In this Update:
25th Annual Johnstown Veterans Day Parade
I was honored to attend the 25th Annual Johnstown Veterans Day Parade. Thank you to all who served our great nation!
Senate Passes Legislation Defending the Second Amendment
Senate Bill 448 would allow for an individual or member organizations to sue a county or municipality that implements a local firearms ordinance in violation of existing state law; would allow for individuals adversely affected by local action to seek relief and damages; would put the burden on the municipality to defend its actions instead of placing the burden on the individual; and would make it clear the General Assembly is the only elected body responsible for passing legislation related to the right to bear arms.
The Pennsylvania Constitution is unequivocally clear – the rights of the citizens to bear arms shall not be questioned. No municipalities can enact an ordinance infringing on that right. This legislation reaffirms our support of the Pennsylvania Constitution and our Second Amendment.
Currently, gun owners who are accused of violating local ordinances often lack the time and financial resources to engage in the legal battle necessary to overturn unconstitutional gun regulations at the local level. This legislation will ensure that the laws enacted by the General Assembly are obeyed.
The bill now heads to the state House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Passes Senate Resolution 53
This week I voted in support of Senate Resolution 53 sponsored by Senator Lisa Baker to evaluate how PennDOT allocates highway maintenance funding to preserve our roads and bridges across this Commonwealth. The highway maintenance formula was last updated in 1997, and it is time to review the formula again to ensure your taxpayer dollars are effectively spent.
Mask Mandate Update
This week the Commonwealth Court ruled in favor of the parents suing the Wolf Administration, declaring the mask order void and unenforceable. According to the Court, Acting Secretary of Health Beam did not have the authority to mandate masks in schools. The Wolf Administration has taken yet another action to lock parents out of the ability to make health and safety decisions for their kids. By appealing the Commonwealth Court’s decision, they were granted a stay of the ruling – leaving the school mask mandate in place until the appeal is resolved.
Unemployment Scam Alert
Unemployment Compensation claimants who receive their payments via the US Bank Reliacard, be on the lookout for fraudulent text messages. DO NOT click on the link – it is a SCAM! Neither Labor & Industry or Treasury will ever send you a message with an embedded link.
2021 Conservation Stewardship Award by the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship
My staff was able to attend the Clearfield Commissioners meeting this week to present Donald Schmidt with a Senate Citation on being honored with the 2021 Conservation Stewardship Award by the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship.
Life NWPA Ribbon Cutting
My staff attended the ribbon cutting and tour of LIFE NWPA – Living Independence For the Elderly new facility located at 103 N Front Street, Clearfield.
To learn more about LIFE-NWPA in your area visit here or call 844-456-5433.
Financial Literacy Essay Contest
Do you know someone in Grades 7-12? To help further financial literacy education among our students, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Auditor General, is conducting a Commonwealth-wide Financial Literacy Essay with the theme, “What does financial literacy mean to me?”
Submissions can include a 30-second TikTok video, short essay, or poem about what financial literacy means to them. The submission for deadlines is January 31, 2022.
More information on the competition can be found here.
“Hand to Hand” Handbag Boutique
The Community Arts Center of Cambria County is holding their 6th annual “Hand to Hand” Handbag Boutique from November 13th through December 24th. If you are interested in donating gently used handbags or scarves for the Boutique, you may drop them off at the Goldhaber-Fend Fine Arts Center beginning Wednesday, November 10th during normal business hours.
Approving Tax Reform Measure for Small Business Employers
The Senate approved legislation to advance small business tax reform that would help move Pennsylvania out of a pandemic economy and create jobs for Pennsylvanians.
Senate Bill 347 would eliminate a disadvantage faced by Pennsylvania small businesses when competing with those in other states. Under federal tax law, a “like-kind” exchange under the Internal Revenue Code allows for tax deferral when property is exchanged for similar property. This long-standing federal provision allows employers to invest in the job-creating assets businesses need to remain competitive. Every state but Pennsylvania provides for a similar deferral on the state level.
The bill will now be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. It is part of a Small Business Tax Reform Package to help employers recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and mandated shutdowns. Small businesses create 65% of the jobs in the commonwealth.
The Senate previously passed Senate Bill 349 to bring state tax law governing expense deductions in line with federal law, eliminating the unequal treatment of small businesses in Pennsylvania. The increase in limits makes it easier for employers to buy equipment and to invest, which promotes job growth.
Helping Pennsylvania’s Veterans
To support Pennsylvania’s veterans, the Senate supported legislation that would establish a Veteran-owned Business Loan Guarantee Program and would clarify the Veterans Preference Law to include veterans who served honorably but were discharged with a disability before completing their initial obligation.
Senate Bill 830 would create a program providing loan guarantees to commercial lending institutions that make loans to veteran-owned businesses. The program would authorize the Commonwealth Financing Authority to guarantee up to 50% of the outstanding principal of the loan, limited to $250,000 for any one loan.
Senate Bill 849 would add an exemption for those with a disability discharge and would ensure that veterans with medical discharges receive the preference with seeking careers within the Commonwealth.
Both bills now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Financial Assistance Available Soon for Homeowners
Pennsylvania has been allocated $350 million through the federal Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) to help homeowners behind on their mortgage and other home-related expenses due to the pandemic. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) will administer the program and is working to develop the Pennsylvania HAF program, which must be approved by the U.S. Treasury before it can become operational.
Pennsylvania’s program will include an online and mobile application portal. Applicants will be able to apply and submit required documentation through the web-based application or may be assisted by a third-party counseling agency.
The program is expected to be available in the coming months, but homeowners may sign up now to receive updates about the financial relief. Click here to be notified or for more information.
Control Your Electricity Costs with PA Power Switch
As electric costs are on the rise and only projected to worsen throughout this winter, there has never been a better time to be proactive about controlling your electricity costs.
You can shop for your electricity and choose your supplier, regardless of your local utility, by researching your options on PAPowerSwitch.com.
Under state law, you have the option to switch to a competing supplier which can offer the lowest price or provide a specific service you want such as green or renewable energy. The electric utility that distributes your electricity will remain the same. You would simply be taking advantage of the power of competitive retail electric shopping to see if a better price is available with a supplier.
PAPowerSwitch.com offers comparison data regarding price, fixed-price contract terms, renewable content, deposit/cancellation fees and other consumer information.
If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.