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Senate Republicans want control over who runs PEMA

Written by Craig Rhodes and Radio Pennsylvania | Nov 15, 2015 9:15 AM
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Photo by David Wilson/ via Flickr Creative Commons

(Harrisburg) -- A bill that would give the state Senate more say in who oversees Pennsylvania's response in times of disaster has passed the House Emergency Preparedness Committee. 

The Governor's office opposes the bill that would require the director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to be confirmed by the Senate, saying the position is not a cabinet secretary. Republican Mike Regan of Cumberland and York counties supported the bill. He said it's important the PEMA director is experienced and thoroughly vetted.

"It should not be a position for a, quote unquote, political hack or someone who the governor owes a favor to for a campaign contribution," Regan said.

The bill passed strictly along party lines. Democrats said the position has been autonomous for years, and the bill just seems like a power-grab from the Senate. Republicans said in the post 9/11 world, it's important to make sure the PEMA director is fully qualified.

 

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