Dear PAGR Member:
The word "unprecedented" gets thrown around a lot these days, but that's because it is an apt word. I have been working in Harrisburg Government affairs for 25 years - half of my life - and nothing I can remember even comes close to what we are currently experiencing. I want you to know your PAGR board and I have been doing our best to represent your interests. Because of PAGR action, the Department of State agreed to push off the 1st quarter filing deadline to coincide with the 2nd quarter. In fact, our relationship with the Department has never been healthier and it is because of Board efforts to represent you.
On the legislative side, I have initiated many discussions with leaders and staff concerning lobbyists’ access to information during the Capitol closure and sent attached letter on April 3 to press our case with leadership. While both Chambers have made some progress on transparency during floor sessions, we are being completely shut out of the Committee process. After two months of prodding, and two months of internal discussions, I was essentially told that nothing will change. There are simply too many people on the Hill whose instincts are to withhold and obscure as much as possible.
This does not mean that we are giving up the fight. I will continue to press the issue as much as I can. The Board and I will be discussing ways we can perhaps turn up the heat a little bit, we would welcome your input.
In the meantime, PAGR is looking for the best ways to serve you as things open up a little in June. First, we will have a virtual membership meeting on Monday, June 15th with special guest Mike Brunelle giving remarks and answering questions. We will then have a second virtual event recapping the primary on Friday, June 19th. This event will feature political analysts Chris Nicholas and Abe Amoros discussing the results of the June 2 primary and looking ahead to November. Both of these events are free of charge and for PAGR Members only.
The budget may be "done," but I believe there is a lot more legislative activity to come in 2020. PAGR will continue to be there to provide you a collective voice on both the executive and legislative sides of the Harrisburg equation. Please catch up on your dues and join us for our two events in June! Details for reservations will be sent in the next few days.
Thank you – we hope you are safe and healthy.
Peter G. Trufahnestock