After seven years, one of the legislative efforts to reform school property taxes has taken a significant step forward, and the best part is it allows voters to decide. On July 11, the Senate voted 46-2 to approve House Bill 1285, legislation to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to allow for 100 percent reduction of property taxes on a homestead or farmstead, i.e. principal places of residence.
Last week, I joined with my colleagues in the state House in voting to approve legislation to ensure our Medicaid assistance program remains solvent and available to those who truly need it.
With the 2017-18 state budget sent to the governor’s desk it is worth noting that more than $11 billion of Pennsylvania’s total annual spending is spent on welfare.
Senate Bill 133, which I supported, was signed into law by Governor Wolf on May 26, as Act 3 of 2017. This legislation was needed to bring Pennsylvania into compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. Under the new law, residents will be able to choose between a REAL ID or a standard driver’s license or photo ID. Residents who choose the standard form of identification would have to have a passport or other REAL ID-compliant identification to board an airplane or enter a federal building once the new system is in place.
Performance-based budgeting is a process by which states make spending decisions based on specific benchmarks.
Pennsylvania has the dubious distinction of being the state with the highest number of Lyme disease cases in the country. In 2016, Pennsylvania reported 12,200 cases of Lyme disease, which is a significant increase from the prior year at 10,817 cases.
In conjunction with the Lancaster Barnstormers, veterans groups and local sponsors, I am inviting residents to begin registering for the 2017 “Salute to Veterans.” This year’s event will be held on Friday, May 19, at 5:15 p.m. at Clipper Magazine Stadium, located at 650 N. Prince St. Gates open at 4 p.m.
The United States Department of Agriculture last week confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza (HPAI) of North American wild bird lineage in a commercial chicken breeder flock in Tennessee. This is the first confirmed case of HPAI in commercial poultry in the United States this year.
By now, everyone has received their assessment statement from the county. Don’t panic, this does not necessarily mean your taxes are going up. In fact, they could stay the same or even go down.
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.