New Legislative Committee Chairs Named to Committees Impacting Health Issues

Four new chairmen were named to key health care related committees when the Senate and House of Representatives announced committee chairmanships earlier this month.

In addition to gaining three more Senators in seats previously held by Democrats for a 30-20 member majority, the Senate Republican caucus also saw a change in leadership. On the Appropriations Committee, Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) will fill the spot vacated by Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre), who was elected to serve as the Republicans’ new majority leader and therefore chairman of the Rules and Executive Nominations Committee.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny) will take over as chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee, replacing Sen. Mike Stack (D-Philadelphia), who resigns from the Senate on Jan. 20 to be sworn in as Lieutenant Governor.

As a key step in the process by which a bill becomes a law, committees are charged with screening, studying, debating, and resolving differences over introduced bills. Committee chairmen are responsible for making sure legislation assigned to their committee is properly vetted before determining which proposals will go to the full House.

The advocacy team at the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) works closely with legislators and staff assigned to these key committees to advance pro-physician, pro-patient legislation and to defeat those bills which are not favorable.

Other chairmanships of committees which regularly handle legislative matters that are relevant to the PAMED will remain the same as the last two-year session:


Committee Majority (GOP) Minority (Dem)
Appropriations Senator Patrick M. Browne* Senator Vincent J. Hughes
Banking & Insurance Senator Don White Senator Matt Smith*
Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Senator Robert M. Tomlinson Senator Lisa Boscola
Judiciary Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf Senator Daylin Leach
Public Health & Welfare Senator Patricia H. Vance Senator Shirley Kitchen
Rules Senator Jake Corman* Senator Jay Costa

* New chair

Republicans solidified their control of the lower chamber as well, picking up eight seats during the 2014-election cycle that were formerly held by Democrats.

Now holding a 119-84 member majority in the 203-member chamber, the House Republican caucus made significant changes to their leadership team due to the election of Rep. Mike Turzai as the new Speaker. The total number of legislators assigned to each House committee has also been expanded for the new session to include one additional majority and one additional minority member (the majority/minority ratio will be 16/11).

Among the standing committees of jurisdiction for PAMED, however, there were minimal changes:


Committee Majority (GOP) Minority (Dem)
Appropriations Rep. William F. Adolf, Jr. Rep. Joseph F. Markosek
Health Rep. Matt Baker Rep. Florindo Fabrizio
Human Services Rep. Gene DiGirolamo Rep. Angel Cruz
Insurance Rep. Tina Pickett Rep. Tony DeLuca
Judiciary Rep. Ron Marsico Rep. Joseph Petrarca*
Professional Licensure Rep. Julie Harhart Rep. Harry Readshaw

To read more about the issues we’re advocating on and our top advocacy priorities check out PAMED’s 2015 legislative and regulatory agenda.