What’s going on in the Pennsylvania Capitol after the election?

  • Scott LaMar

Tom Gralish / Philadelphia Inquirer

The Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, May 25, 2022

Air Date: November 23, 2022

The midterm election is history, and those elected are now looking to the government – which doesn’t get nearly as much attention.

Speaking of which, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and while there are many more important things to be thankful for, some Pennsylvanians may be thankful that television ads for political candidates are gone for now.

It was quiet after the election, but Sam Dunklau, chief of the WITF Capitol Office, is still busy joining us every day The spark Wednesday.

Dunklau spoke about what Governor-elect Josh Shapiro has made his priorities after taking office in January: “Increasing education funding in the spirit of Governor Tom Wolf, who has done this in recent sessions, increasing education for vocational technical programs as one.” Opportunity to boost the industry and change law enforcement training in the state.”

Democrats are expected to take a majority in the state House of Representatives after a special election to fill three vacant seats. There are currently 101 Democrats and 101 Republicans in the House of Representatives. The three vacant districts are democratic.

Republicans in the House and Senate have made it their mission to introduce constitutional amendments to bypass Democratic Gov. Tom’s veto pen. Dunklau was asked if this would continue with another Democratic governor and Democrats in control of the House of Representatives for two consecutive terms. This group of constitutional amendments – concluded that there are five or six in this bill, the two marquees of which are amendments to voter ID rules and a ban on a constitutional right to abortion. And there was definitely some discussion about the semantics of what was already approved in this past session. In order for it to be voted on next May, it would have to be passed in the coming spring session. You know, maybe, depending on how things play out, the Republicans in the House of Representatives will get this bill queued up and send it to the Senate, where it’ll probably pass. It wouldn’t touch Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk because he doesn’t need to be involved in the constitutional amendment process. But depending on how the rules evolve and when that bill might be brought up, Democrats could potentially successfully hold off any debate or discussion of that bill in the House long enough for it to be dropped again. This bill could show up at any time. So if it doesn’t show up in ’23, it might show up in ’24 and eventually make it to the post vote.