Jun. 21, 2024

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The Barb Wire
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
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Capitol Update
Beginning on Monday, the House will be in session every day until July 3, unless a budget is agreed to before that date. We received a copy of the General Appropriations bill to review, along with many other bills that are being negotiated for the budget, which at this point, still have a way to go. The Education Code bill will be discussed, and since only five Republicans voted for the first draft, we are expecting the Senate to weigh in on both the revenue and expenditure side of the bill. Dr. Blanchard of Cumberland Valley School District explains that not all schools are being treated equally under the first draft, and no school should receive less dollars under a school funding bill. (Dr. Blanchard’s Ed Funding Clip )

Farm Odor Issues
With the temps being in the upper 90s this week, our office has been inundated with calls regarding farm odors. Below is our Farm Odor Fact Sheet with information on how to file official complaints with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. The fact sheet is also available on our website under the resource tab.

I am happy to announce that bi-partisan FPR legislation has been introduced as House Bill 2393 - and I am one of the prime sponsors. The legislation would help keep farms and communities safe by managing residual food processing waste. You can access the language of the bill here.

Fountain Festival
Thank you to the many men and women who worked tirelessly for months to put the Newville Fountain Festival together for all of us to enjoy. All your hard work paid off and was greatly appreciated. I would like to especially thank Mrs. Rebecca Walker, the chairwoman of this year’s Festival Committee. I understand it’s her first time chairing the committee and she and her committee did a great job.

In 1896, to commemorate Newville’s founding anniversary and to represent the pride of Newville, Henry Scheffler built the Newville fountain. It was not until 100 years later that the community created what we now know as the Fountain Festival. The first one included a parade and lots of community engagement as well. Since then, the festival has only continued to grow and is now an integral part of our community and district.

Almost 300 years ago, in 1728, pioneer and frontiersman Andrew Ralston became the first settler of Newville. He was quickly followed by many others, drawn to the beautiful landscape, ample game, fertile land and, of course, the big spring, the second largest freshwater spring stream in the country!

This year’s Fountain Festival’s theme of UNITY could not be more appropriate. Despite the political divide in our country and the recent difficulties this borough has faced, Newville has continued to work together and focus its priorities on what unites us, not what divides us. Like our ancestors 300 years ago, we demonstrate care for each other through our hard work in bettering our community. Events like the Fountain Festival, now in its 26th year, are prime evidence of this.

This town is undoubtedly a special place, and it was my honor to serve as the Newville Fountain Festival Parade Grand Marshal last weekend.

Policy Committee Hears Merits of Tax Cut Plan
The House Republican Policy Committee conducted a series of hearings this week about recently introduced legislation to return much-needed money back to the pockets of all Pennsylvanians.

House Bill 2388 would reduce the Personal Income Tax (PIT) rate from 3.07% to 2.8% and eliminate the Gross Receipts Tax on energy, effective Jan. 1, 2025, providing critical relief from high energy costs. Combined, the plan would put about $3 billion annually back into the pockets of taxpayers, helping all residents deal with the ongoing burden of inflation.

Hearings were held in Hazleton, Luzerne County; Harleysville, Montgomery County; Loretto, Cambria County; and Bethel Park, Allegheny County. The committee heard from citizens, business owners and good government groups about the importance of the cuts and their impact on individuals and the economy overall.

Video of the hearings is available at PAGOPPolicy.com.
Only Citizens Vote Coalition
Three hundred and twenty state lawmakers from around the country have signed their name in support of the SAVE Act, sponsored by Congressman Chip Roy and Sen. Mike Lee. The bill would close loopholes to prevent non-citizens from voting in our elections. I am proud to have joined 16 of my Pennsylvania House colleagues in signing the state legislators’ open letter in support of the SAVE Act. Click here for more information and to sign your name to the pledge.

New Law Supports Disabled Veterans
Recognizing the service and sacrifice of disabled veterans across the state, a new law will exempt 100% of their benefit payments from income calculations for any Commonwealth programs or benefits.

Act 27 of 2024 ensures veterans who receive disability compensation will not have those payments counted against them when applying to programs such as the Real Estate Property Tax Exemption, Education Gratuity Program, Veterans Temporary Assistance Program and Military Relief Assistance Program. It also extends the exclusion of the veterans’ compensation benefits to their unmarried surviving spouses.

The law will take effect in mid-August. 
Saving Our Farms
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced that the Farmland Preservation Program has added 2,629 acres on 28 farms in 19 counties, bringing the total number of permanent conservation easements on 6,392 Pennsylvania farms up to 639, 254 acres across the Commonwealth.

