In this Update:
Offering Prayers for Victims, Families of Texas School Shooting & Taking Action to Increase Access to Mental Health Resources
In response to the tragic mass shooting in an Uvalde, Texas elementary school that left 19 children and 2 adults dead and many more wounded, I released the following statement:
“In moments like these, it is sometimes hard to sufficiently express our feelings while respecting those so deeply impacted, and I felt like the first words that came to my mind were not adequate for the moment. After some prayer, time with family, and reflection on the horrific scene from Tuesday, I felt ready to share my thoughts…
Click here to read the rest of my statement.
Declining Revenue Projections Highlight the Risk of Gov. Wolf’s Budget Plan
The state Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released its initial revenue estimate for 2022-23 and warns that tax revenue is likely to fall in the coming fiscal year. The IFO’s projection for General Fund revenue next year is $42.26 billion – about an 11.5% drop from 2021-22.
The new numbers further highlight the risk of Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed state budget and emphasize what Senate Republicans have been saying all along: the governor’s bloated spending plan is unrealistic and unsustainable. His plan to increase spending by more than $4.5 billion next year would come at the expense of Pennsylvania’s long-term financial security.
The new figures from the IFO build on previous analysis that shows the potential for Gov. Wolf’s $45.7 billion budget to create multi-billion-dollar deficits for years to come.
As the June 30 deadline for enacting a state budget approaches, Senate Republicans will work to draft a more responsible plan that protects taxpayers already struggling with staggering inflation and an uncertain financial future.
Decreasing the CNI Tax to Increase Opportunity in PA
To attract new employers and promote economic growth in the Commonwealth, I have proposed Senate Bill 771, which would gradually reduce the state’s Corporate Net Income (CNI) tax rate. I believe this proposal will not only help employers, but it will also raise the overall quality of life for Pennsylvanians in all corners of the Commonwealth.
Research shows that, in addition to creating better job opportunities and a more favorable business climate, lowering a state’s CNI tax rate:
Specifically, Senate Bill 771 would incrementally reduce the CNI tax from its current rate of 9.99% to 6.99% by 2024. The rate could then be further reduced only if it meets or exceeds the revenue projections for 2024 at the 9.99% rate.
This performance-based mechanism is unique from other proposals because it only reduces the CNI tax to its lowest rate if the economic success of lowering it can be shown through revenue projections. In other words, the benefits must equal or outweigh the costs of cutting the tax, or else the tax will not be further cut.
It is my hope that making Pennsylvania more economically competitive by lowering our CNI rate will benefit working class families, reverse our stagnant population growth, and ensure that Pennsylvania is an attractive place to live, work, and raise a family for generations to come.
Learn more about my bill to increase economic opportunity for all Pennsylvania residents here.
Supporting Lancaster County Students with EITC Scholarships
It was a pleasure to join The Bridge Educational Foundation, school officials, and business officials who donated Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) scholarships to families in Lancaster County at Kraybill Mennonite School in Mt. Joy. Thanks to Malady & Wooten, RBC Capital Markets, and Waste Management, who so generously donated. I’ve continually supported school choice efforts – like the EITC scholarships – that increase access to expanded educational options and offer students and parents more learning opportunities that are better suited for their individual needs.
Tell Me What You Think of PA’s High Violent Crime Rate
If you haven’t had the chance yet to fill out my one-question survey about your perspective on the 27% increase in Pennsylvania’s violent crime rate from 2019 to 2020, I encourage you to fill it out here before it expires on Tuesday, May 31, at 9 a.m. The survey also offers the opportunity to submit your comments if you wish to elaborate.
Senate Acts to Improve Access to Property Tax and Rent Rebates
The Senate acted to close a loophole that made many senior citizens ineligible for the state Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. The bill moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
The problem arose when senior citizens transferred retirement funds into other retirement accounts, which would show up as available income on an application and make the individual ineligible for help lowering their property taxes.
Senate Bill 230 would allow retirees to transfer those retirement account investments between accounts within 60 days without counting toward income when applying for property tax or rent relief. If those funds are not invested into another qualified retirement plan within 60 days, the funds will be considered income.
PUC Offers Tips for Dealing with June Electric Rate Hikes
With costs for electric generation increasing on June 1 for many utility customers, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is reminding consumers they have options to manage anticipated higher bills.
According to the PUC, the best response for those struggling to pay energy bills is to call utilities and ask about assistance programs, manage energy use and shop for competitive electric generation suppliers. You can find more from the PUC about consumer options here.
The rate increase will occur even before Gov. Tom Wolf’s carbon tax kicks in, which could nearly quadruple new electricity costs for consumers. The carbon tax is part of Pennsylvania’s entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which was enacted by the governor without legislative approval.
Replace Your Damaged Registration Plate on June 4
East Hempfield Township Police Department is hosting a damaged registration plate event at A. Herr Park on Saturday, June 4, from 8-11 a.m. The event will be held rain or shine.
Pennsylvania law mandates registration plates be legible from a reasonable distance. If you have a standard registration plate that is faded or illegible, you can get a replacement plate for your vehicle for free.
Members of the police department will help vehicle owners determine if the registration plate needs to be replaced. They will help complete the necessary paperwork for you and answer questions you may have.
Click here to RSVP.
Looking for a Job? Don’t Miss PennDOT’s Job Fair
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will be holding job fairs for those seeking employment with the department. Locally, a job fair will be held on Wednesday, June 1, from 1-5 p.m. at the Lancaster County Maintenance Office, 2105 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster.
Current vacancies in Lancaster County include transportation equipment operator trainee, transportation equipment operator A, diesel mechanic trainee, and diesel mechanic.
Recruiters will be available to discuss current and future openings for CDL operators, who must have a valid Pennsylvania CDL Class A or B with no restrictions, and diesel and construction equipment mechanics, who must have a valid CDL and a PA Class 7 inspector mechanic certification. Both positions also require a current medical examiner certificate.
On-the-spot applications will take place. Applicants must bring their current CDL license.
Laptops and staff will be available to help interested participants navigate the new electronic application system. Human Resources staff will be on-hand to discuss options and opportunities for permanent employment.
For more information, please call 717-299-7621.
Further Extension of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program to June 17
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has been extended a second time to June 17, allowing additional households to apply for help.
LIHEAP is a federally funded program administered by the state that provides assistance for home heating bills. Assistance is available for renters and homeowners.
Local Students Tour State Capitol
Fourth graders from Landisville Intermediate Center took a field trip to Harrisburg to tour our State Capitol.
If you would like to tour the national historic landmark for yourself, you can book your tour of up to 40 guests online here. The Interactive Welcome Center, which is full of informative exhibits, is also open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Read more about the welcome center here.
Memorial Day: Our Duty to Remember
I hope you have a great Memorial Day Weekend with friends and family and take some time to remember the profound sacrifice of those who died fighting for our nation.
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