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Cabinet: Schmidt, Arkoosh, Browne In; Bogen, Hammer Out

Al Schmidt

A split decision for Gov. Josh Shapiro’s cabinet appointees on the 25th legislative day that the Pennsylvania State Senate has been in session.

Article IV, Sec. 8 (b) of PA constitution says Senate needs to act on governor’s cabinet nominees within 25 legislative days. If they don’t “the nominee shall take office as if the appointment had been consented to by the Senate.

Al Schmidt is now the Secretary of the Commonwealth, as the Senate opted not to act on his nomination despite today’s statutory deadline.

“Al Schmidt has extensive experience in election administration, and he has the necessary expertise to implement critical policy changes like same day voter registration and in-person early voting that we need to ensure that every Pennsylvanian has the opportunity to make their voice heard,” said Pennsylvania Voice, a partnership that aims to build an inclusive, just and reflective democracy in Pennsylvania. “We look forward to working with him to bring Pennsylvania to the cutting edge of elections that truly reflect the will of the people.”

Since the Senate has gaveled out for the day, it is believed that Val Arkoosh and Pat Browne‘s nominations are also official. Arkoosh serves as Secretary of Human Services, while Browne serves as Secretary of Revenue.

Two other nominees – Debra Bogen for Secretary of Health and Sarah Hammer for Secretary of Banking – had their roads come to an end for different reasons.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that Shapiro withdrew Bogen’s nomination after her committee hearing on Tuesday. Press Secretary Manuel Bonder said “Dr. Bogen is an immensely qualified public health expert who is doing an exemplary job leading the Department of Health. Regarding next steps, we will have more to announce in the coming days.”

Hammer left the administration recently as now serves as Executive Director at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an adjunct professor at the Carey Law School. Her bio reads that she led the Department in an acting role through the banking crisis of 2023.

The state website indicates that Wendy Spicher now serves as interim acting secretary. She has served as Deputy Secretary for Depository Institutions since 2008. Her career in the banking industry spans over 25 years and includes senior level positions in both the public and private sector.

updated to include Bonder comments


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