House GOP's new leaders lay out agenda

Written by Katie Carpenter, Interactive Producer for Transforming Health | Nov 10, 2010 6:28 PM

“That’s really what it’s going to be about. It’s going to be a responsible and accountable calendar that the membership can sink their teeth into.” Both Smith and Turzai say they’ll push for fiscal responsibility and an improved business climate, but neither would identify a bill Republicans will make priority one when the new session begins in January. They say they’ll discuss their agenda with Senate leaders and Governor-elect Tom Corbett. One thing House Republicans are committed to, though, is Corbett’s zero-based budgeting proposal. Turzai said agency heads will need to explain the need for every line item during next year’s Appropriations hearings. “It’s not, oh, you come in and tell us what you got last year, and tell us how much you got on top of it,” he said.  “We’re starting from zero with every department and every commission, and everyone’s going to have to come in here and justify their expenditures.”  Next year’s Appropriations Committee Chair, Bill Adolph, conceded that will likely extend the budget process.  I would like to get the budget hearings started as soon as possible. Maybe as early as January,” he said. Governors typically deliver their budget address the first week of February, but Corbett will make his speech in March, since he doesn’t take office until mid-January. The state will likely face a multi-billion dollar deficit next year. In addition to Smith, Turzai and Adolph, Republicans elected Stan Saylor as Majority Whip, Sandra Major as Caucus Chairman, Dave Reed as Policy Committee Chairman, Dick Stevenson as Caucus Administrator, and Mike Vereb as Caucus Secretary.

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