March 9, 2016

Department of Health Budget Hearing

  Senator Lisa Baker asked Secretary of Health Karen Murphy about the funding the EMS Operating Fund reductions and the challenges facing Emergency Medical Services and volunteer rates. The senator also raised concern over the zeroing out of the Primary Healthcare Practitioner Loan Repayment line item in the budget.  [Read More]

March 8, 2016

Department of Education Budget Hearing

Sen. Lisa Baker asked Secretary Pedro Rivera to look into transportation reimbursements for rural pre-kindergarten programs. She also inquired as to how counseling services funds are distributed and what improvements are being made to ensure proper vocational education access for disabled students. The secretary, during questions from committee members, agreed that pension costs were the leading cost driver for school districts.    [Read More]

March 7, 2016

Department of Revenue Budget Hearing

Revenue Secretary Eileen McNulty was questioned by Sen. Baker about the financial hit families and businesses would take if a proposed retroactive 11 percent increase in the personal income tax and what efforts are being made to boost lottery revenues. In addition, the senator raised concerns about the impact continued talk of a severance tax has had on the natural gas industry.    [Read More]

March 7, 2016

Department of Human Services Budget Hearing

During questioning on the Department of Human Services’ budget with Secretary Ted Dallas, Senator Lisa Baker expressed concerns about the governor’s vetoing of funding for critical access hospitals and urged funds to be released based the health, safety and public welfare of members of those hospitals’ communities.    [Read More]

March 7, 2016

Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Budget Hearing

Sen. Lisa Baker asked department officials for updates on the Gino Merli Center in Scranton and its provisional license status. She also asked for updates on the Veterans Trust Fund and its use. In addition she asked whether a bonus program for those men and women serving in the Iraq and Afghanistan warzones was being considered similar to the Persian Gulf Bonus program.    [Read More]

March 2, 2016

State System of Higher Education Budget Hearing

  Sen. Lisa Baker asked Chancellor Frank T. Brogan about system operational costs, including pension obligations and health care increases. She also asked about how the schools are meeting the needs spelled out in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.   [Read More]

March 2, 2016

State-Related Universities Budget Hearing

  Representatives of Pennsylvania’s state-related universities – Temple, Pittsburgh, Lincoln and Penn State -- answered questions from Sen. Lisa Baker regarding graduation and freshmen retention rates In addition she asked about initiatives to bolster workforce preparation and training and credentialing programs.   [Read More]

March 1, 2016

Department of Agriculture Budget Hearing

Secretary Russell Redding fielded questions from Senator Lisa Baker regarding ongoing constituent concerns regarding the uncertainty of funding for county fairs and cooperative extensions. She also urged him to have ongoing dialogue with Secretary Curt Topper from the Department of General Services about perhaps eliminating duplication of services and agreeing to use one weights and measurements lab between the two departments as a cost savings measure.     [Read More]

March 1, 2016

Department of Aging Budget Hearing

  Secretary Teresa Osborne was asked by Sen. Lisa Baker to look into speeding up the approval process for the Aging Waiver program. Baker said from recent personal experience she has realized the process is too complicated and too lengthy, something the secretary agreed with.  [Read More]

March 1, 2016

Department of General Services Budget Hearing

  Sen. Lisa Baker asked Department of General Services Secretary Curt Topper for updates on the security upgrades being made to the Capitol and wanted to know if duplicating services amongst some departments can be eliminated as a money-savings endeavor.   [Read More]

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