Due to the closure of three Unemployment Compensation (UC) service centers – here in Lancaster, Allentown and Altoona – there is now a shortage of staff to answer statewide calls and to help residents with their claims. These closings have caused extremely long wait times for countless Commonwealth residents calling for assistance.
Applications for the 2017 Summer Turnpike Program for toll, maintenance, clerical and engineering positions are now being accepted. As has been the case in the past, the number of positions available is limited.
Recently I have heard from numerous constituents about the status of reforming or eliminating school property taxes.
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 and attempting the filing process on their own.
While it has been a rather mild winter so far, the snow, wind and diving temperatures of the past seven days serves notice that your home could become dangerously cold in a snap. That means it’s time to start thinking about ways to conserve heat and energy in your home. It also means folks on fixed incomes will face higher heating bills.
Last week, I wrote about how prevailing wage drives up school construction and repair costs far beyond normal market prices. But prevailing wage also negatively impacts many other areas where taxpayer money is used, such as transportation.
Since I first took office, I have been pushing to reform the state employee’s pension system. I thought it would be interesting to readers if I provide a brief history. During my first term, I co-sponsored and was an advocate for House Bill 922 which was a companion bill to Sen. Brubaker's Senate Bill. This would have simple done what the overwhelming majority of businesses had done to reform their pension over the past several decades. We would honor all public service employees benefits accumulated to a date certain. At that point all employees would be placed in a 401k style pension. It was extremely disappointing to me that this reform could not gather the necessary support in the House.
Last session, both houses of the Legislature approved legislation calling for a state constitutional amendment that would reduce the size of the House from 203 to 151 seats. If both houses approve it again during the 2017-18 session, voters will get to decide the matter in a statewide referendum.