Jun. 11, 2024

 
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It’s Summertime - Come Visit the State Capitol



Building up our next generation of Commonwealth citizens comes through education and encounters. A person will not know what is out there if they do not hear, learn, see and experience what is taking place, especially at our state capitol. Please accept this as an invitation to you, your family, friends, co-workers, and students to come tour our state capitol building and experience the halls, rooms, and history of our state government. If I am in session there at the time of your tour, I would love to meet with you and share some views of the House, the seat of a representative, and of course my Harrisburg office.

It was a pleasure to have met with Pastor Keith Williams and his grandson, Teddy, last week in the Capitol. Everyone who tours the building walks away with a unique view of what they have experienced. From the eyes of Teddy, as a young artist himself, he was captivated by the “huge dome” (aka Main Rotunda), amazing paintings, tile floor mosaics, and stained glass works of art. Pastor Keith reflects on his time in the Capitol sharing with my staff that, “touring the capitol makes me proud of living in Pennsylvania and America To see the patriotism that our citizens of the past showed by taking such pains to visualize our heritage, history and values. What a responsibility it is for each of us to preserve and transfer this history to our next generations.” I always enjoy sharing the beauty of our historic Capitol Building, the process of bills becoming laws, and the important work and decisions each of us have been elected to do. I am thankful many take the opportunity to learn hands on about our state government and take action in our district with their voice and rights. It was an enjoyable visit with Pastor Keith and Teddy at our State Capitol Building.

If you would like to set up to tour the Capitol, please feel free to contact my Harrisburg Legislative Assistant Jill Beatty at jbeatty@pahousegop.com or 717-772-5371. For more information about Capitol tours be sure to check out the PA State Capitol website here.
   
 
Educate, Effect, Execute


Knowledge is to power as awareness is to protection. If you are an expert on a topic, knowing more than the ones around you, you become stronger in that area than others. If you recognize what is happening around you and to others, then you have the opportunity to defend yourself and others from horrific harm.

Do you know the difference between human trafficking and smuggling? Would you be able to list the eight common types of human trafficking? Can you identify the methods human traffickers use on their victims? What happens with the victims when they are rescued?

Taken from the Statista website “...the number of people falling victim to human trafficking around the world continues to grow. Between 2008 and 2019, the number of human trafficking victims identified worldwide more than quadrupled from around 30,000 to nearly 120,000...trafficking in persons is an illegal practice that is shaded in secrecy, and it is therefore nearly impossible to measure it in its entirety.”

It is beyond time for us to educate ourselves about the reality and brutality of human trafficking, here in our community, the state and globally. In order to have a positive effect, from helping to protect future victims of such a heinous crime to caring for those rescued from the traffickers, we must first arm ourselves with knowledge. I encourage you to take time to learn from the experts, those who truly put themselves in harms’ way to rescue and protect victims. It is the first step in how we as a community can help. Who are those people?

Allow me to introduce you to Lantern Rescue. They are U.S.-based nonprofit organization that fights internationally against Human Trafficking. Through previous military and law enforcement experience, Lantern Rescue’s team travels internationally to train units and help them discover and rescue victims of human trafficking.

Lantern Rescue is the boots on the ground. Their knowledge and experience are powerful. They want us to build awareness for protection to help stop innocent people from becoming victims. There are many ways we can help execute a plan of action to provide awareness and resources.

In just a few short hours you can be educated and able to answer those questions I asked above. You will walk away motivated to execute a plan of action to help those victimized and protect those that may fall prey to this crime. Please take a moment to explore and learn more about Lantern Rescue on their website, join their podcast, invite them to your organization or community for their Combat Human Trafficking Together training course, and take action to help in ways you are able.

This Wellsboro course was brought to us by Northern Pennsylvania Regional College (NRPC) from within their workforce development events. NRPC has upcoming events throughout the fall in Tioga and Potter counties. Be sure to check them out on their events page.
   
 
What Has Been Your Experience with PA Fish and Boat Commission?

 

Our region’s outdoor assets make it a popular destination for fishing, boating and all kinds of phenomenal water recreation. As a steward for many of these assets, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission wants to make sure they are doing everything possible to provide positive experiences for our residents and visitors to the area. If you would like to share your positive or negative experiences with the commission, please contact my offices in Wellsboro (570-724-1390) or Troy (570-297-3045) to share your experiences or access their Complaint Verification Document.
   
