|My Legislation to Ensure Timely Action on
Economic Development Project Funding Passes House
My bill requiring the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) to conduct business six times per year, on specific dates, passed the House overwhelmingly this week.
Current law requires the chairperson, a gubernatorial appointee, to schedule meetings of the board during the last nine years, meetings of the CFA have been delayed or cancelled, for extended timeframes, on five separate occasions.
House Bill 1045 requires the board to meet on the second Tuesday of the months of January, March, May, July, September and November. The chairperson would still have the flexibility to call meetings more frequently than this, as needed.
There is no reason to delay or cancel meetings because board members intend to vote against certain proposed projects. Transparency is an important and required method of operation for this board.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
U.S. Steel Tour
Steel and coke manufacturing have long been a hallmark of the Pittsburgh region, with great historical significance. Even today, the metals industry makes up the largest part of southwestern Pennsylvania’s advanced manufacturing sector, with steel manufacturing at its heart.
Thursday, I had the opportunity to tour U.S. Steel’s Pittsburgh-area operations and learned more about the company’s innovation and how employees provide support to the company’s integrated steelmaking operations worldwide. The 3,000 Pennsylvanians employed directly at the U.S. Steel Mon Valley Works support an additional 10,500 jobs throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.
Welcome to the Capitol
This week, students from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy visited the state Capitol with their professor, former state Rep. Chris Ross. The students are (from left) Jacob Ferrara, Colin Becht, Ben Mindes, Elee Wakim and Krista O’Connel.
Future Speakers of the House Graced the Capitol
Last week, members of the YMCA Youth and Government Model Convention were my guests at the Capitol.
Terrance Jefferson (left) was the Gold Speaker of the House and represents Middletown Area High School in Dauphin County. Jacob Geil was Blue Speaker of the House and represents Rose E. Schneider YMCA in Cranberry Township, Butler County.
Youth and Government is a national program of the YMCA that involves thousands of teens nationwide in state-organized, model-government programs. Students from every corner of the United States have the opportunity to immerse themselves in experiential civic engagement and to practice democracy.
Helping to Put More Domestic Abusers Behind Bars
We as House Republicans are focused on protecting crime victims. This week, the House approved a bill to ensure victims of strangulation get the justice they deserve.
Prior to a 2016 law, strangulation could only be charged as a misdemeanor assault in Pennsylvania. Act 111 made it a criminal offense, and according to law enforcement officials across the state, the law has helped put more domestic abusers behind bars.
House Bill 854 builds on that progress by fully incorporating strangulation into our laws, ensuring any prior strangulation conviction will be recognized and considered in subsequent cases.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. You can learn more about our efforts to protect victims here.
Pension Forfeiture for Sex Offenses
Working to ensure public officials and employees are held fully accountable for their actions, the House approved legislation this week that would force them to forfeit their taxpayer-funded pensions if they are convicted of committing a sexual offense.
The bill builds on Act 1 of 2019, which requires any public official who is convicted of a felony to forfeit his or her pension.
Under House Bill 991, public employees and officials – including elected officials – would lose their pension if convicted of offenses such as indecent assault, indecent exposure or unlawful dissemination of an intimate image (commonly referred to as revenge porn).
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Child Safety Legislation Advances to Senate
Legislation that would provide civil immunity for damages that result from entry into a motor vehicle for the purpose of rescuing an individual recently passed the House.
Under House Bill 279, such immunity would be granted based on several criteria, including a belief that the individual is in imminent danger of suffering harm and is unable to exit the motor vehicle without assistance. A reasonable attempt to locate the driver and contact law enforcement or an emergency responder must also be made prior to entry.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
I want to wish everyone observing the Passover Seder at sundown this Friday the blessings of health and peace. Chag Samaech!
I want to also wish everyone celebrating Easter this weekend peace, love and to have a blessed and happy Easter.