Joe Scarnati

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Joe B. Scarnati III
JoeScarnati.jpg
Pennsylvania State Senate District 25
Incumbent
In office
2001-Present
Term ends
December 1, 2016
Years in position 13
PartyRepublican
Leadership
President Pro Tempore, Pennsylvania State Senate
2006-present
Compensation
Base salary$84,012/year
Per diem$157/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected2000
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Lieutenant Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
2008-2009
Education
Bachelor'sPennsylvania State at DuBois, 1982
Personal
Place of birthBrockway, PA
ProfessionBusiness Owner
ReligionRoman Catholic
Websites
Office website
CandidateVerification
Joseph 'Joe' B. Scarnati III (b. 1962) is a Republican member of the Pennsylvania State Senate, representing District 25. He was first elected to the chamber in 2000. He currently serves as State Senate President Pro Tempore.

Scarnati served as the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania from 2008-2011. Since Scaranti was President Pro Tempore of the Senate when his predecessor, Catherine Baker Knoll passed away, he was required to succeed her while holding his state senate office.

Biography

Scarnati earned his B.A. in Business Administration from Pennsylvania State University at DuBois in 1982.[1]

Committee assignments

2013-2014

At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Scarnati served on all Senate standing committees ex officio, as well as the Joint State Government Commission.

2011-2012

In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Scarnati served on all Senate standing committees ex officio, as well as the Joint State Government Commission.

2009-2010

In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Scarnati served on all Senate standing committees ex officio.

Issues

Pension costs

In January 2014, after his re-election to head the State Senate, Scarnati talked about his focus on the state's pension costs. "The largest cost and growth in next year’s budget will be pension costs," Scarnati said. "To pay the bill will mean that we are forced to flat-fund or reduce fund many areas of the budget that have already been cut close to the bone." Scarnati also said that reducing pension debt will allow the state to spend more for primary education, higher education and social services.[2]

For the 2014-2015 fiscal year, Pennsylvania is expected to devote $2 billion to state public pensions, including the State Employees Retirement System (SERS) and the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS), an increase of nearly $600 million from the 2013-2014 budget and roughly $1 out of every $15 Pennsylvania plans to spend. The increase in pension costs generated several responses from Pennsylvania leaders. "The largest cost and growth in next year’s budget will be pension costs," Scarnati stated in December 2013. "To pay the bill will mean that we are forced to flat-fund or reduce-fund many areas of the budget that have already been cut close to the bone." State Representative John McGinnis said, "We in state government have had a shameful history since 2001 producing legislation that short-changes the funding of our public employee pensions...The mistake has always been to not pay the bill." The Corbett administration expressed interest in creating a hybrid pension system to potentially cut nearly $7 billion off the state's total pension bill.[3]

Liquor privatization

On March 5, 2013, Turzai introduced House Bill 790, and the bill was referred to the Liquor Control Committee.[4][5] This bill was the legislative form of Corbett's January 30, 2013, proposal to privatize the state-owned liquor stores and use the revenue to increasing funding for education. The governor's plan would see the state's liquor and wine stores auctioned off, while big box stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores would be able to sell limited quantities of beer and, in the case of big box stores and supermarkets, wine. Restaurants, already able to sell beer, would be able to sell customers up to six bottles of wine, while retail beer distributors could obtain licenses to sell beer, wine, and liquor, instead of only beer. The auctions and licensing fees would generate an estimated $1 billion over four years. Under Corbett's plan, these funds would be distributed to school districts using a formula based on their student enrollment and income level. The block grants would fund "school safety; early learning; science, technology, engineering and mathematics course programming; and 'individual learning.'"[6] The Commonwealth Foundation, a pro-market think tank, commended Corbett for his privatization proposal. The Foundation noted in a January 30, 2013, press release that Pennsylvania loses tax revenue when residents go to other states to buy alcohol and that the government had spent $10 million to establish its own wine brand to compete against privately owned wineries. Polls showed most Pennsylvanians favored privatization.[7] After HB 790 was reported to the House by the Liquor Control Committee on March 18 and then by the Appropriations Committee on March 21, the House passed the bill 105-90 on March 21.[5] This amended version of the bill would privatize the wholesaling of wine and spirits within one year, require the government liquor stores in any given county to shut down within six months after the number of private stores double those of the government, and provide education credits and civil service hiring preferences to employees of the government stores.[8]

Scarnati and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi supported increasing consumer choice but remained unconvinced that the government stores needed to be auctioned off.[9] Following its House passage, HB 790 was sent to the Senate. Pileggi reasserted his emphasis on "looking for ways to increase convenience, and selection at a competitive price" rather than privatization. He indicated that bill would be changed before passage in the Senate. Corbett refused to publicly comment on how he would approach negotiations with the Senate but reaffirmed his support for privatization.[10] As of August 20, 2013, HB 790 has been referred to the Appropriations Committee in the Senate.[11]

Elections

2012

See also: Pennsylvania State Senate elections, 2012

Scarnati ran in the 2012 election for Pennsylvania Senate District 25. Scarnati ran unchallenged in the April 24 primary and was unchallenged in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012. [12][13]

