Thursday, September 15, 2011

Update on Harrisburg – PASEIA Activities 9/15/2011

The legislature will return to Harrisburg after a summer hiatus. The state Senate returns on September 19th and the House on September 26th. Good work was accomplished over the summer as PASEIA continues to seek co-sponsors for Representative Chris Ross’s House bill #1580. I have never seen so many co-sponsors on a bill which bodes well for our efforts. There are 203 Members in the House (112 Republicans/91 Democrats) so a good rule of thumb is you need about 105 to pass a bill with a small margin for error. With 78 co-sponsors, we are well on our way and should be able to get the attention of the legislature during this short legislative session before they adjourn for the year. They are currently scheduled to be in session until December 14, 2011 but there are a few breaks for elections and holidays. There are currently 23 senate calendar days between now and Dec. 14 and 27 House calendar days for us to work to get the bill through both Houses and then signed by the Governor before the end of 2011. This is doable if we keep the pressure on and don’t lose votes.

Now is the time to get back to your House member and make sure they are solidly with us, thank them for co-sponsoring the Ross bill (assuming they have signed on) or conversely, try to get those that haven’t signed on to do so. Sometimes, when many of their colleagues sign on, they are more willing to add their names to the list. The latest co-sponsor list is available for PASEIA members (email Ron Celentano – The Senate seems to want to wait to see what the House does with the bill before introducing a companion version.

Despite our positive momentum over the last several months, there are large initiatives the legislature is likely to address such as Marcellus Shale impact fees, redistricting, and transportation among other priorities. We run the risk of getting lost in a crowded agenda if we don’t keep the pressure on. Please plan to spend some time keeping in touch with your legislature, following developments, making a trip or two to Harrisburg , sending letters to your local press supporting HB #1580 and financially supporting PASEIA’s work.

Go to to donate online to PA Campaign: Saving Solar in PA

Thank you. Maureen Mulligan