My Audio Updates
Here you will find audio clips about important events that have taken place during the current and past Legislative Sessions.
Rep. Benninghoff Joins Adoptees in Celebrating Access to Original Birth Certificates - 1/22/2018
Pennsylvania-born adoptees from around the country joined together at the state Capitol on Monday to celebrate their recently restored right to access their original birth certificates, which had been sealed since 1984. Legislation sponsored by Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) reinstated the rights of adult adoptees to apply for and receive a non-certified copy of their original birth certificate in Pennsylvania. Although Benninghoff’s bill became law on Nov. 3, 2016; it was not until Nov. 3, 2017 that the state Department of Health began actually processing those requests. Under previous Pennsylvania law, adoptees could petition the courts for a copy of their original birth certificate; however, that request could have been denied by a judge. Rep. Benninghoff, who also recently received his own birth certificate information through the new law, offered the following comments on how this has helped thousands of Pennsylvania born adoptees to reconnect with their roots.
Benninghoff Joins Business Leaders in Call for State Regulatory Reforms to Spur Job Creation and Economic Growth - 1/16/2018
House Republican lawmakers and business leaders introduced a package of Regulatory Reforms Tuesday in Harrisburg aimed at improving the state’s business climate and reining-in government regulatory overreach. The bill are based on information gathered in the House State Government Committee’s Regulatory Overreach Report, which included findings from a series of public hearings held across the state last year that included testimony from various employers, organizations and experts on state regulatory policy. The report called for reforms to Pennsylvania’s restrictive regulatory system that is credited with holding back business development, limiting job creation and crippling economic growth. House Policy Committee Chairman Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre & Mifflin) offered comments on the package of legislation.
Rep. Benninghoff Comments on House Republican Welfare Reform Plan - 1/2/2018
House Republican lawmakers called for action on legislation to help contain costs and bring real reform to Pennsylvania’s welfare system. Reps. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne) and Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin) announced a package of bills Tuesday in Harrisburg to give more Pennsylvania families an opportunity to improve their quality of life, while tackling waste, fraud and abuse from within the current benefit system. The package also contains measures aimed at enhancing the value of work and strong families, while recognizing that those receiving benefits need help to gain financial independence, not continue a life of dependence. House Majority Policy Committee Chairman Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre & Mifflin) attended the news conference and offered comments on the package of legislation.
Rep. Benninghoff Calls on Gov. Wolf to Sign Cost Saving Welfare Reform Legislation - 10/17/2017
House Republican lawmakers are calling on Governor Wolf to sign welfare reform legislation now on his desk to help control spending on state human services programs that are growing at a rate that outpaces available revenue. House Bill 59 would help contain costs for entitlement programs and includes reasonable reforms like work or job search requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients. House Republican leaders and a large number of rank and file members joined Tuesday in asking for the governor to sign the reform bill and not follow through on his threatened veto. Majority Policy Committee Chairman Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) commented at the Capitol press conference on the bill.
Benninghoff Comments on Passage of Landmark Pension Reform Legislation - 6/8/2017
Legislation designed to reform Pennsylvania’s state employee and public school employee retirement systems has been approved by the Pennsylvania House. Senate Bill 1 would establish a hybrid retirement benefit plan, including defined benefit and defined contribution components. New employees would be mandatory members of the new hybrid plan.
Benninghoff Comments on Hearings to Address Opioid Crisis in Commonwealth - 8/2/2016
Tackling Pennsylvania’s opioid crisis was the topic of a bipartisan hearing held Monday by state lawmakers in Venango County. The event was the beginning of an eight stop tour across the Commonwealth by members of both the House and Senate to gather testimony from experts about the growing drug epidemic and how it is impacting communities. At the conclusion of the tour, the House Policy Committee will make legislative and policy recommendations for the Legislature to consider when it reconvenes this fall for a special session on the opioid crisis. House Majority Policy Committee Chairman Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre & Mifflin) said lawmakers must do all they can to give communities the tools they need to address the many facets of opioid addiction.
Rep. Benninghoff Comments on the Latest House Effort to Finalize the State Budget - 3/16/2016
Lawmakers took action Wednesday in the state capitol to provide essential funding for the remainder of the 2015/2016 state budget. The current year’s fiscal plan remains unresolved due to the Governor’s line-item vetoes of more than $6 billion for basic and higher education, as well as money for the Department of Corrections and agriculture programs. The House and Senate put forth the supplemental budget legislation to address funding holes created by the Governor’s vetoes and restore state funding for these programs. The funding bill approved today provides for a 200 million dollar increase for basic education, a 5 percent increase for higher education, and ensures that no schools will close in the Commonwealth. House Majority Policy Comm. Chair Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre & Mifflin) said it is past time to complete the budget and provide much needed funding for schools and other critical state programs.
Benninghoff Opposes Gov. Wolf’s Tax Increase Proposals - 3/10/2016
House Republican lawmakers from northern Pennsylvania are speaking out in opposition to Gov. Tom Wolf’s demand for massive tax increases, including an increase to the Personal Income Tax as part of his annual budget proposal. That 11 percent tax increase would be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2016 and amount to an annual tax hike of $2.7 billion. Speaking at a small business in Clearfield County on Thursday, legislators said Wolf’s proposal for extensive tax hikes is being opposed by a large majority of Pennsylvanians – working families, senior citizens and small business owners. House Republicans also called on Wolf to release education funds to prevent the closure of public schools in the state. Wolf cut $3 billion in basic education funding as part of his partial veto of the House-passed budget. The lawmakers said the governor should work with the Legislature to develop solutions that keep the state operating without resorting to broad-based tax increases.
Rep. Benninghoff Joins Penn State Ag Council, 4-Hers in Calling on Gov to Restore Funding to Vital Ag Research & Extension Programs - 3/9/2016
House lawmakers joined dozens of Penn State Ag Council members and 4-H members Wednesday in the state capitol to call for the restoration of more than $50 million in funding for the university’s agriculture research and extension programs. A failure to restore the funding vetoed in December by Governor Wolf would force Penn State University to begin shutting down its agriculture operations and outreach by May 1st, putting at risk an estimated 1,100 jobs within Penn State Extension and research. In addition to the impact on jobs, eliminating the $50 million investment could cause an economic loss for the state of more than $260 million. And it would also mean an end to Penn State’s 4-H program, which helps to prepare future leaders in the state’s agriculture community. Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre & Mifflin) attended the event and commented on the effort to restore this crucial funding.
Chairman Benningfoff Comments on Launch of PennSAVE Initiative to Find Savings in Government - 2/22/2016
The House Majority Policy Committee today launched PennSAVE, a Republican-led effort to find ways to save taxpayer dollars by cutting government waste and inefficiencies. The PennSAVE acronym stands for: savings, accountability, value and efficiency. The special task force will be run by a subcommittee of the House Majority Policy Committee and will research several potential cost-saving measures across state government, including state agency and program consolidations; unaddressed audit findings; reform of government procurement policies and “corporate welfare” programs, as well as overall waste, fraud and abuse in the system. Comments are now available from House Majority Policy Committee Chairman Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre & Mifflin) on this new cost saving initiative.