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Thank you to everyone who made it to my Lawrence County Senior Expo! I look forward to seeing you next year!
PA Senate Returns to Session
How to stay informed
The Senate is back in session this week. Click here to see all scheduled Senate Session days. Scheduled House Session days can be found here. On the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s webpage, you can also search legislation and existing statutes, see Senate and House committee meeting schedules, Senate and House roll call votes, view Senate and House cosponsorship memos and much more.
Upcoming Property Tax Constitutional Amendment
On November 7, 2017, Pennsylvania voters will be asked to consider a proposed constitutional amendment to enact legislation to expand the current homestead exclusion. The existing homestead provision was approved by the electorate on November 4, 1997 by a vote of 1.24 million to 780,000.
In order for the Pennsylvania Constitution to be amended outside of a constitutional convention, the General Assembly must pass identical legislation containing the proposed amendment in two consecutive legislative sessions. The proposal must then be approved by the voters. In the 2015-2016 legislative session, the proposed language was contained in House Bill 147, which passed the House 200-0 and the Senate 45-2. During the current session, House Bill 1285, containing the proposed change, passed the House 190-0 and the Senate 46-2.
Under Section 1, Article XI of the Pennsylvania Constitution, after passage by the General Assembly, the proposed amendment must be published in at least two newspapers in every county in which such newspapers are published. The Secretary of the Commonwealth is responsible for ensuring the proper publication of the amendment. Pursuant to law, the Secretary of the Commonwealth will submit the proposed amendment to the electors of Pennsylvania in the form of a ballot question at the Municipal Election to be held on November 7, 2017. If a ballot question is approved by a majority of electors voting on it, the corresponding amendment becomes part of the Constitution.
The question which will appear on the ballot states:
Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to permit the General Assembly to enact legislation authorizing local taxing authorities to exclude from taxation up to 100 percent of the assessed value of each homestead property within a local taxing jurisdiction, rather than limit the exclusion to one-half of the median assessed value of all homestead property, which is the existing law?
Stay tuned for more information about how this amendment could impact you and your family.
I’m hosting drivers’ safety classes w/ AARP in both Beaver & Lawrence Counties. Completion of these two-day courses could get you an auto insurance discount. See fliers for more information.
Legislators Urge Administration to Attract Amazon “HQ2”
Recently, I joined my colleagues from Western PA on a letter urging the Governor's Administration to aggressively market this region as a location for Amazon’s proposed second headquarters facility.
Amazon estimates "HQ2" would match its current headquarters in both jobs created (40,000-50,000) and capital investment ($3-5 billion).
A special Thank You to Mary Kay Eisert-Wlodarczyk (pictured) and the Lake Erie Youth ROAD Crew for bringing their “Hidden in Plain Sight” mobile demonstration to last week’s Senior Expo. The van serves as a bedroom mock-up to educate parents & guardians about the tell-tale bedroom characteristics of youth drug usage. Click the link above for more information.
Pennsylvania Career Guide
The updated Pennsylvania Career Guide is now available online from the Department of Labor and Industry. The guide includes employment, wage, and job outlook data for more than 250 occupations.
Students can use a month-by-month checklist for their senior year as well as material related to their post-graduation plans such as finding a job, entering the military, or continuing on to postsecondary education. A new feature is an article on budgeting and a sample budget worksheet.Click here to read the PA Career Guide.
Congratulations to Freedom Area H.S. WPIAL Champion Wrestlers: Bryson Miller, Kody Komara, and Evan Sweesey. Pictured from L: Bryson Miller, head coach Jim Covert, and Kody’s mom Jennifer.
Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program
Applications are being accepted for the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program through Friday, Oct. 20.
Administered by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner, the program provides grants for volunteer and career fire, emergency medical services, and rescue companies. Grants may be used for construction or renovation of a unit’s station, the purchase or repair of equipment, training or debt reduction. The maximum grant amount is $15,000 for fire companies and $10,000 for volunteer ambulance services. Career ambulance companies can apply for the grants, so long as they are designated as a municipality’s primary EMS provider.
PA Department of Agriculture “Food for Thought” Blog
The PA Department of Agriculture recently created a blog to
provide news and insight on the breadth of Pennsylvania agriculture, from
Department initiatives and industry trends, to animal health news and consumer
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Senate Box 203047