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2013 Legislative Session Begins

Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremonies marked the beginning of the 2013-14 legislative session, which is the 197th Session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Several carryover issues from 2012 are expected to get attention when the legislature returns to session on Jan. 14, including transportation funding, pension reform, education spending, health care reform, and containment of state welfare and health costs.

Even with full Republican control, 2013-14 budget season is gearing up to be one of the most difficult budget seasons to date. Corbett said he anticipates growing public pension costs will consume nearly two-thirds of the projected growth in revenues, leaving less money for education and other programs.

With the beginning of session, members have begun requesting cosponsors and introducing legislation.  Among the legislation being circulated are two bills which would amend the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards for both Tier 1 and Tier 2.  Several bills impacting energy and the environment are also being promoted to members for co-sponsorships.

Governor Corbett has said he will unveil his transportation plan prior to the annual budget address to the legislature on Feb. 5. During an interview with WITF’s “Smart Talk”, Corbett did not disclose details, but said that his proposals would embrace the concept of public-private partnerships on transportation related-projects.