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2023 Pennsylvania Congress Fight

2023 Will bring new lawmakers to the State Capitol as they will be sworn into office tomorrow.

There is also expected to be a fight over who will control the House.

Crispin Havener has been following the situation and joins us with a look at what to expect Crispin?

It will be a day that will start with pomp and circumstance, that will then move to a down-and-dirty game of politics as the house will battle it out over which party will run the chamber.

Tuesday will be a big day for 49 House and 6 Senate Freshmen members who will be sworn into office.

Among them will be two local newcomers. Republican Dallas Kephart succeeds the retiring Tommy Sankey in the 73rd district, covering Clearfield and Cambria Counties

While Democrat Paul Takac will take office in the newly drawn 82nd district in Centre County.

Both will be sworn in, just in time for what could be a messy battle.

“Voters here in Pennsylvania decided in 102 districts that democrats should take their voices, values, and agenda items to the state capitol. But of course, we have some precarious circumstances.”

Those circumstances brought about 3 vacancies in Democrat heavy districts, which means Republicans are likely to use their brief majority to elect a house speaker and committee leadership.

“The only good piece out of that is it makes it clear the Republicans are in the majority at 101-99.”

Republicans eyeing the opportunity to advance constitutional amendments, including one that would require all voters to present id at the polls.

Also, still up for debate: how long until special elections will be held to fill the seats. February like democrats want, or during the primaries in may like republicans want.

Though it may not matter if Republicans pass rules making it harder to hold new leadership elections as is reported to be feared by some Democrats.

“I started with a meeting with the Republican leadership that we could start this razor-thin majority with power-sharing agreements. Unfortunately, we were unable to negotiate an agreement.”

We’ll see what all happens starting tomorrow.

Also to note: all lawmakers are getting bigger paychecks now…you’ll recall last year we told you how inflation meant that about 1,300 state positions would get a pay raise that’s tied to the annual change in the U.S. Department of Labor’s consumer price index for the Mid-Atlantic region.

Because inflation’s been so high, that pay bump wound up at 7.8%. For rank-and-file legislators, that means their salary now eclipses the $100,000 mark.

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