Lawmakers Seek To Cut Representation

Lisa Esler has informed us that the Pennsylvania House has, this week, passed House Bill 153 that would reduce the size of the House from 203 to 151 and House Bill 384 would reduce the size of the Senate from 50 members to 37. Lawmakers Seek To Cut Representation

If you think easy access to your state legislator is a bad idea then obviously you should support these bills.

On the other hand, if you think easy access to your state legislature is a good idea you would support bills increasing the size of the legislature to 424 as it is in New Hampshire, a state with a population about a 12th of Pennsylvania’s and area of about a fourth.

The claim is to save money. Rather than cutting the size of the legislature by about a quarter, why not cut the salaries of the legislatures by that much? It’s not as though they can’t afford it.
Lawmakers Seek To Cut Representation

Wagner Blasts Republicans Over Mary’s Law Failure

Sen. Scott Wagner (R-28) sent this email blast out March 3 concerning the failure to pass Mary’s Law i.e. SB 501 on March 2Wagner Blasts Republicans Over Mary's Law Failure
And it was a blast as he called out the five southeast Republican Senators voted no to the amendment — Sens. John Rafferty of Montgomery County, Stewart Greenleaf of Montgomery County, Tom McGarrigle of Delaware County, Robert “Tommy” Tomlinson of Bucks County, and Dominic Pileggi of Delaware County– being especially harsh concerning Pileggi and Rafferty.
Here is what Wagner wrote with the attached article by Jan Murphy that he references.

The purpose of this post is to give you an update on “Paycheck Protection” legislation.

At the end of my post is a story from Penn Live yesterday detailing the vote on this important reform in the PA State Senate.

An amendment was offered yesterday on the floor by Senator John Eichelberger to SB 501.

The amendment offered yesterday would have narrowed the restriction to only ban governments from deducting money that is used for political purposes while still allowing dues collection to support general union operations.

The PA State Senate had a tie vote of 24 to 24 which resulted in the amendment to SB 501 failing to pass.

It was disappointing but not a surprise that five southeast Republican Senators voted no to the amendment.

It was also not a surprise to me that Senator John Rafferty voted no on the amendment – in the ten months I have served in the PA State Senate I have found Senator Rafferty to be the most disingenuous member of the Republican Caucus.

To be honest and direct, I have watched Senator Rafferty repeatedly undermine our new leadership – Senator Rafferty is self-serving and badly wants to be Pennsylvania’s Attorney General.

Senator Dominic Pilleggi is another issue – since losing his leadership post he is a bitter person and will do anything to undermine the PA State Senate’s new leadership – the good news is that Senator Pilleggi is running as a judicial candidate for Common Pleas Court in Delaware County – the sooner that Senator Pileggi is gone from the PA State Senate the better for everyone.

I can assure you that our PA State Senate leadership and conservative members will continue to push to pass this important reform.

To achieve our many goals to move Pennsylvania forward it is critical that we elect additional conservative Republican members to the PA State Senate.

It is my personal goal to add a minimum of four additional conservative Republicans to the PA State Senate in 2016 so that we can advance the right agenda for Pennsylvania.

Bill restricting union dues collection fails but not dead yet in Pa. Senate

By Jan Murphy | The Patriot-News
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on March 02, 2015 at 7:05 PM, updated March 03, 2015 at 11:58 AM

An attempt to pass a controversial amendment to a bill that would restrict union dues collection from state and school employees’ paychecks narrowly failed in the state Senate on Monday.

But most likely, we haven’t seen the last of this amendment to this so-called paycheck protection bill.

The Senate voted 24-24 to defeat the amendment. A short time later, it voted 29-19 to reconsider the amendment at a later time, keeping it alive.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. John Eichelberger, R-Blair County, would have made it illegal for government to deduct union dues from state and school employees’ paychecks. The amendment offered on Monday narrowed that restriction to only ban governments from deducting money for unions that is used for political purposes while still allowing dues collection to support for general union operations.
“I think that legislation is not the answer.” Lt. Gov. Mike Stack

The amendment was crucial to winning the support of Republican Sen. Chuck McIlhinney of Bucks County, who indicated last week he would be a no vote without that change.