Congratulations to the farms in my district that have been protected:
• Robert and Kathryn Boyce, a 77-acre beef operation inLower Frankford Twp.
• Cheryl D. Pauli, a 71-acre crop operation in Lower Frankford Twp.

Stay Cool and Keep Your Energy Costs Down
As the hot weather continues into the weekend, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is offering tips to help you stay cool and conserve energy.

Tips to Stay Cool
• Fan yourself. Fans circulate the air, keeping you feeling cooler even at higher temps.
• Follow the shade. Spend time in rooms that do not receive direct sunlight.
• Block the heat. Use window blinds and coverings at the sunniest time of day to reduce heat buildup.
• Don’t add extra heat. Postpone using heat-producing appliances like clothes dryers, dishwashers and stoves until it is cooler.
• Cookout, anyone? Consider using outdoor barbecue grills or microwaves instead of stoves or ovens, which can increase indoor heat.

Tips to Save on Your Electric Bill
• Check your thermostat. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your cooling bill.
• Clean is “green.” Regularly clean and replace air conditioner filters and ensure air circulation paths are clear.
• Power off. Turn off non-essential appliances and lights to reduce power use and unwanted heat.
• Don’t cool unneeded space. Close off unused rooms and adjust air vents or thermostats to avoid unnecessary cooling expenses.
• Keep the heat outside. Seal cracks to prevent warm air from leaking into your home.

For more energy-saving tips, visit PAPowerSwitch.com and check your utility's website for conservation and efficiency resources.
Welcome Summer!
Be sure to check out Carlisle Parks and Rec Newsletter for all the latest summer activities! Click here for more information.

Open Application Period for New $20 Million Program to Provide Laptops for Libraries, Non-Profits, Community Institutions
The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) announced the application period for the new Digital Connectivity Technology Program is open now through Monday, Aug. 19. Online applications can be made through the PBDA website

Through the new program, the PBDA will purchase and distribute $20 million in laptops for eligible public-facing institutions such as libraries, municipalities, workforce training organizations, not-for-profit organizations and other community anchor institutions located in areas where affordability has been identified as a barrier to broadband adoption and use who will then make them available to individuals who lack the technology needed to access the internet.

The PBDA will begin reviewing Digital Connectivity Technology Program applications on Aug. 20 and anticipates announcing the grant awards in November. Projects are expected to begin in early 2025. Grant recipients are required to make digital skills training available through their own program or the free options on the PBDA website; however, end users are not required to participate in a training program.

Across Pennsylvania there are currently 286,000 households, businesses, schools, and libraries that either have no access or insufficient access to broadband. The funding for the Digital Connectivity Technology Program was made available through the American Rescue Plan Capital Projects Funding, announced by the PBDA in March 2024.

For a detailed look at the Digital Connectivity Technology Program, please view this helpful program overview and this video presentation.
Antlerless License Sales to Begin Monday in Three WMUs
With the 2024-25 hunting license year set to begin July 1, new licenses will be available for sale starting Monday, June 24. Please note, hunters no longer need to purchase a general license before getting an antlerless deer license; they can be purchased at the same time, anywhere licenses are sold.

This year, when licenses go on sale at 8 a.m. on June 24, antlerless deer licenses will be available for only three Wildlife Management Units (WMU) where demand is highest: WMUs 1B, 2G and 3A. Licenses in these WMUs will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis until the allotted number of licenses sells out, and only Pennsylvania residents may purchase antlerless licenses initially.

On Thursday, June 27, at 8 a.m., antlerless licenses for the remaining 19 WMUs will go on sale to residents. Those seeking licenses in any of these WMUs won’t need to wait in line for them; they’re guaranteed to get one, as long as they buy before 7 a.m. on Monday, July 8, when the resident-only portion of the first round of antlerless license sales ends.

Once the nonresident portion of the first round begins at 8 a.m. on Monday, July 8, all remaining antlerless licenses will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis until the allocated number of licenses is exhausted.

A hunter, whether resident or nonresident, can obtain only one antlerless license in the first round, whether it’s before, during or after the guaranteed period.

Hunters can buy 2024-25 antlerless licenses online at huntfish.pa.gov, or at any in-store hunting license issuing agent. View a map of those locations here.

The prices of the antlerless deer licenses remain the same at $6.97 for a resident antlerless license and $26.97 for a nonresident antlerless license.

Additional details are available here
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District Office: 437 E North Street | Carlisle, PA 17013 | Phone: 717-249-1990
427 Irvis Office Building | House Box 202199 Harrisburg, PA 17120-2199 | 717-772-2280