January 2022 Recap
The task of finalizing new congressional and state legislative district maps was the focus in Harrisburg for the first month of 2022. In the end, Governor Wolf vetoed the congressional redistricting proposal that was sent to his desk, House Bill 2146. The task is now up to the PA court system to finalize the state’s 17 congressional districts. Relating to the new PA House and Senate districts, the Legislative Reapportionment Commission has scheduled a vote for early February in the hopes of finalizing a reapportionment plan. It is expected that the argument over the new state maps will also end up in court.
Even though maps have not been finalized, several members of the House and Senate have announced that they will not seek re-election for their current position in this year’s elections. It seems like additional members are added to this list daily, but right now this is the list:
New maps aside, there was a significant sign of bi-partisanship in Harrisburg this month as Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation (HB 253) to provide $225 million in federal aid to front-line health care workers. The measure was supported by legislators from both sides of the aisle. The purpose of the legislation is to ensure that resources go to health care workers assisting patients throughout the pandemic. Hospitals will determine how to divvy up the dollars among workers, but lawmakers said the state will be monitoring how the funds are used to ensure that funds go to health care workers.
Looking ahead to February, Governor Wolf will present his 8th and final budget proposal to the PA Legislature on Tuesday, February 8. With an $8 billion revenue surplus, the financial outlook for the Commonwealth looks solid. However, most of those excess dollars do come from one-time federal funding that hasn’t yet been allocated for spending by PA elected officials. While it is anticipated that Governor Wolf will request additional funding for education, the full scope of his spending plan will not be announced until his budget address.
Since the Entertainment Production Tax Credit is off budget and not including in spending packages, we don’t expect Governor Wolf to mention the film tax credit or any other tax credit for that matter. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees will begin their budget hearings in mid-February. Those hearings run through mid-March. The PA Department of Community and Economic Development, which has oversight of the film tax credit, is scheduled to be in front of the House Appropriations Committee on February 17th and will be with the Senate Appropriations Committee on March 1.
We will be able to finalize PAFIA’s legislative outreach and budget strategy after budget hearings have ended. We look forward to your future engagement on this very important issue.
Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)461 Cochran Road, Box 246Pittsburgh, PA 15228(717) 833-4561 email@example.com