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Senator Argall

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Toll Free: 1-877-327-4255

Harrisburg Office
Senate Box 203029
171 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3029
717-787-2637
717-783-8657 FAX

Email: dargall@pasen.gov

District Offices
 

One West Centre Street
P.O. Box 150
Mahanoy City, PA 17948
570-773-0891
570-773-1675 FAX

61 North Third Street
Hamburg, PA 19526-1501
610-562-3411
610-562-6895 FAX
(Shared with Representative
Jerry Knowles)

100 North Centre Street
Pottsville, PA 17901
570-621-3400
570-622-6629 FAX
(Shared with Representative Mike Tobash)

Spring Township
2850 Windmill Road
Spring Township, PA 19608
1-877-327-4255

237 West Broad Street
Tamaqua, PA 18252
570-668-1240
570-952-3374 FAX
(Shared with Representative
Jerry Knowles)

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In this email update:

  • PTCC Town Hall Meeting on property tax relief efforts
  • Senate Bill 76 supporters hear the plight of Pennsylvania’s homeowners
  • Roundtable discussion on property tax reform in Allegheny County
  • Strengthening welfare reform in Pennsylvania
  • Northeast PA Manufacturers and Employers Association Legislative Roundtable event
  • House and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committees to hold meeting on Spotted Lanternfly
  • REAL ID enforcement grace period extended to Pennsylvania
  • Fire Prevention Week in Pennsylvania
  • PLCB Alcohol Awareness Poster Contest
  • On deck

PTCC Town Hall Meeting on property tax relief efforts

On Thursday, October 19, the Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition (PTCC) will hold a town hall meeting to discuss property taxes. The meeting will take place at the Good Will Hose Company in Cressona from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. 

During this event, the coalition will provide an in-depth review of property tax relief efforts that have failed in the past, the negative consequences we will face if school property taxes continue to rise, as well as the benefits of the complete elimination of school property taxes. 

Attendees will be able to participate and ask questions during the meeting. 

For more information about the event, please click here.


Senate Bill 76 supporters hear the plight of Pennsylvania’s homeowners

Senator Mike Folmer (R-Dauphin/Lebanon/York), a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 76, recently highlighted the efforts of property tax elimination advocates. In this column, Senator Folmer discusses the work of Jim Rodkey, a resident of Lebanon and a key advocate of school property tax elimination.

Mr. Rodkey received a standing ovation for his remarks at a property tax forum we held in Lancaster County with Senators Aument and Martin back in August.

During his remarks, Mr. Rodkey noted that while traveling across Pennsylvania with his wife Sue, they have listened to countless stories from homeowners who have been forced to sacrifice necessities such as food and medication in order to save their homes, as well as homeowners who will soon be left with no choice but to leave their homes because of the skyrocketing property taxes.

Advocates like Mr. Rodkey have called the status quo “legal plunder” and have many times asked, “Do we continue to ignore the plight of citizens to protect the status quo? Do we continue to accept 10,000 people a year losing their homes due to a broken system? Why are 45,000 residents – one every 11 ½ minutes leaving Pennsylvania to escape taxes?”

It is evident that something needs to be done immediately.

A special thanks to Mr. Rodkey and the many other advocates who have dedicated their time and effort to help us in this battle.

You can read Senator Folmer’s full column here.


Roundtable discussion on property tax reform in Allegheny County 

As a continuation of our bipartisan statewide efforts to eliminate school property taxes, this week I traveled to the Pittsburgh area to join Senator Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny) to discuss this issue. 

During the event, I discussed the components of Senate Bill 76, as well as the proposed constitutional amendment that would permit the General Assembly to enact legislation to expand the homestead exclusion to exclude up to 100 percent of the assessed value of a homestead property.

To date, the Senate Policy Committee has held the following property tax meetings across the state:

  • June 22 – hosted by Senator Mario Scavello (R-Monroe/Northampton)
  • August 15 – hosted by Senator Tom McGarrigle (R-Chester/Delaware)
  • August 30th – hosted by Senators Ryan Aument and Scott Martin (R-Lancaster)
  • September 20th – hosted by Senator Lisa Boscola (D-Lehigh/Northampton) 

These discussions provide a good opportunity for all of us to review many different alternatives to tackle these difficult issues and to ask local people for their input and suggestions.


