April 30, 2013

Corbett Nominates Mackereth As Secretary of Public Welfare

Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday nominated Beverly D. Mackereth as Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare.
She will oversee the Department of Public Welfare, which employs approximately 16,000 workers and has a budget of more than $28 billion in state and federal dollars. The department provides services and supports to approximately 2.3 million vulnerable citizens in Pennsylvania.
"Bev's energy and compassion, combined with her experience in human services and expertise in government, make her the perfect choice for this position. Bev has been successfully managing the department in an acting capacity and I am confident she will continue to serve the commonwealth exceptionally well,'' Corbett said.
Mackereth, 55, of Spring Grove, joined the department in 2011 when the governor appointed her deputy secretary of the Office of Children, Youth and Families. She has been serving as acting secretary since February 2013.
"I am honored and humbled by Gov. Corbett's confidence in my abilities to lead this department," Mackereth said. "I have always had a passion for serving the people of Pennsylvania and helping those who need it most, and this position will allow me to do that each and every day."
After graduating from college, Mackereth has spent her professional career in public service, and has significant experience in health and human services.
She began her career working at the York County Blind Center and the York County Children and Youth Services, overseeing investigations of alleged child abuse and neglect. The experience led her to work with crime victims through the York County District Attorney's Office and with the state Office of Attorney General.
Former Gov. Tom Ridge then appointed Mackereth as deputy director of the Governor's Community Partnership for Safe Children, to assist communities in establishing effective programs to reduce childhood violence.
She then was the executive director of the Healthy York County Coalition with WellSpan Health System.
Mackereth also served as mayor of Spring Grove until 2000, when she was elected to the House of Representatives. In the legislature, Mackereth served on the Education, Children & Youth, Aging & Older Adult Services, Judiciary, and Health & Human Services committees.
In 2008, Mackereth was named executive director of the York County Human Services Department, supervising a number of county agencies including aging, mental health, mental retardation, early intervention, drug and alcohol, veterans affairs and homeless assistance.
The position requires confirmation by the Senate.

Tuesday NewsClips

Scarnati Frustrated By Focus On Privatization, Not Budget
Scarnati: Senate Shaky On Liquor Privatization
Click Here for today's PA Environmental News

April 29, 2013

Quinnipiac Poll: Anyone But Corbett

Each of three leading Democrats who might challenge Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett for reelection in 2014 lead the Republican incumbent by margins of 9 percentage points or higher, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday.
Pennsylvania voters disapprove 47 - 38 percent of the job Gov. Corbett is doing, continuing a four-month string of negative scores in surveys by the independent Quinnipiac University.
With a 2-1 thumbs down from women, voters say 50 - 32 percent that Corbett does not deserve reelection. Saying no to four more years are women, 54 - 27 percent, men, 46 - 39 percent, Democrats, 73 - 13 percent, and independent voters, 49 - 27 percent. Republicans favor reelection 60 - 25 percent.
An early look at the 2014 Pennsylvania governor's race shows:
-- Former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak tops Corbett 48 - 34 percent, including 45 - 29 percent among independent voters:
-- U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz is ahead 47 - 34 percent, including 45 - 27 percent among independent voters:
-- State Treasurer Rob McCord is up 44 - 35 percent, including 40 - 30 percent among independent voters:
"Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett gets a triple dose of bad news. Three Democratic challengers would beat him handily if the election for governor were held today," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
"Fortunately for Gov. Corbett, the election is not today. He has 18 months to turn things around."
In each matchup, Pennsylvania women voters back the Democrat by margins of more than 18 percent.
Corbett gets a negative 29 - 43 percent favorability rating from voters. The percentage of voters who don't know enough about the Democratic contenders to form an opinion ranges from 58 percent to 85 percent.
Democratic Primary
In a possible Democratic primary for governor, 59 percent of voters are undecided. Sestak gets 15 percent, with 15 percent for Schwartz and no other candidate above 3 percent.
"Pennsylvania voters, even Democrats, don't know much about the challengers in the 2014 governor's race," Malloy said.
"Right now, voters are doing their ABCs - Anyone But Corbett."

Monday NewsClips

Turnpike Contract Strings Exposed
Click Here for today's PA Environmental News

April 26, 2013

April 29 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The April 29 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Click Here to print entire Digest.

DEP’s Proposed Drilling Reg Changes, Drilling Permit Fee Increases Move Ahead

DEP’s Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board Tuesday gave the Department of Environmental Protection its recommendation to go ahead with proposed changes to drilling regulations in Chapter 78 required by Act 13 of 2011.
The Board also heard a presentation on the proposed revisions to the well permit fees, which agency staff said were moving forward through the regulatory process.
At the meeting, DEP staff said the agency would be forming a series of work groups during the public review period for the Chapter 78 changes to look more deeply into several key issues.   The size and make-up of the work groups are still to be worked out.
Click Here for the latest available documents circulated at the Board meeting.

Earth Day Message From The PA Growing Greener Coalition

For all of us involved in the PA Growing Greener Coalition, every day is Earth Day.
Our member organizations work 365 days a year to restore our streams and rivers, conserve land, protect our drinking water, create parks, preserve farms and save our historic treasures.
Together, we keep Pennsylvania growing greener.
But what a difference a year makes.
Last year on Earth Day, we were fighting the largest cut to conservation funding in state history with the proposed elimination of the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund.
We were also fighting the permanent elimination of the farmland preservation program as we know it, putting our family farms - and our local food supply - at risk of being lost forever.
The good news is that by working together we won!
Thanks to the strength of the Coalition and our partners, the Legislature rejected the proposed cuts and restored funding for these critical programs to continue Pennsylvania's preservation legacy.
However, our work is never over.
The Commonwealth continues to face serious threats to environmental protection because of dwindling funds, weakening policies, and political obstacles.
The Coalition is committed to advocating for public funding to conserve and protect land, water, wildlife habitat, and historic places, and to ensure well-managed parks and recreational areas throughout the state.
If you have not yet signed our statement of support, please take a moment to do so by visiting our website, where you can also make a donation to the Coalition.
And don't forget to like and share our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PaGrowGreen.
Together, we can help ensure that Pennsylvania continues its legacy of conservation and preservation - on Earth Day and every day.
Thank you.
Sincerely, Andrew Heath, Executive Director, PA Growing Greener Coalition