[The Erie Reader is proud to bring you: “Harrisburg Happenings.” This is the first in a series of columns from one of Erie’s newest state legislators, Senator Sean Wiley. Once each month, he’ll bring you news, reflections, and thoughts from our Commonwealth’s capitol city.]
Well, Erie Reader readers, here we are. It’s hard to believe it has already been more than a month since I was standing on the Senate Floor surrounded by family and friends, taking the oath of office. I can’t even begin to tell you how that felt! This has been a very humbling experience, and I am overcome with a great sense of responsibility. I do not take my role lightly.
I was sworn in on New Year’s Day, but let me tell you, we were working long before that day even arrived. Our offices have been up and running since Dec. 1, allowing us to waste no time in getting to work for the constituents. Since then, we’ve been tackling many issues.
The number-one issue we’ve been faced with is the lack of pay to health care attendants. I want to assure you that I have been doing everything I can to make as much noise about this situation as possible. More importantly, we have been working to bridge the communication gap between PPL (the payroll service provider) and the attendants and consumers. The last thing we want to see is our most vulnerable citizens losing critical care because their attendants aren’t being paid. I can tell you that the paychecks have started rolling in, and I am confident this situation is on the mend.
I have also sunk my teeth into the reclassification of Erie County. The decision was made to reclassify Erie County as a “rural” community under the Department of Public Welfare effective July 1, 2012. The result of that has been a cut in reimbursements for human service providers. I have personally met with Gov. Tom Corbett, and I can tell you we are working together to fix this.
On the legislative end of things, I have been appointed to some key committees. I have been chosen to serve as the Democratic Chairman of the Intergovernmental Operations Committee. I’m guessing you’re wondering what that committee does! It’s a relatively new committee formed during the 2011-2012 Legislative Session. The members of this committee will consider proposals for streamlining state government, including possible consolidation of agencies. Essentially it’s all about looking for ways to make government run more efficiently. I am serving on four other committees. They are: Community, Economic and Recreational Development; Labor and Industry; Public Health and Welfare; and Communications and Technology.
I truly believe we must keep the lines of communication open. I want you to know what we’re up to in the district and in Harrisburg. To the same end, I want to know what your thoughts and concerns are. With all of that being said, I would like to thank the wonderful folks at Erie Reader for giving me another outlet to connect with the constituents.
As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office at 453.2515; I look forward to working with each of you over the years.
Have something to say to Senator Wiley? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org