Strengthening welfare reform in Pennsylvania

Combatting welfare abuse in Pennsylvania is critical, and the goal of welfare reform is to clean up the system’s waste and fraud so that we can afford to provide additional assistance to the truly needy.

In an editorial recently published by the Tribune-Democrat titled, Tightening Welfare Rules is Necessary, the article highlights the Public Assistance Integrity Act as laid out in Senate Bill 6. 

Senate Bill 6, which was introduced by Senator Mike Regan (R-Cumberland/York), seeks to eliminate welfare fraud by strengthening benefit eligibility criteria, limiting the use of access devices and increasing penalties for instances of willful fraud. Some of the major components of the bill include:

  • Denying public assistance benefits for convicted criminals and deviants.
  • Closing loopholes in Pennsylvania’s Public Welfare Code (Act 21 of 1967).
  • Making sure that welfare benefits funded by taxpayers are spent appropriately.
  • Increasing penalties for individuals performing welfare fraud and deterring individuals from committing fraudulent activities.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 6 by a vote of 40-9 in July, and the bill is now waiting to be reviewed by the House. 

This initiative is similar to a bill I proposed with Senator Joe Scarnati which sought to strengthen the integrity of our public welfare system and ensure those with genuine need would continue to receive the assistance and resources for which they are eligible.

You can read the editorial from the Tribune-Democrat here.


Northeast Pennsylvania Manufacturers and Employers Association Legislative Roundtable event

Last Friday, I joined my colleagues from the Senate and House of Representatives at the Northeast Pennsylvania Manufacturers and Employers Association Legislative Roundtable event in Barnesville.

During this bipartisan roundtable, we discussed several key state-related issues including taxes, paycheck protection, minimum wage and the state budget.


House and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committees to hold meeting on Spotted Lanternfly

On Wednesday, October 18, the House and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committees will be holding a joint meeting to discuss the Spotted Lanternfly.

This non-native species was first discovered in Berks County in 2014 and poses a significant threat to our fruit and hardwood industries. Quarantines have been established in the following counties: Berks; Bucks; Chester; Lehigh; Montgomery; and Northampton Counties. 

The purpose of this meeting is to provide citizens with information about the Spotted Lanternfly, particularly with regards to its damaging effects and ways to combat the further spread of this invasive species.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the Spotted Lanternfly threatens the following fruit items and industries: $20.5 million grape; nearly $134 million apple; over $24 million stone fruit; and $12 billion hardwood industries.

The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. in Hearing Room 1 of the North Office Building at the State Capitol in Harrisburg. 

For more information about the Spotted Lanternfly, please click here.


REAL ID enforcement grace period extended to Pennsylvania

The Department of Homeland Security has extended a REAL ID enforcement grace period to Pennsylvania through January 22, 2018. 

This grace period allows Pennsylvanians to enter federal facilities without experiencing any access issues through January 22, 2018. The grace period began this past Wednesday, October 11. 

PennDOT estimates that the REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards will be available at the choice of residents in March 2019.

For more information about the REAL ID program, click here.


Fire Prevention Week in Pennsylvania 

As we continue to recognize Fire Prevention Week in Pennsylvania, below you will find some tips to keep you, your home and your loved ones safe:


PLCB Alcohol Awareness Poster Contest

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has begun its annual Alcohol Awareness Poster Contest. 

Pennsylvania students in grades K-12 are encouraged to submit posters highlighting the dangers of underage drinking and alcohol abuse and the importance of saying no to alcohol. 

Entries must be postmarked by Friday, November 17, 2017. 

For more information about the contest and guidelines, please click here.

Pictured below are last year’s poster contest winners from Berks and Schuylkill Counties:


On deck

The Senate is scheduled to convene on Monday, October 16 at 1 p.m. You can watch session live and view the voting calendar on my website.

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