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Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr
Review of State Budget as Member of Senate Appropriations Committee
The process of reviewing Gov. Wolf’s proposed 2018-2019 state budget is underway with the Senate Appropriations Committee holding three weeks of public hearings on the spending plan.
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I have been attending and asking questions of the various cabinet secretaries on Governor Wolf’s proposed $33.2 billion state General Fund budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19. The budget proposal includes a $1.2 billion (3.7 percent) increase in state spending over the current fiscal year.
Hearings run through March 8 and feature department secretaries and agency heads taking questions from the committee about their spending requests and other topics. If you have specific questions you would like me to ask please submit them here.
Although the Governor is not requesting a broad-based tax increase, the decision to again increase state spending, continuing to push for a Marcellus Shale extraction tax, and implementing a $25 per-capita fee for municipalities that rely on the State Police for local police coverage is questionable, at best.
We fought tooth and nail for over 10 months to enact a responsible budget last year. A budget that is working, a budget that saw January’s revenue at $93 million over projection. Now with a stroke of a pen, the gains are wiped away and spending is again drastically increased. In addition, the new proposed policies will hurt the hardworking families of the 35th Senatorial District.
I believe it is critical that we look at how tax dollars are spent by state departments and agencies. The hearings provide an opportunity for the committee to listen to cabinet secretaries and other Administration officials detail their budget plans for the upcoming fiscal year. The state’s current fiscal year ends on June 30.
State Budget Toolbox
You can find the full schedule, plus summaries and video of every hearing here: https://www.pasenategop.com/budget-hearings-summary/
Here are clips from this week’s hearings with the Auditor General and Attorney General:
You can also following the hearings on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PASenateGOP/
District Offices Serve as Locations for “Cell Phones for Soldiers” Donations
Area residents can do their part to support members of the military and veterans by donating used mobile devices to Cell Phones for Soldiers at one of my district offices.
Cell Phones for Soldiers is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to serving troops and veterans with free communication services and emergency funding. Founded in 2004, the organization has provided more than 300 million minutes of talk time to troops serving around the world.
Donations of newer or gently-used cell phones and tablets from all wireless carriers and brands are accepted. Each donated device valued at $5 will provide troops with an estimated 2.5 hours of free talk time.
This is a great way to show our support for troops who are often far from family and friends, serving our country. I urge area residents who may have a phone they are no longer using to donate it to Cell Phones for Soldiers as a way of thanking our members of the military and veterans and helping to them to keep in touch with those at home.
Current Photo IDs Accepted for Commercial Air Travel through October 10
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding state residents that current driver’s licenses and photo ID cards can still be used as valid identification for commercial air travel and entrance to federal buildings through at least October 10 of this year.
PennDOT is working to comply with federal REAL ID photo identification standards and expects to be able to offer customers new REAL ID-compliant licenses beginning in spring 2019. PennDOT is encouraging Pennsylvanians to begin planning now if they would like a REAL ID-compliant license or photo ID next year.
More information on the steps state residents should take in order to receive a REAL ID-compliant license is available here.
2018 Adult Trout Stocking Schedules Now Online
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission 2018 Adult Trout Stocking Schedules are now available online.
Anglers can search the trout stocking schedules for locations and dates of interest. Included in this year’s stocking lists are the Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters, a program where 21 streams across the state are stocked with large 14” – 20” trout. Opening day of regular trout season is April 14.