REMINDER: Municipalities Must Opt Out of New Gambling Law by December 31
Governor Wolf signed a bill into law several weeks ago that includes a staggering increase in the number of available gambling options and venues in Pennsylvania, including the creation of up to 10 mini-casinos. However, municipalities have the power to opt out of having a mini-casino sited within their boundaries simply by passing a resolution to that effect. The deadline for a municipality to opt out is December 31.
The opt-out provision is a one-time opportunity for municipalities to preserve the character and heritage of Lancaster County. Many municipalities have already passed a resolution prohibiting the location of a mini-casino within their borders, and I am hopeful the remaining municipalities who have not yet passed an opt-out resolution will take action soon.
Senator Scott Martin and I sent a letter this week to all Lancaster County municipalities who have not yet passed an opt-out resolution to encourage them to do so before the December 31 deadline. Both of our offices are prepared to offer assistance to any municipality that is interested in passing a resolution to block the creation of a new gambling facility.
More information on the mini-casino opt-out provision is available here.
Legislative Scholarship Available to Valley Forge Military College
Local high school seniors can apply now for a special legislative scholarship to attend Valley Forge Military College. As part of the Pennsylvania Legislative Appointment Initiative, each state legislator may select one student from his or her district to be designated a Commonwealth Scholar, which includes guaranteed admission and a partial scholarship of at least $12,000.
A student awarded the Legislative Appointment Initiative Scholarship may receive the award for up to two years. An applicant must be a Pennsylvania resident and have a cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, as well as either a combined verbal and math SAT score of 1000 or an ACT score of 20. Applicants with a higher GPA score may qualify for a higher annual award.
Students may apply during the fall of their senior year. Applications are available online here.
The Senate and House Education Committees recently held a joint public hearing to discuss the budget process and collective bargaining reforms at schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
Waltz Vineyards Featured in TV Show
The most recent edition of my Citizen Report TV program features an in-depth tour of Waltz Vineyards, a sixth-generation family farm in Manheim. The conversation with owner Jan Waltz also included a discussion about the similarities and differences between wine grapes grown in Pennsylvania and other areas, such as California and Europe, and how Pennsylvania wines are marketed.
The entire program is available here.
I always appreciate the opportunity to meet with students from Lancaster County. Two students from Ephrata High School recently dropped by my district office to interview me as part of a class project that challenged students to interview a local veteran.
Property Tax and Rent Rebate Application Period Ends December 31
The deadline for low-income seniors and disabled individuals to apply for the state’s Property Tax Rent Rebate Program is December 31. The program refunds a portion of rent or property taxes paid during the previous year.
Information and applications for the Property Tax Rent Rebate Program are available online at www.revenue.state.pa.us or by calling toll-free 1-888-222-9190. Property Tax Rent Rebate claim forms and more information are also available at my district office in Lititz. I encourage local residents to call my office as soon as possible if they have any questions about the program or the application process.
Senate Box 203036