 
It’s Time for Tax Cuts!


State House Republicans held a press conference last week calling on majority House Democrats to bring up for a vote – without amendment or partisan gimmicks – the bipartisan Senate-passed tax cut plan that would reduce the Personal Income Tax and eliminate the Gross Receipts Tax on electricity.

Passage of the tax cut plan would put about $3 billion annually back into the pockets of Pennsylvania taxpayers, helping all our residents deal with the ongoing burden of inflation. The initiative stands in stark contrast to Democrats’ plans to grow the size and cost of government by spending down the state’s reserves, ultimately leading to higher taxes.

We are also introducing our own version of the Senate plan, which would reduce the Personal Income Tax (PIT) rate from 3.07% to 2.8% and eliminate the Gross Receipts Tax on energy, effective on Jan. 1, 2025, providing critical relief from high energy costs.

Watch the press conference here.
 
 
Hearings Focus on Preserving Benefit Integrity


The House Republican Policy Committee recently convened a trio of hearings to discuss ways to safeguard Pennsylvania’s social benefit programs from fraud, waste and abuse, thereby protecting taxpayer dollars and ensuring the state’s resources are efficiently allocated and accessible to those who truly require assistance.

The hearings, titled “Excellence in Government: Preserving Benefit Integrity” featured testimony from officials with the Foundation for Government Accountability. The testifiers provided insight into the fraud taking place in Pennsylvania’s Medicaid, SNAP and unemployment insurance programs, and emphasized that program benefit integrity starts with holding government accountable.

According to the testifiers, Pennsylvania is experiencing welfare disparity. Currently, 43% of Pennsylvanians receiving Medicaid are able-bodied adults. Meanwhile, there are 14,000 Pennsylvanians truly in need on the Medicaid waiting list.

For more information and video of the hearings, visit www.PAGOPPolicy.com.
 
 
Application Deadline Extended for 2023 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program


The deadline for senior citizens and Pennsylvanians with disabilities to apply for rebates on rent and property taxes paid in 2023 has been extended to Dec. 31.

Income limits for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program increased this year to $45,000 for both homeowners and renters. If you were earning too much to qualify before, you may be

eligible now. Remember to exclude 50% of Social Security when determining your income. The law I supported to expand the program also increased the maximum rebate to $1,000.
The program is open to residents age 65 years and older; widows and widowers 50 years and older; and people with disabilities 18 years and older.

Remember – you do not need to pay anyone for assistance to apply for the rebates. Apply online at mypath.pa.gov, or contact my office for help. Additional information about the program is available here.

Rebates will be distributed beginning July 1, as required by law.
 
 
Check Out the Revamped 511PA


The Commonwealth’s free, statewide travel information service – 511PA – has been upgraded with a new website, mobile app and phone system to make it more user friendly.

Operated by PennDOT and the PA Turnpike, 511PA provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras. It is available online via its website, www.511PA.com; through smartphone apps; by dialing 5-1-1; or following regional X alerts.

Users can sign up for personalized travel alerts on the website. Current 511PA personal-alert subscribers need to create a new account in the updated system and set up their preferences to continue receiving alerts. A transformed 511PA app is part of the new system, so users will need to update their Apple or Android app to access the latest version.

Read more about the upgrades to 511PA here.
 
 
PFBC Seeks Applications for Boating Infrastructure Grant Program


The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is requesting proposals for its Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program.

The grants are economic engines for local communities that benefit traveling boaters by offering safe overnight docking opportunities and easy access to towns and waterfronts. Grants may be made to public and private operators of open-to-the-public boating facilities, including municipal agencies (cities, townships, counties, etc.), state agencies and other government entities.

Eligible activities include the construction, renovation and maintenance of transient tie-up facilities. Boating infrastructure refers to features that provide stopover places for transient non-trailerable recreational vessels to tie up. These features include transient slips, day docks, floating docks and fixed piers, navigational aids, and dockside utilities, including electric, water and pumpout stations.

For additional information, click here. The deadline for submitting proposals is
July 31.
 
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