– In the vein of an overarching theme driven by House Republican Caucus this legislative session, state Reps. Matthew Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset), Seth Grove (R-York) and Justin Walsh (R-Westmoreland) drafted the Reinventing Government bill package to create better government, more economic prosperity and stronger communities.
“The legislation to merge state agencies is focused on implementing changes to make our state government more efficient and effective, as well as more financially responsible. They’re commonsense changes that would translate into real savings, freeing money that could then be used where it’s needed,” Dowling said.
Each merger in the package would be required to:
? Cut administrative costs by 20%.
? Improve the delivery of government services for all residents.
? Identify, consolidate and eliminate redundant programs.
? Reduce taxpayer costs through the improved use of state funds.
Dowling’s bill would create the Department of Local Government and Community Affairs (DLGCA), comprised of powers and authorities from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of State, to oversee the state’s 5,000 local governments. DLGCA would assist counties with managing elections and help local governments apply for eligible grant and tax credit programs transferred from DCED.
The bill sponsored by Grove would merge the Budget Office, the Department of General Services, the Office of Administration and the Governor’s Office of Policy and Planning into one agency called the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
“This new agency would oversee every aspect of the Commonwealth’s governance, including budget preparation, managing state expenditures and handling all procurement, human relations and information technology,” Grove said. “By improving the coordination between these core function of government the state can improve delivery of government services to the people of Pennsylvania.”
Walsh’s bill would consolidate the Commonwealth’s workforce development system into one easier-to-navigate system instead of the system being fragmented and spread across numerous state agencies.
“My bill would consolidate workforce development programs that are currently divided among the Department of Labor and Industry, the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), and the Department of Human Services,” Walsh said. “This proposal would give DCED, the agency that is tasked with keeping current employers in Pennsylvania and bringing new opportunities into the state, the much-needed tools to help connect employers who have job openings with workers qualified to fill them.”
The bills offered by Dowling, Grove and Walsh have been referred to the House State Government Committee for review.
For more information on the complete bill package, please visit RepDowling.com