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Why I Voted Against the Senate's Revenue Package
In late July, the Senate narrowly approved a revenue bill that included a litany of new taxes that will impact families and businesses throughout the state. I voted against this measure because I believe it represents the wrong approach to the fiscal challenges facing Pennsylvania.
The bill included an increase in taxes levied on utilities, including natural gas, electricity and phone service. The overwhelming majority of state residents rely on these services to heat their homes, cook their food, wash their clothes, and ensure other basic necessities are met, so it appears likely that nearly all state residents would be impacted.
In addition, the bill included a severance tax on natural gas that will be imposed in addition to the current impact fee. Natural gas prices are slowly beginning to rebound and allow for new investments in Pennsylvania. A severance tax will only chase these new jobs and investments away to other states.
My full statement explaining my vote against new taxes is available here.
It was an honor to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for the “Restore the Y” project for Transitional Paths to Independent Living. I look forward to seeing this historic and beautiful building restored and returned to productive use in the community.
TV Program Features Washington County Food Bank Fundraising Event
The most recent edition of my “Focus on the 46th” TV program featured highlights from a fundraising event I supported to help families who are at risk from hunger and food insecurity, as well as the other ways the Greater Washington County Food Bank helps families in need.
I enjoyed learning more about the ways that this organization helps local families who are struggling financially. It was an honor to participate in the “Cooking With Camera” fundraiser to provide meal ideas featuring products provided by the food bank. A link to the show is available here.
I appreciated the chance to visit the Heritage Public Library recently to learn about the Heritage Summer Reading Program.
Grants Support Early Childhood Education, Community Learning Programs
Education grants totaling nearly $1.5 million will help support new out-of-school learning opportunities for young people throughout the region. Intermediate Unit #1 in Washington County and the East End United Community Center in Greene County each received grants in the latest round of funding from the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Grant program, which is targeted to students in high-poverty and struggling school districts.
In addition, a grant from the state’s Pre-K Counts program to Community Action Southwest will help prepare more young people in low-income families for kindergarten. More information about pre-k services is available by calling (724) 225-9550 x457 (Washington County) or (724) 852-2893 x457 (Greene County), or by visiting https://www.caswg.org/programs-services/ecs/pre-k.
Greene County Fair Secretary Debbie Stephenson and I had the honor of welcoming PA Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding to the 134th Greene County Fair.
Satellite Office Open on Monday
On Monday, August 14, my satellite district office in Beaver County will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to assist with your questions, respond to legislative inquiries and provide information on government services. The office is located in the Hopewell Township Building, located at 1700 Clark Boulevard in Aliquippa. As a reminder, some of the ways that my district offices can help you include:
For more information on issues of importance to southwestern Pennsylvania, please visit my website at www.senatorbartolotta.com and connect with me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/senatorbartolotta) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/senbartolotta).
SouthPointe District Office
Greene County Office Building