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Advocacy and Influence at the State Level Tips on Navigating the PA General Assembly Presented by Jamie Buchenauer, Office of Public Information, PHEAA.

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Presentation on theme: "Advocacy and Influence at the State Level Tips on Navigating the PA General Assembly Presented by Jamie Buchenauer, Office of Public Information, PHEAA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Advocacy and Influence at the State Level Tips on Navigating the PA General Assembly Presented by Jamie Buchenauer, Office of Public Information, PHEAA

2 PA General Assembly: Basic Facts Two Houses – Senate and House of Representatives 253 members – 203 House members, 50 Senators 4 caucuses – House Republicans and Democrats, Senate Republicans and Democrats Each of the General Assembly Caucuses operate independently.

3 Currently...until the election on November 6th The Republicans control (have the majority) in the House of Representatives and the Senate. –House – 109 (R) and 91 (D) – 3 vacancies –Senate – 29 (R) and 20 (D) – 1 vacancy House members are up for re-election every two years. Senate members are up for re-election every 4 years – ½ the Senate members are up for election every two years.

4 November 6 th Elections 25 open seats in the House (due to retirement running for other offices etc.) 4 open seats in the Senate. 3 members of the House running for two offices: –Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny), State House & Auditor General –Rep. Eugene DePasquale (D-York), State House & Auditor General –Rep. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny), State House & State Senate

5 Re-apportionment Every 10 years the Congressional districts, House and Senate districts are re-drawn. 1990, 2000, reapportionment plan started – 2 nd final plan adopted. Party in control of the House and Senate control the drawing of the maps.

6 Legislative Sessions Two years in length Introduced bill has two years to be enacted (passed by each chamber, signed by the Governor). At the end of the two years – session ends and all bills have to be re- introduced in the new session. Sine die sessions.

7 Legislative Process How a bill becomes a law. –Passed by committee, chamber and then sent to the other chamber, etc. How a bill becomes a law in Harrisburg. –Amendment process very important. –Rules –Voting Committees - (Rules and Appropriations) – instrumental to bills being enacted.

8 Committee Structure Standing Committees –Senate has 22 standing committees –House has 28 standing committees. –First step in getting an issue heard. –Majority and minority chairman of each committee. Most bills will then have to go to the Appropriations Committees or the Rules Committee.

9 Who to contact in the PA General Assembly... Your Representative or Senator Depending on the issue –Bill sponsor –Committee chairmen –Members of Leadership –Staff in the House or the Senate Committee Staff Leadership Staff

10 Senate Leadership Senate Republican Leadership: President Pro Tempore: Joe Scarnati (Jefferson) Leader: Dominic Pileggi (Delaware) Appropriations Chairman: Jake Corman (Centre) Whip: Pat Browne (Lehigh) Caucus Chair: Mike Waugh (York) Caucus Secretary: Bob Robbins (Mercer) Caucus Administrator: John Gordner (Columbia) Policy Chair: Edwin Erickson (Delaware) Senate Democratic Leadership: Leader: Jay Costa (Allegheny) Appropriations Chairman: Vince Hughes (Philadelphia) Whip: Anthony H. Williams (Philadelphia) Caucus Chair: Richard Kasunic (Fayette) Caucus Secretary: Christine Tartaglione (Philadelphia) Caucus Administrator: Wayne Fontana (Allegheny) Policy Chair: Lisa Boscola (Northampton)

11 House Leadership House Republican Leadership: Speaker: Sam Smith (R-Jefferson) Leader: Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) Appropriations Chairman: Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) Whip: Stan Saylor (R-York) Caucus Chair: Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna) Caucus Secretary: Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery) Caucus Administrator: Dick Stevenson (R-Mercer) Policy Chair: Dave Reed (R-Indiana) House Democratic Leadership: Leader: Frank Dermody (Allegheny) Appropriations Chairman: Joe Markosek (Allegheny) Whip: Mike Hanna (Clinton) Caucus Chair: Dan Frankel (Allegheny) Caucus Secretary: Jennifer Mann (Lehigh) Caucus Administrator: Ron Buxton (Dauphin) Policy Chair: Mike Sturla (Lancaster)

12 How to make your voice heard on important issues... Visit members Write members Call members

13 Logistics – the State Capitol or the District? Preferable – visit your members in their district offices. –Know you are a constituent. –While they will still be busy – they don’t have all the distractions of Harrisburg. Tips for the visit – –Call ahead and make an appointment –Be prepared

14 Tips for a Visit to Harrisburg Call ahead Be flexible Committee meetings and press conferences are for the public, feel free to attend. The layout of the Capitol is not user friendly. The E floor contains offices in the 500. Enjoy the building.

15 Where to find information about the General Assembly –

16 Researching Bills, Regulations and Laws General Assembly website has become user friendly in the past few years. –Listing of all bills from this legislative session and past legislative sessions. –Listing of all the Act (legislation) enacted into law by year. –Link to regulations, promulgated by Agencies.

17 Researching Bills

18 Researching Acts

19 If you know the year of the act...

20 Number of Bills vs. Number of Acts Legislative SessionNumber of HBNumber of SBNumber of Acts Percentage of Bills that became Acts % % % % % %

21 Questions? Jamie Buchenauer


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