November 15, 2016

House Republican, Democrat Leadership Elections Yield No Surprises

Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) was again nominated for Speaker of the House and Rep. David Reed (R-Indiana) will again be House Majority Leader when the General Assembly reconvenes in January for the 2017-18 legislative session.
“To be chosen by my colleagues to continue to serve as speaker of this esteemed institution is an exceptionally high honor,” Rep. Turzai said. “I am proud of our members and the outstanding accomplishments we have achieved together over the past two years. I look forward to working with all members to move Pennsylvania forward in the next session. Focusing on fiscal discipline and private sector job growth will be paramount.”
“We stood for taxpayers and governed responsibly for the last two years, and with a 122-member majority, the House Republicans are ready to confront the many challenges still facing our Commonwealth,” Rep. Reed said. “The people can expect us to again offer bold and rational solutions to address the issues and problems Pennsylvanians are facing. Better job and career opportunities, property tax relief, better budgeting and making sure all our schools actually educate will top our priority list in the next session.”
Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York) was elected as Majority Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, replacing retiring Rep. Bill Adolph (R-Delaware).
“Our Appropriations Committee will focus its efforts on effectiveness of state programs, whether they match their intent and whether they have run their course. Pennsylvanians can be assured, we will not be a status quo committee and are committed to enacting a responsible budget which respects our taxpayers,” said Rep. Saylor.
Other Republican leadership positions were filled, including--
-- Whip: Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) for the second time.
-- Caucus Chair: Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery), replacing retiring Rep. Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna
-- Policy Committee Chair: Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Mifflin) for the second time
-- Caucus Administrator: Rep. Kurt Masser (R-Columbia), replacing Rep. Brian Ellis (R-Butler)
-- Caucus Secretary: Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Armstrong) for the second time.
House Republicans gained 3 seats to increase their majority to 122 seats versus 81 for the Democrats.
Click Here for a press conference by the House Republican Leadership.
House Democrats
Democrats in the House came back with the same leadership time for the new session.
Rep. Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny) will be returning as House Minority Leader in the new session, along with Rep. Mike Hanna (D-Centre) as Whip.
"As the minority party we face a continuing challenge, but we embrace it and look forward to working with Gov. Tom Wolf to keep getting things done," Rep. Dermody said. "House Democrats will continue to fight hard at the Capitol and in our communities for a Pennsylvania that works better for all people, not just the special interests.
"We want a Pennsylvania that offers good jobs that support careers and family. We want a state with quality public schools, clean air and water, and a place that offers a fair opportunity for everyone who wants to work hard and make to their life better.
"We look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans to fight for policies that support these values and against the worst and most extreme ideas of those who would take Pennsylvania, its economy and its residents backwards."
Rep. Joe Markosek (D-Allegheny) will again be Minority Chair of the House Appropriations Committee.
Other members elected to leadership positions include--
-- Caucus Chair: Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny), returning
-- Caucus Secretary: Rep. Rosita Youngblood (D-Philadelphia), returning
-- Caucus Administrator: Rep. Neal Goodman (D-Schuylkill), returning
-- Policy Committee Chair: Rep. Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster) returning.
AP: House Republicans Pick Saylor To Chair Appropriations