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Updating the 85th District
The latest news from the State Capitol

Congratulations to Todd Staub, Jr. of Troop 415 in Middleburg for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. For his Eagle project, Todd built and waterproofed seven picnic tables, and assembled and installed two charcoal grills at the Snyder-Middleswarth picnic area at Tall Timbers on Jacks Mountain in Troxelville. Best wishes for continued success!
Support Wounded Warrior of Pennsylvania

Mark your calendar and join me at the Selinsgrove Applebee’s on Sunday, May 19, from 4-9 p.m. for the annual celebrity service event to benefit Wounded Warrior of Pennsylvania.

Members of the military and Shikellamy JROTC will be serving up food and fun to raise money for this cause. All tips collected from 4-9 p.m. will be donated to Wounded Warrior of PA.

Selinsgrove Applebee’s is located at 901 N. Susquehanna Trail, Selinsgrove. I hope to see you there.
Celebrating Small Business

In celebration of National Small Business Week, the Bucknell University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) hosted a walking tour in Lewisburg that included a ribbon cutting for A Red Wheelbarrow, a web design and marketing firm. Pictured from left: Maureen Hauck; Michael Kane, Small Business Administration (SBA); Steven Stumbris, Bucknell SBDC director; Michelle Christian, SBA regional administrator; Karen Holstead, founder, A Red Wheelbarrow; Bill Turner, Karen's husband; Judy Wagner, Lewisburg mayor; Dennis Davin, secretary of the state Department of Community and Economic Development; and Ben Ranck of my office.
Thank you SUNCOM Industries

I had the privilege to provide a tour of my office and meet with employees of SUNCOM Industries, a nonprofit, human services agency that helps people with disabilities improve the quality of their lives with vocational training and skill development. I shared with them my role as a state representative and what services we provide as a legislative office. Pictured with me, from left, are Sonya H. (seated), Susan M., Christopher B. and staff Courtney C. They also had the opportunity to meet with the Hon. Jeff Mensch, District Justice, and Tyler Breech, Union County’s 4-H program coordinator.
Touring Panda Hummel Station

We were recently afforded the opportunity to tour the new 1,124-megawatt clean natural gas-fueled Panda Hummel Station electric generating facility. Panda Hummel Station is one of the largest coal-to-natural-gas conversion facilities in the United States and is a great example of Pennsylvania gas powering Pennsylvania electricity. Special thank you to the Sheldon Kowaleski with Panda Hummel Station for the tour and to Chris Berleth and Bob Garrett from the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce for coordinating the opportunity!

I had a great time talking with students from Selinsgrove Intermediate School when they visited the Capitol earlier this week. Here they are seated on the back of the House floor.
Good News for PA Budget, Taxpayers

We got some positive economic news last week as state revenue collections are more than $828 million ahead of estimates with two months to go in the current fiscal year. But that doesn’t mean government should be going on a spending spree with your tax dollars.

House and Senate Republican leaders stood together and made a commitment to devote much of the additional funding to building up the state’s reserves for a “rainy day” to help ensure we can weather the next economic slowdown.

The Commonwealth’s revenue growth is the result of pro-growth policies and our commitment to standing up for taxpayers – and standing against excessive taxes and spending proposed by the governor over the last several years. We will continue that commitment through this year’s budget negotiations. A final 2019-20 state budget is due by June 30.

Find further details on Pennsylvania’s revenues here.  

Watch the press conference here.
Government Done Right – Pennsylvania Needs an Upgrade

House Republicans are devoting the month of May to giving our state government a long-overdue upgrade.

Having “government done right” means upgrading to a more effective and efficient government while providing core services. It means repealing out-of-date laws, reexamining the effectiveness of some state boards and commissions, and putting a stop to the red tape and overregulation that has tied the hands of job creators and hampered economic progress.

Thus far, we have adopted bills to require state agencies to designate a regulatory compliance officer to work WITH affected businesses; improve transparency in the permitting process by requiring agencies to post information online and creating an accessible tracking system for applicants to check the status of their applications; reduce the debt ceiling for the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program; establish Commerce Courts to address complex business matters; and repeal a number of outdated laws that are no longer relevant.

