Legislative Update - Week Ending Nov. 18, 2022

Legislative Update - Week Ending Nov. 18, 2022

Nov 18, 2022




PICPA Joins Gov. Wolf at Two Bill Signing Ceremonies

 Bill signing ceremony with Pa. Gov. Wolf, PICPA representatives, and CPA legislators

 Gov. Tom Wolf shakes hands with PICPA's Peter Calcara  Peter Calcara and Jen Cryder with bill amending the CPA Law

 PICPA's Peter Calcara with Gov. Wolf and others at cermonial CNI tax cut bill signing

PICPA team members joined key legislative allies and Gov. Tom Wolf in Harrisburg this week for a ceremonial bill signing of House Bill 1328, legislation amending the Pennsylvania CPA Law.

Attending the event were members of the “CPA Caucus” – Sen. Pat Browne and Reps. Keith Greiner, (sponsor of House Bill 1328), George Dunbar, Frank Ryan, Ben Sanchez, and Nick Pisciottano – along with Jennifer Cryder, PICPA CEO, Adam Bachelor, PICPA chief strategy officer, Peter Calcara, PICPA vice president of government relations, and Alex Fabian, PICPA manager of government relations.

Calcara also attended the bill signing ceremony with Wolf for Act 53 of 2022, the corporate net income tax reduction act. With Calcara at the ceremony were Drew VandenBrul, CPA, Gene Barr, Sam Denisco, Dan Schulder, CPA, Howard Sklaroff, CPA, Sebastian Watt, Allison Coccia, Michael Semes, and Luke Bernstein.

PICPA greatly appreciates the members of the CPA Caucus for their steadfast support on House Bill 1328.

 

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Sen. Kim Ward First Woman Elected Pa. Senate President

Sen. Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) has been elected to serve as interim Senate president pro tempore. She becomes the first woman to hold the position, which is the third-highest post in Pennsylvania government. Ward will be elected president pro tempore for the new two-year legislative session when the chamber returns on Jan. 3. Ward had previously been Senate majority leader.

“To all members of the Senate, Democrat and Republican, I look forward to working with you to chart a path forward that requires us to selflessly work together advocating for all Pennsylvanians and their families by putting the principles and respect for this institution and our Commonwealth above all,” Ward said.

The president pro tempore is responsible for appointing the members and chairs of the 22 standing committees of the Senate and serves as an ex-officio member of all committees. She presides over the Senate floor when the lieutenant governor is unavailable and fills the position of lieutenant governor if the office becomes vacant. The office also refers bills and resolutions to the appropriate Senate committees for consideration.

The PICPA congratulates Sen. Ward on her historic accomplishment.

 

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Democrats to Control Pa. House

More than a week after the Nov. 8 elections, it seems the Democrats have captured control of the 203-member Pennsylvania House for the first time in more than a decade. As of Nov. 18, the House Democratic Caucus will have 102 votes to 100 for the Republicans when the 2023-2024 session convenes in January. There is one race still outstanding.

In the 151st race, incumbent Republican Rep. Todd Stephens conceded on Nov. 17 to his Democratic challenger, Melissa Cerrato. Cerrato overtook Stephens during the week of Nov. 14, and at last count had a 37-vote lead over the incumbent. In another close race, Republican Joe Hogan is leading Democrat Mark Moffa in the contest for the 142nd District. This race has not been officially called.

While control of the House was still up in the air, the House Democratic Caucus unanimously reelected its current leadership team for the 2023-2024 legislative session:

  • Rep. Joanna E. McClinton (D-Philadelphia/Delaware), Democratic leader
  • Rep. Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia), Democratic whip
  • Rep. Matt Bradford (D-Montgomery), Democratic chair, House Appropriations Committee
  • Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (D-Erie), chair, House Democratic Policy Committee
  • Rep. Tina Davis (D-Bucks), Democratic caucus secretary
  • Rep. Mike Schlossberg (D-Lehigh), Democratic caucus administrator
  • Rep. Dan Miller (D-Allegheny), Democratic caucus chair

With a House majority in hand, Democrats will elect McClinton to the position of speaker, making her the first woman to hold that office.

House Republicans, who had a 113-90 majority going into Nov. 8, postponed leadership elections this week due election uncertainty. They are tentatively scheduled to return Nov. 24 for elections. 

