News & Brews March 30, 2023

Get News & Brews in your inbox each day: Subscribe here!

Fetterman reportedly to return to Senate in April 

POLITICO reports that according to two sources, Sen. John Fetterman is expected to return to the Senate the week of April 17. “It remains uncertain exactly when Fetterman will leave the hospital,” the story notes “but a person close to Fetterman confirmed he will be back to his Senate business after the coming two-week April recess.”

Education budget hearings cover array of topics

The questions asked at yesterday’s Senate Appropriations hearing with the Department of Education covered topics including universal free school meals, charter schools, school safety, school district reserve funds, and more. Overarching the hearings was the recent Commonwealth Court ruling that Pennsylvania’s system of funding public education violates the state constitution.

Today’s budget hearings schedule

This morning at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a budget hearing with State Related Universities. Then, at 1:00 p.m., the committee will continue with hearing from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Those hearings will be live-streamed here. On the House side, the Appropriations Committee will hear from the Department of Corrections and Board of Probation & Parole at 10:00 a.m. and from the Department of Transportation at 1:00 p.m. Those hearings will be live-streamed here.

House Judiciary Committee takes up statute of limitations for child sexual abuse

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on legislation to open a two-year statute of limitations window for victims of child sexual abuse. The bi-partisan effort has been underway for years. First, the Wolf administration derailed the effort by failing to advertise the proposed constitutional amendment. Now, although the Senate passed the measure in January, the House refused to take up the Senate measure as it would also allow voters to weigh in on voter ID and regulatory reform. The House plans to advance a stand-alone measure, but the Senate, having already “fulfilled and completed our commitment to address the issue,” (per Sen. Majority Leader Joe Pittman), seems unlikely to take it up again.

Op-Ed: Enact permitting reform to move Pa. forward

Luke Bernstein, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, and Rob Bair, president of the Pennsylvania State Building & Construction Trades Council, have an op-ed in the Reading Eagle on the agreement between business and labor that permitting reform “would benefit businesses, employees and communities.” They outline specific steps for how “[l]awmakers can improve permitting processes without compromising their purposes or important environmental protections.”

Sign up to get News & Brews in your inbox