Hearing for Review of the Independent Fiscal Office’s Performance-Based Budget Plan for the Department of Insurance, and Executive Offices

Watch Live

Senate Appropriations Committee

Wednesday, January 11 | 10am

Hearing Room 1


Agenda

Review of the Independent Fiscal Office’s Performance-Based Budget Plan for the Department of Insurance, and Executive Offices (Office of Administration, Office of the Budget, Office of General Counsel, Office of State Inspector General, Human Relations Commission and Council on the Arts)

UPDATE: Senate Impeachment of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner

Update: December 21, 2022 – District Attorney Larry Krasner submitted his answer to the writ of summons linked below.

(HARRISBURG)The Pennsylvania Senate today announced it was prepared to take the next steps in the impeachment process of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner following the House of Representatives’ 107-85 vote to impeach Krasner earlier this month.

“The Senate’s Constitutional obligations are clear, so we are prepared to fulfill our duties and continue the impeachment process of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner next week,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman. “The plan is to call the Senate back to session and convene for two days, Tues, Nov. 29 and Wed, Nov. 30, to officially begin our role in this process.”

As outlined by the Pennsylvania Constitution in Article VI, Section 5: “All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate.” The role of the Senate is to sit in judgement and review the evidence presented by the House as noted by Article VI Section 4 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Before officially beginning the impeachment trial, the Senate must take three procedural steps next week.

To start the process, the Senate will vote on a series of three resolutions. The first resolution to set the rules of impeachment will be considered on Tuesday. The rules are modeled after the Congressional rules of impeachment and reflect the precedent set in the 1993 Commonwealth impeachment of Justice Rolf Larsen.

Also on Tuesday, the Senate will consider a resolution to invite the House impeachment managers and Sergeant at Arms to officially present the articles of impeachment to the Senate. The resolution will be put forth by newly elected Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R-41) and seconded by State Senator Lisa Baker (R-20).

On Wednesday, the House impeachment managers and Sergeant at Arms will officially present the articles of impeachment to the Senate at which time an oath will be taken by all members of the Senate to officially begin the process.

Following these procedural measures, the final resolution, a writ of summons will be put forth for a vote. Pending passage of the final resolution, the writ of summons will be issued to Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner requiring him to come before the Senate to answer to impeachment. He will be required to file an answer by Dec. 21st and ordered to appear before the Senate on Jan. 18 at 11:30 a.m.

Formal impeachment documents below.

Answer of DA Larry Krasner
Writ of Summons
DOCUMENT_2021D10534
DOCUMENT_2021D10535
DOCUMENT_2021D10536

Contact: Erica Clayton Wright, ewright@pasen.gov, (412) 334-4856

Ward Announces Lifeline Scholarship Program

Classroom

HARRISBURG – Sen. Judy Ward (R-30) announced today she will soon introduce legislation to establish the Lifeline Scholarship Program to give students a pathway out of failing public schools.

“All children deserve a quality education regardless of their zip code,” said Ward. “With the reality that the new legislative session will require bi-partisan cooperation to advance changes, it is extremely encouraging that Governor-elect Shapiro has also voiced support for Lifeline Scholarships to give more children the opportunity to attend a school that better meets their needs and helps them to succeed.”

Under this legislation, parents with children in grades 1-12 who reside within the attendance area of a district school in the bottom of performance metrics based on state testing would be eligible to receive a scholarship.  Lifeline Scholarships can only be used for qualified education expenses associated with the new education instruction.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues in the legislature and with Governor-elect Shapiro, to help all children achieve success by giving them the ability to be in the best academic environment possible,” Ward said.

 

CONTACT: Nathan Akers

Mastriano to Introduce Legislation to Protect Pennsylvanians from Big Tech Censorship

Senator Doug Mastriano - News Release

Harrisburg- Today, Senator Doug Mastriano announced that he will soon introduce a historic bill to protect the free speech of Pennsylvanians from undue restriction and censorship on large social media platforms. 

