HARRISBURG – State Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) today appeared before the Senate Inter-Governmental Operations Committee to testify in support of The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a bipartisan, bicameral legislative agency that serves as a resource for rural policy within the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Yaw, who also serves as Chairman of the Board for the Center, testified on Senate Bill 1080, introduced by Senator Stewart Greenleaf (R-12), which would consolidate six of the legislative research agencies, including the Center, under one Legislative Office of Research and Policy Development. In its current form, the legislation would repeal the Center’s enabling legislation and eliminate the existing Board.
During the hearing, Yaw provided testimony opposing the elimination of the Center. “Naturally, as Chairman of the Board, I have a vested interest in this piece of legislation and its impact on the Center,” Yaw said. “Moreover, I have a deep concern of its ramifications on rural Pennsylvanians.”
“Given the Center’s current staff compliment and allocation of resources, the Center’s work would be severely compromised, or eliminated, with the consolidation.” Yaw added.
“I oppose including the Center for Rural Pennsylvania in Senate Bill 1080 because it represents a major shift away from the focus on rural Pennsylvania. This bill appears to be ‘change for the sake of change’ with no demonstrated savings whatsoever.”
Since 1987, the Center has worked with the Legislature, educators, state and federal executive branch agencies, and national, statewide, regional and local organizations to maximize resources and strategies that can better serve Pennsylvania’s 3.4 million rural residents.
Senate Bill 1080 would consolidate the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee, Joint State Government Committee, Local Government Commission, Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, Legislative Office for Research Liaison (LORL) and the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.
Rita Zielonis, 717-787-3280