Senate News Brief


A preview of what’s ahead in the Senate and a review of recent legislative action.

Senate News Brief

May 16, 2016

“In the unfortunate event that a school district must furlough a teacher, we need to make sure that the very best remain. If we want high performing schools where every child has an opportunity to experience earned success, we cannot allow the vestiges of a system that protects low-performing educators to remain.” - Sen. Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster)[...Read more]

Senate Republican News Brief

May 9, 2016

“As we look ahead to crafting a responsible 2016-17 state budget, Tom Killion’s experience and passion for protecting taxpayers will be a valuable addition. I look forward to working with him on issues important to the 9th Senatorial District.” - Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson)[...Read more]

Senate Republican News Brief

November 23, 2015

“New Jersey understands the importance of choosing members to represent their interests on the Commission by requiring Senate confirmation and Pennsylvania should do the same.” - Sen. Mario Scavello (R-Monroe)[...Read more]

Senate Republican News Brief

October 26, 2015

“After considerable consultation with Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, other members of the Senate and the Governor’s office, it is my view that this step is warranted.” - Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson)[...Read more]

Senate Republican News Brief

October 19, 2015

“Hardworking public employees and school teachers should not be forced to have money deducted from their paychecks in order to support a political agenda they do not support.” - Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson)[...Read more]

Senate Republican News Brief

October 13, 2015

“It is imperative for lawmakers to support efforts to protect our environment and develop our natural resources safely and responsibly.” - Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington)[...Read more]

Senate Republican News Brief

June 22, 2015

“This legislation will give all stakeholders time to work together to improve the process and provide fair and effective options for students and parents.”- Senate Education Committee Chair Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster)[...Read more]

Senate Republican News Brief

June 15, 2015

“The Court agreed with General Assembly’s vision when creating this law – that only through the independence of the office can we ensure that proper scrutiny can be given to government through its public records.” -- Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman[...Read more]

Senate Republican News Brief

June 8, 2015

“Timely internet publication of all lobbying documents is an important part of improving transparency in state government and providing taxpayers with increased access to information.” - Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson)[...Read more]

Senate Republican News Brief

May 11, 2015

“SB 1 is a historic plan that reflects the seriousness of the situation we face with pensions. It is the most responsible approach for the people of Pennsylvania and will be the most significant public policy achievement of our time.” - Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre)[...Read more]

Senate Republican News Brief

May 4, 2015

“Taxpayers have a vested interest in the labor negotiations between public employers and their employees and deserve the right to review contract agreements.” - Pat Stefano (R-Fayette)[...Read more]

Senate Republican News Brief

April 20, 2015

“Given the tremendous impact our pets have in terms of our quality of life, we owe it to all of these animals to ensure they can enjoy a safe, loving environment before and after they are adopted by loving families.” - Sen. Richard Alloway (R-Franklin)[...Read more]

Senate Republican News Brief

March 2, 2015

“While a significant reduction in the corporate net income tax sounds appealing, we cannot really assess Gov. Wolf’s proposal in the vacuum in which it is being presented. We need to see exactly how the $1.25 billion impact on the budget will be offset.” - Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre)[...Read more]

Senate News Brief

February 23, 2015

“These resources fueled the industrial revolution and transformed our nation’s economy. This industry is an important part of the regional economy. It should be supported by the state, not stymied by excessive and unnecessary regulatory burdens.” - Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango)[...Read more]

Senate News Brief

February 17, 2015

“As it stands, if a victim of rape decides to keep a child that was conceived as a result of the rape, she could be forced under state law to interact with the perpetrator on a regular basis if he demands his visitation rights.” - Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny)[...Read more]

Senate News Brief

February 2, 2015

“These bills will give landowners more weapons to use in their arguments with the gas drilling companies that pay their royalties. We’ve tried to provide them with the tools that they can use to determine the accuracy of their royalty reports.” - Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Chairman Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming)[...Read more]

Senate News Brief

January 26, 2015

“We must work together to change the structural deficit problems in the state. We have a bucket that is leaking. It would be a misstep to persist at putting water in the bucket without first plugging the leak.” - Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre)[...Read more]

Senate News Brief

October 14, 2014

"Mike Waugh was a good man and a good friend. As a member of the General Assembly – first in the House, then in the Senate – he quickly became a statewide leader on agricultural issues. Mike earned universal respect from his colleagues with the quiet, determined way he approached issues.” - Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware)[...Read more]

