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July 2017

Senate Passes State Budget Revenue Package Without My Support

Trying to responsibly generate sufficient revenues to support the state budget spending plan and close the structural deficit is proving exceedingly difficult. Various suggestions and proposals for raising revenue over the past several months have created controversy because of questions about policy soundness and financial reliability.

At the same time, Pennsylvania is now four weeks past the deadline for having a balanced state budget in place. It is well past time to assemble and send to the governor a full package that removes the uncertainty for taxpayers and those who depend on state programs and services, and to allow the bills providing funding for the state-related universities to proceed.

Given this urgency, I voted in favor of the bills containing changes to the education, human services, and fiscal codes. The changes contained in these bills generally fix problems and meet needs in an acceptable way. The human services code features some essential cost controlling and fraud fighting steps that will help in balancing future budgets.

However, I do not support several of the choices made in generating revenues, particularly hitting consumers and some small business owners with higher fees. Some of the transfers of money from special purposes into the general fund, and borrowing against the Tobacco Settlement Fund, also seem less than desirable in their impact. For these reasons, I voted against the tax code and administrative code bills.

Even at that, these two bills do contain constructive provisions, such as the tax advantages to make the newly established ABLE program more workable for families and establishing a public hearing process before future state prison closures are considered.


Fair Season Arrives

Sen. Lisa Baker presented Roger Hammer, the driver of High Octane, with his trophy for winning the Sen. Lisa Baker Trot at the Wayne County Fair in 2015.

The height of summer brings with it the return of the annual county fair season. In the 20th District we are fortunate to have so many fine fairs to choose from. To find your local fair check out the state’s Fair Guide by clicking here.


New Handbook Provides Helpful Information About Family Caregiving

Across Pennsylvania, more than 1.6 million Pennsylvanians are caring for older parents, spouses, or other loved ones, assisting them to live independently rather than in one of the Commonwealth’s long-term, institutional nursing homes, according to the PA Homecare Association.

Dedicated family and friends are providing $20 billion annually in uncompensated care allowing seniors to safely live at home and in their community.

The Association is making available “Secrets No One Told You About Family Caregiving,” a 48-page handbook featuring tips, tricks, and helpful hints for family members caring for a loved one. Obtain your copy by calling 1-800-382-1211.

You can also advance the level of care delivered through 59 free online video training courses offered by the association. Click here to find resources for everything from caring for an Alzheimer’s victim to understanding the family dynamics within which you are functioning.


I-81 Project On Horizon In Susquehanna County

A public forum was held at the Great Bend Hose Co. as PennDOT unveiled plans for a major construction project on a nine-mile stretch of I-81 in Susquehanna County.

On July 20, I attended a public forum in Great Bend hosted by PennDOT to get details on the planned I-81 reconstruction project that will take place from the New Milford exit north to the New York State border. This is an important project that will result in a smoother, safer ride for motorists using this nine-mile stretch.

The project entails replacing pavement, signage and bridges and is slated to begin in 2021.

 


Offices of Senator Lisa Baker


Harrisburg Office
362 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: 717-787-7428
FAX: 717-787-9242
M-F: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM


Western District Office

22 Dallas Shopping Center
Memorial Highway
Dallas, PA 18612
Phone: 570-675-3931
FAX: 570-674-5037
M-F: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM


Eastern District Office

2512 Route 6
Hawley, PA 18428
Phone: 570-226-5960
FAX: 570-226-5964
M-F: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM