Jun. 24, 2024

Capitol Report
The latest news from the State Capitol
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Policy Committee Hears Merits of Tax Cut Plan

The House Republican Policy Committee conducted a series of hearings last week about recently introduced legislation to return much-needed money back to the pockets of all Pennsylvanians.  

House Bill 2388, which I am co-sponsoring, would reduce the Personal Income Tax (PIT) rate from 3.07% to 2.8% and eliminate the Gross Receipts Tax on energy, effective Jan. 1, 2025, providing critical relief from high energy costs. Combined, the plan would put about $3 billion annually back into the pockets of taxpayers, helping all residents deal with the ongoing burden of inflation.

Hearings were held in Hazleton, Luzerne County; Harleysville, Montgomery County; Loretto, Cambria County; and Bethel Park, Allegheny County. The committee heard from citizens, business owners and good government groups about the importance of the cuts and their impact on individuals and the economy overall.

Video of the hearings is available at www.PAGOPPolicy.com.
New Law Supports Disabled Veterans

Recognizing the service and sacrifice of disabled veterans across the state, a new law will exempt 100% of their benefit payments from income calculations for any Commonwealth programs or benefits.

Act 27 of 2024 ensures veterans who receive disability compensation will not have those payments counted against them when applying to programs such as the Real Estate Property Tax Exemption, Education Gratuity Program, Veterans Temporary Assistance Program and Military Relief Assistance Program. It also extends the exclusion of the veterans’ compensation benefits to their unmarried surviving spouses.

The law will take effect in mid-August.
Supporting Camp Freedom


I recently had the honor of joining other lawmakers at Camp Freedom’s annual banquet. Located in Lackawanna County, the camp provides tremendous hunting, fishing and other therapeutic activities for disabled veterans and first responders, allowing them to enjoy the great outdoors regardless of any physical challenges they may have.

More than 400 people attended the event, which is the nonprofit’s top fundraiser. It was very inspiring for me to stand with all the America-loving, Second Amendment-respecting men and women as they prayed and recited the Pledge of Allegiance to our beautiful flag.

Pictured with me, from left, are Reps. Kerry Benninghoff, Robert Leadbeter, Jamie Flick, Sen. Lisa Baker and Rep. Jonathan Fritz.
Stay Cool and Keep Your Energy Costs Down

As the hot weather continues, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is offering tips to help you stay cool and conserve energy.  

Tips to Stay Cool
  •   Fan yourself. Fans circulate the air, keeping you feeling cooler even at higher temps.
  •   Follow the shade. Spend time in rooms that do not receive direct sunlight.
  •   Block the heat. Use window blinds and coverings at the sunniest time of day to reduce heat buildup.
  •   Don’t add extra heat. Postpone using heat-producing appliances like clothes dryers, dishwashers and stoves until it is cooler.
  •   Cookout, anyone? Consider using outdoor barbecue grills or microwaves instead of stoves or ovens, which can increase indoor heat.

Tips to Save on Your Electric Bill
  •   Check your thermostat. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your cooling bill.
  •   Clean is “green.” Regularly clean and replace air conditioner filters and ensure air circulation paths are clear.
  •   Power off. Turn off non-essential appliances and lights to reduce power use and unwanted heat.
  •   Don’t cool unneeded space. Close off unused rooms and adjust air vents or thermostats to avoid unnecessary cooling expenses.
  •   Keep the heat outside. Seal cracks to prevent warm air from leaking into your home.

For more energy-saving tips, visit PAPowerSwitch.com and check your utility's website for conservation and efficiency resources.
Antlerless License Sales to Begin Monday in Three WMUs

With the 2024-25 hunting license year set to begin July 1, new licenses will be available for sale starting Monday, June 24. Please note, hunters no longer need to purchase a general license before getting an antlerless deer license; they can be purchased at the same time, anywhere licenses are sold.

This year, when licenses go on sale at 8 a.m. on June 24, antlerless deer licenses will be available for only three Wildlife Management Units (WMU) where demand is highest: WMUs 1B, 2G and 3A. Licenses in these WMUs will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis until the allotted number of licenses sells out, and only Pennsylvania residents may purchase antlerless licenses initially.

On Thursday, June 27, at 8 a.m., antlerless licenses for the remaining 19 WMUs will go on sale to residents. Those seeking licenses in any of these WMUs won’t need to wait in line for them; they’re guaranteed to get one, as long as they buy before 7 a.m. on Monday, July 8, when the resident-only portion of the first round of antlerless license sales ends.

Once the nonresident portion of the first round begins at 8 a.m. on Monday, July 8, all remaining antlerless licenses will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis until the allocated number of licenses is exhausted.

A hunter, whether resident or nonresident, can obtain only one antlerless license in the first round, whether it’s before, during or after the guaranteed period.

Hunters can buy 2024-25 antlerless licenses online at www.huntfish.pa.gov, or at any in-store hunting license issuing agent. View a map of those locations here.  

The prices of the antlerless deer licenses remain the same at $6.97 for a resident antlerless license and $26.97 for a nonresident antlerless license.  

Additional details are available here.
Celebrating PA Dairy

June is Dairy Month in Pennsylvania, the perfect time to enjoy an extra dish of ice cream or yogurt, another piece of cheese or a tall glass of milk!

Dairy is our Commonwealth’s largest agricultural industry, helping to generate $14.7 billion of economic activity each year. We rank second in the nation in terms of the number of dairy farms, and seventh nationally in milk production.

Nearly all the Commonwealth’s dairy farms – an estimated 99% of them – are family-owned, and the industry supports more than 52,000 jobs statewide.

If you’d like to support Pennsylvania dairy, be sure to check the milk you purchase at the grocery store and look for the PA Preferred logo or milk with a plant code beginning with “42.” Plant codes are usually printed near the top of the container or on the lid, or sometimes they’re printed right on the label. The first, and most important, part of the code will always be two numbers (between 01 and 56). This identifies the state where the milk was processed. Pennsylvania’s magic number is 42!

Learn more about the state’s dairy industry here.