Senate Democratic Policy Committee

Senator Katie Muth, Chair

Please contact the Dem Policy Team with any questions at (717) 787-1398 or via email at dempolicy@pasenate.com for information regarding the Policy Committee.

Upcoming Policy Hearings

JUNE

2

 

Pennsylvania’s Shale Gas Boom: How Policy Decisions Failed to Protect Public Health and What We Can Do to Correct It

Thursday, June 2, 2022 | 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Pennsylvania’s Shale Gas Boom: How Policy Decisions Failed to Protect Public Health and What We Can Do to Correct It

On June 2, Senators Muth and Brewster will host a hearing regarding the health impacts of shale gas infrastructure in Pennsylvania. A chasm exists between the reliable public health research that has been conducted and the actions taken by legislators, the Governor’s Office, and the Department of Health. These actions demonstrate how the promise of economic benefits outweighed any sense of caution about potential health impacts from shale gas development, how the insistence on irrefutable evidence of health harms became the enemy of reasonable protective measures, and consequently how the burden of proof fell to the communities experiencing the health impacts. The hearing will also address recommendations on what can be done differently to ensure that public health considerations are included in the decision-making process going forward. The hearing will include testimony from impacted residents as well as experts in public health and policy regarding shale gas development. This hearing will be located in the auditorium of CCAC Boyce Campus, located at 595 Beatty Rd, Monroeville, PA 15146. A virtual option will also be available.

Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIlcOyopjIvGtD8_Yqys8tx6HZd4buN8jms

JUNE

3

 

Student Voices in Education

Friday, June 3, 2022 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Policy Hearing - Student Voices in Education - June 3, 2022

On June 3rd, Senators Kearney, Muth, Cappelletti, and Collett will hold a hearing on student voices in education. Legislators, stakeholders, advocates, and parents dominate the vast majority of Pennsylvania’s public debate on hot button issues around education, including equity in schools, school climate, and student mental health. Rarely do the students who are the subjects of these debates get to weigh in on the issues themselves. This hearing will be an opportunity for students from 8 diverse school districts in Montgomery County who have been engaged in dialogue and data-driven research on these critical issues to present their research and experiences to policy makers. Specifically, students will present findings from research projects they conducted using the Psychological Sense of School Membership survey within their schools, that speak to questions of belonging within schools and equity between different student groups. The hearing will give policy makers a deeper understanding of school environments that affect youth mental health, school climate and safety, and inequality – all of which have been identified as top education concerns for policy development by members of the Education Committee and the caucus at large.

This hearing will be held at Norristown Area High School | 1900 Eagle Dr, Norristown, PA 19401 with a ZOOM option for those who wish to participate virtually.

If participating virtually, register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUlde-tpz8uHtFraJyxOfzrnbeuesjcXHh-

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Past Policy Hearings

Check below to view past policy hearing including video and testimony! Questions, comments or suggestions about the hearings, fill out the form below!

Innovations for Economic Recovery: Childcare and College Students

April 28, 2022

 

Senate Dems Discuss Challenges of Childcare Facing College Students at Policy Hearing

BLUE BELL, April 28, 2022 – State Senator Katie Muth (D- Berks/Chester/Montgomery), chair of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee today joined Senator Maria Collett, Senator Amanda Cappelletti, Senator Carolyn Comitta and Senator Judy Schwank to host a public hearing on the challenges faced by college students and staff in regard to childcare.

“Our hearing today highlighted the frustrating reality that affordable, accessible, and quality childcare is an unmet need for families across the Commonwealth,” Muth said. “We need to support the parents and the single mothers who are trying to fight their way out of poverty and economic struggle, trying to make ends meet, further their education, and trying to make a better life for their children. It is time for Harrisburg and Washington to step up and invest in childcare services.”

Continue Reading →

2:06:50

Expanding School Based Health Centers in Pennsylvania

April 26, 2022

 

Senate Democrats Hear Support for School-Based Health Centers

HARRISBURG, April 27, 2022 – State Senator Katie Muth (D- Berks/Chester/Montgomery), chair of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, joined Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) to host a virtual hearing yesterday to discuss expanding School Based Health Centers in Pennsylvania.

“School-Based Health Centers are proven successful across the country – but sufficient funding is needed to ensure that our all of kids have access to this evidence-based model of care that has proven positive health and academic outcomes in communities across our Commonwealth where students are suffering from unmet needs,” Muth said. “Our hearing shed a much-needed spotlight on the need to make SBHCs a priority in our budget negotiations.”

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1:46:49

Helping the Helpers: Supporting EMS in PA

April 20, 2022

 

Senate, House Democrats Host Roundtable Discussion on EMS Issues 

PITTSBURGH April 21, 2022 – State Senator Katie Muth (D- Berks/Chester/Montgomery), chair of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee joined Senator Lindsey Williams (D-Allegheny), state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (D-Erie) and state Rep. Nick Pisciottano (D-Allegheny) to host a roundtable discussion yesterday on various issues facing Pennsylvania’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies.  

The roundtable discussion, organized jointly by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and the House Democratic Policy Committee, was held at the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh.

