Legislative Update - Week Ending Jan. 20, 2023

Legislative Update - Week Ending Jan. 20, 2023

Jan 20, 2023

 




Shapiro Takes Oath as 48th Governor of Pennsylvania

Josh Shapiro took the oath of office to become Pennsylvania’s 48th Governor on Jan. 17. Supreme Court Chief Justice Debra Todd, the first woman chief justice in Pennsylvania, administered the proceeding in the state Capitol’s east wing.

Shapiro, 49, spoke about his campaign promises to improve Pennsylvania schools, make communities safer, and build an economy that lifts up everyone.

“You spoke up loud and clear and gave me direction with your voice and with your vote – a record number of votes in fact. People from all different walks of life – from rural, urban, and suburban communities united to tell me what you think. You showed the underlying goodness within our Commonwealth – that you want a society that creates opportunity for all people,” Shapiro said.

He also stressed the importance of defending democracy against extremism.

“You also sent a clear message – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – when you came together to resoundingly reject extremism,” Shapiro said. “Together, hope defeated fear. Unity triumphed over division. We proved that we value our freedoms, and we’re willing to do the hard work necessary to protect our fundamental rights.”

Specific policy proposals that his administration would pursue were not part of Shapiro’s speech, but they will surely be unveiled in his budget address scheduled in a few weeks’ time.

Ahead of his inauguration, Shapiro spoke with the news organization City & State Pennsylvania about his priorities for his first term and how he plans to work with a closely divided General Assembly.

Prior to Shapiro’s swearing in, Austin Davis made history by becoming Pennsylvania’s first black lieutenant governor. Davis, 33, served as a state representative during the last session of the General Assembly; as lieutenant governor, he will serve as president of the state Senate, chair of the Board of Pardons, and on the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council.

 

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Farewell to Gov. Tom Wolf

After eight years as our state’s chief executive, Pennsylvanians said goodbye to Gov. Tom Wolf and his wife, Frances.

Gov. Tom Wolf shakes hands with PICPA's Peter Calcara

Peter Calcara (r), PICPA's vice president, government
relations, meets with Gov. Tom Wolf in 2022.

“I have really enjoyed my time in office, especially the people I have had the honor of interacting with day in and day out,” Wolf said. “It’s been an honor do this work on behalf of the nearly 13 million Pennsylvanians who call this beautiful state home.”

Wolf was particularly proud of the state’s economic success and fiscal strength he was able to achieve during his tenure. Highlighting his dual mission of sound financial management with investments that make a difference in the lives of Pennsylvanians, he said, “We’ve made Pennsylvania a more prosperous place in large part by investing in the people who call our commonwealth home.”

On behalf of our 20,000 members, the PICPA says thank you to Gov. Wolf for his dedication to Pennsylvania and his commitment to public service.

 

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Executive Order Eliminates College Requirement for State Jobs

On his first full day in office, Gov. Josh Shapiro announced that, effective immediately, 92% of state government jobs – about 65,000 positions – will no longer require a four-year college degree.

Shapiro signed Executive Order 2023-03, the first of his administration, instructing the Office of Administration to emphasize skills and experience in state job postings and ordering a review of the remaining 8% of state government jobs that currently require a four-year degree. Many of this remaining set, however, have statutorily required education requirements.

State agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction will take steps to emphasize work experience in their hiring. As part of that order, the administration launched a new website where applicants can easily search among thousands of open positions that do not require a four-year degree. That website can be reached via the state employment homepage www.employment.pa.gov.

Shapiro has pledged to invest in apprenticeships, vocational training, and career and technical education, saying in his inaugural address that “Real freedom comes when we create pathways to new opportunities by investing in vo-tech and job training programs.”

 

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Special State House Elections Set for Feb. 7

Following a Commonwealth Court ruling, three state House special elections will move forward and be held Feb. 7. The ruling gives House Democrats a victory in their efforts to regain control of the Pennsylvania House.

Democrats held 102 seats after the November election, but their apparent majority was temporarily thwarted by a series of events, including the death of an incumbent and two resignations because seat holders had also been elected to higher offices.

The open House seats – representing the 32nd, 34th, and 35th districts – are all in Allegheny County. One vacancy resulted from the October death of Rep. Tony DeLuca, who represented the 32nd District. The other vacancies were created after state Rep. Summer Lee (34th District) was elected to the U.S. Congress and state Rep. Austin Davis (35th District) was elected to be Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor.

In the 32nd District, Democrat Joe McAndrew will take on Republican Clayton Walker. McAndrew is a former staffer for Democratic state lawmakers and former executive director of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee. Walker is an Army veteran and pastor at the Mustard Seed Church.

In the 34th District, Democrat Abigail Salisbury faces Republican Robert Pagane. Salisbury is a Swissvale councilwoman and an attorney. Pagane is a former police officer.

The 35th District will see Democrat Matthew Gergely face off against Republican Don Nevills. Gergely works as chief revenue officer for Mon Valley city. Nevills is a Navy veteran and small-business owner.

With significant margins in each district, Democrats are heavily favored in all three contests.

 

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Shapiro Officially Nominates Cabinet

Gov. Shapiro officially nominated his cabinet, sending his selections to the Senate for advice and consent.

“I am proud to have nominated this supremely qualified cabinet, and I look forward to working alongside them to move our Commonwealth forward,” Shapiro said. “I look forward to the Senate promptly and efficiently reviewing and voting on these historic, bipartisan nominees so that we can work together to deliver for communities across Pennsylvania.”

Nominees to Shapiro’s inaugural cabinet can be found in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star

 

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Philadelphia Department of Revenue Updates for Employers

As we enter the 2023 tax season, the Philadelphia Department of Revenue has important reminders for Philadelphia employers. The department has updates that cover the Earned Income Tax Credit, the use and occupancy tax, and business and receipts tax

 

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Path to Pennie Virtual Seminar

This Wednesday, Jan. 25, officials from Pennie, Pennsylvania’s official health and dental coverage marketplace, will host a seminar for tax and accounting professionals. The purpose of this virtual webinar is to provide an update on Path to Pennie, a program developed by Pennie and the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue to help Pennsylvania’s uninsured. The seminar runs from noon to 12:30.

If you have questions about the webinar, contact Scott Yeager, Pennie outreach manager, at scoyeager@pa.gov

 

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