On-Demand Video

Life Cycle of a Bill 2023

  • City:
  • Start Date:2023-07-10 20:00:00
  • End Date:2025-07-10 20:00:00
  • Length:
  • Level:Basic
  • Topics:Government

$249.00 ["ProPass"]

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Many of us learned our civics lessons from a rolled-up piece of paper named Bill in a 70’s Saturday morning cartoon.  Bill taught us about how legislation negotiates the process from introduction to enactment.  But, the legislative process in Pennsylvania is a bit more complicated than a 3-minute song would lead us to believe.  This half-day CLE digs in on the constitutional limitations on legislation in PA; negotiates the minefields of the General Operating Rules of state House and Senate while moving legislation through the General Assembly; explores the ethical rules applicable to state legislators and staff; and, provides “best practices,” in achieving legislative goals.

Recorded in July 2023.


James Mann Esq.

Jim serves as Senior Deputy Chief Counsel to the Republican Caucus in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. His duties include providing legal counsel to leadership, members and staff; developing legislation and policies; and representing the Caucus’ interests in proceedings at the state and federal level. Jim serves as the Speaker’s appointee to the Pennsylvania Delegation of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. He is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, where he received his B.S. in Public Policy in 1995; and the Widener University School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor in 2000. He is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as well as the U.S. District Courts for Middle and Eastern Districts of Pennsylvania.

Mark Bogush Esq.

Mr. Bogush is an associate counsel at the Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau, where he serves as a drafting attorney. Prior to working at the LRB, Mr. Bogush served as an assistant counsel at Joint State Government Commission. He earned his B.A. from Slippery Rock University and his J.D. from Widener University Commonwealth Law School. 

Crystal Clark Esq.

Crystal Clark is General Counsel for the Pennsylvania Senate Republican Caucus, having been appointed to that post in February 2020. In her capacity as General Counsel, Crystal handles the legal aspects of personnel matters, contracting, government ethics and transparency, and all manner of general legal business of the Caucus, its members and staff. Crystal oversees all litigation in which the Caucus or its members are involved in their official capacities. Prior to joining the Senate, Crystal was Of Counsel with McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC in its Lancaster office, where she focused on the areas of Employment and Public Sector Law. Crystal has a particular interest and background in the unique legal issues facing Pennsylvania counties, having served for a period of time as the General Counsel for the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania while at McNees, and also having been the full-time in-house Solicitor for Lancaster County prior to joining McNees. She began her career at Thomas, Thomas and Hafer LLP as defense counsel for municipalities in a wide variety of employment and constitutional litigation. Crystal is a 2003 graduate of the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University, and a 2000 graduate of the University of Michigan, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science.

Ronald Jumper Esq.

Served in various capacities and counsel to various committees for more than thirty years with the Pennsylvania Senate and Senate Democratic Caucus.  Currently serves as Chief Counsel to the Senate Democratic Caucus.  Mr. Jumper has served in the following positions: Deputy Chief Counsel to the Senate Democratic Caucus, Counsel/Executive Director Senate Judiciary, Banking and Insurance and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committees, Counsel—Senate Appropriations Committee, Senior Assistant Counsel/Assistant Counsel Office of the Democratic Leader, Special Counsel—Senate Impeachment Trial Committee Impeachment of  Justice Rolf Larsen. Drafted and reviewed all manner of legislation, rules, and regulations before the Senate as well as executive nominations. Legislative highlights include: Transportation Funding Legislation; Municipal Pensions and Pension Funding; Comprehensive Revisions to State Employee and Public Teacher Pensions; Revisions to Gaming Act; 911 Communications Enhancement Act; Access to Justice and various amendments;  Court Interpreters Certification Act; Comprehensive Revisions to Act 47 Financially Distressed Municipalities Act; Establishing revised taxing authority for the City of Pittsburgh and amendments to Local Tax Enabling Act. Representation of the Senate Democratic Caucus in state and federal courts through the filing amicus briefs or assisting outside counsel with research and drafting in the representation of the caucus including actions challenging legislative enactment process, constitutional adoption process, impeachment challenges, court funding issues, school funding, lobbyist regulation, election issues, legislative and congressional redistricting. Graduate of the University of Pittsburgh—1987 and the Dickinson School of Law—1990.     

Michael Gerdes Esq.

