In 2014 the legislature passed Act 51. This was passed on the direction of a bipartisan, bicameral commission established by the legislature to deal with the inequities in the current education funding formula. Lancaster County was represented on that Commission by then- Senator Smucker and Representative Sturla. They came up with an excellent compromise on a formula that would be more equitable for every school district across the state.
It is my distinct privilege to serve the constituents of the 97th Legislative District. A concern I hear frequently is, when will the General Assembly pass property tax reform? The fact of the matter is that all Pennsylvanians, should they choose to retire and stay here, will be dealing with constantly rising school property taxes while on a fixed income.
Property tax reform and how we fund our schools are issues that go hand in hand. Over the next several weeks, I would like to share with you the challenges our State has in implementing reforms.
Tax season is upon us. For many people, this means having to choose between paying high fees to have their taxes prepared by a third party or attempting the filing process on their own.
Gov. Tom Wolf recently outlined his vision for the upcoming state budget to a joint session of the General Assembly. His budget proposal shows that his administration has already overspent the current budget by nearly $600 million. This Governor is now seeking another $1.5 billion in new spending for next year’s budget. Over 80% of that new spending is in the Department of Human Services.
Pennsylvanians are earning more today than ever in our state’s history. According to Gov. Tom Wolf’s Department of Labor and Industry, the average wage in our state has increased by about 25% over the last 10 years. Policies I have supported and continue to support have paved the way for industries across Pennsylvania to increase wages at all levels of the employment spectrum. Today, you can walk into all kinds of businesses offering entry-level work, with no experience necessary, and gain employment paying well above the minimum wage.
Recently I joined with my House Republican colleagues in supporting more than a half dozen bills aimed at stopping the scourge of human trafficking in the Commonwealth. The problem exists in big cities, small towns and everything in between.
High school seniors interested in receiving financial assistance to help pay for college can now apply for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ Scholarship.
The Department of Agriculture is reminding dog owners to be sure they get a license for 2020.
All dogs three months of age and older are required to be licensed. The fee for an annual dog license is $6.50, or $8.50 if the animal is not spayed or neutered.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) announced that the required 60-day pre-enforcement period for the statewide Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement (AWZSE) program has begun and will last until March 4.
The Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) is now accepting applications for $6.6 million in PAsmart Apprenticeship grants to help more workers “earn while they learn” and gain the hands-on skills for good jobs in high-growth industries.
Thanksgiving is one of our nation’s most popular holidays. It is a time for expressing gratitude for family and friends, as well as an opportunity to reflect on the founding of our nation, and the principles and ideals it stands for. It also reminds us of the ongoing need for citizens to give back to community and country to uphold that vision. Often, however, the true meaning of the day can get lost in the chaos and commercialization of the holiday season.
The state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is now accepting applications for 2019-20 Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) grants. Up to $800,000 in VTF grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations, veteran service organizations and county directors of veteran affairs across the state.
Last Wednesday, the governor signed into law one of the most comprehensive efforts to modernize and improve Pennsylvania’s elections since the 1930s. Senate Bill 421, finalized last week by the House of Representatives, establishes mail-in voting in the Commonwealth, gives Pennsylvanians more time to register to vote ahead of elections, and eliminates the straight-party ticket option from ballots.
The state Department of Aging is reminding beneficiaries of the Medicare open enrollment period starting Tuesday, Oct. 15, and continuing through Saturday, Dec. 7. During this time, you may make changes to your current Medicare coverage, as well as join, switch or drop Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Coverage plans.
With Veterans Day around the corner, this is one of those special times of the year in which we contemplate all our veterans have done for this country and those of us who call America home.
The Municipal Police Officers’ Education & Training Commission (MPOTEC) was established in 1974 to establish certification and training standards for Municipal Police Officers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It was recently decided that police officers in Pennsylvania will now be trained on the Yellow Dot program.
Coming to Pennsylvania road construction projects this fall – automated radar speed cameras.
As a member of the Professional Licensure Committee Chairman, I joined with my Democrat colleagues this session to pass a bill sponsored by both our Republican and Democrat chairmen into law that removed the barriers for professionals entering Pennsylvania who require state licensing for their jobs.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) is encouraging citizens to take steps to prepare for emergencies by participating in September’s 30 Days/30 Ways preparedness event in which participants can win prizes of safety gear to help them get through an emergency.