Pennsylvania State Senate, District 25, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Scarnati Incumbent 100% 75,096
Total Votes 75,096

2008

See also: Pennsylvania State Senate elections, 2008

On November 4, 2008, Scarnati was re-elected to Pennsylvania State Senate District 25. Scarnati defeated Donald Hilliard (D) in the general election.[14]

Scarnati raised $1,643,598 for this campaign.[15]

Pennsylvania State Senate District 25
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png SCARNATI, JOSEPH B. III (R) 64,103
HILLIARD, DONALD L. (D) 31,979

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Joe Scarnati is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Joe Scarnati raised a total of $7,437,716 during that time period. This information was last updated on September 6, 2013.[16]

Joe Scarnati's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Pennsylvania State Senate, District 25 Won $2,516,728
2010 Pennsylvania State Senate, District 25 Not up for election $2,029,880
2008 Pennsylvania State Senate, District 25 Won $1,643,598
2006 Pennsylvania State Senate, District 25 Not up for election $611,552
2004 Pennsylvania State Senate, District 25 Won $191,020
2002 Pennsylvania State Senate, District 25 Not up for election $222,792
2000 Pennsylvania State Senate, District 25 Won $222,146
Grand Total Raised $7,437,716

2012

Joe Scarnati won re-election to the Pennsylvania State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Joe Scarnati raised a total of $2,516,728.
Pennsylvania State Senate 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Joe Scarnati's campaign in 2012
Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters & Joiners of Philadelphia & Vicinity$103,000
Pennsylvania Future Fund$85,000
Firstenergy Corp$53,825
Greater Pennsylvania Regional Council of Carpenters$51,000
Mcknees Wallace & Nurick$50,000
Total Raised in 2012$2,516,728
Source:Follow the Money

2008

Scarnati raised $1,643,598 during the 2008 election cycle.

His top contributors are listed below.[17]

Donor Amount
Pennsylvania Republican Party $98,714
Pennsylvania Future Fund $86,000
Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association $71,000
Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters and Joiners $55,000
Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania $47,000
Pennsylvania Association for Justice $32,000
O'Brien, Morgan, K & Kathleen $30,000
Richard Simmons $28,500
Firstenergy Corp. $27,000
Roger Reschini $27,000

Scorecards

See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Pennsylvania

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Pennsylvania scorecards, email suggestions to scorecards@ballotpedia.org.

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.

2013-2014

In 2013, the Pennsylvania General Assembly was in session from January 2 to December 31. In 2014, the Pennsylvania General Assembly will be in session from January 7 through November 30.

  • Legislators were scored on their votes on key conservative issues.
  • Legislators were scored on their support for legislation related to LGBT equality.
  • Legislators were scored on their votes on bills related to reproductive freedom and family planning.

2011-2012

In 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly was in session from January 4 through November 30. In 2012, the Pennsylvania General Assembly began its legislative session on January 3.

  • Legislators were scored on their votes on key conservative issues.
  • Legislators were scored on their votes on key small business issues.
  • Legislators were scored based on floor votes that highlighted environmental issues.

Personal

Scarnati is married to his wife, Sheryl. They have three children and reside in Warren, Pennsylvania.

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See also

External links

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References

  1. Project Vote Smart, "Biography," accessed May 15, 2014
  2. WatchDog.org, "PA Senate prez: Do away with ‘obsolete, unsustainable’ pensions or face difficult budget cuts," January 9, 2014
  3. WatchDog.org, "Cash or credit? PA facing $600 million in new pension costs," accessed February 10, 2014
  4. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "Turzai: House could get liquor privatization bill soon," accessed March 5, 2013
  5. 5.0 5.1 Pennsylvania General Assembly, "Bill information Pennsylvania House Bill 790," accessed on March 7, 2013
  6. Philadelphia Inquirer, "Corbett's new liquor privatization plan would benefit public schools," accessed February 1, 2013
  7. Commonwealth Foundation, "Liquor Proposal Delivers Convenience," accessed January 30, 2013
  8. Commonwealth Foundation, "What's in New Liquor Liberty Bill?," accessed March 18, 2013
  9. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "Turzai: House could get liquor privatization bill soon," accessed March 5, 2013
  10. CBS Philly, "Pa. House Passes Liquor Store Privatization; Hurdles Loom In Senate," accessed March 21, 2013
  11. Open States, "HB790," accessed August 20, 2013
  12. Pennsylvania Department of State, "2012 General Primary," accessed March 11, 2014
  13. Pennsylvania Department of State, "2012 General Election," accessed March 11, 2014
  14. Pennsylvania Department of State, "2008 General Election," accessed March 11, 2014
  15. Follow the Money, "2008 campaign contributors," accessed May 15, 2014
  16. followthemoney.org, "Scarnati III, Joseph B," accessed September 6, 2013
  17. Follow the Money, "2008 campaign contributors," accessed May 15, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
'
Pennsylvania State Senate District 25
2001–present
Succeeded by
NA