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Work in Progress…

Members of the General Assembly are back in their home districts for spring break, slated to return to Harrisburg the week of April 8. All of the large agenda items are still on the table, but are beginning to take shape.

Last week, in what was considered a major victory for the Governor and House GOP leadership,  the House passed a gradual liquor privatization plan by a vote of 105-90. House Bill 790 now heads to the Senate for review and consideration, but not necessarily approval.

Transportation funding issues could receive renewed interest in April as the four Transportation Committee Chairs have indicated that they will unveil a bipartisan plan to increase funding levels well above those proposed by the Corbett administration during the month.

In other news, state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin who was convicted for misusing state workers for her campaign, announced her resignation effective May 1.  There is some question about how to handle the vacancy, and Chief Justice Ron Castile has urged immediate action to resolve a 3-3 deadlock on the court on many issues.  Several names have been floated for a replacement, and assuming the Governor makes an appointment, the nominee would need a 2/3 vote of approval in the Senate.  The Melvin vacancy would not otherwise be filled until the 2015 elections.