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The Joint State Government Commission serves as the bipartisan and bicameral research agency of the General Assembly. It is comprised of the entire membership of the General Assembly.

Recent Publications

Ongoing, as authorized by the Public School Code of 1949, Section 2002-D. Commonly known as the Stairs Report, the 2014 annual report was the 19th consecutive published by Joint State.

Posted on February 01, 2014

NOTE: This report was revised on February 12, 2014.

Ongoing as authorized by the Public School Code of 1949, Section 2017-A. This report is commonly known as the Snyder Report and the 2014 annual report was the 40th consecutive published by Joint State.

Posted on February 01, 2014

Senate Resolution 6 of 2013 directed the Joint State Government Commission to appoint an Advisory Committee to conduct a thorough and comprehensive analysis of violent crime and mass shootings, as well as other topics related to those issues, including mental illness and treatment, firearms regulation, school security, bullying, gang-related activities, educational issues, and cultural influences, including violent video games.

One Page Summary

Posted on December 01, 2013

Summary –  Contents of Report

Staff Study of the Emergency Medical Services System in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

House Resolution 315 of 2012 directed the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a staff study of the administrative effectiveness of the emergency medical services system (EMS) in Pennsylvania.  Commission staff gathered information from a number of resources, including groups and individuals who represent the spectrum of responsibilities from top administrators to physicians to probationary EMTs.  Common themes were revealed.

Despite that the overall system is often characterized as dysfunctional, comments reflect an EMS delivery system that nonetheless manages to ensure Pennsylvania residents are provided with the best services available.  The primary concern of everyone involved is that necessary steps be taken to maintain and improve EMS’s effectiveness.


Dwindling government fiscal support for services leaves providers in a continual state of uncertainty and burdened to balance limited resources against core missions. The loosely organized system of regional councils allows for local control over local conditions; however leadership, communications, evaluations, and feedback between PADOH, councils, and providers lack clarity and direction.  Poor cooperation and communications between PADOH and PEMA lead to inefficiencies and confusion. Regional councils are contracted to inspect their own members. Regional councils appear to compete with their local providers for resources.


Available EMS grants should focus more closely on EMS; eligibility criteria should be standardized for all applicants. The State EMS Advisory Board should be reconstituted so as to resemble the structure of similar advisory bodies.  The State EMS Plan ought to be redrafted for clarity and purposes of strategic planning. PADOH needs to strengthen performance evaluation and feedback for providers with respect to the plan.  The number of regional councils ought to be reduced from 15, and single county councils ought to be merged.  Potential conflicts of interest must be addressed. Cooperation and collaboration within PADOH and with PEMA ought to be priority.

One Page Summary


Posted on December 01, 2013

Summary - Contents of Report

            This report contains proposed legislation that amends 35 Pa.C.S. and concerns disease control measures.

            The proposed legislation contains official comments, developed by the Joint State Government Commission and the Advisory Committee, which may be used in determining the intent of the General Assembly.

            Notes follow several statutory provisions and set forth explanatory material or background information regarding the current law.

            Transitional language -- provisions regarding applicability, repeals and the effective date of the proposed legislation -- follows the statutory recommendations.

This report also contains the following:

  • A summary of the proposed legislation.
  • A discussion of the proposed legislation.
  • A source table for the proposed legislation.
  • A disposition table that lists the location of the provisions of the DPCL that have been codified into 35 Pa.C.S.
  • The DPCL.
  • Health and safety regulations from Title 28 of the Pennsylvania Code.
  • Select statutory and regulatory provisions, including those regarding The Administrative Code of 1929, the Local Health Administration Law, the seizure of certain clothing, the right to counsel, and the Public Defender Act.
  • An appendix containing 2007 Senate Resolution No. 194.

One Page Summary

Posted on November 01, 2013



The Joint State Government Commission is pleased to present this report, The Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code and Orphans’ Court Matters: Legislation Recommended by the Advisory Committee on Decedents’ Estates Laws, 1945-2013, which provides a historical perspective regarding the work of the Advisory Committee.  Formed in 1945, the Advisory Committee has generated more than 40 reports that have served as the basis for legislation introduced during numerous legislative sessions of the General Assembly.

On behalf of the Joint State Government Commission, we thank the members of the Advisory Committee, as well as the members of the legislative Task Force on Decedents’ Estates Laws, for their dedication to improve Pennsylvania law regarding Title 20 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (the Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code) and related statutes.

Posted on August 01, 2013
Current Events
Joint State lends a hand in recently enacted legislation

Several pieces of legislation signed into law by Governor Corbett were the direct result of recommendations proposed by the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection, whose final report was issued to the General Assembly in November 2012.

The Governor also signed legislation that changes the Motor Vehicle Sales Finance Act and the Goods and Services Installment Sales Act that came from the Joint State Government Advisory Committee on Consumer Credit Code in its November 2006 report.

Posted on January 15, 2014
Joint State Government Commission

The Commission is pleased to unveil its newly preserved treasure...a painting commemorating its 10th anniversary. Dating to 1947, this painting was discovered, rolled-up, in a storage room. To preserve this piece of history, the oil on canvas was framed and now hangs proudly in the Commissions’ conference room.

Posted on October 11, 2013
Joint State report Recieves Notable Document Award

The National Conference of State Legislatures recently announced the selection of the 2013 Notable Document Award recipients, which included Joint State's report on Human Trafficking in Pennsylvania The study was recognized as "innovative in providing substantiative information on contemporary issues of interest to legislators."

Posted on July 09, 2013
Child Protection in Pennsylvania: Proposed Recommendations, Report of the Task Force on Child Protection

The full report is available here  A summary of the report is available here A clip of the joint House Children & Youth and Judiciary Committee hearing, on January 22, 2012, is available here

Posted on November 27, 2012
Site Updated March 28, 2014
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