May 7, 2012
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Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief
"Senate Bill 1296 ensures employment contracts for
school superintendents receive greater public scrutiny by requiring the details
of the contract to be made public. Under the new process included in the bill,
both superintendents and school boards will also know upfront what the
expectations are for the job and the consequences of terminating a contract
Senate Education Committee
Chairman Jeff Piccola (R-Dauphin) on legislation approved by the Senate to
limit generous contract buyouts to departing school district superintendents and
to require more contract details be made available to the public.
Senate Session: Monday 1 p.m.
The Senate continues work on drafting a 2012-13 budget plan
this week, and is expected to consider the following bills:
Senate Bill 351 -
Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) -- Good Samaritan bill
Senate Bill 477 -
Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) -- compelled removal of
outdoor advertising displays
Senate Bill 932 -
Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre) -- do not call list
Senate Bill 1225 -
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware)
-- library code amendments
Senate Bill 1403
- Sen. Rich Alloway (R-Franklin) -- hunting
The Legislative Reapportionment Commission will hold a
public hearing Monday to hear comments on the revised preliminary
redistricting plan filed with the Department of State on April 12, 2012. (2
p.m. Room 1 N. Office Bldg.)
Senate Approves Bill Reforming School Superintendent Contracts
Pennsylvania school superintendent contract reform is one
step closer to becoming law under legislation approved April 30 by the Senate.
Senate Bill 1296, sponsored by Senate Education Committee Chairman
Jeffrey Piccola (R-Dauphin), limits generous contract buyouts to departing
school district superintendents and requires more contract details to be made
available to the public. The legislation also links superintendent contracts to
performance standards tied to student achievement and shortens the contract
limit to three years for new superintendents and assistant superintendents, a
change from the three-to-five-year range under current state law.
Additionally, the bill subjects superintendent and
assistant superintendent contracts to public access under Pennsylvania's
Senate Bill 1296 is now before the House Education
Committee for consideration.
More Degree Options at Private Colleges Approved
The Senate passed a measure Wednesday that will allow
established private colleges and universities to more easily offer a wider
variety of degrees and majors.
Senate Bill 1406, sponsored by Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon), would
permit private, nonprofit colleges and universities to offer additional degrees
and institute additional programs and majors without the approval of the
Pennsylvania Department of Education if the school has operated continuously in
the commonwealth for the preceding 10 years and is accredited by a regional
The bill was sent to the House for consideration.
Senate Votes to Expand "Emergency Vehicle" Definition
The Senate unanimously approved a bill Wednesday expanding
the definition of an "emergency vehicle" under state law.
Senate Bill 1067, sponsored by Sen. Rich Alloway (R-Franklin),
broadens the definition of "emergency vehicle" to include vehicles owned by a
county or regional police association and operated by a police officer, that are
used for police transport or victim extraction, and any vehicle operated by a
special agent, special agent supervisor, narcotics agent or narcotics agent
supervisor while performing official duties as employees of the Office of
SB 1067 now goes to the House for consideration.
Megan Totino Consedine Announced as Senate Secretary/Parliamentarian
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson)
announced that Megan Totino Consedine will serve as Acting
Secretary/Parliamentarian for the State Senate, effective May 21. Pending
confirmation by the full Senate, she will be the first woman in Pennsylvania to
serve as Secretary/Parliamentarian.
Totino Consedine most recently served as a Deputy General
Counsel in the Governor's Office of General Counsel where she served as counsel
to the Commonwealth, the Governor and the executive and independent agencies
that manage the business of the Commonwealth, specializing in transactional and
regulatory matters. For more information, please see
In the Spotlight
and Fast Facts, below.
Panel Would Study Education of Homeless Children
Legislation establishing a task force to study the homeless
children population and its educational needs was approved by the Senate on
The task force created by
Senate Bill 157 would include the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of
Public Welfare and 15 members representing local agencies assisting homeless
children, public schools, intermediate units and social service and advocacy
organizations with experience working with homeless children and education
The bill is now before the House Education Committee for
Senate Updates 46-Year-Old Borough Code
The Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would enact
the most significant update of Pennsylvania's Borough Code in 46 years.
House Bill 1702 removes obsolete provisions from the existing Borough Code,
incorporates pertinent court decisions, updates language and organizes common
subjects. The measure is a collaboration between the State Association of
Boroughs and the Local Government Commission.
The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate
In the Spotlight
As an elected officer of the Senate, the
Secretary/Parliamentarian supervises an extensive array of offices and services
essential to the day-to-day operations of the Senate, including legislative,
financial and administrative functions.
In addition to working in the Governor's Office of General
Counsel, Megan Totino Consedine served as an assistant counsel to the Department
of the Navy and a special assistant to former Governor Tom Ridge, where she was
responsible for strategic planning and policy development. She was also an
adjunct professor at Widener University School of Law and Harrisburg Area
Totino Consedine received her Bachelor's degree from the
University of Delaware and her law degree from Widener University School of Law
in Harrisburg. She will receive a salary of $139,500.
Secretary/Parliamentarian Mark Corrigan announced his
retirement last year after serving in the post for 31 years.
Pennsylvania Senate Secretary/Parliamentarian Duties
- Senate Session Parliamentarian
- Oversight of 80 Senate employees
- Management of Senate Library, bill room, page room and other departments.