Thank you for subscribing to my E-newsletter. I am honored to serve the 36th Senatorial District and look forward to working with you toward building a stronger Pennsylvania. This E-newsletter serves to keep you updated on what is happening throughout Lancaster County and what I am doing as your State Senator in Harrisburg – I hope that you find it helpful! Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please DO NOT reply to this email; instead, please feel free to contact me here.
In this Update:
Aument Bill to Attract More Employers and Residents to PA Passes Senate
Legislation I sponsored to incentivize more people and employers to move to Pennsylvania received bipartisan support from the Senate on Wednesday.
Senate Bill 771 would gradually reduce the state’s Corporate Net Income (CNI) Tax from its current rate of 9.99% to 6.99% by 2024 to attract new employers and promote economic growth. The rate could then be further reduced only if it meets or exceeds the revenue projections for 2024 at the 9.99% rate.
In addition to creating better job opportunities and a more favorable business climate, lowering a state’s CNI tax rate:
My focus has always been on policies that will position Pennsylvanians for economic success and upward mobility for generations to come. The benefits of a CNI tax cut will reach beyond the next few months and ensure Pennsylvania not only recovers from the financial hardships of this recession in the near term, but also thrives in the long term.
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Read more about Senate Bill 771 here.
Senate Votes to Block Wolf Administration’s Overreaching Charter School Regulations
The Senate voted to block Gov. Tom Wolf’s overreaching charter school regulations after his administration misused the regulatory process to avoid brokering an agreement with lawmakers.
The vote on House Concurrent Regulatory Review Resolution 1 comes after the administration didn’t adequately address concerns raised during the public comment process and instead committed to final regulations that run contrary to the intent of existing charter school law.
The Department of Education’s proposed list of wide-ranging policy changes through the regulatory process could, in effect, jeopardize the educational futures of thousands of low-income, minority and special education students through burdensome, unfunded mandates.
Many of these regulations serve as backdoor attempts to implement some of the administration’s own policy preferences, including enrollment caps, onerous application standards and one-size-fits-all health benefit requirements that will shutter operations for many smaller charters. This is egregious considering the vulnerable students these schools primarily serve.
There is bipartisan interest in making reforms to our current charter laws. Frustration over the process does not justify circumventing the legislature.
A Strong Police Force Helps Us Feel Safe
Everyone shares the desire to feel safe in their homes and communities, as well as to protect our loved ones from becoming victims of violent crimes like assault, rape, and human trafficking. However, weakening the resources to stop criminals, the “Defund the Police” movement, and the accompanying anti-police rhetoric isn’t doing anything to keep our communities safe.
A strong police force that is well trained, compassionate, and able to respond swiftly and appropriately in high-stress situations can help us achieve that goal. I intend to continue fighting to ensure law enforcement officers get the support and resources they need to safely protect Pennsylvanians.
Read more here.
Highlighting Local Resident’s Artistic Talents
It was my pleasure to introduce a young constituent, Joe Roach, to the Pennsylvania Senate last week during session. Joe is a junior at Manheim Central High School who was diagnosed with autism at an early age and uses his natural artistic talents to inspire many. Joe’s artwork is currently displayed in the East Wing Rotunda of the Pennsylvania Capitol Building. Watch Joe’s introduction on the Senate floor here.
Senate Acts to Help Local Police Departments Find and Keep Officers
The Senate approved legislation expanding pension benefits for law enforcement officers who want to buy back service. The legislation now advances to the House of Representatives.
Senate Bill 669 gives municipal and regional police officers the option to buy back up to five years of previous part-time or full-time service at another department.
The change could serve as a recruitment tool for police departments. Senate hearings on rising crime in Pennsylvania uncovered a crisis facing local police departments in recruiting and retaining officers.
Congratulating PA National Guard Officers Set for Promotion
The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee unanimously voted to favorably recommend seven exceptional officers in the PA National Guard for promotion. I was pleased to meet with these fine men and thank them for their service to our Commonwealth and our country and to introduce my constituent, Brig. Gen. Terrence L. Koudelka (pictured far left), to the members of the committee.
Discussing Community Needs and Priorities in Ephrata
I was in Ephrata for a legislative update by WellSpan Health at The Historic Smithton Inn. After the WellSpan update, I stopped by Woodcrest Retreat to meet with Sarah Teichmann and Bill Klees to discuss their summer programming and a project I am supporting to upgrade a playground at the camp. We are hopeful that the new playground will be available for use by campers next summer.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Application Deadline Extended to Dec. 31
The deadline for older and disabled Pennsylvanians to apply for rebates on rent and property taxes paid in 2021 has been extended from June 30 to Dec. 31, 2022.
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older, widows and widowers age 50 and older, and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. You can apply online at mypath.pa.gov.
Under state law, the annual deadline for the program is set as June 30. However, the law requires the Department of Revenue to evaluate the program to determine if funds are available to extend the deadline. To date, funding has been available to allow all who qualify, meaning the deadline can be extended to Dec. 31 for the current year.
College Aid Webinars in June and July
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is holding free webinars covering the two most requested topics during this time of year as families look to achieve an affordable postsecondary education.
Deep Dive into Covering the Gap
This one-hour webinar answers questions that might arise after students receive their first semester bill, such as additional costs to plan for and available loan programs.
Borrowing for Education: Which Loan is Right for Me?
This one-hour webinar covers available loan programs and advantages and disadvantages of each.
You can find more information on these sessions and register here.
Look Out for Texting Scams about Unclaimed Property
The Pennsylvania Treasury Department is warning Pennsylvanians that scammers are using text messages to target potential unclaimed property claimants.
About one in 10 Pennsylvanians is owed some of the more than $4 billion in unclaimed property held by the department, making the subject ripe for exploiting by scammers.
The Treasury Department never reaches out to people about any program, including unclaimed property, via unsolicited text messages. You can search the online database at patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property to see if you have property waiting and start the claim process.
Celebrating Fathers and Fatherhood
To all dads, I hope you enjoy your special day on Sunday, as we celebrate all the unique joys and talents you bring to a family.
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