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PA Lawmakers Talk About Goals for New Session

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HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) If you talk to lawmakers each of them seem to have their own ideas for what’s most important to get done moving forward. But every year, there’s one constant… passing a budget.  Eyewitness News Harrisburg Reporter Matt Heckel has the story.

  “I would like to see us try and get a budget done. Try and get a budget done on time, if that’s possible” said Representative Louis Schmitt. Blair County

Whether you’re new to the state capitol… Like Representative Louis Schmitt. Or a veteran like Senator Art Haywood passing a budget is always a top priority.

  “That’s got to be resolved, so we have a budget that’s fair to individuals” noted Senator Haywood

But Senator Haywood who represents Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties says he has other goals he’d like to accomplish this legislative session as well.

  “Number one, raising the minimum wage.”

  “20 states have raised their minimum wage in 2019…” noted Representative Patty Kim, Dauphin County

Pennsylvania’s minimum wage has been stuck at 7-25 an hour since 2009.

Representative Kim says  “it’s long overdue.”

Representative Patty Kim plans to re-introduce a bill that would raise the state’s minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour by 2024.

  “If the republicans don’t like it, let’s just have a conversation about a number that will be more than 7.25 an hour.”

Other lawmakers are looking at tackling things like tax policy and government reform.

  “One is term limits. I want to reintroduce the concept of a term-limited legislature” noted Representative Lewis.

The top priority for Senator Mark Rozzi is passing a bill to change the statute of limitation for child sex abuse. A bill that failed to receive a vote last year is a top priority.

  “We will be back at these steps next year and every year that follows until we get that window done.”

 Lawmakers were sworn in for the New Year on Tuesday… But now aren’t scheduled to return to cast any votes until the 15th.

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