Committee Appointments Announced; Budget Address Tuesday
2/1/2019

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Updating the 85th District
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Committee Appointments Announced

Earlier this week, the standing committees in the House of Representatives reorganized for the 2019-20 Legislative Session. I am pleased to be appointed as secretary of the Appropriations Committee, which handles the state budget and other state spending issues. I also look forward to serving on the Finance, Labor and Industry, and Tourism and Recreational Development committees.

While all bills require a vote by the full House to advance through the legislative process, the groundwork happens at the committee level. Every bill introduced in the House is referred to a committee for review and discussion. Some bills will become the subject of public hearings to help further vet the bill and improve upon it before it is reported to the full House.

As a member of the Finance Committee, I will have the opportunity to work on legislation impacting taxation and fiscal policy, as well as programs for senior citizens funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery. On the Labor and Industry Committee, I will review legislation impacting employers, such as job training, workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation and the Prevailing Wage Act. As a member of the Tourism and Recreational Development Committee, I will be working on legislation impacting our Commonwealth’s second-largest industry.

To follow the work of our standing committees, as well as the full General Assembly, visit www.legis.state.pa.us.
 
 
Governor’s Budget Address Set for Tuesday

On Tuesday Feb. 5, Gov. Tom Wolf will deliver his annual budget address to a joint session of the General Assembly beginning at 11:30 a.m.

The address itself will offer more of an overview of the governor’s policy priorities for the year ahead, but as always, the devil is in the details. As secretary of the House Appropriations Committee, I look forward to the opportunity to participate in a series of more than a dozen budget hearings that will allow us to delve into those details to help ensure every single taxpayer dollar is being invested wisely. Those hearings begin on Monday, Feb. 11.

If you would like to watch the address, it will be streamed live at www.PAHouseGOP.com.
 
 
Ensuring Victims’ Rights

Legislation to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to add a victims’ bill of rights was reintroduced this week in a step toward putting the question before voters.

Last session, Marsy’s Law passed in the House and Senate unanimously. An identical bill must be passed this session before the question is placed on the ballot.

While Pennsylvania has protection for victims written into its laws, a constitutional amendment is the only way to ensure that victims have equal footing with offenders and the only way to ensure that victims have some kind of redress when their rights are violated.

The amendment would require notice of hearings and other proceedings, physical and emotional protection from the accused, notice in cases of release or escape, proceedings free from unnecessary delay, the ability to confer with the prosecutor in the case, full and timely restitution from the offender, and notification of all of these rights.
 
 
Be a Part of the Celebration!

If you’ve ever attended the Union County Veteran’s Fourth of July Parade, you know what an outstanding event it is for our community, our country and the veterans who have helped fight for and preserve the independence we celebrate that day.

Now in its 25th year, the parade and the many events associated with it continue to grow, but the number of people helping to put the event together has not. If you’d like to be an integral part of the event’s success this year, consider attending the next committee meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the East Buffalo Township Municipal Building, 589 Fairground Road in Lewisburg.

More information about the event is also available at www.UnionCountyVeterans4thofJuly.com or by calling 844-VETSDAY or emailing info@unioncountyveterans4thofjuly.com.
 
 
Check Out These Upcoming Events!!

Heart of Lewisburg Ice Festival: Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2 in Downtown Lewisburg. Activities include a polar bear plunge, chocolate festival and tour, live ice carving, frosty 5K, children’s games, A Capella on ice, art events, and more. Click here for more information

Beat the Winter Blues Arts and Crafts Fair: Saturday, Feb. 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lewisburg Hotel, 136 Market St. Hosted by Lewisburg Sunset Rotary, the event includes hand-crafted and hand-made items from local artists and crafters! Click here for more information

R.B. Winter State Park Snowfest: Sunday, Feb. 10, from noon to 4 p.m. Activities are dependent on weather conditions and may include SNOWFEST Trail Race, snow shoe hiking, cross country skiing, ice skating, horse drawn wagon rides, ice rescue demonstration, ice fishing skills, snow mobile safety and rides for kids, a food concession, snow volleyball, broomball, an ice sculpture demonstration, winter search and rescue using dogs, and special activities for children including a winter story time, nature activities and crafts, and a silent auction to support Pennsylvania State Parks. Click here for more information

Lewisburg Children's Museum Upcoming Programs and Events: Reading of “Gingerbread Baby” and building a gingerbread house (Feb. 9); learn about the heart (Feb. 14); STEM lessons with the Bucknell Chemistry Club (Feb. 16); learn about presidents (Feb. 18); build a bird feeder (Feb. 23); and celebrate engineer week (Feb. 24). Please note: fees and registration requirements apply to some of these events. Click here for additional information.
 
 
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Applications Available

Applications for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program are now available on my website, and at my district office.

The program is designed to help eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older to receive up to a $650 rebate from the property taxes or rent they paid last year.

To be eligible, homeowners must earn less than $35,000 a year and renters less than $15,000 with half of Social Security income excluded.

Certain supplemental rebates can boost homeowner rebates up to $975. The supplemental rebates are automatically calculated by the Department of Revenue for qualifying homeowners.

Residents should not pay a private entity for assistance in filing the forms. Copies of the forms, as well as assistance with filing them, are available at my office at no cost.

Applicants should be prepared to provide all the necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately. Applications are due by June 30.
 
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Mifflinburg Government Center, 343 Chestnut Street, Suite 1, Mifflinburg, PA 17844 | (570) 966-0052 or (570) 837-0052
Room 141-A East Wing, PO Box 202085, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2085 | (717) 787-3443
TTY: 855-282-0614