Acting Aging Secretary Jason Kavulich along with Deputy Secretary Steven Horner, and PACE Program Director Tom Sneddon testified before the House Appropriations Committee. House Republicans focused their questions on how the department is going to control costs for seniors and the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania continues to face budgetary challenges given the significant growth in the elderly population and the contraction in the working -age population.
Colonel Christopher Harris, Major Joanne Reed, Major George Bivens, Major Wayne Kline, and Ms. Brooke Mead of the Pennsylvania State Police testified before the House Appropriations Committee. House Republicans focused their questions on the staffing needs of the State Police, the functions of the State Police – such as background checks for gun purchases, aviation support, the Statewide Public Safety Radio System, and gaming enforcement. Additionally, House Republicans shared concerns with the creation of a new special fund, as proposed by the governor, to take all State Police funding offline, as well as the strain on the department in places like Philadelphia.
Acting Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection Rich Negrin, along with Jessica Shirley, Executive Deputy Secretary, Ian Harlow, Acting Deputy Sect of Administration, Ramez Ziadeh, Deputy Secretary for Field Operations, appeared before the House Appropriations Committee. Republican House members focused their questions on Governor Shapiro’s permitting reform proposal and how to ensure this process will produce results. Additionally, Republicans asked questions related to the Governor’s apparent change of policy on RGGI and its negative effects on Pennsylvania.
Acting Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Cindy Dunn, along with Michael Walsh, Deputy Secretary for Administration, John Norbeck, Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry, and Lauren Imgrund, Deputy Secretary for Conservation and Technical Services. House Republicans focused on the fiscal health of DCNR and how to make the department sustainable. Additionally, Republicans asked questions covering the expansion of ATV trails in state parks, what the department is doing to address and prioritize its $1.4 billion maintenance backlog, drilling on state lands, the state of the timber industry, and how DCNR is partnering with private industry.
Acting Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding appeared before the House Appropriations Committee along with Greg Hostetter, Executive Deputy Secretary. House Republicans asked questions beginning with agriculture concerns in Western Pennsylvania relating to the Norfolk Southern train derailment. Other questions focused on proposed cuts to the department’s Animal Health and Diagnostic Commission, fair market conditions for Pennsylvania dairy farmers, and support of the entire industry beyond organics.
Dr. Daniel Greenstein, State System Chancellor testified before the House Appropriations Committee. House Republicans focused their questions on the turnaround in the PASSHE system’s financial footing. Other questions focused on how to keep the current tuition freeze in place, how the consolidation of certain universities is going, and how PASSHE schools are preparing students for jobs in today’s economy.
Elizabeth Bolden, President and CEO – PA Commission for Community Colleges, Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, President – Montgomery County Community College, and Dr. Tuesday Stanley, President – Westmoreland County Community College, testified before the House Appropriations Committee. House Republicans asked questions focused on the programs Community Colleges are offering to meet the needs of the workforce and students who wish to further their education after two years. Other topics covered included the costs of maintenance, needed upgrades, and dual enrollment programs.
On March 21st, 2023, President Brenda A. Allen, (Lincoln University), President Neeli Bendapudi, Ph.D., (Penn State University), Chancellor Dr. Patrick D. Gallagher, (University of Pittsburgh), and President Dr. Jason Wingard, (Temple University) appeared before the House Appropriations Committee. House Republicans focused on the cost of tuition, where tax dollars are spent, and how the Universities are meeting the needs of the workforce. Additional topics covered include the management of university hospitals, transparency, safety of students, and performance-based budgeting.
On March 20, 2023, Acting Education Secretary Dr. Khalid N Mumin appeared before the House Appropriations Committee to defend the governor’s budget proposal. House Republicans focused on Oversight and Accountability of state dollars, starting with ensuring the money we send to school districts shows results – in test scores, physical school improvements, and safety of students and faculty. A variety of policy initiatives were discussed, from Lifeline Scholarships, pupil transportation, the EITC program, and early intervention programs.
HARRISBURG – House Republican Appropriations Chairman Seth Grove previewed the upcoming PA budget hearings Wednesday, stressing the importance of oversight and accountability when it comes to the budget process in Pennsylvania.
WHAT: Republican Appropriations Chairman Seth Grove (R-York County) will offer the Republican House perspective of the governor’s budget proposal and preview the upcoming budget hearings.
HARRISBURG – Republican Appropriations Chairman Seth Grove (R-York) was joined by Reps. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford), Valerie Gaydos (R-Allegheny), Mike Cabell (R-Luzerne) and Stephenie Scialabba (R-Butler) to introduce a package of bills aimed at reducing fraud within state government, specifically when it comes to Medicaid.