HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania politics were thrilling in 2022, and it doesn’t seem that will end in 2023. More drama is coming next week in the State House.
Which party will take control?
It’s the story of the new year, and it’s happening just after the new year. Will the Democrats or Republicans control the Pennsylvania State House?
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Democrats won 102 seats to the Republicans 101. However, two resignations and a death have left the Democrats down 2 people.
Both parties already swore in and claimed to be majority leaders.
On Jan. 3, 2023, a speaker is supposed to be selected, so somebody will be in charge. That means a party will control the agenda, which is important because constitutional amendments on abortion and voting rights could be moved forward or stopped.
On the topic of voter rights, the maligned Act 77 that caused consternation and claims of fraud in 2020 has still not been fixed.
Pennsylvania’s incoming governor, Josh Shapiro, who will be inaugurated on Jan. 17, 2023, will have to decide whether or not to keep Pennsylvania in the Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which environmentalists love but the fossil fuel industry deplores.
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What big ticket items will Shapiro pursue with an unprecedented multi-billion dollar surplus and rainy day fund?
Without an urgent need for budget cash, will the legalization of recreational marijuana have to wait at least another year?
And what role will Austin Davis, Pennsylvania’s first Lieutenant Governor of color, play in the administration?
Will voters pass an amendment requiring governors to pick running mates instead of electing them independently?
And what about John Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s newest United States Senator? Will he be healthy enough to perform his senatorial duties after suffering a stroke in the middle of 2022?
Will Fetterman be as aggressive of a progressive in Washington as he was in Harrisburg? Or will he be the “freshman” who simply toes the Democratic party line?
Wil central Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Scott Perry face jeopardy for being frequently named by the committee investigating the January 6th Capitol riot.
What role will Perry, who chairs the conservative Freedom Caucus, play in helping or preventing Kevin McCarthy from becoming Speaker of the United States House.
Could Pennsylvania’s version of the Freedom Caucus play a role in the legislative process? Will they be a bigger headache for Republicans or Democrats?
Polls suggest that Donald Trump is still quite popular in Pennsylvania, but will that continue? Will a new Republican rise up from his shadow?
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It’s important to think about because we are just one year away from a presidential election year.