Lawmakers introduce proposal to delay human services-related agency consolidation

Lawmakers introduce proposal to delay human services-related agency consolidation

In the same session week that saw a House Republican crafted budget proposal make its way to the Senate, legislation has been put into the works that would delay a major portion of the budget plan: the consolidation of four human services-related state agencies.

 

The same day that the budget bill passed the House, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) and Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) began circulating a cosponsorship memo for legislation to delay the consolidation of the Department of Human Services, Department of Health, Department of Aging, and Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs until studies conducted by the Joint State Government Commission and the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee can be completed and shared with the legislature.

Friday, April 7, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Senators skeptical over proposed human services agency consolidation

Senators skeptical over proposed human services agency consolidation

In a situation unique to recent budget hearing history, four departments up for potential consolidation appeared jointly before the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday to answer questions about the proposed merger and various agency operations.

 

Normally appearing separately—as they did in the House—the agencies discussed the merits of the proposed consolidation and worked to assuage the fears of senators skeptical of the alleged benefits of the merger.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Senate caps off ambitious early session agenda by passing abortion restriction, “paycheck protection” bills

Senate caps off ambitious early session agenda by passing abortion restriction, “paycheck protection” bills

The Pennsylvania Senate has taken up an ambitious agenda early in the 2017-2018 term, addressing in its first three full session weeks bills dealing with natural gas minimum royalties and statute of limitations reform for child sex abuse cases.

 

As the Senate recessed for its annual round of budget hearings Wednesday, it did so after passing two other controversial proposals – one that would restrict abortions in Pennsylvania by disallowing them after the 21st week and one labeled “paycheck protection” in that it would prohibit the automatic deduction of public employee union dues money that would be used for political purposes.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Gov. Wolf to seek consolidation of four state agencies

Gov. Wolf to seek consolidation of four state agencies

Continuing to seek government efficiencies and consolidation instead of broad-based tax increases to balance the coming fiscal year’s budget, Gov. Tom Wolf formally announced Monday the long-rumored consolidation of four state agencies into one Department of Health and Human Services.

 

According to the administration, the four agencies that will be consolidated are the Department of Human Services, Department of Health, Department of Aging, and Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

Monday, January 30, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Senate committees examine potential impacts of looming prison closures

Senate committees examine potential impacts of looming prison closures

Three days before the Wolf administration is set to announce the shuttering of two state correctional institutions, the Senate Republican and Democratic Policy committees and the Senate Judiciary Committee held a joint hearing to discuss and learn of the potential impacts the closures could have on the state and local communities.

 

Citing cost-saving measures in response to the state budget deficit, five facilities are on the list of potential closures, which are slated to occur by June 30, 2017: SCI Mercer in Mercer County, SCI Retreat in Luzerne County, SCI Frackville in Schuylkill County, SCI Waymart in Wayne County and SCI Pittsburgh in Allegheny County. 

Monday, January 23, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: News and Views
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