Category Archives: Government

Today on the Hill

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8:45am – Local Government Commission business meeting


9:00am – Joint House & Senate Education Committee hearing on Every Student Succeeds Act


9:00am – Senate Game & Fisheries Committee hearing testimony on the expansion of Sunday hunting in PA


10:00am – House Local Government Committee to consider HB1893, HB1991, HB1992

Today on the Hill

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9:00am – Joint House Gaming Oversight and Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development hearing re: the Department of Revenue’s recent notification of the 12 operating PA casinos of its intention to increase the assessment for section 1401 accounts from 1.5% to 2%


9:00am – House Health to consider HB1104, HB1785


9:00am – Joint House and Senate Veterans Affairs committee hearing on the services the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs can provide to state agencies during emergencies and a presentation by the Civil Air Patrol on their three-fold mission


Off the floor – House Judiciary to consider HB30, HB585, HB1428, HB1781, HB1799


2:00pm – PERC Commission meeting

Today on the Hill

// // in Government

10:00am – House Children & Youth public hearing on training and academic career paths for child welfare caseworkers.

12:00pm – Joint Legislative Conservation Committee forum on Chronic Wasting Disease in the PA deer population

12:15pm – House Transportation to consider HB1079, SB1152, SB1153, HB2025

Today on the Hill

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8:30am – House Human Services informational meeting on the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act


8:45am – Local Government Commission monthly business meeting


9:00am – House Gaming Oversight to consider: HB1887, HB1925 followed by a public hearing on HB108, HB1334


9:30am – House Aging & Older Adult Services informational meeting to discuss the Supreme Court Elder Abuse Task Force Report


9:30am – House Local Government to consider: HB1893, HB1956


Off the Floor – House Appropriations


Off the Floor – House Labor & Industry to consider: HB1543, HB1952


Off the Floor – House Transportation to consider: HB1779, HB1861, HB835, HB1856


Off the Floor – House Urban Affairs to consider: HB1051, HB975, HB616


1:00pm – Senate Democratic Policy Committee roundtable discussion on municipal financial challenges and recovery, as well as the City of Harrisburg’s unique recovery plan

Today on the Hill

// // in Government

9:00am – House Gaming Oversight hearing on HB1393, HB1397


9:00am – House State Government hearing on SB411


9:00am – House Professional Licensure hearing on HB1438


9:00am – Senate & Labor Industry hearing to examine apprenticeship programs and to consider SB703


9:30am – House Finance meeting on HB931


9:30am – House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Prepared. to consider HB1877, HR264


10:00am – House Judiciary to consider HB220, HB443, HB1353

Federal Decision On Atlantic Drilling Approaches

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In January, 2015, the Obama Administration released a draft of its five-year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022.  During the subsequent 60-day comment period, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) received “hundreds of thousands” of responses.  After dedicating a year to analyzing those responses, the BOEM is expected to publish and make available for comment the updated 2017-2022 Proposed Program (PP) in the coming weeks.


In a 2014 report, BOEM credited a 20% increase in undiscovered natural gas to “improved data analysis techniques.”  Those techniques enabled BOEM to estimate that the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf contains 37.51 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.


The DPP denotes eight OCS planning areas and fourteen potential lease sales, the most contentious sale being the Mid and South-Atlantic Ocean, a region currently under federal protection from drilling.  If the PP does retain the potential Atlantic lease sale included in its 2015 draft, the newly opened waters could initiate another surge in the US oil and natural gas industry.


While estimates certainly indicate potential benefits for natural gas companies and the US economy as a whole, elected officials in states with an Atlantic coastline have mixed opinions.  Several senators from Northeastern states – including Maryland and New Jersey – expressed skepticism over the environmental risks of increasing offshore drilling.  While senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia called for “appropriate environmental reviews,” they also promised “to push for legislation to allow Virginia to have the same revenue-sharing system currently applied to Gulf Coast states.”


The PP represents a political conundrum for President Obama, as he has simultaneously touted the success of US natural gas production and advocated for environmentally conscious economic policies.  Regardless of which route he prioritizes, the highly anticipated PP will play a large role in determining the US’s future energy agenda.

House Resolution Recognizes Nurse Anesthetists

// // in Client News, Government

HARRISBURG (Jan. 26, 2016) — For the second consecutive week, the General Assembly formally honored the role and value of certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) in Pennsylvania. The House unanimously adopted a resolution (H.R. 650) today to recognize the work of advanced practice nurses who deliver safe, high-quality anesthesia care in a variety of health-care settings.


The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Stephen Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware), a long-time advocate for the state’s CRNAs. He sponsored a similar resolution last year. His resolution follows unanimous approval last week of a resolution sponsored by state Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland/York).


“We’re so grateful for this recognition, and the continued support of champions like Rep. Barrar,” said Ann Culp, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists (PANA), which represents more than 3,000 CRNAs and students in Pennsylvania.


Both resolutions coincide with the 17th annual “National CRNA Week,” which runs Jan. 24-30. PANA launched its own campaign, “CRNAs: Making a Difference One Patient at a Time,” which runs through February. Residents can learn more about CRNAs at, or on Twitter at @PANACRNA and Facebook at


In Pennsylvania, nurse anesthetists must obtain a bachelor’s degree, graduate with a minimum of a master’s degree from a nurse anesthesia accredited program, complete additional hours of clinical work (the average student nurse anesthetist completes almost 2,500 clinical hours) and pass a national exam in order to be able to practice. CRNAs must be a Registered Nurse (RN), and they must be recertified every two years. Nurse anesthetists’ recertification includes meeting advanced practice requirements and obtaining a minimum of 40 continuing education credits.


Because of this training and experience — CRNAs have a history spanning back to the Civil War — numerous medical studies show there is no statistical difference in patient outcomes when a nurse anesthetist provides treatment with or without anesthesiologist present. And, as health-care demands continue to grow, increasing the number of CRNAs will be a key to containing costs while maintaining quality care.


Learn more about CRNAs in Pennsylvania. Visit