Session Daze - November 9, 2012

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November 12, 2012
 
 
 
 
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Jobs for Our Future 
Warrendale: Mon., Nov. 19

Please join PennFuture at one (or more) of our holiday parties!PennFuture's holiday open houses are almost upon us! Dates are set so mark your calendar! Registration forms will be ready soon so you can let us know you'll join us.

  • Wilkes Barre
    Wed., Dec. 5
  • Harrisburg
    Thu., Dec. 6
  • Philadelphia
    Wed., Dec. 12
  • Pittsburgh
    Tue., Dec. 18

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Across the row 
In addition to the Keystone State victories of President Barack Obama and Sen. Bob Casey, Democrats swept the three statewide row offices in Pennsylvania. Here's a quick look at the winners and possible implications for the environment and clean energy:

  • Attorney General: Kathleen Kane will be Pennsylvania's first Democratic attorney general and the first woman elected to the post. Kane promises to bring aggressive oversight of shale gas drilling and prosecution of environmental crimes.
  • Treasurer: Incumbent Rob McCord oversees the highly successfulKeystone Home Energy Loan Program, which makes low-interest loans to families who want to save energy and money by making their homes more efficient. Under McCord, Pennsylvania Treasury's investment policyconsiders both the role of companies' exposure to climate change and the promising development of clean energy when making the Commonwealth's investment decisions.
  • Auditor General: Rep. Eugene DePasquale of York County is a member of the General Assembly's Green Dog caucus. He was prime sponsor of the 2008 Alternative Energy Investment Act that created the Pennsylvania Sunshine Program, and has been a champion of environmental and clean energy issues. DePasquale says he will order a review of the state's water protection programs regarding Marcellus Shale drilling on his first day in office.

Democrats make gains in Senate 
Democrats picked up three open Senate seats currently held by Republicans, trimming the GOP majority in the chamber to 27-23. Sean Wiley won the Erie-based seat of retiring Sen. Jane Earll; Rob Teplitz won the Harrisburg-based seat of retiring Sen. Jeff Piccola; and Rep. Matt Smith won the Pittsburgh-area seat of John Pippy, who resigned in June.

Not only will the Democrats now have more clout in the chamber, but moderate Republican senators, who are crucial swing votes on environmental and energy, will have more leverage as well. And Democrats may have a path to majority status in 2014, in the districts of the five moderate Republicans from southeastern Pennsylvania who will stand for reelection in two years.

Republicans hold wide state House margin 
House Republicans will continue as a strong majority with between 108 and 111 seats in the 203-seat chamber, pending the final outcome of three close races. Republican Rep. Tom Quigley narrowly trails in his Montgomery County race; Republican Rep. Justin Simmons narrowly leads in his race in Lehigh County; and Republican Rep. Rick Saccone is locked in an extremely tight race with former Democratic Rep. Dave Levdansky in the 39th District in Allegheny and Washington Counties. These elections will be decided by absentee and provisional ballots, and possibly by recounts.

See the Dean 
Pittsburgh's U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, a Democrat, is now the Dean of the Pennsylvania Congressional Caucus, having served longer than any other current Pennsylvania Congress member. As Dean, Doyle won't be sentencing anyone to double secret probation. But he will speak on behalf of the delegation on bipartisan matters, and will be a key voice in making sure the Keystone State gets its fair share of federal funding and assistance. Doyle currently serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is one of only four exclusive committees in the House. There he sits on the subcommittees on Communications and Technology and Energy and Power. He is a strong voice for renewable energy, and for action on climate change.

Great gobs of green jobs 
Join us to celebrate Jobs for Our Future on Monday, November 19 at 11:30 a.m. at Eaton Corporation's Power Systems Experience Center, 130 Commonwealth Drive in Warrendale. Leaders from business, labor, public health, environmental, and outdoors organizations, as well as Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, will laud the great jobs we're creating right here — along with cleaner air, lower gas costs, healthier kids, and a growing and vibrant economy. And we'll serve great food too. RSVP today.

PennFuture's Session Daze is designed to be a brief, informative and occasionally humorous look at
public policy in Pennsylvania. Please visit our 
website for more information about PennFuture.

Copyright 2012 PennFuture. All Rights Reserved.

 
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