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2:17:14

#ItsOnUs: Combatting Sexual Assault on Campus

April 7, 2022

Agenda →

Testimony

Panel 1: The Issue at Hand 

Panel 2: Policy Solutions 

Housing Scarcity & Contemporary Houselessness

March 14, 2022

 

Senate Democrats Discuss Housing Scarcity and Houselessness at Policy Hearing 

PHILADELPHIA, March 15, 2022 – State Senator Katie Muth (D- Berks/Chester/Montgomery), Chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Policy Committee, joined Senators Sharif Street, Nikil Saval, Amanda Cappelletti, Tina Tartaglione and Art Haywood to host a public hearing on housing scarcity and contemporary houselessness yesterday at Temple University.

“We need to tackle the issue of economic injustice – from raising wages to actual living wages and ensuring rent and housing prices are fair, transparent, and flexible according to each individual’s financial situation,” Muth said. “All levels of government need to implement policies that ensure public dollars are actually helping the public, not the wealthy, private real estate and private equity firms making billions off of taxpayer funded subsidies and evicting people who can’t afford to pay skyrocketing rent and housing rates. I hope our hearing and the impassioned testimony provided by actual Pennsylvanians living these challenges forces this conversation into the ongoing budget debate and into all 67 counties and local government priorities.”

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Safe Schools

February 16, 2022

Agenda

Testimony

Panel 1

Panel 2

  • Dr. Sherri Smith, Deputy Secretary of Elementary & Secondary Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education
  • Dr. Scott Kuren, Director, Pennsylvania Department of Education Office of Safe Schools
  • Dr. Dana Milakovic, Mental Health and AOD Specialist, Pennsylvania Department of Education Office of Safe Schools

Panel 3

  • Mike Vereb, Director of Government Affairs, Office of the Attorney General
  • Brittney Kline, Director, Safe2Say Something Program, Office of the Attorney Genera

Panel 4

Addressing Pennsylvania’s School Staffing Shortages

February 1, 2022

 

Senate Democrats Discuss School Staffing Shortages at Virtual Policy Hearing

HARRISBURG, February 1, 2022 – State Senator Katie Muth (D- Berks/Chester/Montgomery), Chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Policy Committee, today joined Senator Lindsey Williams (D-Allegheny) to host a virtual public hearing on the staffing shortage crisis facing Pennsylvania’s public education system.

“We have an education workforce crisis in Pennsylvania impacting teachers, school nurses, support staff, guidance counselors and bus drivers. This is unfortunately not a new issue, but these challenges have become far more pronounced throughout the pandemic,” Muth said. “The testimony from all of the panelists today allowed for all of us to hear firsthand from those living this struggle and bearing the burden of this crisis. The lack of equitable and sustainable funding for our public school system, staff turnover and low retention rates, and low wages are all barriers that can be overcome.  We need long-term solutions like student loan forgiveness for educators, guaranteed benefits and living wages, and retirement security. School staff across our Commonwealth take care of students in so many ways and we have to support them in every way possible.” 

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Renewable Energy Projects: Anthracite Ridge Wind Farm Project

January 28, 2022

 

Senate Democrats Discuss Proposed Wind Farm Project at Virtual Policy Hearing

HARRISBURG, January 28, 2022 – State Senator Katie Muth (D- Berks/Chester/Montgomery), Chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Policy Committee, today joined Senator John Kane (D-Delaware/Chester) to host a virtual public hearing on the proposed $300 million Anthracite Ridge wind farm project in Schuylkill County.

“Our Commonwealth is already one of the nation’s leaders in the natural gas industry, but Pennsylvania needs to implement clean energy solutions that protect our planet and our communities from further harm caused by global warming,” Muth said. “Today’s hearing was a great opportunity to learn more about the proposed Anthracite Ridge wind farm project and to discuss how renewable energy projects – one of fastest growing job creators in the country – are critical in protecting environmental and public health.”

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2:19:15

Agenda

Testimony

Panel 1: Developer & Landowner Rights

Panel 2: Military Experts

Panel 3: Environmental & Labor Impacts

Additional Written Testimony

Additional Materials

Challenges with Substance Use Disorder Recovery

January 20, 2022

 

Senate Democrats Discuss Recovery and Treatment Issues at Virtual Policy Hearing

HARRISBURG, January 20, 2022 – State Senator Katie Muth (D- Berks/Chester/Montgomery), Chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Policy Committee, today joined Senator John Kane (D-Delaware/Chester) and Senator Christine Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) to host a virtual public hearing on the recovery challenges associated with substance use disorder.

“Today’s hearing was an opportunity to hear about what we are currently doing here in Pennsylvania and whether our current treatment system is providing positive outcomes for those in recovery from substance use disorder – and more importantly, if it is not working, how can we improve our systems and programs,” Muth said. “We need to ensure that the Commonwealth and our treatment and recovery programs are effective and are providing the best means for sustained, lifelong recovery.”

Continue Reading →

2:15:03

Agenda

Testimony

Panel 1: Recovery Funding

Panel 2: Oversight of Recovery Houses

Panel 3: Chronic Relapsing 

Additional Written Testimony

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