Every Republican vote the amendment could muster was needed to pass since Democrats voted as a block to oppose the bill along with five Republican senators from the southeastern corner of the state – Sens. John Rafferty of Montgomery County, Stewart Greenleaf of Montgomery County, Tom McGarrigle of Delaware County, Robert “Tommy” Tomlinson of Bucks County, and Dominic Pileggi of Delaware County.

When the vote on the amendment ended in a 24-24 tie, Lt. Gov. Mike Stack cast a vote against the proposal although Senate staff said later that the tie vote had already ensured its defeat.

Afterward, Stack seemed pleased he had the chance to cast a vote against this particular amendment, even though it turns out it wasn’t necessary.

“I just think it’s anti-labor and it’s designed to take away the ability of unions to organize and I’m one of those people who believe we have a middle class here in Pennsylvania because of the worker unions,” he said. “They are not perfect and no organization is perfect but I think that legislation is not the answer.”

*This story was updated to reflect the fact that the tie vote on the amendment resulted in its defeat and Lt. Gov. Mike Stack’s vote didn’t break the tie.

Wagner Blasts Republicans Over Mary’s Law Failure

Pileggi Resigns Last Chairmanship

Sen. Dominic Pileggi (R-9) has resigned as chairman of the Pennsylvania Senate Local Government Committee it was announced yesterday, Jan. 28, on the Senate floor according to The PLS Reporter.

Dominic Pileggi Resigns Last ChairmanshipPileggi announcement to the post was made Jan. 9. His resignation leaves the former Senate Majority Leader without any committee chairmanships.

Replacing him is Scott Hutchinson of the 21st District, who had chaired the Senate Communications and Technology Committee. Replacing Hutchinson as chairman of the Communications and Technology Committee is Ryan Aument of 36th District who had chaired the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, which now will be chaired by newcomer Tom McGarrigle of the 26th District, who is so new Wikipedia has not even figured out what year he was born.

Pileggi remains vice chairman of the State Government Committee.

The Pennsylvania Senate is controlled by the Republicans 30-20.

Pileggi Resigns Last Chairmanship


Stan Saylor Chairs Education Committee

Below is a list of those chairing Pennsylvania House committees courtesy of

We see that Stan Saylor is heading the Education Committee. We can’t say that he is the best choice in a state where the biggest obstacle to good schools is the teachers union.

Did you know that Saylor, who represents the conservative 94th District,  and liberal Democrat Gov.-Elect Tom Wolf had the same big donors this election?

Aging and Older Adult Services:

  • Republican: Rep. Tim Hennessey, 26th Legislative District, Chester and Montgomery counties.
  • Democrat: Rep. Steve Samuelson, 135th Legislative District, Lehigh and Northampton counties.

Agriculture and Rural Affairs:

  • Republican: Rep. Martin Causer, 67th Legislative District, Cameron, Potter and McKean counties.
  • Democrat: Rep. John P. Sabatina, 174th Legislative District, Philadelphia.

Children and Youth:

  • Republican: Rep. Kathy Watson, 144th Legislative District, Bucks County.
  • Democrat: Rep. Louise Bishop, 192nd Legislative District, Philadelphia County.


  • Republican: Rep. Adam Harris, 82nd Legislative District, Franklin, Juniata and Mifflin counties.
  • Democrat: Rep. W. Curtis Thomas, 181st Legislative District, Philadelphia County.

Consumer Affairs:

  • Republican: Rep. Robert Godshall, 53rd Legislative District, Montgomery County.
  • Democrat: Rep. Peter J. Daley, 49th Legislative District, Fayette and Washington counties.


  • Republican: Rep. Stan Saylor, 94th Legislative District, York County.
  • Democrat: Rep. James Roebuck, 188th Legislative District, Philadelphia County.

Environmental Resources and Energy:

  • Republican: Rep. John Maher, 40th Legislative District, Allegheny and Washington counties.
  • Democrat: Rep. Greg Vitali, 166th Legislative District, Delaware and Montgomery counties.


  • Republican: Rep. Bernie O’Neill, 29th Legislative District, Bucks County.
  • Democrat: Rep. Jake Wheatley, 19th Legislative District, Allegheny County.

Game and Fisheries:

  • Republican: Rep. Keith Gillespie, 47th Legislative District, York County.
  • Democrat: Rep. Ted Harhai, 58th Legislative District, Westmoreland County.

Gaming Oversight:

  • Republican: Rep. John Payne, 106th Legislative District, Dauphin County.
  • Democrat: Rep. Nick Kotik, 45th District, Allegheny County.


