Weekly Wrap

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees were back in Harrisburg this week, as they held budget hearings to examine the Governor's 2020-21 budget proposal.

Here are the hearings that took place this week and some of the issues discussed.

Monday, February 24


Department of Environmental Protection

  • Permitting process
  • Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
  • Air and water quality

Department of Conservation & Natural Resources

  • Oil and gas on state land
  • State parks and forests

Department of Health and Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs

  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Medical marijuana
  • Rural healthcare


Department of Labor & Industry

  • Workforce development and apprenticeship programs
  • Prevailing wage; school construction
  • Minimum wage

Auditor General

  • Pharmacy benefit manager (PMB) audit
  • Auditing of vendors
  • School district and charter school audits

Department of Aging

  • Funding for protective services
  • PACE

Tuesday, February 25


Department of Transportation

  • Motor License Fund/State Police funding
  • Mass transit

Department of General Services

  • Procurement practices
  • Small and diverse businesses
  • Rural broadband

Liquor Control Board

  • Flexible pricing
  • Recycling of licensees
  • Alcohol education


Liquor Control Board

  • Effects of liquor modernization
  • Warehousing and distribution of products

Department of Transportation

  • Highway maintenance and funding
  • Electric vehicles

Treasury Department

  • Debt
  • Pension and 529 plans
  • Commonwealth's fiscal stability

Wednesday, February 26


Department of Community & Economic Development

  • Tax credit programs
  • Tourism promotion
  • Ben Franklin Technology Partners

Department of Agriculture

  • Race Horse Development Trust Fund
  • Farming
  • Agricultural education

PA Emergency Management Agency & State Fire Commissioner

  • Volunteer firefighters
  • Emergency preparedness


Department of Human Services

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Community HealthChoices
  • Medicaid

Department of Health

  • Coronavirus
  • Response to the opioid epidemic
  • Vaping

Thursday, February 27


Department of Education

  • School safety
  • Asbestos and lead in schools
  • Charter school reform

Department of Community & Economic Development

  • Tax credit programs
  • Workforce development
  • Programs' return on investment

The Week Ahead

Monday kicks off the final week of budget hearings. Once budget hearings wrap up, the House and Senate aren't scheduled to be in session until the week of March 16. Here's what to expect next week:

Monday, March 2


  • Department of Education
  • PA Higher Education Assistance Agency


  • Department of Agriculture
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Penn State University Agriculture Research and Extension

Tuesday, March 3


  • PA State System of Higher Education
  • State-related universities


  • State-related universities
  • Department of Conservation & Natural Resources
  • Penn College of Technology, Thaddeus Stevens College, and Community Colleges

Wednesday, March 4


  • Department of Human Services
  • Department of Revenue


  • Department of Environmental Protection
  • Professional Liability Joint Underwriting Association
  • Budget Secretary/Governor's Executive Office

Thursday, March 5


  • Professional Liability Joint Underwriting Association
  • Budget Secretary/Governor's Executive Office

In addition to budget hearings, on Tuesday, the House Health Committee will hold a public hearing on CBD's impact on the medical marijuana program. Also, the Joint Legislative Conservation Committee will hold an informational meeting on Thursday to discuss the environmental and economic impact of a proposed carbon cap-and-trade program on Pennsylvania’s cogeneration sector.

In Other News

  • The Administration announced that it will be providing free naloxone to Pennsylvania airports.
  • The PUC approved a final rulemaking intended to increase consumer protections and ensure greater price transparency in the competitive retail electricity market.
  • 20,000 Pennsylvanians signed up for mail-in ballots in the first two weeks of the new program.

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