Good News for PA Taxpayers
5/3/2019

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Good News for PA Taxpayers
We have some great economic news to report related to the state budget!

State revenue collections are more than $828 million ahead of estimates with two months to go in the current fiscal year. But that does not mean we should be spending it all.

House and Senate Republicans came together earlier this week to stress our intention to devote much of the additional funding to building up the state’s reserves for the next “rainy day” to help ensure we can weather the next economic slowdown.

The Commonwealth’s revenue growth is the result of pro-growth policies and our commitment to standing up for taxpayers – and standing against excessive taxes and spending proposed by the governor over the last several years.

We will continue that commitment through this year’s budget negotiations. A final 2019-20 state budget is due by June 30.

Here are comments from the press conference.

Find further details on Pennsylvania’s revenues here.  


Government Done Right – Pennsylvania Needs an Upgrade
House Republicans are devoting the month of May to giving our state government a long-overdue upgrade.

Having “government done right” means upgrading to a more effective and efficient government while providing core services. It means repealing out-of-date laws, reexamining the effectiveness of some state boards and commissions, and putting a stop to the red tape and overregulation that has tied the hands of job creators and hampered economic progress.

One of the key bills we passed was House Bill 509, which would boost transparency in the permitting process by requiring agencies to post information online and create an accessible tracking system for applicants to check the status of their applications.

We also started a spring cleaning of sorts to get rid of some our most outdated, irrelevant laws. These include measures that regulate when things can or cannot happen on Sundays, such as movie times, baseball and football games and even playing music. Other laws we are working to repeal include antiquated sections of our Public School Code and the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children, which closed in 2009.

You can read more about what we are doing to improve Pennsylvania’s government here.
 

State with Most Improved Animal Abuse Laws
I reunited with my pal Libre in celebrating Pennsylvania as the most improved state in the nation in terms of our animal cruelty laws. I'm proud to have written the statute that played such a critical role in improving our laws against animal abuse.

Watch my comments here.
 

Fighting to Stop Distracted Driving

 
This week, I joined a press conference urging the House pass House Bill 37 to ban the use of hand-held cellphones and other devices while driving. This is basic life-saving legislation. This is especially true for younger drivers. We need to make sure they are safe, not only from themselves, but from other distracted drivers.

Listen to my comments at the link here.
                                  

Prevent Lyme: Check for Ticks
With May designated as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Pennsylvania, individuals who spend time outdoors should check themselves for ticks and be aware of the symptoms of Lyme disease and other tick-related ailments.

The first line of defense against Lyme is to take precautions in the outdoors by using insect repellent with DEET, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, checking for – and promptly and properly removing – any ticks, and showering shortly after exposure.

If bitten, an individual should monitor the area for the next month. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, a bull’s eye rash may appear, and other symptoms that can be mistaken for viral infections, such as influenza or infectious mononucleosis.

Pennsylvania has led the nation in confirmed cases of Lyme disease for three straight years.

Last year, a $500,000 grant was provided to East Stroudsburg University (ESU) to allow all Pennsylvania residents to have ticks (found on them or a family member) tested for free by the university. The Tick Lab is located within the Dr. Jane Huffman Wildlife Genetics Institute at ESU. Click here to access the Tick Lab website with all the details.                                   

For tips about how to protect yourself from Lyme disease, click here.
 
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