Senate News Brief

October 6, 2014

"Every area of Pennsylvania has seen the tragic impact of the heroin crisis. It’s happening in Chester and Delaware counties – my district – and it’s happening in every Senate district. Over the past five years, nearly 3,000 heroin-related overdose deaths have been identified in Pennsylvania. We have a responsibility to take action, and Senate Bill 1164 will save lives.” - Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware)[...Read more]

Senate News Brief

September 22, 2014

“This bill is about permitting the 500 school districts of this Commonwealth to have greater choices when it comes to protecting our most precious resource – our children." - Sen. Don White (R-Indiana)[...Read more]

Senate News Brief

September 15, 2014

“There is significant interest in the General Assembly, the Corbett Administration, school board members and the general public to establish a formula to provide a predictable source for the distribution of those dollars.” - Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh)[...Read more]

Senate News Brief

June 23, 2014

"Lyme disease is reaching epidemic proportions in the commonwealth. I look forward to seeing SB 177 signed into law so we can more closely monitor Lyme carrying ticks and help people avoid this debilitating disease." - Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery)[...Read more]

Senate News Brief

June 16, 2014

“While the changes streamlined our local tax system, they also had the unfortunate consequence of removing this important tax benefit for our military. It has been long-standing policy that the wages they earn for active-duty service should not be subject to local tax.” - Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne)[...Read more]

Senate News Brief

June 9, 2014

“Athletics are a wonderful way for students to learn important teamwork skills and to have fun. Parents have a right to feel secure in knowing that their children are safe when participating in sports and that child predators are not able to use athletics as a way to harm children.” - Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson)[...Read more]

Senate News Brief

June 2, 2014

“If there is a need to re-open the existing gaming laws to address new trends and changes surrounding the gaming industry, then we should address that now, in order to maintain the industry’s health and vitality in the future.” - Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee Chair Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

May 5, 2014

"We have to make hard decisions. At the end of the day our revenues have to match our expenditures. Our expenditures are growing at a rapid rate.” - Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman (R-Centre)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

April 28, 2014

“When the Commonwealth invests in these businesses, it is an investment that strengthens the economic fiber of our communities and, directly or indirectly, sustains the quality of life for us all.” - Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

April 7, 2014

“As a small business owner, I want to help create jobs and opportunities and bring fiscal responsibility to state government.” Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York), who was sworn into office on Wednesday.[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

March 31, 2014

"As revelations and allegations about the conduct of public officials in Pennsylvania continue to weaken public confidence in the General Assembly, it is imperative that we make significant, immediate changes. A ban on cash gifts to legislators will be a strong step forward.” -- Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) announcing with Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) plans to introduce legislation to impose an absolute ban on legislators accepting cash gifts from lobbyists, principals, consultants and others who seek to influence the legislative process.[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

March 31, 2014

"As revelations and allegations about the conduct of public officials in Pennsylvania continue to weaken public confidence in the General Assembly, it is imperative that we make significant, immediate changes. A ban on cash gifts to legislators will be a strong step forward.” - Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

March 17, 2014

"Over the course of this difficult winter, I have heard from schools across my district that additional flexibility will allow them to more effectively deal with scheduling issues caused by the inclement weather. While we cannot control the weather that occurred, we can provide school officials with the flexibility to meet the state’s instructional requirement.” - Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

March 10, 2014

“Hal was intelligent, knowledgeable and compassionate, and he had a great sense of humor. When you worked with him, you always came away from the process with even more respect for the man and his abilities. He was a consummate professional in every way.” - Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

February 4, 2014

"The Senate Majority Caucus Chair plays an integral role in the day-to-day operation of Senate, especially on session days. Senator Gordner’s diligent work ethic and strong organizational skills will be a tremendous asset to the Republican Caucus as he takes on this position.” - Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

January 27, 2014

“Hurricane Katrina demonstrated the red tape that doctors, counselors, and funeral directors had to endure in order to help those in need. We have learned from that tragic experience, which claimed the lives of 1,836 people, and are acting to ensure that Pennsylvanians have immediate access to health care during the most critical times.” - Senator Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

January 13, 2014

“In 2014 it is my pledge to continue to work with my Senate colleagues to make decisions that will strengthen our communities, provide for family-sustaining jobs and ensure Pennsylvania will remain a strong commonwealth for future generations.” - Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

December 9, 2013

"Moody’s said the new law is good for our state’s credit rating because it provides a new and recurring revenue stream to address the states large backlog of transportation improvement and maintenance projects." - Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John Rafferty (R-Montgomery)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

