Lawrence Says PA’s $6 Billion in UC Fraud Demands Action

May. 23, 2023 / Embed

During floor debate on the 2023-24 state budget, I proposed an amendment that would fund investigations into fraudulent unemployment compensation (UC) claims. My amendment stems from a recent report by the PA Office of Inspector General (OIG), which revealed that Pennsylvania paid out an estimated $6 billion in fraudulent UC claims over the past two years.

Lawrence Opposes HB 299

May. 02, 2023 / Embed

Rep Lawrence speaks against House Bill 299, which creates a massive new OSHA-style regulatory regime affecting every municipality in Pennsylvania. This massive new unfunded mandate would also extend to food pantries, women’s shelters, and any other nonprofit that accepts even a nominal state grant.

Budget Secretary Asked About “Off-Line” Spending and Transparency

Apr. 14, 2023 / Embed

The Governor’s Budget Office responded to Rep. Lawrence’s questions concerning the appropriateness of state sales and income tax revenue being diverted away from the General Fund to cover major off-budget expenditures such as the PA State Police and mass transit, which he contends should be handled through the annual state budget.

Utility Ratepayers Bear Cost When Municipal Water/Sewer Authorities Sold

Apr. 14, 2023 / Embed

At the PA Public Utility Commission’s budget hearing, Rep. Lawrence asked PUC officials what ratepayers should expect if municipal water or sewer authorities, like Chester Water Authority, are sold.

Pension System Accountability

Apr. 13, 2023 / Embed

Rep. John Lawrence asks PSERS about its questionable real estate purchases and its plans moving forward.

DCED Responds to Potential Dissolution of City of Chester

Apr. 13, 2023 / Embed

At the budget hearing for the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), I asked Acting Secretary Rick Siger about recent statements made by the court-appointed receiver of the city of Chester, and DCED’s role in this situation as it relates to Chester Water Authority.

What is Being Done to Address Unemployment Compensation Fraud?

Apr. 12, 2023 / Embed

At the budget hearing for the Department of Labor and Industry (L&I), I questioned department officials about the estimated $6 billion in unemployment compensation fraud and what the department is doing to recover these funds.

DHS Officials Questioned About Proposed Medicaid Expenditures

Apr. 11, 2023 / Embed

At the Department of Human Services (DHS) budget hearing, I questioned DHS officials why a proposed 8% increase in Medicaid dental fees does not specifically appear in the governor’s budget and why dental services were prioritized over other services.

Lawrence Questions PennDOT Official About Shortage of Road Workers

Mar. 30, 2023 / Embed

During the budget hearing for PennDOT, I questioned Acting Secretary Mike Carroll about the shortage of trained equipment operators in Chester County to fix potholes and perform other road maintenance. My inquiry centered on PennDOT salaries and the agency’s ability to attract and retain these workers.

PennDOT Official Open to Discussion on Potential Amtrak Rail Line Transfer

Mar. 30, 2023 / Embed

Pennsylvania pays Amtrak a substantial subsidy to operate Keystone Line train service between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. At the PennDOT budget hearing, I asked Acting Secretary Mike Carroll about the administration’s willingness to acquire the line to give the Commonwealth greater control over the cost and quality of service.