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House, Senate Return To Harrisburg To Reorganize, Hold Hearings On Kane, Pipelines

Fresh from the November 8 election, the House and Senate return to Harrisburg next week to get acquainted with their new members and reorganize for the coming session.

We should find out next week whether any of the House or Senate Republican or Democratic Caucuses are considering leadership changes in the wake of the elections-- in the case of the Democrats given their loses, or the results of the legislative session just concluded-- for the Republicans.

There is no indication there will be further votes on any legislation by either the House or Senate, but several committees have scheduled meetings on some hot-button topics.

The House Judiciary Subcommittee On Courts, charged under House Resolution 659 (Everett-R-Lycoming) with determining whether now ex-Attorney General Kathleen Kane should be impeached, is scheduled to hold not one but two hearings on that topic.

In a related action, Attorney General Bruce Beemer said his Office’s report on porn mail started by Kane would be released next week.

Also on the agenda are meetings of the House Liquor Control Committee to hear an update on implementation of the 2016 liquor reform law and the House Ethics Committee meets to consider changes to House Rules relating to ethics and conflict of interest.

The other substantive issued scheduled to be dealt with is a House & Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committees joint hearing to review emergency preparedness and response measures for natural gas and petroleum pipeline infrastructure in the wake of the Spectra Pipeline explosion in Westmoreland County in April and more recently in Lycoming County where a Sunoco gasoline pipeline broke during local flooding.

Oh, and Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York) told the York papers he was running for Governor and would formally announce sometime after January 1.

What’s Next

On Tuesday the Independent Fiscal Office releases a new 5-year economic and budget outlook report for FY 2016-17 to 2021-22.

The House is scheduled to be in session on November 14 and 15 and the Senate November 16.  They will then formally end the 2015-2016 legislative session.

Everything starts over again on January 3 when the House and Senate formally organize and select leaders and, later in January, name committee chairs.


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