What’s the Latest on Funding the PA Budget?
9/15/2017
Updating the 85th District
The latest news from the State Capitol
                          
No New Taxes, Borrowing in House Revenue Plan

The state House approved a plan this week to bring the 2017-18 budget into balance, and it does so without any new or increased taxes on Pennsylvania families and employers. It also avoids borrowing funds that would saddle our children and grandchildren with debt for decades to come.

Our Commonwealth is in this budget situation because of a lack of leadership from the Wolf administration. Although the governor knew at his mid-year budget briefing in December that revenues were falling short for the 2016-17 fiscal year, he continued to spend and in fact ramped up his spending by $350 million more than was appropriated by the Legislature.

Increasing taxes or borrowing money to fill this one-time deficit – as the Senate has approved and the governor has supported – is bad fiscal policy. Many of us in the House don’t believe in taxing our citizens more than they already are, and I sure don’t want to borrow money and force my granddaughter to pay off our debts when she’s ready to enter the working world.

House members instead opted to dig deep into the various accounts operated by the Commonwealth, and more than three dozen of those accounts were found to have excess, uncommitted funds that can be used to balance the General Fund budget without any negative impact on the programs they support. The plan also taps into legislative reserve funds and lapsed funds.

This is a responsible way to fill the $1.5 billion hole we found ourselves in at the end of the last fiscal year, and to balance the current year’s budget. And when the time comes to craft the next fiscal year’s budget, we must remain focused on spending cuts and maximizing the investment of our citizens’ hard-earned money.
                
         
Don’t Be Scammed by Skimmers

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is warning consumers to be on the lookout for credit or debit card skimmers that steal your information when the card is swiped or inserted.

Often combined with a concealed camera, thieves can also record your Personal Identification Number (PIN). With this information, thieves can withdraw money from your bank account and make unauthorized purchases. Additionally, the thieves may sell this information to others.

To help protect yourself, take the following steps:
  • Use ATMs in well-lit, secure locations and avoid using ATMs that are stand-alone units in corners of stores or other out-of-the-way locations.
  • Look at the card reader slot and surrounding areas to see if anything looks out of place, mismatched or loose.
  • Consider using your credit card instead of your debit card to avoid compromising your PIN and to gain other consumer protections.
  • Choose gas pumps that are closer to and within the line of vision of the cashiers.
  • Check your bank and credit card statements frequently to watch for fraudulent activity and report any unfamiliar activity immediately.
Read more here
                  
         
Keeping Your Personal Information Safe

In light of recent news about a data breach at Equifax, a national credit-reporting agency, residents are encouraged to learn more about identity theft and how to protect their information from being used fraudulently.

It is unknown how many Pennsylvania consumers the breach has affected; however, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General is taking part a national investigation into the data breach.

In the meantime, consumers are urged to be proactive in monitoring their credit reports and financial account statements, such as credit cards and utilities, and in reporting any suspicious activity to the attorney general office’s hotline at 1-800-441-2555 or atscams@attorneygeneral.gov.

The Federal Trade Commission has also provided www.identitytheft.gov, an identity theft prevention website.
                  
         
Check Out These Upcoming Events!

McClure Bean Soup Festival & Fair: Final two days Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15-16. Bean soup served daily at noon; concessions open at 4 p.m. daily. Click here for additional information.

Lewisburg Children’s Museum Grand Opening: Saturday, Sept. 16, at the GreenSpace Center (former Lewisburg Area High School), 815 Market St., Lewisburg. Click here for additional information.  

Cycling through the Centuries – Mifflinburg Buggy Museum: Sunday, Sept. 17, at 1:30 p.m. (Rain date is Sunday, Sept. 24.) Pre-registration is required for the ride. Click here for additional information.

Central PA Vintage Iron Club Fall Festival: Friday through Sunday, Sept. 15-17, at Lincoln Park in Laurelton. Click here for additional information

Beaver Community Fair: Sunday through Saturday, Sept. 17-23. Click here for additional information and a calendar of events

Selinsgrove Market Street Festival: Saturday, Sept. 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click here for additional information

Selinsgrove R.E.C (Regional Engagement Center) Grand Opening: Tuesday, Oct. 3, at 4 p.m. at The R.E.C., 429 8th St., Selinsgrove. Click here for additional information.  

Mifflinburg Oktoberfest: Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6-7. Click here for additional information.   

Snyder County Libraries’ 12th Annual Evening of Wine and Art: Saturday, Oct. 7, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Shade Mountain Winery. For additional information, contact Pamela Ross, executive director of Snyder County Libraries, at scldir@ptd.net  or (570) 374-7163, ext. 2.
                  
         
What’s Happening on the Roads?

Work is continuing on the Route 522 bridge replacement project in Kreamer, Middle Creek Township, Snyder County. Traffic began using a temporary bridge and roadway back in April, and the bridge is expected to be open to traffic by mid-November. Beams for the substructure were set this week, and the concrete deck is expected to be poured the week of Oct. 9. While the bridge will be open later this year, finishing work will have to be performed next spring, including demolition of the temporary bridge and roadway, and final paving on the new bridge. The paving will be performed with lane restrictions under flagging.

Repairs to the Route 104 bridge in Chapman Township, Snyder County, started back on Sept. 5, and the bridge is expected to be closed for approximately seven weeks until the work is completed. A detour is in place using Routes 11/15 and Route 35. The bridge is located approximately 2.2 miles north of the intersection with Routes 11/15.

Keep up with the latest conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting www.511PA.com . 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 825 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
                  
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