October Monthly Recap
Both the PA House and Senate had two weeks of legislative session this month. While the 2021 legislative session is winding down, the politics heading into next year’s elections are starting to heat up. On October 13, PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced his long-expected candidacy for PA governor. In contrast to the crowded open US Senate seat race that will be on next year’s ballot, Shapiro does not expect another prominent Democrat to enter the gubernatorial race. On the Republican side, rumors that PA Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman will announce his candidacy for governor continue to grow with many expecting his announcement to come sometime in November. The Republicans already have a crowded field for the gubernatorial primary and Corman joining that race could certain thin the field.
Some of the bigger policy discussions this month include:
- Wolf Administration Announces Vaccination Rates by Legislative District - The PA Department of Health released data showing vaccination rates by legislative district. According to the Wolf Administration, the overwhelming majority of the COVID-19 related cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Pennsylvania occurred in people who were not vaccinated. The state’s data doesn’t include Philadelphia. You can view the map here.
- RACP Deadline Extended - The Wolf Administration will extend a window to accept new Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) applications. The window opened on Monday, October 18, 2021 and will close on Monday, November 1, 2021.
- Lobbyist Reform Measures Advance – The PA House State Government Committee favorably reported out several pieces of legislation that would make various changes to the 2006 lobbyist disclosure law including, require lobbyists to register any clients seeking state financial assistance or grants and file quarterly reports disclosing if they hold any equity in an entity they are lobbying for; prohibit a state agency or entity from hiring an outside lobbyist or political consultant to lobby any branch of government; prevent lobbyists from also being registered as political consultants; and require all lobbyists to complete mandatory ethics training developed by the state department.
- Criminal Justice Reform Measures Move in Senate - The PA Senate Judiciary Committee approved changes to the state’s probation system as part of a broader package of bills aimed at reforming the criminal justice system. SB 913, sponsored by Senator Lisa Baker (R), streamlines the probation review process and sets realistic guidelines for when a significant parole violation would lead to a return prison stay. The bill will ensure that minor violations don’t become a probation-to-prison revolving door.
Looking ahead, the PA Legislature is closing in on the end of the first year of a two-year legislative session. This means that all bills from 2021 will carry over “as-is” into 2022. But time is running out for movement to occur on the bill in 2021 as there are only 6 session days planned for the Senate and 9 session days planned for the House between now and the end of the calendar year.
In film specific news, PAFIA President David Haddad will be coming to Harrisburg in on November 8th and 9th to meet with the four Film Caucus Chairs to discuss strategy for the remainder of 2021 and budget goals for 2022. We are looking forward to an engaging conversation with some of the Entertainment Production Tax Credit’s most ardent supporters.
On Monday, October 25, Philadelphia City Council’s Committee on Commerce and Economic Development held a public hearing about the economic benefits of the film industry in the City of Philadelphia. Held at the request of Councilperson Katherine Gilmore Richardson topics discussed included:
Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)461 Cochran Road, Box 246Pittsburgh, PA 15228(717) 833-4561 firstname.lastname@example.org