The month of October saw a flurry of legislative activity as the end of the 2021-22 legislative session draws to an end on November 30. Most bills that saw action in Harrisburg this month were issues that both political parties could agree on. It was very challenging to move legislation that had opposition, and bills that were contentious fell off the voting calendar and will need to wait until next session to be addressed.
The House is scheduled to return to session November 14-16, and the Senate is scheduled to return to session on November 15 to close out the current legislative term. While we had anticipated that the brief legislative schedule during “sine die” (the time period after the General Election and before the end of session on November 30) would be focused only on caucus leadership elections, House leadership has indicated that they will be voting on a few bills. While on its own merit, passing bills during sine die that are before the House on a concurrence vote is relatively harmless, it can be a dicey time if the Republican majority tries to pass more partisan legislation. We will be sure to keep you posted.
Looking ahead to the November 8th general election, current Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro remains consistently ahead of his Republican gubernatorial opponent and current state senator Doug Mastriano in the polls. Shapiro has raised significantly more money this year (nearly $52 million) compared to Mastriano (nearly $6 million) as the race to be the next Governor is breaking state fundraising records. All 203 state House members and 25 of the 50 state Senate members are up for reelection next week. Based off of retirements, primary election results, and other circumstances, we already know that nearly 20% of the PA House membership will be newly elected on November 8th. In the PA Senate, we know that roughly 25% of the 25 members up for re-election will not be returning to the chamber next session. This turnover of rank and file legislators, in addition to the fact that caucus leadership teams and dozens of legislative standing committees will have new chairpersons, means Harrisburg will look a lot different in 2023.
To close, we wanted to share the below public service announcement as it relates to Election Day next week. While every election is critical, there are several important seats on the ballot this year, and nearly one million Pennsylvanians have already cast mail-in ballots for U.S. Senate, Governor, Congress, state House and state Senate.
Here’s what you need to know:
Mail-In Ballots: The deadline to request a mail-in or absentee ballot was November 1, 2022. If you requested a ballot prior to that date and have not yet returned it, the Pennsylvania Department of State is now urging you to hand deliver your ballot to your county election office, designated drop box, or drop-off site. Mail-in and absentee ballots must be received no later than 8:00 P.M. on Tuesday, November 8. You can find your county election office, drop box, and drop-off sites here.
Election Day: Polls are open on Tuesday, November 8, from 7:00 A.M. until 8:00 P.M. Find your polling location here.
Click here for more information including what to do if you did not return your mail-in or absentee ballot.
For more information about Pennsylvania’s elections, click here.
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