Not if we have anything to say about it. The state Senate voted 32-18 this week to stop the Commonwealth from entering into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The effort has long been touted by the Wolf administration as a way to combat climate change and it’s at the center of a large political battle between the administration and the General Assembly. The measure has faced staunch republican opposition on concerns that it would stifle economic growth across the state particularly in the Marcellus shale gas drilling regions. The measure now moves to the House which has 30 days to vote on it. If the House also votes against the measure—which is being put forth as a regulatory initiative of the Environmental Quality Board—it would be deemed disapproved by the General Assembly.
In committee. Not necessarily earth-shattering news, but some items we are keeping an eye on. The House State Government Committee held a hearing this week on the commonwealth procurement laws. PennDOT Deputy Secretary Mike Keiser testified on behalf of the department explaining how PennDOT contracting is different from other state forms of contracting. He provided overviews of the design-bid-build process, advertising requirements and how emergency procurements work. The committee didn’t consider any specific pieces of legislation but often when hearings are conducted like this, they are examining potential changes to the law. We will continue to watch this closely.
Time to vote! It’s time to carry out your civic duty by voting in next week’s General Municipal Election. The polls will open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 2 and close at 8 p.m. While many of the candidates on the ballot are for local county, municipal and school board offices, there are some statewide offices that affect everyone in the industry. A race for the State Supreme Court features GOP candidate Kevin Brobson vs. Democrat Maria McLaughlin while GOP Megan Sullivan contests Democrat Timika Lane for the state Superior Court. And, GOP candidates Stacy Wallace and Drew Crompton face Democrats Lori Dumas and David Spurgeon for two seats on the state Commonwealth Court. These races are important! So, please make sure you vote on Tuesday!!!
Upcoming schedule. The General Assembly will be in brief recess due to the elections next week and both the House and Senate will return Monday, November 8.