  • Republican: Rep. Matt Baker, 68th Legislative District, Bradford, Potter and Tioga counties.
  • Democrat: Rep. Florindo (Flo) Fabrizio, 2nd Legislative District, Erie County.

Human Services:

  • Republican: Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, 18th Legislative District, Bucks County.
  • Democrat: Rep. Angel Cruz, 180th Legislative District, Philadelphia County.


  • Republican: Rep. Tina Pickett, 110th Legislative District, Bradford, Sullivan and Susquehanna counties.
  • Democrat: Rep. Tony DeLuca, 32nd Legislative District, Allegheny County.


  • Republican: Rep. Ron Marsico, 105th Legislative District, Dauphin County.
  • Democrat: Rep. Joseph A. Petrarca, 55th Legislative District, Armstrong, Indiana and Westmoreland counties.

Labor and Industry:

  • Republican: Rep. Mauree Gingrich, 101st Legislative District, Lebanon County.
  • Democrat: Rep. Marc J. Gergely, 35th Legislative District, Allegheny County.

Liquor Control:

  • Republican: Rep. Chris Ross, 158th Legislative District, Chester County.
  • Democrat: Rep. Paul Costa, 34th Legislative District, Allegheny County.

Local Government:

  • Republican: Rep. Kate Harper, 61st Legislative District, Montgomery County.
  • Democrat: Rep. Bob Freeman, 136th Legislative District, Northampton County.

Professional Licensure:

  • Republican: Rep. Julie Harhart, 183rd Legislative District, Lehigh and Northampton counties.
  • Democrat: Rep. Harry Readshaw, 36th Legislative District, Allegheny County.

State Government:

  • Republican: Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, 12th Legislative District, Butler County.
  • Democrat: Rep. Mark Cohen, 202nd Legislative District, Philadelphia County.

Tourism and Recreational Development:

  • Republican: Rep. Dave Hickernell, 98th Legislative District, Lancaster and Dauphin counties
  • Democrat: Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, 159th Legislative District, Delaware County.


  • Republican: Rep. John Taylor, 177th Legislative District, Philadelphia County.
  • Democrat: Rep. William F. Keller, 184th Legislative District, Philadelphia.

Urban Affairs:

  • Republican: Rep. Scott Petri, 178th Legislative District, Bucks County.
  • Democrat: Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone, 127th Legislative District, Berks County

Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness:

  • Republican: Rep. Stephen E. Barrar, 160th Legislative District, Chester and Delaware counties.
  • Democrat: Rep. Christopher Sainato, 9th Legislative District, Lawrence County.

Hat tip Donna Ellingsen.

Stan Saylor Chairs Education Committee

Stan Saylor Chairs Pennsylvania House Education Committee
Stan Saylor Chairs House Education Committee

Stan Saylor Chairs Education Committee

Pa Legislative Session Starts Jan. 6

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives will begin the 2015-16 legislative session on Tuesday, Jan. 6, with members taking the oath of office, says State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129).

Cox says floor action will be broadcast throughout the day his website available here.

Pa Legislative Session Starts Jan. 6

Pa Legislative Session Starts Jan. 6

2013-14 Legislative Session Ends

The 2013-14 legislative session has come to a close with 4,068 bills introduced in the House and Senate this session, reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129). Of that number, 337 became law.

Legislation included two enacted, on-time, balanced budgets; business and regulatory reforms to encourage private-sector job creation and economic development; transportation funding reform to ensure the future viability Pennsylvania’s infrastructure; numerous education reforms designed to put students first; and government reforms including a vote to reduce the size of the legislature.

“While there is significant work yet to be done on a variety of important issues during the upcoming session, the Republican Caucus has made great strides toward making Pennsylvania a better place to work, live and raise a family,” Cox said.

A  synopsis of enacted legislation from the session can be found here.

2013-14 Legislative Session Ends

2013-14 Legislative Session Ends

House GOP Leadership List For Pa

State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129) has sent us a complete list of the legislation leaders chosen by the Pennsylvania State House Republican Caucus on Wednesday.

Rep. Mike Turzai (R-28), currently House majority leader, was elected as the caucus’ speaker designee. The vote to determine the actual speaker of the House will be held before the full House when the new session begins in January.

Rep. Dave Reed (R-62) was elected as the majority leader.

