Councilperson Dennis O’Brien’s package of bills relating to contracts for representation of indigent defendants were postponed for one week due to the snow emergency. The bills are scheduled to be called for a vote on Thursday.
The House and Senate are conducting budget hearings. Regular sessions resume on March 10.
Schedule for Budget Hearings
February 19– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 1:00- Liquor Control Board. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.
February 20– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 9:30- Dept. of Corrections/Office of Probation & Parole. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.
February 24– House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10:00- Dept. of Health/Dept. of Drug & Alcohol Programs, 11:00- Liquor Control Board, 2:00- Judiciary. Room 140 Main Capitol.
February 25– House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 9:30- State Police/Homeland Security. Room 140 Main Capitol.
February 26– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 9:00- State Police/Homeland Security. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.
Zygmont Pines, state court administrator, said the court has saved about $46 million over the last six years through various means, including more effective collections through the Judicial Computer System; $4.5 million by eliminating 18 magisterial district judge seats; and $2 million by not filling staff vacancies.
Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee were critical of the courts for not posting the salaries of employees on the PennWATCH website. Pines said the courts were concerned about security of employees in some instances.
Corrections’ Secretary John Wetzel told the House Appropriations Committee lawmakers should be cautious about passing new crime bills because that will make the state’s prison population grow.
Source: Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest