By Rep. Anita Kulik
Welcome to 2023! I hope this new year is happy, healthy and peaceful for everyone.
On Jan. 3, all members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives will be sworn into office for the new two-year session. The new governor and lieutenant governor will be sworn in on Jan.17.
At the time of this writing, control of the House is still being debated. Courts are deciding who will hold the majority on Jan. 3, along with other issues.
Three special elections for the Pennsylvania House are currently scheduled for Feb. 7. These dates may change with future court decisions.
One seat belonged to Rep. Tony DeLuca, who passed away prior to the November election day, but after ballots were printed. The other two seats belonged to other state representatives who were elected to other offices.
When the special elections take place, a majority will be finally decided for the remainder of the two-year session.
With no agreed-upon leadership for the Speaker's office as of this writing, there is no session calendar for the House yet. I, along with my colleagues, are looking to schedule district events for 2023, but must wait for our Harrisburg calendar to be set.
Because we will have a new governor, the budget process gets pushed back slightly. Normally, the governor would give his annual budget address in early February. But because the governor and his staff are new, they are given some extra time to put his budget proposal together. This should happen sometime in early March. This final budget remains due on June 30.
State programs are up and running for the new year. LIHEAP is open for those needing assistance with their home heating bills. The federal government has again extended the deadline for obtaining a REAL ID to May 2025. You can also come to my office to obtain your senior bus pass if you are turning 65 this year.
My staff and I are available to assist in obtaining documents and applying for these and other programs.
My office on Main Street in Carnegie closed on Dec. 15. We are relocating to the first floor of the Carnegie Municipal Building on Jan. 10. Our office there will be staffed on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
I am looking forward to seeing everyone in the new year and meeting more of our new residents to the district from Collier, Bridgeville and McKees Rocks. I look forward to visiting all our municipalities in the new year and welcoming visitors to our offices.