Mr. Gerdes currently serves as the Secretary and Parliamentarian of the Pennsylvania Senate. As Secretary, he is responsible for administering and managing the legislative functions of the Senate. As Parliamentarian, he advises and assists the presiding officer during Senate Session, and provides advice and assistance to Members and staff regarding Senate ru!es, precedents, and practices. He also serves as the Right-to-Know Law Appeals Officer for the Senate. Mr. Gerdes previously served as Counsel to Senate Majority Leaders Kim L. Ward and Jake Corman. In that capacity, he advised the Senators and their staffs on legal matters, including parliamentary procedure and the Rules of the Senate, and assisted them with the running of the Senate legislative calendar. He also advised Majority Caucus Members and staff on constitutional matters. Additionally, he worked in conjunction with the Caucus’ General Counsel on pending litigation in state and federal courts. He began his work in the Pennsylvania Senate in 2015 as Deputy Counsel to the Majority Caucus. Prior to working in the Senate, Mr. Gerdes served as Senior Deputy Attorney General in the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection, from 2005 through 2015. He previously served as a prosecuting attorney with the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, from 2002 until 2005. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University. 

Jill Vecchio Esq.

Ms. Vecchio is a Deputy Chief Counsel for the House of Representatives, Republican Caucus, where she serves as Republican Counsel to the House Committee on Ethics. In that role, she is responsible for administering ethics trainings to Members of the House of Representatives. Prior to joining the House of Representatives, Ms. Vecchio served as an Assistant Counsel with the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System. She is also an adjunct faculty member at the Harrisburg Area Community College, where she teaches Ethics and Professionalism to paralegal students. Ms. Vecchio earned her JD from the Widener University School of Law and a BA with Honors in Political Science and Financial Economics from Moravian College.

Alexandra Sacavage Esq.

Ms. Sacavage serves
as Ethics Counsel to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Democratic
Caucus. She is also counsel to the Chair and other Democratic Members of the
House Committee on Ethics. Ms. Sacavage provides legal advice and administers
Ethics training to Members and staff of the General Assembly and has served
as legal counsel for the House and other Commonwealth agencies for over 10
years. She earned her B.A. from Temple University and her J.D. from Villanova
University School of Law.

Robert O’Donnell Esq.

Mr. O’Donnell is managing partner of the firm of O’Donnell Associates. He has been an attorney in Philadelphia for more than 40 years with wide and varied areas of practice. He also served in the Pennsylvania Legislature for 19 years and rose through the ranks of leadership, serving as Caucus Chairman, Majority Whip, Majority Leader and Speaker of the House. His legislative accomplishments include municipal pension reform, nuisance bar legislation and comprehensive auto insurance reform. He was the sole sponsor of the act creating the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Authority (PICA) which was crucial to the solvency of the city of Philadelphia. He has drafted numerous legislative proposals, have recently been enacted into law. Mr. O’Donnell served as the chair of the Legislative Management and Organization Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures and in that capacity, provided training for newly elected leaders in state legislatures. He also has served on a number of public boards and commissions including the board of Trustees of the University of Pittsburgh, the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank and the Public Employees Retirement Commission. He currently serves as a director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Mr. O’Donnell has received awards for his service, including from Common Cause and the PA League of Cities, and honorary degrees from Arcadia University and Philadelphia University

Peter Gleason Esq.

Peter joined K&L Gates in 2002. Prior to joining K&L Gates, Peter served in Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker’s Cabinet as Secretary for Legislative Affairs.  In that capacity, he advised the Governor, the Governor’s senior staff and fellow cabinet secretaries on legislative, regulatory and policy matters affecting all agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction.  Peter joined K&L Gates in 2002. Prior to joining K&L Gates, Peter served in Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker’s Cabinet as Secretary for Legislative Affairs.  In that capacity, he advised the Governor, the Governor’s senior staff and fellow cabinet secretaries on legislative, regulatory and policy matters affecting all agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction.   Peter’s past positions also include director of legislative affairs at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, special projects director to the Republican Leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and special assistant to former United States Senator John Heinz.  In 2008, the  Pennsylvania Report named Peter as one of Pennsylvania’s “Top 100 Most Influential People,” in a list comprised of the 100 people most likely to have an impact on government and politics in Pennsylvania in 2008. In a 2004 poll conducted with state legislators, staff, lobbyists and other state policy stakeholders, he was named as “Most Effective Lobbyist” in Pennsylvania.  Peter was recently honored by the Pennsylvania Law Weekly and the Legal Intelligencer as one of forty lawyers under forty “On the Fast Track” for his work at K&L Gates and in the office of the governor. 