The legislation will create a private right of action that will allow users in Pennsylvania to bring legal action against a large social media platform if the platform purposely deletes or censors the user’s political speech and/or uses an algorithm to shadow ban. A censored user who sues would be able to seek statutory damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and other forms of relief.

The legislation will also require a large social media platform to inform a user in writing why the user’s account has been banned or disabled within 30 days of the action and offer the user recourse to restore the user’s account. Additionally, large social media platforms will be required to publish and consistently apply standards for user censoring, shadow-banning, and de-platforming.

“Freedom of speech is enshrined in the first amendment and does not end when one enters the digital public sphere of a large social media platform,” said Mastriano. “The recently released Twitter files have revealed what many of us had already known. Big Tech oligarchs in Silicon Valley are subjectively banning and censoring what they deem to be “misinformation”. My bill will hold these social media platforms accountable and ensure that all social media users in Pennsylvania are treated fairly, regardless of their political beliefs. Free speech must be defended regardless of whether we agree with that speech or not.”

 

Contact: Josh Herman

Bartolotta Appointed to Role Containing Health Care Costs

Senator Camera Bartolotta - News Release

HARRISBURG – To address rapidly growing health care costs, Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-46) was appointed to the Health Care Cost Containment Council, an independent state agency.

The council’s goal is to help contain costs by stimulating competition in the health care market. This can be achieved by giving providers information they can use to identify opportunities and contain costs that improve the quality of care they deliver. It also gives comparative information about the most efficient and effective health care providers to individual consumers and group purchasers of health services.

“I am honored to help Pennsylvanians make informed decisions about their health care and work to keep costs from rising – especially because prices for so many basic necessities continue to strain household budgets across the state,” Bartolotta said. “People are being forced to make hard decisions about what they can afford, and they need help.”

Another important function of the council is to collect inpatient hospital discharge and ambulatory/outpatient procedure records from hospitals and freestanding surgery centers. After verification, the council shares the data with the public through free reports.

Today, the council released its 2021 Hospital Performance Report, which provides information about hospital-specific mortality and readmission ratings, as well as the volume of cases and hospital charges for patients discharged from Pennsylvania’s acute care hospitals.

It also assessed the performance of Pennsylvania hospitals for 13 common medical conditions. Notably, eight conditions showed higher inpatient mortality rates from 2016 to 2021. None of the conditions showed a statistically significant decrease in inpatient mortality rates. Seven conditions showed decreases in 30-day readmission rates with one condition showing an increase.

 

CONTACT: Katrina Hanna, 717-787-1463

Aument Announces Staff for the Majority Whip’s Office

Senator Ryan P. Aument - News Release

(HARRISBURG) – In preparation for the upcoming 2023-24 legislative session, Sen. Ryan Aument (R-36) has announced Senate staff for the Majority Whip’s office today.

“I am confident in the ability of the team we’ve assembled to work on behalf of Pennsylvanians and make our Commonwealth a more attractive place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Aument. “Their skillsets and experience uniquely position each of them to effectively serve residents of northern Lancaster County and meaningfully contribute to Senate Republican Caucus initiatives. I am eager to work collaboratively with our entire leadership team to advance an opportunity agenda in Pennsylvania this next session.”

Sen. Aument’s Harrisburg staff will be located in his Capitol Office in 20 East Wing. District staff serving constituents in northern Lancaster County are centrally located within the 36th Senatorial District in Lititz.

Harrisburg/Capitol Office Staff                                                     

Ryan Boop – Chief of Staff and Counsel
Stephanie Buchanan – Legislative Director
Stephanie Applegate – Communications Director
Logan Hoover – Legislative Assistant
Jane Pensyl – Executive Assistant/Harrisburg Scheduler

36th District Staff

Rebecca Sollenberger – District Director
Angel Pagan – Field Representative
Tina Thompson – Director of Constituent Services

 

CONTACT: Stephanie Applegate