Jun. 10, 2024

Capitol Report
The latest news from the State Capitol
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Upcoming District Events

Thursday, July 11 – District Office Open House
Saturday, July 20 – Hard to Read License Plate Event
Saturday, August 10 - Hard to Read License Plate Event
Friday, September 6 – Senior Expo
Thursday, September 12 – Concealed Carry Seminar
Harrisburg and District Happenings

I recently attended the grand opening ceremony for the new Pike County Veterans Affairs Office. This office relocation is a great step in expanding the services to nearly 4,000 Pike County veterans. The entire staff are committed to helping veterans receive all the services they are entitled to receive in Pike County. The new office is located at Shohola Business Park, 837 Route 6, Unit 3, in Shohola.

In Harrisburg this week, the PA Ski Areas Association paid a visit to the Capitol to discuss current key issues in the ski industry and its economic impact in Pennsylvania. It was great to run into Ladora “Lori” Phillips – the general manager for Ski Big Bear and Costa’s Family Fun Park – two travel destinations right here in the 139th!

  I was able to meet with the Pike Wayne Association of Realtors to discuss key issues affecting realtors and our communities. It was great to visit with our local professionals, and I truly appreciated their insight.
It’s Time for Tax Cuts!

I attended a House Republican press conference last week calling on majority House Democrats to bring up for a vote – without amendment or partisan gimmicks – the bipartisan Senate-passed tax cut plan that would reduce the Personal Income Tax and eliminate the Gross Receipts Tax on electricity.

Passage of the tax cut plan would put about $3 billion annually back into the pockets of Pennsylvania taxpayers, helping all our residents deal with the ongoing burden of inflation. The initiative stands in stark contrast to Democrats’ plans to grow the size and cost of government by spending down the state’s reserves, ultimately leading to higher taxes.

We are also introducing our own version of the Senate plan, which would reduce the Personal Income Tax (PIT) rate from 3.07% to 2.8% and eliminate the Gross Receipts Tax on energy, effective on Jan. 1, 2025, providing critical relief from high energy costs.

Watch the press conference here.
Hearings Focus on Preserving Benefit Integrity

The House Republican Policy Committee recently convened a trio of hearings to discuss ways to safeguard Pennsylvania’s social benefit programs from fraud, waste and abuse, thereby protecting taxpayer dollars and ensuring the state’s resources are efficiently allocated and accessible to those who truly require assistance.

The hearings, titled “Excellence in Government: Preserving Benefit Integrity” featured testimony from officials with the Foundation for Government Accountability. The testifiers provided insight into the fraud taking place in Pennsylvania’s Medicaid, SNAP and unemployment insurance programs, and emphasized that program benefit integrity starts with holding government accountable.

According to the testifiers, Pennsylvania is experiencing welfare disparity. Currently, 43% of Pennsylvanians receiving Medicaid are able-bodied adults. Meanwhile, there are 14,000 Pennsylvanians truly in need on the Medicaid waiting list.

For more information and video of the hearings, visit www.PAGOPPolicy.com.
Application Deadline Extended for 2023 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

The deadline for senior citizens and Pennsylvanians with disabilities to apply for rebates on rent and property taxes paid in 2023 has been extended to Dec. 31.

Income limits for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program increased this year to $45,000 for both homeowners and renters. If you were earning too much to qualify before, you may be eligible now. Remember to exclude 50% of Social Security when determining your income. The law I supported to expand the program also increased the maximum rebate to $1,000.

The program is open to residents age 65 years and older; widows and widowers 50 years and older; and people with disabilities 18 years and older.

Remember – you do not need to pay anyone for assistance to apply for the rebates. Apply online at mypath.pa.gov, or contact my office for help. Additional information about the program is available here.

Rebates will be distributed beginning July 1, as required by law.
Check Out the Revamped 511PA

The Commonwealth’s free, statewide travel information service – 511PA – has been upgraded with a new website, mobile app and phone system to make it more user friendly.

Operated by PennDOT and the PA Turnpike, 511PA provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras. It is available online via its website, www.511PA.com; through smartphone apps; by dialing 5-1-1; or following regional X alerts.

Users can sign up for personalized travel alerts on the website. Current 511PA personal-alert subscribers need to create a new account in the updated system and set up their preferences to continue receiving alerts. A transformed 511PA app is part of the new system, so users will need to update their Apple or Android app to access the latest version.

Read more about the upgrades to 511PA here.
PFBC Seeks Applications for Boating Infrastructure Grant Program

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is requesting proposals for its Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program.

The grants are economic engines for local communities that benefit traveling boaters by offering safe overnight docking opportunities and easy access to towns and waterfronts. Grants may be made to public and private operators of open-to-the-public boating facilities, including municipal agencies (cities, townships, counties, etc.), state agencies and other government entities.

Eligible activities include the construction, renovation and maintenance of transient tie-up facilities. Boating infrastructure refers to features that provide stopover places for transient non-trailerable recreational vessels to tie up. These features include transient slips, day docks, floating docks and fixed piers, navigational aids, and dockside utilities, including electric, water and pumpout stations.

For additional information, click here. The deadline for submitting proposals is
July 31.