My Audio Updates
Here you will find audio clips about important events that have taken place during the current and past Legislative Sessions.
Rep. Ward Says Lawmakers Working Toward State Budget Agreement in Harrisburg - 6/29/2017
Lawmakers are continuing to work toward agreement on a state budget plan for the 2016-2017 fiscal year this week in Harrisburg. The initial House Republican budget bill that was passed in April called for $31.52 billion in spending, which is significantly less than the $32.34 billion budget proposal put forth by Gov. Wolf in February. The House budget plan also provided for a modest increase in education spending while providing continued support for public safety and human services programs, without a broad based tax increase. Rep. Ward said she is hopeful that the budget plan will be ready for House consideration soon.
Rep. Ward Comments on Legislation to Improve Women’s Access to Health Care - 5/9/2017
Legislation designed to change the way the state allocates money for family planning has been unveiled in Harrisburg. At a press conference on Tuesday, Rep. Judy Ward (R-Blair) announced that she is authoring a bill to prioritize public funds for women’s health. Rep. Ward said her bill will make healthcare more accessible for women in rural areas of the Commonwealth.
Rep. Ward Comments on Pennsylvania Open Workforce Initiative - 3/22/2017
A package of legislation designed to protect the rights and freedoms of employees in Pennsylvania was introduced in Harrisburg on Wednesday. The Pennsylvania Open Workforce Initiative package of bills would give employees the right to opt in or out of union membership and would prevent compulsory or “fair-share” union dues by employees who may not support the political activities of their industry’s union.
Ward Comments on Governor's Budget Address - 2/7/2017
Governor Tom Wolf delivered his annual budget address before a joint session of Pennsylvania’s House and Senate on Tuesday in Harrisburg. The Governor proposed a $32.3 billion spending plan with no new major taxes for the upcoming fiscal year. House Republicans were encouraged by the Governor’s decision to work with lawmakers to explore several cost-saving measures in order to balance the budget.
Rep. Ward Comments on Efforts to Find New Solutions for PA’s Growing Drug Epidemic Following Westmoreland County Hearing - 8/4/2016
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is continuing a series of statewide hearings aimed at finding better ways to tackle Pennsylvania’s opioid addiction crisis. The third of eight hearings was held Wednesday in Westmoreland County and included testimony from area law enforcement officials and drug treatment organizations about the growing drug epidemic and what new strategies are needed to address the situation. The General Assembly will be convening a special session to address the opioid crisis this fall in Harrisburg. Rep. Judy Ward (R-Blair) attended the hearing and said this joint information gathering effort is the first step in finding new solutions to help bring an end to the drug addiction crisis facing the state.
Rep. Ward Supports Bill to End Late-Term and Dismemberment Abortions - 6/22/2016
Legislation that would update Pennsylvania’s Abortion Control Act, limiting abortions to cases of medical necessity after 20 weeks of pregnancy, instead of the current 24-weeks, and ending the practice of dismemberment abortions has been approved by the House of Representatives. Rep. Judy Ward (R-Blair) supported the legislation and said the changes brought by the bill would bring an end to the objectionable practice of dismemberment abortion.
Rep. Ward Comments on Committee Passage of Statute of Limitation Law - 4/6/2016
Legislation designed to strengthen Pennsylvania’s statute of limitation laws in regard to child sex abuse has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee. House Bill 1947 would eliminate the statute of limitations on criminal cases, and extend the statute for civil cases until the victim reaches age 50. Rep. Judy Ward (R-Blair) said victims of child sexual abuse should not be denied justice simply because too much time has passed. House Bill 1947 now awaits consideration by the full House.
Rep. Ward Reacts to Governor’s Budget Announcement - 3/24/2016
At a press conference held at the State Capitol on Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he intends to allow a budget approved by the General Assembly last week to become law without his signature. The move signals the end of a nine-month fiscal impasse in Pennsylvania. The 30 billion dollar spending plan allows money to flow to schools, corrections, and agriculture programs that had been held hostage during negotiations.
Rep. Ward Comments on Latest House Effort to Finalize the State Budget - 3/16/2016
Lawmakers took action Wednesday in the state capitol to provide essential funding for the remainder of the 2015/2016 state budget. The current year’s fiscal plan remains unresolved due to the Governor’s line-item vetoes of more than $6 billion for basic and higher education, as well as money for the Department of Corrections and agriculture programs. The House and Senate put forth supplemental budget legislation to address the funding holes created by the Governor’s vetoes and restore state funding for these programs. The supplemental funding bill approved today provides for a 200 million dollar increase for basic education, a 5 percent increase for higher education, and ensures that no schools will close in the Commonwealth. Rep. Ward said it is past time to close out this years' state budget in order for the legislature to move on with next year's fiscal plan.
Rep. Ward Joins Penn State Ag Council, 4-Hers in Calling on Gov to Restore Funding to Vital Ag Research & Extension Programs - 3/9/2016
House lawmakers joined dozens of Penn State Ag Council members and 4-H members Wednesday in the state capitol to call for the restoration of more than $50 million in funding for the university’s agriculture research and extension programs. A failure to restore the funding vetoed in December by Governor Wolf would force Penn State University to begin shutting down its agriculture operations and outreach by May 1st, putting at risk an estimated 1,100 jobs within Penn State Extension and research. In addition to the impact on jobs, eliminating the $50 million investment could cause an economic loss for the state of more than $260 million. And it would also mean an end to Penn State’s 4-H program, which helps to prepare future leaders in the state’s agriculture community. Rep. Judy Ward (R-Blair) attended the event and commented on the effort to restore this crucial funding.