A Message from PAFIA's Lobbyist

Monday, March 02, 2020 9:23 AM | Jennifer Iams (Administrator)

2020 has been rather interesting so far politically.

The top two Republicans in the state – Senate President Joe Scarnati and Speaker of the House Mike Turzai – both have announced they will NOT be seeking re-election. Those announcements have left many to wonder “why?” Why now? Is there a coincidence that both are leaving at the same time? Is it an indication that the writing is on the wall and a big Blue wave is on the horizon? Maybe. But I doubt it. Senator Scarnati has been very interested in returning to private business and enjoying life after Harrisburg. Speaker Turzai is rumored to have a new opportunity in the private sector that will require less travel away from his family, and that is very appealing to him as well. The departure of both Leaders will create tremendous opportunities for others within the ranks to move up.

So, that leads to the obvious questions: who will assume those roles and what impacts will there be on those caucuses. Assuming that the House and Senate both stay in Republican control, the second highest ranking members – Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler – are both the most likely options to ascend to the tops spots. The other possibilities would be: Senate Majority Appropriations Chair Pat Browne and Majority Whip John Gordner, and on the House side it may be House Majority Whip Kerry Benninghoff and Majority Appropriations Chair Stan Saylor. And as any of those members vacate their current leadership roles, others will jockey into those empty positions. The remainder of the year will be full of rumors, retirements, and losses I am sure.

What does all of that mean for the political characteristics of each chamber? I don’t see the Senate changing much with any of the members I previously identified. The House will likely become a bit less conservative with Mike Turzai leaving. That could mean more spending as a possibility. I stress COULD.

PAFIA, with the help and Support of Senators Camera Bartolotta & Costa, as well as Representatives Millard & Donatucci are forming the Film Caucus. PAFIA leadership will work diligently to get members to join the caucus and show their support of the film industry.

Briefly, on the budget side, the House and Senate are currently in the process of budget hearings and will return to session March 16th and commence the process to a June 30th budget deadline. With a primary election date of Tuesday, April 28th, I expect a pretty quiet spring legislatively.

Yours in film,

Jim

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

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