November 18, 2013

This is a total overhaul. Transparency builds confidence in government, and we rebuilt the website from the ground up so that it’s easier than ever for the public to follow and comment on the work of the General Assembly." - Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

November 12, 2013

"We should provide every opportunity for service members and veterans to use their skills and training in the civilian world. This will benefit our men and women who serve our nation and Commonwealth as well as the companies that ultimately employ them.” - Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

October 21, 2013

"This bill strengthens Pennsylvania’s child abuse laws by holding perpetrators accountable for their actions and by increasing the criminal penalties for any person who injures a child.” - Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

October 15, 2013

“Pennsylvania’s child protection laws are long overdue for review and update. The recommendations made by the Task Force on Child Protection helped us understand what needs to be done in order to prevent and deter child abuse and neglect. The passage of this bipartisan child protection package is an important step in this critical process.” - Senate Aging and Youth Committee Chair Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

September 30, 2013

“House Bill 108 does exactly what the governor is advocating,” Senator White said. “Not only does it extend the CHIP program, this bill removes the six-month prohibition, providing immediate access to the quality care that the children of our commonwealth deserve.” - Senator Don White (R-Indiana)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

September 23, 2013

“A recent report by a national transportation group found that the poor state of Pennsylvania's roads and bridges costs state residents $9.4 billion annually in vehicle operating costs, congestion delays and traffic accidents. When you look at those statistics, it is very clear that state residents are paying the price for our deteriorating infrastructure. There is a cost if we don’t take action.” - Senator Rafferty (R-Montgomery)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

June 24, 2013

The fact remains that our Commonwealth has an unfunded pension liability totaling $47 billion which needs to be honored with a plan to pay for it. With this debt expected to grow to $65 billion within a decade, combined with rising property taxes, I remain baffled that anyone would choose to ignore this problem.” - Senator Brubaker (R-Lancaster)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

June 17, 2013

“The Center for Rural Pennsylvania held a hearing in which it became apparent that a significant part of Pennsylvania was not served by natural gas, although we’re sitting on one of the largest deposits of natural gas in the world. These bills will provide the opportunity for residents to obtain gas service should they choose that source of energy.” - Senator Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

June 10, 2013

"I am very pleased by the collaborative effort of members from rural, suburban and urban communities in crafting this legislation. It received such strong bipartisan support because it will benefit residents in every area of our state.” - Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

June 3, 2013

We’ve been traveling the state to assess transportation needs to make sure that when we put together a transportation package it would be one that would be thorough and viable for the entire commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” - Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

May 13, 2013

“The reapportionment process began in 2011, and over the past two years has been extremely open and transparent with numerous public hearings. The process was extended, in part, due to the fact that significant effort was made to solicit and respond to legitimate concerns.” - Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

May 6, 2013

"About a year ago it came to my attention that retired state employees who are hired back as annuitants are able to collect unemployment on top of their pension and additional salary for the temporary work. The past three years 638 state annuitants collected $2.77 million in unemployment benefits. It only makes sense to close this loophole." - Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

April 29, 2013

Our roads and bridges continue to crumble, our mass transit systems lack the funds needed to meet continued demand, and our railways, airports and ports struggle to be economic generators for the 21st Century. We simply cannot continue to ignore these pressing needs, which are directly related to public safety and economic development." - Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

April 15, 2013

“The reforms and the changes proposed in this bill are important and they are long overdue. Pennsylvania’s special education funding formula system is ineffective in ensuring that state money is adequately and equitability distributed.” - Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

April 8, 2013

"There is widespread interest in seeing locally produced natural gas used locally to benefit our area businesses and homeowners." - Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

March 18, 2013

"The number one issue in Pennsylvania right now is jobs, and most jobs are created by small and medium-sized businesses. The fastest way to break up a successful small business is to impose a tax when the owner dies and tries to transfer that business to his family." - Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

February 19, 2013

"After 9/11, we figured out that we could neither physically or financially guard every possible target or point of vulnerability against every contingency. As a nation, we determined how to stretch security to protect against the most likely threats. In the case of schools, the system is fragmented among many state agencies, so our focus must be directed toward coordination and communication to eliminate redundancies and ensure dollars are not being wasted." - Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Chair Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

