September 24, 2012
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Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief
"I remain committed to the same basic principles that
I used as my guide as a state representative. I believe in transparency and the
public's right to know what is going on in state government and exactly how
their tax money is being spent."
-- Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny) upon taking the
oath of office on August 29.
Senate Fall Voting Session Kicks Off
The Senate returns to voting session Monday. The fall
session could see consideration of bills to reform charter schools, establish a
special education funding commission, implement further corrections reforms,
expand the state Right to Know law, and more. Senate Majority Leader
Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) discusses the fall agenda and other
issues in the Senate Republican Podcast.
On Tuesday, the Senate Transportation Committee, chaired by
Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery), will hold a joint public hearing with
the House Transportation Committee on the financial status of the Pennsylvania
Turnpike Commission. (9:30 a.m. N. Office Bldg. Room 1)
The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Sen. Jeffrey
Piccola (R-Dauphin), will hold a public hearing Tuesday for a briefing on
implementation of Act 141, School District Financial Recovery. (10:30 a.m.
Senator Vulakovich Joins Senate, GOP Majority
Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny) was formally
sworn into office during a ceremony August 29 in the Senate Chamber.
A lifelong citizen of Allegheny County, Senator Vulakovich
won an August 7 special election to represent the 40th Senatorial District.
Prior to joining the Senate, he was elected to three terms in the state House of
Heading into the November General Election, voters have
given Republicans a 29-20 majority in the Senate, with one seat vacant.
Banking and Insurance Committee Hearing Examines "Payday Lending"
The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, chaired by
Sen. Don White (R-Indiana), held a public hearing Wednesday to focus on
"payday lending" and
House Bill 2191, a measure that would regulate the practice.
HB 2191 provides for short-term loan protection in the
state’s Banks and Banking law and for deceptive or fraudulent business practices
and unlicensed short-term lending in the Crimes and Offenses law.
Testifiers included Banking Secretary Glenn Moyer,
Community Legal Services, AARP and others.
Hearing Testimony and Video
Smucker Bill Expands Business Opportunities in Third Class Cities
Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) announced that he
will introduce a measure to help pave the way for greater business investment in
third-class cities across Pennsylvania.
Smucker's bill would allow these cities to create a
Community Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) to develop vacant, blighted
or abandoned properties for commercial use. The city would be authorized to
issue bonds for construction and rehabilitation of the facilities, and all state
tax dollars generated in the CRIZ would be dedicated to repaying the bond debt.
Speaking at a news conference at Lancaster Square, Smucker
said the bill would give Lancaster an important economic development tool to
promote business growth and help create jobs for local workers.
Senator Smucker: "This approach is flexible, targeted,
and results-driven, but it still requires good judgment on the part of city
officials, capable developers, and projects with a good prospect of economic
payoff. I am convinced that city officials will aggressively and wisely use
whatever tools we provide them to foster economic opportunities and create
Alloway Named to PA Military Community Protection Commission
Sen. Rich Alloway (R-Franklin) was appointed by
Governor Tom Corbett to serve on the newly formed Military Community Protection
Commission. The panel was created to serve as an advocate for Pennsylvania's
Alloway joined Governor Tom Corbett September 17 as the
governor signed an executive order to establish the commission. The order was
signed at the Pennsylvania National Guard's 28th Infantry Division Headquarters
in Harrisburg and goes into effect immediately.
Led by Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, the commission will be composed
of members of the General Assembly who serve on the Military Installations and
Base Development Caucus along with others familiar with military installations
The commission will be an advocate at the federal, state
and local levels for the enhancement of Pennsylvania's military installations,
organizations and defense-related regions. It will assist with the expansion of
the economic development opportunities and defense-related industry regions
across the state.
In the Spotlight
Known to many throughout the community as simply "Officer
V," Senator Vulakovich has dealt with a wide variety of demanding situations and
valuable life and leadership experiences during his 27 years of dedicated
service as a sergeant with the Shaler Township Police Department, including six
years serving as the public school instructor in the nationally recognized
anti-drug and life-skills D.A.R.E. program.
The 40th Senatorial District includes the following
Allegheny County communities: the boroughs of Bradford Woods, Etna, Franklin
Park and West View and the townships of Hampton, Marshall, McCandless, Pine,
Richland, Ross, Shaler and West Deer; as well as the following Butler County
communities: the boroughs of Callery, Connoquenessing, Evans City, Harmony,
Mars, Seven Fields, Valencia and Zelienople, and the townships of Adams,
Buffalo, Clinton, Connoquenessing, Cranberry, Forward, Jackson, Middlesex and
Senator Vulakovich: "We have made progress during my
five-and-a-half years in the state House, but we can go further in reforming
government and improving accountability. I will continue working to see those
reforms enacted. I will also continue working to promote the same fiscally
conservative and fundamental issues that are supported by the people that I
August General Fund Revenue
- Total: $1.795 billion ($32.3 million, or 1.8%,
- Fiscal year-to-date collections: $3.64 billion
($33.2 million, or 1.0%, below estimate)
- August 2012 v. August 2011: $1.772 billion in each
year (essentially no year-over-year tax revenue growth in August)
- Official revenue estimate growth for FY 2012-13: