A Message from PAFIA's Lobbyist

Tuesday, June 01, 2021 1:23 PM | Jennifer Iams (Administrator)


Written By: Beth Brennan & Jim Davis, Lobbyists, Cozen O'Connor

In May, Governor Tom Wolf continued to ease Covid-19 related restrictions. Event and gathering maximum capacity limits increased on Monday, May 17 and were eliminated entirely on Monday, May 31. Masking requirements remain, however, when 70% of the Commonwealth’s adult population is fully vaccinated the mask order will be lifted. PA Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam announced that the mask order will be lifted by June 28, 2021 at the latest.

Tuesday, May 18 was primary election day in the Commonwealth.
Pennsylvania voters approved two ballot questions that place restrictions upon the emergency powers of the Governor. Pennsylvania is the first state in the nation to pass such measures. The constitutional amendments end a governor’s emergency disaster declaration after 21 days and give lawmakers the sole authority to extend it or end it at any time with a simple majority vote. Currently, the state constitution requires a two-thirds majority vote by lawmakers to end a governor’s disaster declaration. Under the law, a governor can issue an emergency declaration for up to 90 days and extend it without limit.

There were also four special election to fill legislative vacancies.

  • In Lebanon County’s 48th Senate District, Republican Chris Gebhard won the seat formerly held by the late Sen. Dave Arnold, R-Lebanon, who died in January of a brain aneurysm.
  • Democratic state Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, won the special election for northeastern Pennsylvania’s 22nd Senate District which was formerly held by Senator John Blake who resigned to take a top congressional staff position.
  • In Somerset County’s 59th Legislative District, Republican Leslie Baum Rossi won a special election defeating Democrat Mariah Fisher. They were running in a special election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Rep. Mike Reese, a Republican, earlier this year.
  • In Armstrong County, Republican Abby Major won a special election in state House District 60 replacing state Rep. Jeff Pyle who retired due to health issues.

In film industry news, Reps Joe Ciresi (D-Montgomery) and K.C. Tomlinson (R-Bucks) introduced HB 1432. This legislation is identical to SB 321 which was introduced in March by Senator Camera Bartolotta. Both bills rename the film production tax credit program as the “Film Industry Incentive” and increase the level of state assistance for the program from its current $70 million amount to $125 million.

On May 25, PAFIA hosted a legislative reception in Harrisburg to educate elected officials about the wide reaching economic benefits of film production. Co-hosted by the four film caucus chairs Senator Camera Bartolotta, Senator Jay Costa, Representative Joe Ciresi, and Representative Kathleen "KC" Tomlinson, there were over 65 legislators and legislative staff in attendance. Our thanks to PAFIA board members David Haddad, Ken Myers, Amy Sotereanos, Max Zug, and PAFIA Members Mike McCann and Angelo Sotereanos, who made the trip to Harrisburg to meet with legislators. Your advocacy and dedication have helped to ensure that the film industry incentive is included in budget negotiations. As June 30th draws near, the budget negotiations will only intensify as the Governor and General Assembly finalize a budget for next fiscal year. 

Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)
461 Cochran Road, Box 246
Pittsburgh, PA 15228
(717) 833-4561  info@pafia.org

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