July 9, 2015

Here's what's happening in Harrisburg

State legislators and Gov. Tom Wolf continue to debate the state budget and a variety of other issues of importance to PSEA members.

PSEA will update this page as news becomes available. PSEA members should also monitor email for important advocacy alerts. To contact state legislators, visit PSEA's Legislative Action Center.

Key issues:
Updated July 9, 1:00 p.m.

Retirement security: The state House and state Senate both passed Senate Bill 1 on June 30. Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed the bill on July 9. Read a copy of the governor's statement here. This bill is closes off our pension system to new hires and forcing new school employees into a 401(k)-type pension plan that will cut their pension benefits by as much as 70 percent. 

State budget: On June 30, state legislators passed a state budget that rejects the school funding increases Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed, lets natural gas drillers pay no state taxes, and will increase the state's deficit. Gov. Wolf vetoed bad budget and demand that legislators start over.

Educator furloughs: On June 23, state representatives passed House Bill 805 - which will allow school districts to use the new, untested evaluation system to furlough educators. The bill is now in the Senate Education Committee. Learn more about HB 805 here.

Keystone Exams: State senators passed Senate Bill 880 in late June, which will delay the implementation of the Keystone Exams as high-stakes exit exams for two years. The bill is now in the House Education Committee.

State takeover of public schools: The Senate passed Senate Bill 6, a plan to take over some public schools. SB 6 will establish an "Achievement School District," made up of the state's 75 lowest performing school buildings and overseen by a board of political appointees, with the authority to privatize schools, replace educators with uncertified employees, and more. The bill is now in the House Education Committee.


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