 

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Governor-Elect Shapiro Announces Transition Team

Governor-Elect Josh Shapiro and Lieutenant Governor-Elect Austin Davis announced the first steps in the gubernatorial transition process and restated their commitment to building an administration that represents the entire state and brings Pennsylvanians together.

Shapiro and Davis rolled out a new transition website that will serve as the central location for people to apply for roles in the Shapiro-Davis transition and administration and they announced key leadership roles for the transition and the inauguration. Akbar Hossain will serve as executive director of the transition, Amanda Warren will serve as the executive director of the inauguration, and Manuel Bonder will serve as director of communications for the transition and the inauguration.

Shapiro and Davis will be sworn in Jan. 17, 2023. 

 

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Leadership Teams for Pa. Senate Republicans, Democrats Named

This week, senators returned to Harrisburg to elect their respective caucus leadership teams for the 2023-2024 General Assembly that officially gets underway on Jan. 3. Republicans will remain in the majority with 28 members to 22 Democrats.

Sen. Joe Pittman (R-Indiana) will serve as Senate majority leader. His duties include overseeing the legislative agenda, developing policies and strategies for the Senate Republican Caucus, and playing a key role in floor debates. Sen. Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster) was elected majority whip, where his duties include assistant floor leader and working to gain support for legislation. Sen. Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) will chair the Senate Appropriations Committee, which reviews all legislation for its fiscal impact and plays a crucial role in negotiating and developing the state budget. Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) will serve as majority caucus chair, which presides over Republican caucus meetings to discuss bills and amendments and to develop caucus strategy. Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington) was elected Senate majority caucus secretary to oversee all executive nominations submitted to the Senate for confirmation.

Senate Democrats elected Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) to continue to serve as Democratic leader. The caucus also elected Sen. Tina Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) as the new caucus whip, Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia) as Democratic chair of the Appropriations Committee, and Sen. Tim Kearney (D-Delaware) as Appropriations Committee vice chair. Rounding out the leadership team are Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny), caucus chair; Sen. Maria Collett (D-Montgomery), caucus secretary; and Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks), caucus administrator.

Democrats also welcomed Sen. Nick Miller (Lehigh) to its ranks.

 

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IFO Projects Economic, Budget Outlook for Next Five Years

The Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) provided its annual Pennsylvania Economic and Budget Outlook for Fiscal Years (FY) 2022-2023 to 2027-2028. Based on the economic and demographic assumptions used by IFO, the analysis projects a substantial General Fund ending balance for FY 2022-2023, but operating deficits for all future years.

IFO projects FY 2022-2023 General Fund revenues will contract by 9.2%, or $4.45 billion. If the $3.84 billion transfer from American Rescue Plan Act is removed, then the decline is 1.4%, or $0.61 billion. The contraction is due, notes IFO, to the corporate net income tax (CNIT) rate cut, the new motor vehicle sales and use tax transfer, and a decline in personal income tax final payments as capital gains income contracts following a surge of 85% in tax year 2021. For FY 2023-2024, tax revenues will expand by 2.7%, or about $1.16 billion.

From FY 2023-2024 to FY 2027-2028, IFO projects that General Fund revenues will increase at an average rate of 2.6% per annum, or 3.1% excluding the CNIT rate cut and new/expanded tax credits enacted with the FY 2022-2023 state budget.

IFO projects FY 2022-2023 General Fund appropriations will increase by 8.7%, largely due to increased levels of education spending and the assumed expiration of federal COVID-relief funds for state Medicaid programs by December 2022. For FY 2023-2024 to FY 2027-2028, expenditures will expand at an average rate of 3.3% per annum. When combined with the projected available revenue, the operating deficit is expected to be roughly $3.0 billion in FY 2025-2026 and future years.

 

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House Bans Use of State Cars by House Members

The Pennsylvania House this week approved a rules change that forbids the reimbursement of vehicle leases or the use of state vehicles by House members. House Resolution 243 will end private lease reimbursements and state vehicle use effective Nov. 30.

House lawmakers earlier this year passed legislation that would have banned both House and Senate members from reimbursement for private vehicle leases and the use of state-owned vehicles. House Bill 746 was never considered by the Senate.

 

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