|Detailed Look into Governor’s Budget to Begin Next Week
Members of the House Appropriations Committee will start their detailed look into the governor’s $32.3 billion budget proposal as hearings begin on Tuesday, Feb. 21.
The opening day of hearings will include testimony from the Independent Fiscal Office, and the departments of Revenue and State.
The remainder of the week will include looks into the proposed budgets of the pension systems, departments of Labor and Industry and Transportation, treasury, offices of auditor and attorney general and the State System of Higher Education.
The full schedule is available here, which will also include video of the archived hearings.
More information about the governor’s proposal is available here.
Committee Accepts Hunting, Fishing Reports from State Agencies
The House Game and Fisheries Committee accepted the annual reports of the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) during meetings this week.
In the face of declining revenues, both groups advocated for legislation that would allow them to set their own license fees. Last session, similar legislation that originated in the Senate passed out of committee in the House but was never voted on the floor.
Among the PGC’s top issues presented to the committee were the recruitment of a new class of wildlife conservation officer cadets, the closing of two of Pennsylvania’s four pheasant farms due to insufficient funding and a decline of the ruffed grouse population.
The PFBC addressed the agency’s fiscal challenges, noting that license fees have not increased since 2005 and expenses are expected to exceed revenue during the current fiscal year.
Protecting Our Children
To help educate the public about ways to further protect children, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has unveiled three short YouTube videos that are also being aired statewide.
The videos are designed to raise awareness of the state’s child abuse reporting hotline (available at 800-932-0313) and background clearance requirements for people who have routine and direct access to children.
The videos are also available on the newly redesigned KeepKidsSafe.PA.gov website, which includes information for mandated reporters, child abuse clearance links and contact information for other child protection-related concerns.
PennDOT Offers Internship Opportunities
PennDOT is offering internships for those seeking engineering, science and technical degrees, along with general government service, this summer.
A variety of internship positions will be filled, including those that may lead to full-time employment after graduation. Click here to learn more about the types of internships offered.
Applications for the summer program will be accepted through March 30.
More information, including application instructions, is available here.
PennDOT Offices Closed for Presidents Day
In observance of Presidents Day, all PennDOT driver license and photo centers, including the full-service center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, Feb. 18, through Monday, Feb. 20. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, dmv.pa.gov.
My Audio Podcast
I am recording audio Legislative Report podcasts on a periodic basis. You can listen to them by clicking on the Audio Podcast link above the headline in this email, and all future ones.
All podcasts are on my website as well at RepDowling.com. Just click on the audio section in the left column.