February 11, 2013

"Today marks the beginning of the Commonwealth's annual appropriations process. The governor's budget address lays out his framework for how the Commonwealth will meet the constitutional requirement of a balanced budget. Beginning Tuesday, February 19th and continuing through March 6th, the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold public hearings to thoroughly review each facet of the governor's proposal." - Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman (R-Centre)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

February 4, 2013

"The committee will be free to examine all issues surrounding cases of violence from firearm issues to bullying and mental health. I believe this committee will provide meaningful direction and help the legislature address many of the complex issues surrounding mass shootings." - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

January 28, 2013

"There are non-monetary steps that the state can take to help school districts with costs, including reviewing state special ed class size requirements and assisting with alternative dispute resolution options that lower legal costs. The shrinking of mental health services due to human service funding cuts is also hurting our school districts, and something that needs to be considered as we enter the process of passing a state budget." - Sen. Ted Erickson (R-Delaware)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

January 22, 2013

"Pennsylvania's economy has been stagnant and the revenues coming in have not been as strong as they should be. We have a lot of tough fiscal decisions to make. We've had a couple of tough budgets in a row and unfortunately we are going to have to face it again. We have to live within our means and accept the fiscal reality facing state government." - Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

October 15, 2012

"This trust is not intended to support programs that are funded by existing revenues – such as our veterans' homes. Instead, it will allow us to do more to help the extensive outreach efforts that the veterans' groups and the department have underway." - Senator Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

October 1, 2012

"This legislation does not require the state or SSHE to lease or sell any property rights. It simply provides a new opportunity to generate revenue, while helping students, supporting Pennsylvania's environmental protection efforts and boosting our state economy through the creation of new jobs." - Sen. Don White (R-Indiana)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

September 24, 2012

"I remain committed to the same basic principles that I used as my guide as a state representative. I believe in transparency and the public's right to know what is going on in state government and exactly how their tax money is being spent." - Senator Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

June 25, 2012

"We are setting a course for putting Pennsylvania's fiscally distressed school districts back on a track to recovery, but more importantly, we are establishing a long-term solution, not just a short-term bailout." Senate Education Committee Chairman Jeffrey Piccola (R-Dauphin)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

June 18, 2012

"We are reaching a critical time when the force is seeing many retirements, and we need to make certain that we have troopers trained and ready to take their place in protecting our communities – many of which rely solely on the State Police for law enforcement." Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

June 11, 2012

"Throughout the redistricting process, my primary concern has been that residents in every area of the Commonwealth are fairly represented and that district lines are based on accurate population fluctuations. I commend Judge McEwen, Senator Pileggi and House commission members for supporting a Senate map that is balanced and well within the parameters set forth in the Constitution." Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

June 4, 2012

"Charlie will be remembered for numerous accomplishments, including helping community organizations, reforming elder laws to protect the dignity of senior citizens, and championing living will legislation. He was a dedicated public servant, a true friend and a delight to have served with." - Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

May 21, 2012

"This budget is sustainable and balanced. It reflects a less than 2 percent increase over last year, and is still smaller than the budget passed in 2008." - Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Jake Corman (R-Centre)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

May 7, 2012

"Senate Bill 1296 ensures employment contracts for school superintendents receive greater public scrutiny by requiring the details of the contract to be made public. Under the new process included in the bill, both superintendents and school boards will also know upfront what the expectations are for the job and the consequences of terminating a contract prematurely." - Senate Education Committee Chairman Jeff Piccola (R-Dauphin)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

April 2, 2012

"This issue is of such vital importance to our free society that the legislature must ensure Pennsylvania citizens have the opportunity to make their voices heard." - Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

March 26, 2012

"Our service men and women are often forced to leave their jobs in order to serve our country. It is only fitting that we provide them with the assistance to grow their businesses when they return home." - Sen. Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

March 12, 2012

"This is a simple, common-sense measure to protect the integrity of the voting process, the very foundation of democracy." - Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

February 6, 2012

"By moving to this more efficient infrastructure funding plan, customers will avoid costly rate cases and receive better, more reliable service. Our utilities will save money and avoid expensive delays, expediting critical projects and saving consumers money." - Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee Chairman Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

January 23, 2012

"There are many different views and disagreements over policy about the gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale. But there is at least one thing on which there is a broad consensus – the necessity of being prepared to react and respond when something goes wrong." - Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Management Committee Chair Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne)[...Read more]

Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

January 17, 2012

"We have all recognized the need to make government more accountable and efficient. The public expects it and our economic conditions require it." - Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson)[...Read more]