Local State Rep. Kerry Benninghoff , R-Centre, was re-appointed Monday to be chairman of the state House Finance Committee, making this his second term as the chairman of the finance committee, Benninghoff said.
This is Benninghoff’s 17th year as a Pennsylvania state representative and he has previously served on the finance committee for seven years, but not as chairman, Benninghoff said. Benninghoff had left to serve on other committees including the State Government committee, of which he was the chair, and applied for the position of chairman of the House Finance Committee when his party won the majority, Benninghoff said.
The House Finance Committee has 25 members made up of 14 Republicans and 11 Democrats from various backgrounds who review policy and issues relating to taxes in the state, Benninghoff said.
“I like tax policy and making Pennsylvania more competitive to draw businesses,” Benninghoff said.
As the representative of part of Centre County, Benninghoff said he is very interested in Penn State and believes that it has an impact on him both as a representative and as the chairman of the Finance Committee.
Moreover, Benninghoff said, money is appropriated to Penn State and it also creates an economic boom and employment for the area in the form of payroll taxes.
“I’m new to the finance committee, but I’m looking forward to working with [Benninghoff],” said Rep. John Lawrence, R-Chester. “He’s bringing depth and breadth of experience.”
Lawrence said he is also interested in addressing the balance in school funding in the state.
Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery, was sworn in last May and appointed to the finance committee, which she will continue to serve on this term.
“[Benninghoff] is a fair and collegial chairman, while he is dedicated to what he believes in,” Dean said. “ I’m pleased to have been reassigned to this committee.”
As a freshman member of the House, Dean found Benninghoff open to questions about legislation and legislative process and a thoughtful leader.
The next two big issues that the House Finance Committee will be working on are retirement pension and policy changes in taxes for families who pass down small businesses to younger generations, Benninghoff said.