Jul. 08, 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
Tuesday, July 23 – Java with Jeff (Details coming soon!)
Saturday, August 10 - Hard to Read License Plate Event
Friday, September 6 – Senior Expo
Thursday, September 12 – Concealed Carry Seminar
District Happenings

On Friday, I stopped by the Salem Masonic Lodge in Hamlin for “breakfast in a bag” with many local residents. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. I’m pictured here with Harriet Greene Chapter 198 Order of the Eastern Star – including the District Deputy Grant Master of the 14th District, Donald Roa, along with my former schoolmate, Tina.

Last weekend, I was in downtown Milford at the Milford Farmers Market. If you get a chance to check this out, you will find excellent fruits and veggies, and really cool vendors!

My District Office staff joined the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to encourage boaters and drivers to remain safe and sober while on the water and on the roadways. Please remember to stay safe this holiday weekend and throughout the summer.
2024-25 State Budget Update

The state House and Senate are scheduled to return to legislative session at the state Capitol Friday, as work continues toward the adoption of a state budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year.

The budget is, once again, late, as the June 30 deadline has come and gone. Majority House Democrats and Gov. Josh Shapiro are continuing to push a plan that spends more than $48 billion. That’s $3.7 billion, or 8%, more than the prior year and, more importantly, it’s beyond anticipated revenue for this fiscal year.

If this plan was enacted, it would require spending one-time reserve funds to balance. And when those reserve funds run out in a couple years, it would ultimately result in increased taxes for all Pennsylvanians. Rather than use the state’s reserves to start new, recurring programs, I support returning those excess funds to the taxpayers in the form of a cut in the Personal Income Tax and elimination of the Gross Receipts Tax on energy.

In addition to discussions about how best to use the state’s surplus, another major point of negotiation is funding our students’ education.

I will continue to advocate for a budget that funds the core functions of government and eliminates waste.
New State Law to Offer Added Protections for Victims of Data Breaches

A new state law will help protect consumers impacted by data breaches.  

Act 33 of 2024, which received unanimous support in both the House and Senate, requires an impacted organization to provide a free credit report and one year of credit monitoring to affected consumers. It also strengthens notification requirements and mandates notification of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General if a data breach occurs in the Commonwealth.

The measure would cover instances in which an individual’s first and last name or first initial and last name have been accessed in combination with any of the following information: Social Security number, bank account number, or driver’s license or state ID number.

A record 3,122 data breaches occurred nationally in 2023, affecting hundreds of millions of Americans and costing billions of dollars, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. It marked a 72% increase in data compromises from the previous all-time high in 2021.

The law will take effect in late September.

Fun for All Ages Awaits at PA Fairs

Summer is in full swing, and so is Pennsylvania fair season! Communities across the Commonwealth are hosting dozens of fairs featuring food, fun and entertainment, as well as competitive exhibits highlighting animals, produce, crops, crafts, baking and more.

To plan your fair visit, check out the 2024 PA Fair Guide here.
Growing PA’s Meat-Processing Businesses

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for its 2024-25 Very Small Meat and Poultry Processor Reimbursement Grant Program.

The grant program supports the development and expansion of current or future meat and poultry processing operations across Pennsylvania, offering reimbursement funds to cover costs associated with opening or expanding operations, or obtaining a grant of inspection from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service.

A total of $500,000 is available for 2024-25, with a maximum grant amount of $100,000. Applications can be submitted through the Single Application for Assistance online applications system and are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2.

Additional information is available here.