Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

“Senate Bill 1296 ensures employment contracts for school superintendents receive greater public scrutiny by requiring the details of the contract to be made public. Under the new process included in the bill, both superintendents and school boards will also know upfront what the expectations are for the job and the consequences of terminating a contract prematurely.”

Senate Education Committee Chairman Jeff Piccola (R-Dauphin) on legislation approved by the Senate to limit generous contract buyouts to departing school district superintendents and to require more contract details be made available to the public.


Senate Session: Monday 1 p.m.

The Senate continues work on drafting a 2012-13 budget plan this week, and is expected to consider the following bills:

  • Senate Bill 351Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) — Good Samaritan bill
  • Senate Bill 477Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) — compelled removal of outdoor advertising displays
  • Senate Bill 932Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre) — do not call list
  • Senate Bill 1225Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) — library code amendments
  • Senate Bill 1403Sen. Rich Alloway (R-Franklin) — hunting liability

The Legislative Reapportionment Commission will hold a public hearing Monday to hear comments on the revised preliminary redistricting plan filed with the Department of State on April 12, 2012. (2 p.m. Room 1 N. Office Bldg.)


Senate Approves Bill Reforming School Superintendent Contracts

Pennsylvania school superintendent contract reform is one step closer to becoming law under legislation approved April 30 by the Senate.

Senate Bill 1296, sponsored by Senate Education Committee Chairman Jeffrey Piccola (R-Dauphin), limits generous contract buyouts to departing school district superintendents and requires more contract details to be made available to the public. The legislation also links superintendent contracts to performance standards tied to student achievement and shortens the contract limit to three years for new superintendents and assistant superintendents, a change from the three-to-five-year range under current state law.

Additionally, the bill subjects superintendent and assistant superintendent contracts to public access under Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law.

Senate Bill 1296 is now before the House Education Committee for consideration.

More Degree Options at Private Colleges Approved

The Senate passed a measure Wednesday that will allow established private colleges and universities to more easily offer a wider variety of degrees and majors.

Senate Bill 1406, sponsored by Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon), would permit private, nonprofit colleges and universities to offer additional degrees and institute additional programs and majors without the approval of the Pennsylvania Department of Education if the school has operated continuously in the commonwealth for the preceding 10 years and is accredited by a regional accrediting agency.

The bill was sent to the House for consideration.

Senate Votes to Expand “Emergency Vehicle” Definition

The Senate unanimously approved a bill Wednesday expanding the definition of an “emergency vehicle” under state law.

Senate Bill 1067, sponsored by Sen. Rich Alloway (R-Franklin), broadens the definition of “emergency vehicle” to include vehicles owned by a county or regional police association and operated by a police officer, that are used for police transport or victim extraction, and any vehicle operated by a special agent, special agent supervisor, narcotics agent or narcotics agent supervisor while performing official duties as employees of the Office of Attorney General.

SB 1067 now goes to the House for consideration.

Megan Totino Consedine Announced as Senate Secretary/Parliamentarian

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) announced that Megan Totino Consedine will serve as Acting Secretary/Parliamentarian for the State Senate, effective May 21. Pending confirmation by the full Senate, she will be the first woman in Pennsylvania to serve as Secretary/Parliamentarian.

Totino Consedine most recently served as a Deputy General Counsel in the Governor’s Office of General Counsel where she served as counsel to the Commonwealth, the Governor and the executive and independent agencies that manage the business of the Commonwealth, specializing in transactional and regulatory matters. For more information, please see In the Spotlight and Fast Facts, below.

Panel Would Study Education of Homeless Children

Legislation establishing a task force to study the homeless children population and its educational needs was approved by the Senate on Monday.

The task force created by Senate Bill 157 would include the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Public Welfare and 15 members representing local agencies assisting homeless children, public schools, intermediate units and social service and advocacy organizations with experience working with homeless children and education issues.

The bill is now before the House Education Committee for consideration.

Senate Updates 46-Year-Old Borough Code

The Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would enact the most significant update of Pennsylvania’s Borough Code in 46 years.

House Bill 1702 removes obsolete provisions from the existing Borough Code, incorporates pertinent court decisions, updates language and organizes common subjects. The measure is a collaboration between the State Association of Boroughs and the Local Government Commission.

The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

In the Spotlight

As an elected officer of the Senate, the Secretary/Parliamentarian supervises an extensive array of offices and services essential to the day-to-day operations of the Senate, including legislative, financial and administrative functions.

In addition to working in the Governor’s Office of General Counsel, Megan Totino Consedine served as an assistant counsel to the Department of the Navy and a special assistant to former Governor Tom Ridge, where she was responsible for strategic planning and policy development. She was also an adjunct professor at Widener University School of Law and Harrisburg Area Community College.

Totino Consedine received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware and her law degree from Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg. She will receive a salary of $139,500.

Secretary/Parliamentarian Mark Corrigan announced his retirement last year after serving in the post for 31 years.

Fast Facts

Pennsylvania Senate Secretary/Parliamentarian Duties

Senate Session Parliamentarian

Oversight of 80 Senate employees

Management of Senate Library, bill room, page room and other departments.