In this Edition:
Senator Scavello Delivers Response to the Governor’s 2016-17 Budget Address
Senate Vote to Remove Attorney General Falls Short
On Wednesday, I joined a majority of Senators (29-19) voting in favor of Senate Resolution 284 removing Attorney General Kathleen Kane from office due to the suspension of her license to practice law in Pennsylvania. However, the measure failed to meet the two-thirds majority specified by the Pennsylvania Constitution in order to directly remove an elected official from office.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives approved House Resolution 659, which authorizes the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the conduct of Attorney General Kathleen Kane and to determine whether she should be subject to impeachment.
Adoption of HR 659 is the first step in the impeachment process under the Pennsylvania Constitution. Depending on the subcommittee's findings, another House resolution would be needed to formally file one or more counts of impeachment, which then would have to be approved by the House. If adopted, the Senate would conduct the trial, and requires a two-thirds vote for conviction and removal.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court unanimously voted on September 21 to suspend Kane’s license based on accusations of perjury and other charges stemming from a leak of grand jury information. The newly elected, Democrat-majority state Supreme Court unanimously reaffirmed that decision last week.
Joint Hearing Focuses on Line Item Veto and Distribution of Funds
The hearing focused on the State Treasurer’s role in approving warrants (requests for payment) from state executive agencies during the time period when no legal authority existed for payments to be made.
This has raised serious questions over how services critical to the safety, health and welfare of Pennsylvania’s residents will receive funding during a budget impasse or when funding is cut or reduced following a Governor’s line item veto.
You can view testimony and video of the entire hearing here.
Options for Schools to Meet 180-Day Requirement Sent to Governor
A measure giving schools greater flexibility to meet the state’s 180-day requirements for classroom instruction after emergency and weather-related closings was sent to the Governor this week for his signature and enactment into law.
House Bill 158 would provide potential scheduling options for school entities facing extended closings that include a school year with a minimum number of hours of instruction, in lieu of the 180-day requirement, and approving additional instruction days on not more than one Saturday a month.
Also sent to the Governor was Senate Bill 166, which would allow expungement of some misdemeanors.
On Wednesday the Senate approved and sent to the Governor House Bill 561, which provides an Earned Income Tax exemption for active duty military pay and House Bill 941, which amends the Administrative Code to:
Senate Sends Four Bills to the House
The Senate approved four bills this week and sent the measures to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 489 reduces the maximum fee that a check casher may charge for cashing government checks.
Senate Bill 568 makes changes for guardianship in Pennsylvania based on recommendations from the Joint State Government Commission’s Advisory Committee on Decedents’ Estates Laws.
House Bill 1296 expands the financial products that municipalities, school districts, and municipal authorities may invest their general fund moneys. The bill returns to the House of Representatives for concurrence on Senate amendments.
Senate Bill 889 extends benefits to enforcement officers and investigators of the Game Commission and the Fish and Boat Commission.
Feb. 21 Predatory Lending Seminar
Integra Home Counseling is hosting a free Predatory Lending Seminar on Sunday, February 21 at 1:15 p.m. at Eastern Monroe Public Library.
The seminar will provide resources to make individuals aware of how to protect themselves from predatory lenders and what to do if you are a victim. It will feature a presentation from Attorney Stewart Rosenblum.
To register, please contact Integra Home Counseling at 570-620-2438 or vpadmos@IntegraPa.org.
West End Food Pantry
Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church Clothing Closet
Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church has a wide variety of infant, toddler, children, teen and adult sized “gently used” clothing. Periodically, they have professional clothing such as scrubs or work-type pants available for adults. When prom time or school programs come around, the clothing closet likes to have available a variety of “dress up” clothes for teens.
There is never a charge for any clothing item and items are available to anyone who has need. Individuals are asked to limit their selections to five items per category. There are no requirements of proof of income or residence necessary to visit the clothing closet.
The Clothing Closet is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. It is also open during Food Pantry hours on the first and third Friday of each month from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Join Senator Scavello on Pocono 96.7 Every Thursday
Please join me Thursdays on Pocono 96.7 on “Gary in the Morning” in the car, at work, or in your home. Call in to ask your questions at 7 a.m.
You can listen online here.
The Senate returns to voting session on Monday, March 14. You can watch session live at PASenateGOP.com.
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Senate Box 203040
2989 Route 611, Suite 103
Tannersville, PA 18372
Phone (570) 620-4326
FAX (570) 620-4379
9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Northampton County Office