Reinventing PA Government


With a focus on creating better government, more economic prosperity and stronger communities, House Republicans unveiled legislation to do what’s best for Pennsylvania by bringing sweeping changes to streamline state government and improve services for Pennsylvanians.

To read the press release about the package of bills, click here.  

To watch the press conference, click here.

Office of Management and Budget


This legislation 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. This agency, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), would oversee and supervise all aspects of the Commonwealth’s governance, including budget preparation, state expenditures along with handling all procurement, human resources and information technology. This model is used by the federal government and 29 states to improve the coordination and management of governance.

In order to fulfill its important role and the duties of the merged agencies, the new agency would be comprised of bureaus which include:
  • Bureau of Budget & Financial Management
  • Bureau of Planning and Policy
  • Bureau of State Facilities and Maintenance
  • Bureau of Procurement
  • Bureau of Human Resources
  • Bureau of Information Technology
  • Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO TIME)
These bureaus would be overseen by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, who is required to perform the duties previously given to the Secretary of the Budget, Secretary of General Services and Secretary of Administration.

Department of Business, Tourism and Workforce Development

 

Pennsylvania has decentralized its job creation, economic development and business programs throughout several different state agencies. To improve economic development and strengthen job creation, this proposal would merge economic development, business and workforce development policy under a single agency.

Authored by Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon), the proposal would merge the Department of Labor and Industry with functions from the Department of Community and Economic Development and Department of State. Under the legislation the new Department of Business, Tourism and Workforce Development (DBTWD) would be organized as follows:
  • Bureau of Trust Fund Management
  • Bureau of Safety and Labor and Management Relations
  • Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Bureau of Workforce Development and Business Finance
  • Bureau of Marketing & Tourism
  • Bureau of Licensing (Occupational Licensing and Business/Non-Profit Licensing)
  • Office of Business Consultants
This legislation would ensure economic development programs are under one department to improve coordination and foster greater private-sector job growth. It would provide a department to allow Pennsylvania to better compete in a global economy. This proposed merger would also refocus current agencies into the singular mission of private sector job growth and send the message: Pennsylvania is open for business.

This proposal would establish the new department as a one-stop shop for job creators by forming the Office of Business Consultants. The Office of Business Consultants would be designed to reduce the burden of state requirements by assisting job creators with compliance and economic development.

Department of Local Government and Community Affairs

 

Pennsylvania has the second most local governmental entities of any state. This proposal would merge different state agencies to create a new department to address local community needs and concerns. Introduced by Rep. Matt Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset), this proposal would create the Department of Local Government and Community Affairs (DLGCA). This department would be comprised of powers and authorities from the Department of State and the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

The department would be overseen by a cabinet secretary who would act as Secretary of the Commonwealth, which is a constitutional position. The department would oversee and assist counties across the state with managing elections. The department would also handle local government grant and tax credit programs transferred from DCED. Similar to the newly created Department of Business, Tourism and Workforce Development, the DLGCA would have an office of Local Government Consultant. The role of this office would be as a liaison between the department and local governments assisting with grant applications and other issues facing local governments. DLGCA would be divided into:
  • Center for Local Government
  • Bureau of Elections
  • State Athletic Commission
  • Office of Local Government Consultants
Department of Health and Human Services

 

Rep. Stephen Bloom’s (R-Cumblerland) proposal would merge the Department of Health with the Department of Human Services. The unification of the two agencies would achieve savings for taxpayers while improving the delivery of services to Pennsylvanians. The proposed unification presents us with a significant opportunity to reinvent state government, streamline bureaucracy and break down the silos that prevent agencies from serving residents most effectively.

Merging would allow the two agencies to achieve savings while improving the quality-of-care provided to those in need. This legislation would also address the overlap and redundancies between state agencies that oversee social safety net programs. By merging the two agencies into the Department of Health and Human Services, the new agency can coordinate these programs to provide service needed to those in need. As a result, we can improve care while saving taxpayer money.

Consolidation of Economic Development Programs

This proposal would improve services for job seekers and prospective employers, while providing better value for the taxpayers who fund these programs.

Currently, Pennsylvania’s workforce system is fragmented and spread across a number of state agencies. This leads to duplication of services and missed opportunities, both for prospective employers and those who are seeking to obtain employment. When the federal government re-authorized the federal workforce development system in 2014, an emphasis was placed on coordination of services. Progress has been made, and this proposal builds on that foundation.

Under this proposal introduced by Rep. Justin Walsh (R-Westmoreland), the programs that comprise the Commonwealth’s workforce system under the Department of Labor and Industry, the Department of Community and Economic Development, and the Department of Human Services would be consolidated under the direction of one state agency.

The need for a qualified and available workforce is one of the most common issues raised by employers who are seeking to expand or remain in Pennsylvania. This proposal would give the Commonwealth the tools to help connect the employers who have jobs open with a person who is qualified to fill it.

Elimination of Outdated Boards and Commissions

Currently, there are many state boards and commissions which have been underutilized or have become outdated and never were repealed. These boards or commissions, listed below, have failed to meet for years and in most cases no longer issue reports for us to see any progress in their work. A proposal introduced by Rep. Jonathan Fritz (R-Susquehanna/Wayne) equates to “cleaning out the closet.” During our efforts to restructure, streamline and reinvent government we should be looking at every area where we can remove waste in Harrisburg. This is an easy place for us to begin.


To read more about the full package of bills, click here.

To view the current organizational structure of state government, click here. As you will see the chart is large. So large, in fact, it didn’t fit on this page.