Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Smith, Turzai to Head GOP House Caucus

Newly-elected state House Republican leaders are promising to change the way their chamber is run but have not provided many details.
After he was voted House Majority Leader for next year’s session, Allegheny County Republican Mike Turzai said the GOP will run a smoother ship than Democrats did the past four years.

"I would like to think that we’ll be more disciplined, and we’ll be on-time and organized. And we’re going to do what we say we’re going to do."

Speaker-to-be Sam Smith of Jefferson County agrees, but didn’t endorse any specific changes to House rules.

"I think our goal would really be to have the quote reforms be more about – spoken for more in actions than in words. That’s really what it’s going to be about. It’s going to be a responsible and accountable calendar that the membership can sink their teeth into."

Turzai says lawmakers will make department heads explain every line item during next year’s budget hearings.

"It’s not, oh, you come in and tell us what you got last year, and tell us how much you got on top of it. We’re starting from zero with every department and every commission, and everyone’s going to have to come in here and justify their expenditures."

Next year’s Appropriations Committee Chair, Bill Adolph, concedes that will likely extend the budget process.
Both Smith and Turzai say they’ll push for fiscal responsibility and an improved business climate, but neither would identify a bill Republicans will make priority one when the new session begins in January.
They say they’ll discuss their agenda with Senate leaders and Governor-elect Tom Corbett.

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