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What’s going on at the Pennsylvania Capitol with election over?

  • Scott LaMar
The Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg May 25, 2022

 Tom Gralish / Philadelphia Inquirer

The Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg May 25, 2022

Airdate: November 23, 2022

The midterm election is history and now those who have been elected look ahead to governing – which doesn’t get near as much attention.

Speaking of which, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and while there may be many more important things to be grateful for – some Pennsylvanians may be thankful that TV commercials for political candidates are gone — for the time being.

It’s been quiet after the election but WITF Capitol Bureau Chief Sam Dunklau is still busy every day and joins us on The Spark Wednesday.

Dunklau talked about what Gov.-Elect Josh Shapiro has made his priorities once he takes office in January,”Increasing education funding in the spirit of Governor Tom Wolf, who did that over the last couple of sessions, increasing education for vocational technical programs as a way of boosting the trades and changing how law enforcement is trained in the state.”

It’s anticipated that Democrats will have a majority in the state House of Representatives after special elections to fill three vacate seats. Currently, there are 101 Democrats and 101 Republican House members. The three unfilled districts lean Democratic.

Republicans in the House and Senate have taken to introducing Constitutional Amendments as a way to get around Democratic Governor Tom’s veto pen. Dunklau was asked if that will continue with another Democratic governor and Democrats in control of the House,”In order for constitutional amendments to make it to the ballot (for voters to decide), they have to be passed in their exact form as written twice in two consecutive legislative session. So that group of constitutional amendments — got to believe that that bill encompasses five or six, the two marquee of which are changes to voter ID rules and a prohibition on a constitutional right to an abortion. And there’s been some discussion about the semantics of that in any case that has already been approved in this past session. In order for it to make it to the ballot as early as this coming May, it would have to be approved in this coming spring session. You know, maybe depending on how things shake out, Republicans in the House get that bill queued up and send it over to the Senate where it’s likely to pass. It wouldn’t touch Governor Josh Shapiro’s desk because he doesn’t have to be involved in the constitutional amendment process. But, depending on how rules shake out and when that bill could be brought up, Democrats might be able to successfully hold off any debate or discussion on that bill in the House long enough for it to be dropped off again. That bill could come up at any point in time. So if it doesn’t come up in ’23, it could come up in ’24 and eventually make it to the ballot afterwards.”


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