Also elected were:

Whip – Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-100)

Appropriations Chairman – Rep. William Adolph (R-165)

Caucus Chairman – Rep. Sandra Major (R-111)

Policy Committee Chairman – Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-171)

Caucus Administrator – Rep. Brian Ellis (R-11)

Caucus Secretary – Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-63).

House GOP Leadership List For Pa

House GOP Leadership List For Pa

Reed Beats Saylor

The 119-member Republican majority in the Pennsylvania House, today, Nov. 12, tapped Majority Leader Mike Turzai, (R-28) as Speaker replacing Sam Smith, who is retiring.

And Rep. Dave Reed, (R-62), of Indiana County beat out  Majority Whip Stan Saylor (R-94) of York County for the Majority Leader post.

Saylor, who came under scrutiny for some rather strange, large donations from supporters of Democrat Gov.-elect Tom Wolf, also lost his whip post as he didn’t file to seek re-election to it. The new GOP whip is Bryan Cutler (R-100) of Lancaster County.

Bill Adolph (R-165) of Springfield, Delaware County, beat back a challenge and will remain chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

Reed Beats Saylor

Reed Beats Saylor

Corman Beats Pileggi

The Pennsylvania Senate Republicans, today, Nov. 12, have voted to replace Delaware County’s Dominic Pileggi (R-9) as Majority Leader with Jake Corman (R-34) of Centre County.

The insurgency was inspired by newcomer Scott Wagner (R-28) of York County who objected to Pileggi’s union connections and the lack of pro-taxpayer, pro consumer legislation passed during his reign.

Pat Browne (R-16) will be the new Appropriations Chairman; John Gordner (R-27)will be  new Majority Whip;  Bob Mensch will be be caucus chairman; and Sen. Rich Alloway will be caucus secretary, reports

Joe Scarnati, (R-25), who was also opposed to Pileggi, will remain Senate Pro Tempore.

Many of these men, especially Scarnati, have ties to anti-taxpayer groups as bad if not worse than Pileggi.

Corman Beats Pileggi

Corman Beats Pileggi

Scott Wagner Allies Are Union Backed

The Lehigh County Republican Party has called a meeting to vote on a censure motion for Pennsylvania state senators Pat Browne, whose 16th District consists of parts of  Lehigh County, Monroe County and Northampton counties, and Bob Mensch, whose 24th District consists of adjacent Bucks, Berks and Montgomery for their union-backed votes.

Browne and Mensch are among those who have allied themselves with Scott Wagner of the 28th District who is seeking to unseat Dominic Pileggi of the 9th District (Delaware and Chester counties) as Majority Leader of the Republican-controlled Senate.

Wagner, a newcomer, is leading a rebellion against Pileggi.

Pileggi receives much money from the unions in the state, and Wagner blames him for not getting commonsense pro-consumer, pro-taxpayer legislation passed despite the Republicans having complete control over the state government since January 2011.

Perhaps, Pileggi isn’t entirely to blame.

The Lehigh organization notes that Browne and Mensch voted against an amendment proposed by Senator Wagner in support of “paycheck protection” legislation that would prohibit automatic deduction of union dues from state workers.

It should also be pointed out that Browne was among those getting a huge dump of union money just before the last election.

Browne is seeking to chair  the Appropriations Committee while  Mensch is attempting to become Caucus Chairman, reports

Jake Corman, who is tapped by the rebels to replace Pileggi, also gets his share of union money. Granted, it’s not as much as Pileggi but will that sill be the case if he should win the Majority Leader seat?

And Joseph B. “Joe” Scarnati, the president pro tempore, of the Senate, who is also part of the rebels, appears to be outright owned by the forces of darkness.

Pileggi, by the way, voted for Paycheck Protection.

The new boss may end up being the same as the old boss or worse. However this battle ends those who care about the poor, elderly and unemployed — this means one is against the unions — keep it about issues and not people.

Update: A comment on the story at PolitcsPa by someone identifying himself as Lehigh County Republican Party Chairmen William Heydt says it is not the party but a faction and that there is “there is no assurance there will be a meeting because until the night of the meeting there is no assurance of a quorum.”

“Neither the party itself or the leadership has suggested a censure,” he said.

“We are supportive of the Senators overall and of their leadership bids as good for our region,” he said.

Scott Wagner Allies Union Backed

Scott Wagner Allies Union Backed