In this Update:
Senate Passes Langerholc Measure to Cut the Gas Tax
Taking significant action to protect Pennsylvanians’ wallets, the Senate approved my bill to stop the automatic gas tax increase for 2023. The bill now heads to the House of Representatives.
For the first time, the average wholesale price of gasoline exceeded $2.99 per gallon last year, triggering an automatic increase in Pennsylvania’s gas tax that went into effect Jan. 1.
Senate Bill 35 would eliminate the automatic gas tax increase for 2023 moving forward, preventing what would produce the second-highest gas tax in the nation behind California, and permanently sets the average wholesale price at $2.99 per gallon. The bill also requires the Department of Revenue to reassess this year’s gas tax structure.
Projections indicate the average Pennsylvania household will spend nearly $2,500 at the gas pump in 2023. This includes approximately $380 per driver in gas taxes alone.
If you support this measure please sign the petition to stop the automatic gas tax increase here.
Senator Langerholc Reappointed Chairman of Senate Transportation Committee
I was reappointed by Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward to lead the Senate Transportation Committee for the 2023-24 Legislative Session.
I am honored to be reappointed as chairman of the committee responsible for overseeing the Commonwealth’s transportation system, which is one of the largest networks in the nation. I look forward to continuing the important work of reining-in spending, right-sizing operations, ensuring our region receives ample funds and fighting for cost-saving reforms to ensure Pennsylvanians benefit from a modern, efficient transportation system.
“Sen. Wayne Langerholc has an exceptional track record of success as the Senate Transportation Chair,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward. “Chairman Langerholc’s work on multimodal transportation as well as his laser focused fight against PennDOT’s unilateral bridge tolling decision, are just two examples of his principled leadership in serving Pennsylvanians.”
As chairman of the Transportation Committee, I led the bipartisan compromise to stop PennDOT’s bridge tolling initiative with his Senate Bill 382 signed into law as Act 84 of 2022, which protected small businesses and communities. I have sought out new initiatives to attract and grow businesses throughout the Commonwealth. I successfully advocated for additional investments in the budget for PennDOT’s design and construction programs as well as the establishment of Airport Land Development Zones. I have been the leader in bringing the emerging technology of Automated Vehicles and e-scooters to the forefront with Act 24 of 2021 and Act 130 of 2022, respectively.
I was sent to Harrisburg to fight for Pennsylvania’s hard-working families who have seen historic inflationary prices in food, housing, transportation, etc.. The newly sworn-in Legislature and first new Governor in eight years must work together to implement common-sense reforms and re-prioritize public safety, economic development, and overall quality of life.
This week, I convened the first voting meeting of the 2023-24 Legislative Session with legislation that reforms the gas tax, and honors our hometown heroes. Among the bills passed Senate Bill 96 and Senate Bill 122 commemorate the selfless acts of service members from Cambria County who courageously fought in World War II and the Vietnam War, respectively, for our freedom. Both bills passed the full Senate on Wednesday and now are before the House.
Senate Votes to Let Citizens Decide Voter ID, Legal Relief for Sexual Abuse Victims, Regulatory Reform
The Senate passed legislation this week that will let voters decide whether the Pennsylvania Constitution should be amended to create a voter ID requirement, provide sexual abuse victims with a way to sue their abusers and reform the state regulatory review process.
Thirty-five states, the world’s developed countries and many developing ones have voter photo ID requirements, and a 2021 Franklin and Marshall College poll found that 74% of Pennsylvania voters said the commonwealth should join them in making elections more secure.
Senate Bill 1 also includes a proposed constitutional amendment that will create a two-year window to allow sexual abuse victims to sue their abusers. Victims of sexual abuse who were abused as children have been unable to seek justice after the age of 30 due to a statute of limitations provision in Pennsylvania law.
In addition, Senate Bill 1 includes a separate proposed amendment that would allow the General Assembly to reject a regulation by majority approval, as opposed to a two-thirds vote, in both legislative chambers.
Under Pennsylvania’s current regulatory review process, the executive branch has circumvented the General Assembly and the normal legislative process, ignoring any legislative or public input that runs counter to executive branch regulatory goals.
The General Assembly previously approved the amendments in the 2021-22 legislative session. Approval of Senate Bill 1 this session would let voters have their say.
Virtual Job Fair Set for Wednesday, Jan. 18
The Pennsylvania National Guard Associations will be holding a virtual job fair Wednesday, Jan. 18.
Jobseekers should be prepared to interview online with hiring managers and recruiters from top hiring companies. This online chat will connect the public directly with organizations.
After signing in, participants will be able to explore the available information and opportunities and participate in live one-on-one, text-based chats with representatives from participating organizations. Participants may also visit the job fair before and after the live event to continue making connections with top employers.
Assistance Available for Local Historic Preservation
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is now accepting applications from nonprofit organizations and local governments for the Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program.
Grants support projects that identify, preserve, promote and protect historic and archaeological resources in Pennsylvania for the benefit of the public and community revitalization.
Two categories of grants – construction and planning – are available for historic resources in Pennsylvania that are listed, or eligible for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places. Applicants may apply for only one type of grant. Prospective applicants for construction grants can attend a webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. A planning grant webinar will be held Thursday, Jan. 19 at 1 p.m.
Anti-Litter Contest Open to K-6 Students
Entries are now being accepted for the Litter Hawk Youth Award Program, a way for students in kindergarten through sixth grade to promote anti-littering efforts through art, words or video.
Two entries will be selected as winners in each grade level. First place will receive a $50 gift card. First runner-up will receive a $25 gift card. All participants will be recognized with certificates. The deadline to participate is Jan. 31. Winners will be announced in April.
Kids can participate individually or as part of a lesson initiated by schools, home-schools, scout troops, 4-H clubs, environmental clubs or other organized groups. More information and entry forms are available here.