You can read more about what we are doing to improve Pennsylvania’s government here.
Expanding Education Opportunities

More students and their families would have access to additional educational options under legislation approved by the House this week to expand the successful Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program.

House Bill 800 would increase funding for the program by $100 million to $210 million, providing tens of thousands of additional Pennsylvania families the ability to choose a school that best fits their students’ needs.

In order to ensure that the scholarship program can continue to grow to meet demand, the legislation would also establish an automatic escalator, increasing the EITC scholarship cap by 10% whenever 90% of the tax credits are claimed in the prior year.

To allow more middle-class families access to this program, the bill would increase the maximum annual household income by $10,000 (to $95,000, before add-ons per child), while guaranteeing that once a student has received a scholarship, he or she will remain eligible through high school graduation regardless of changes to family income.

The EITC program provides tax credits to businesses that make contributions to approved scholarship organizations offering scholarships to children in kindergarten through grade 12, educational improvement organizations providing funding for innovative educational programs in public schools, and pre-kindergarten scholarship organizations offering scholarships to children enrolled in pre-kindergarten programs.

The bill now moves to the Senate for its consideration.
Need Help with Veterans Benefits?

In appreciation for their service, both the state and federal governments offer a number of benefits and services to our veterans and their family members. If you have questions about or need assistance with obtaining these benefits, there are several options to help you.

Dan Falls, a veterans field service officer with the American Legion, is available at the Mifflinburg office on Wednesday, May 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on the fourth Wednesday of each subsequent month. You need not be a member of the American Legion to obtain this assistance with issues such as compensation, education, pension, health care and death benefits. Appointments are required and may be made by calling the office at 570-966-0052 or 570-837-0052.

Both Union and Snyder counties also have offices of Veterans Affairs to assist you.
  • Union County Office of Veterans Affairs – Union County Government Center, 155 N. 15th St., Lewisburg. The telephone number is 570-524-8677, and the office is available online here
  • Snyder County Office of Veterans Affairs – Snyder County East Building, 713 Bridge St. Suite 10, Selinsgrove. The telephone number is 570-374-0181, and the office is available online here.
Check Out These Upcoming Events!!

Lewisburg Celebration of the Arts: Now through Saturday, May 11, at various locations. Don’t miss out on Lewisburg Live! this Saturday, where you can enjoy up to 10 bands in venues throughout downtown. Click here for more information

Art in the Park: Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hufnagle Park, Lewisburg. Artists and crafters will present their handmade, hand-designed, hand-crafted items. Music provided by DJ Andy and Blue River Spell. Lewisburg Sunset Rotary will have a 50/50 raffle and exciting raffle prizes. Click here for more information.

A Mysterious Dream – A Community’s Labor of Love: Saturday, May 18, at 7 p.m. at “Jim’s Church,” 53 N. Third St., Lewisburg. The CommUnity Zone of Lewisburg, in partnership with Transitions of Pennsylvania, is sponsoring a unique fundraising event that includes visual and performance artists including the Susquehanna Valley Chorale. Cost is $40. Click here for additional information.

Lewisburg Children's Museum Upcoming Programs and Events: Botanical Buddies (May 11); vision screenings and eye health (May 18); Your Vote Matters (May 19); floating ink experiment (May 22); reading of “The Wonky Donkey” (May 25); Memorial Day and poppy flower craft (May 26); and kid’s choice story time (June 1). Please note: fees and registration requirements apply to some of these events. Click here for additional information

Heart of Lewisburg Summer Kick-off Craft Fair: Saturday, June 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hufnagle Park. Artisans, crafters, vendors and food trucks will be on-site. Kids activities include painting and face painting. Click here for additional information

For additional events across Central PA, visit the Susquehanna Valley Visitor Bureau’s website here.
What’s Happening in the PA General Assembly?

If you want to know more about what’s happening in your state government, look no further than the Pennsylvania General Assembly website. You will find information about upcoming committee meetings, specific bills, roll call votes, House and Senate calendars, existing state statutes and more. You can even watch session live through the site. Check it out here!
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Office Locations
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