and efficiency. Each subcommittee will examine the programs, operations and efficiency measures of a particular component of state spending.

There are four subcommittees with specific department focuses, each with a Majority Chair and Minority Chair:

  • Education, Workforce and Community & Economic Development – Majority Chair: Senator John Eichelberger, Minority Chair: Senator John Blake
  • Health and Human Services – Majority Chair: Senator Lisa Baker, Minority Chair: Senator Judy Schwank
  • Infrastructure, Environment and Government Operation – Majority Chair: Senator Bob Mensch, Minority Chair: Senator Jim Brewster
  • Public Safety and Criminal Justice – Majority Chair: Senator Stewart Greenleaf, Minority Chair: Senator Daylin Leach

The next subcommittee hearing will be held on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Hearing Room 1, North Office Building, State Capitol with the Subcommittee on Education, Workforce, Community and Economic Development. This will be a joint hearing with the Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee regarding the Farm Show Lease Leaseback proposal that was part of the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2017-18 state budget proposal.

Contact:           Matt Moyer                  (Senator Browne)         717-787-1349,

                        Elizabeth Rementer      (Senator Hughes)         717-787- 7112,