Jonathan Bigley Esq.

Jonathan spent ten years in senior positions in both the Governor’s Office and the Pennsylvania General Assembly. As Deputy Secretary for Legislative Affairs, he was responsible for the development of Governor Robert P. Casey’s legislative agenda as well as the legislative initiatives of the various Executive Agencies. In addition, he served as Governor Casey’s chief spokesman before the leadership and members of the General Assembly. Prior to joining the Governor’s Executive Staff, Jonathan served as a legislative aide to two House Majority Leaders. During his decade of government service, Jonathan guided through the General Assembly major legislative initiatives on the environment, economic development, healthcare, insurance, labor relations and agriculture.  In the private sector, Jonathan has been responsible for many legislative victories on behalf of clients. He uses his insider’s knowledge to develop multifaceted strategies that appeal to a wide range of legislative and administrative constituencies. A recent significant accomplishment is concept development and strategy implementation of the legislative initiatives that became The Healthcare Provider Retention Account and Healthcare Provider Retention Program. From grassroots planning to Capitol Hill lobbying to PAC implementation, Jonathan has the experience to win most any issue. Jonathan has also held locally elected and appointed positions in his community. He served as a member of the Susquenita School District Board of Directors and is a past president of the board.  In addition, he was an original member and first chairman of the Penn Township (Perry County) Zoning Hearing Board.  Jonathan has a B.A. in Political Science from Westminster College (New Wilmington, PA) and earned a J.D. from the Widener University School of Law (Harrisburg, PA).  Jonathan Bigley is admitted to practice before the PA Supreme Court.  Jonathan is a past member of the James S. Bowman American Inn of Court.  He is a frequent lecturer on Pennsylvania government for a variety of organization including presentations for state-mandated Continuing Medical Education and Continuing Legal Education programs.  Jonathan has also authored several articles on lobbying in Pennsylvania among other issues.

Karl Myers Esq.

Mr. Myers is Co-Chair of the Appellate Practice Group at Stevens & Lee in Philadelphia and Harrisburg. He has two decades of experience arguing and briefing a wide variety of precedent-setting and high stakes appeals before the appellate courts of Pennsylvania and other jurisdictions. Mr. Myers maintains a particular focus on cases before the Pennsylvania Supreme, Commonwealth, and Superior Courts, as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. His arguments often appear on the Pennsylvania Cable Network and in various legal publications, which seek him out as an appellate commentator. Mr. Myers often serves as a panelist and moderator for appellate practice presentations and continuing legal education seminars. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the Appellate Advocacy Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, is a Past Chair of the Administrative Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and is an active member of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Historical Society. He serves on the Board of Governors of the Third Circuit Bar Association. Mr. Myers also serves on the Board of Directors and as Pennsylvania State Chair for the Council of Appellate Lawyers of the American Bar Association’s Appellate Judges Conference. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable Russell M. Nigro of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania after receiving his law degree, cum laude, from the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law. During law school, Mr. Myers served as a clerk for the Honorable John T.J. Kelly Jr. of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and the Honorable Yvette Kane of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and was selected for the Appellate Moot Court Board, Dickinson Law Review, and Woolsack Honor Society. 

Vincent DeLiberato Jr., Esq.

Mr. DeLiberato is the Director of the Legislative Reference Bureau. Since 1975, he has served as counsel for the Bureau: preparing proposed legislation and regulatory material, classifying enacted law, rendering legal advice to executive and legislative officers and employees, annotating court decisions on constitutional law and statutory construction, and responding to public inquiries on statutory and regulatory materials. In private practice, he has done legal research, brief writing, and document drafting for attorneys in Harrisburg and Philadelphia. Additionally, Mr. DeLiberato is a member of Pennsylvania’s delegation to the Uniform Law Commission; teaches Legislation, Legislative Drafting, and State Constitutional Law at Widener University Commonwealth Law School and works with Widener’s Law and Government Institute; and serves on the Statutory Law Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He has authored and co-authored materials on statutory construction, legislative procedure, separation of powers, and judicial history. Mr. DeLiberato received a J.D. from Villanova University in 1975, an M.A. from Villanova University in 1976, and a B.A. from Saint Joseph’s University in 1971.

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