In this Edition:
Legislature Closes Out 2015-2016 Session
The Senate and House of Representatives both convened this week to close out business prior to the end of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session on November 30 and to prepare for the start of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session on January 3, 2017.
Elections were held to fill 2017-2018 legislative leadership positions in both chambers. The following members were elected:
Senate Republican Leadership 2017-18
Interim President Pro Tempore: Joe Scarnati, 25th District
(Cameron, Clearfield, Clinton,
Senate Majority Leader: Jake Corman, 34th District (Centre,
Majority Appropriations Committee Chairman: Pat Browne, 16th District (Lehigh County).
Majority Whip: John Gordner, 27th District (Columbia,
Majority Caucus Chairman: Bob Mensch, 24th District (Berks, Bucks and Montgomery counties).
Senate Majority Caucus Secretary: Richard Alloway, 33rd
District (Adams, Cumberland, Franklin
Majority Caucus Administrator: Chuck McIlhinney, 10th District (Bucks County).
Majority Policy Committee Chairman : David Argall, 29th District (Berks and Schuylkill counties)
Senate Democratic Leadership 2017-18
Democratic Leader: Jay Costa, 43rd District (Allegheny County).
Democratic Whip: Anthony Williams, 8th District (Philadelphia and Montgomery counties).
Democratic Appropriations Committee Chairman: Vincent Hughes, 7th District (Philadelphia and Montgomery counties).
Democratic Caucus Chairman: Wayne Fontana, 42nd District (Allegheny County).
Democratic Caucus Secretary: Larry Farnese, 1st District (Philadelphia County).
Democratic Policy Committee Chairman: Lisa Boscola, 18th District (Lehigh and Northampton counties).
House Republican Leadership 2017-18
Speaker of the House Designee: Mike Turzai, 28th District (Allegheny County). The full House will vote on Turzai’s nomination as Speaker when it reconvenes in January.
Majority Leader: Dave Reed, 62nd District (Indiana County).
Majority Whip : Rep. Bryan Cutler, 100th District (Lancaster County).
Majority Appropriations Committee Chairman: Rep. Stan Saylor, 94th District (York County).
Majority Caucus Chairman: Marcy Toepel, 147th District (Montgomery County).
Majority Policy Committee Chairman: Kerry Benninghoff, 171st District (Centre and Mifflin counties).
Majority Caucus Administrator: Kurt Masser, 107th District (Columbia, Montour and Northumberland counties).
Majority Caucus Secretary: Donna Oberlander, 63rd District (Armstrong, Clarion and Forest counties).
House Democratic Leadership 2017-18
Democratic Leader: Frank Dermody, 33rd District (Allegheny and Westmoreland counties).
Democratic Whip: Mike Hanna, 76th District (Clinton and Centre counties).
Democratic Caucus Chairman: Dan Frankel, 23rd District (Allegheny County).
Democratic Caucus Secretary: Rosita Youngblood, 198th District (Philadelphia County).
Democratic Caucus Administrator: Neal Goodman, 123rd District (Schuylkill County).
Democratic Policy Committee Chairman: Mike Sturla, 96th District (Lancaster County).
Democratic Appropriations Committee Chairman: Joe Markosek, 25th District (Allegheny County).
Senate Adopts Mensch Resolution Recognizing “First Responder Appreciation Week” in Pennsylvania
On Wednesday, the Senate unanimously adopted a resolution I sponsored recognizing January 1-7, 2017 as “First Responder Appreciation Week” in Pennsylvania.
Thousands of Pennsylvanians have benefited from the brave and courageous service of first responders across this Commonwealth. The police, fire, emergency medical service, and public health personnel work tirelessly and selflessly for the residents of Pennsylvania regardless of any personal peril and hazard. These men and women should be honored to show our renewed respect, appreciation and gratitude for protecting us and ensuring public safety.
The resolution recognizes all first responders including volunteer and career firefighters, emergency medical service workers, police officers. There are roughly 55,000 registered emergency medical service workers, 75,000 firefighters, and over 45,000 police officers that serve the Commonwealth.
Listen Senator Mensch discusses the contributions of first responders on the Senate floor.
Committees Review Pipeline Safety Issues in Pennsylvania
The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee and House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee held a joint public hearing on Wednesday to review emergency preparedness and response measures for natural gas/petroleum pipeline infrastructure across Pennsylvania.
Speakers at the hearing included State Fire Commissioner Tim Solobay, officials from the Public Utility Commission and PA One Call, representatives from utility and energy companies, legislators and a panel of citizens.
Pipeline safety is a major issue. It is one that has generated a tremendous amount of interest across the Commonwealth, particularly in areas currently designated as the location for new lines. The joint hearing gave the committees an opportunity to hear about current regulations and it provided the background information necessary should there be any interest in the General Assembly in expanding those requirements or guidelines in the future. You can view the hearing and written testimony here.
The 2017-2018 legislative session gets underway January 3 with the swearing-in of new members.
Twitter and Facebook: I post regular updates on legislative action, committee developments, useful state-related information, happenings in the 24th Senatorial District and more on Twitter @SenatorMensch and on my Facebook page.If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website www.senatormensch.com for more information about your state government.
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2016 © Senate of Pennsylvania